20 First Student Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at First Student.

When it comes to school bus operators, First Student is one of the biggest names in the business. If you’re hoping to land a job with this company, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some specific interview questions.

First Student interview questions will focus on your experience with student transportation services, as well as your ability to provide a safe and positive environment for students. You’ll also need to be able to demonstrate your customer service skills, as First Student puts a high priority on providing excellent service to its clients.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample First Student interview questions and answers. With these, you’ll be ready to take on anything the interviewer throws your way.

First Student Interview Process

The interview process at First Student is generally quick and easy. They will ask you many questions about kids and dealing with the handicapped and special needs children. They’ll want to know your availability also as first shift around 430-5am will be starting times depending on the routes you choose once hired.

1. Do you have a driving record that we can look over?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have a clean driving record. They want to know that you are safe on the road and will not put their students in danger while transporting them to school. If your driving record is not perfect, explain what happened and how it has changed your behavior.

Example: “I do have a minor speeding ticket from two years ago. I was rushing to get my daughter to daycare before work and got caught going five miles over the speed limit. Since then, I have slowed down considerably when driving in residential areas. I also started taking public transportation more often so I can avoid getting another ticket.”

2. How would you handle an unruly student on the bus?

Bus drivers often have to deal with challenging students. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle difficult situations and keep the safety of all students in mind. In your answer, show that you are willing to take action when needed but also know how to diffuse a situation without escalating it.

Example: “I would first try to calm the student down by speaking calmly to them. If they continue their disruptive behavior, I would call for backup from another driver or school administrator. I would not want to leave any child alone on the bus if they were acting out.”

3. When was the last time you had to get up early, and how did it go?

This question can help an interviewer get a better sense of your ability to work early in the morning. This is especially important for bus drivers, as they may need to start their day before sunrise.

Example: “I have worked several jobs that required me to be up and at work by 5 a.m., including my current position as a school bus driver. I find it’s best to go to bed around 9 p.m. so I’m well-rested when I wake up. I also make sure to eat a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water so I feel energized throughout the day.”

4. Why do you want to work at First Student?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your interest in the position. They want someone who is passionate about working with children and helping them get to school safely. When answering, make sure you highlight any experience you have working with kids or driving a bus.

Example: “I’ve been driving buses for five years now, but I still love it as much as when I started. I enjoy being able to help students get to school safely every day. I also love seeing their faces light up when they see me waiting at the bus stop. It’s rewarding knowing that I’m making a difference in their lives.”

5. What is your experience in customer service?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills. They want to know if you have experience interacting with customers and how well you can solve problems for them. When answering, think of a time when you helped a customer or client. Explain what you did to help them and how it benefited them.

Example: “I worked as a cashier at a grocery store in high school. I had many different types of customers come through my line each day. One day, an older woman came through my line. She was having trouble finding the right produce items she needed. I walked her through where everything was located and helped her find all the items on her list. She thanked me for helping her and said that I made her shopping trip much easier.”

6. Have you ever been involved in a car accident?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your driving record. They want to know if you have any accidents on your record and how they affected your ability to drive safely. In your answer, share what happened in the accident and explain how it changed your approach to driving.

Example: “I was driving home from work one night when a deer ran into the road. I swerved to avoid hitting it but ended up going off the road and into a ditch. Luckily, no one was hurt, but I learned that I need to be more careful while driving at night. Now, I always make sure my headlights are on so I can see better.”

7. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.

Employers ask this question to learn more about your customer service skills. They want to know that you’re willing to go the extra mile for their customers, and they also want to see what kind of work ethic you have. When answering this question, think of a time when you went above and beyond for a customer or client. Explain why you did it, and if possible, share how it helped the person.

Example: “When I was working as a server at a restaurant, one of my tables had an allergy. The family told me about their allergies before ordering, so I made sure to avoid those ingredients in their meals. After they left, I checked with the kitchen staff to make sure everything was okay. The chef said he would be careful to avoid those ingredients in all future orders.”

8. What are some of your daily activities as a school bus driver?

This question can help an interviewer get a better idea of what your typical day is like. It can also allow them to see if you have the skills and experience necessary for this role. In your answer, try to include some of the most important tasks that you would perform on a daily basis.

Example: “My first task each morning is to check all of my bus’s systems, including its lights, brakes and tires. I then make sure that all students are safely aboard before beginning our route. Along the way, I monitor the speed limit and ensure that we arrive at school or other destinations on time. After dropping off the last student, I park the bus in its designated lot.”

9. Are you familiar with any states/local laws regarding transporting students?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with the laws and regulations of a particular state or region. If you are interviewing for a position in a new area, it can be helpful to do some research on local laws before your interview.

Example: “I am familiar with all of the relevant laws regarding transporting students. In my last job, I had to complete an annual training course that included information about these laws. The training was required by law, so I made sure to pay attention and learn as much as possible.”

10. If hired, what do you think will be most challenging about this job?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your thought process and how you approach challenges. This is also a way for them to see if you are honest in your answer. When answering, try to be as positive as possible while still being truthful.

Example: “The most challenging part of this job would probably be the long hours. I understand that school transportation services often have late-night routes, but I am prepared to handle it. I know that by working hard now, I can ensure my students get home safely every day.”

11. Describe your experience working with children.

This question is a great way to determine how comfortable you are working with children. Employers ask this question because they want to know that you have experience working with kids and can handle the unique challenges of driving a school bus. In your answer, try to explain what kind of work you do with children and highlight any special skills or talents you have.

Example: “I’ve worked as a camp counselor for the past three summers. I love being able to help kids learn new things and make friends. At camp, I lead arts and crafts activities, play games and teach lessons about nature. I also enjoy sports and physical activity, so I often organize fun field trips where we can run around and get exercise.”

12. How many hours a day were you expected to drive on your previous jobs?

This question can help an interviewer understand how much experience you have driving a school bus. It can also show them if your previous job required more or less hours than the position they’re offering. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about the number of hours you drove and why that was.

Example: “In my last job as a school bus driver, I was expected to drive for five hours each day. However, I often worked longer days because there were times when students needed me to stay with them until their parents arrived to pick them up.”

13. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your career goals. They want to know if you plan on staying with their company for a long time or if you’re looking for something new in the future. When answering, try to be honest and show that you are dedicated to this job. Explain what steps you would take to grow within the company.

Example: “I see myself working as a school bus driver for First Student for many years. I love being able to work with children and help them get to and from school safely each day. I am committed to my education and training so that I can continue to provide excellent service to students and parents.”

14. Can you tell us about a situation where you had to manage multiple responsibilities at once?

Bus drivers often have to manage multiple responsibilities at once, such as driving the bus safely and monitoring students. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle these types of situations. In your answer, explain how you handled the situation and what skills helped you succeed.

Example: “In my previous position, I had to drive a school bus while also monitoring student behavior and making sure they were safe. One day, I noticed one of the kids was having an allergic reaction. I pulled over immediately and called for medical assistance. While we waited for help to arrive, I made sure all of the other children were safe and comfortable. By remaining calm and following protocol, I was able to keep everyone safe until the paramedics arrived.”

15. What types of software programs are you most comfortable using?

Bus drivers need to be comfortable using a variety of software programs, including scheduling and routing. This question helps employers determine if you have the necessary computer skills for the job. In your answer, list the specific types of software you are familiar with and explain why you feel confident using them.

Example: “I am most comfortable using Microsoft Office Suite, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I used these programs in my last position as an administrative assistant, so I’m familiar with how they work. I also know how to use Google Drive, which is helpful when uploading documents or creating presentations.”

16. We require our drivers to pass drug tests and background checks, are you OK with that?

This question is a way for the interviewer to make sure you are comfortable with their company’s policies and procedures. It also allows them to see if you have any concerns or hesitations about these requirements. In your answer, it can be helpful to mention that you understand why these tests and checks are necessary and how they benefit the students and drivers.

Example: “I am happy to pass a drug test and background check because I know that doing so helps keep our students safe. I believe that as long as I stay clean and sober while on the job, I will be able to provide excellent service to your company.”

17. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and what you’ve accomplished in the past. When answering, it can be helpful to choose an accomplishment that relates to working with children or driving a school bus.

Example: “My greatest accomplishment is becoming a certified driver for First Student. I started as a part-time bus driver while going to college, and after two years of hard work, I earned my CDL license. This was a major goal of mine, and I’m proud of myself for achieving it.”

18. Can you tell us about a time when you struggled to fit all of your responsibilities into one day?

Bus drivers often have to manage a lot of tasks in one day. Employers ask this question to learn more about your ability to prioritize and manage your time effectively. In your answer, try to explain how you managed the situation successfully.

Example: “I once had three routes that I needed to drive each day. This meant I was driving around for most of the day. To make sure I could complete all my routes on time, I scheduled breaks between each route so I could refuel my vehicle and take a short break. I also made sure to leave enough time at the end of each day to do any necessary paperwork.”

19. What do you do if there is an issue with the bus’s engine while you are driving?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to stay calm under pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you had to troubleshoot a mechanical issue while driving the bus.

Example: “When I was working as a school bus driver for my previous employer, there were times when the engine would make a loud noise while I was driving. In these situations, I would pull over immediately and call dispatch to let them know what was happening. Then, I would check all of the gauges on the dashboard to see if any of them indicated a problem with the engine. If none of the gauges showed a problem, I would restart the engine and continue driving.”

20. What would you do if a parent complained about the safety of their child on your bus?

Bus drivers are responsible for the safety of their students, and parents may have concerns about their child’s transportation. Employers want to know that you can handle these situations professionally while ensuring student safety. In your answer, explain how you would address a parent’s concern and ensure they feel comfortable with their child’s transportation.

Example: “If a parent ever expressed any concerns about their child’s safety on my bus, I would take time to speak with them in person or over the phone. I would listen to their concerns and reassure them that I am committed to providing safe transportation for their children. If necessary, I would arrange a meeting with other school staff members who could provide additional information.”


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