Today our post follows suit from the last. Take some time out and read ‘An Interview with Martin Howard’ who tells us a little about his career as a driving instructor. Martin also answers a couple of ‘strange’ questions we pose to him at the end.
Tell us a little about your background and how you came to embark upon a career as a driving instructor.
‘Ok, I left school and proceeded to work at ICI for 25 years where I taught forklift truck driving onsite. 2010 hit and unfortunately I was made redundant as were a lot of other people. My daughter was taking lessons with the owner of English School of Motoring, Simon Capeling and I was in-between jobs - trying to get off shore at the time. I heard through the grapevine that Simon was looking to recruit new instructors and whilst I had never thought about this as a career previously, it seemed fitting. So, I met with Simon, gained all the information, made an informed choice to go ahead, passed all of the tests and here we are now’!
Are there certain times of the year when enquiries peak?
There is a pause whilst Martin thinks…… ‘Come to think about it, it’s usually about this time of the year. The nights are getting lighter and people tend to prefer daylight driving. We get a lot of college and university students enquiring around this time of year too’.
Which areas within the North East do you particularly focus upon?
‘The bulk of my work comes from Middlesbrough. I do however take students from Darlington and Hartlepool’.
Which maneuvers are the easiest to teach?
Martin laughs! ‘This varies. Lots of pupli’s don’t like ‘turn in the road’ as this requires lots of observation. Having said this, by the time we have practised over and over they end up perfecting it and they hope to have it when it comes to test day. I think reversing around corners can be frustrating for many learners alongside reversing into a bay’.
In your opinion, is the hazard perception test easy?
Martin pauses again to gather his thoughts. ‘I think so. Once people know what they are looking for. Hazards are everywhere, people just don’t realise. Once you explain to the student what it is they are looking for it becomes easier. Signs to look out for are - stopping, slowing down, changing course, merging on junctions. Practice makes perfect’!
What is the one piece of advice you could give to someone looking to take lessons?
‘It’s always best to make enquiries. Speak to friends and family about their experiences. In my opinion you learn to drive by doing and this is why I will sit a student in the driving seat as opposed to the passenger seat!
What advice can you offer to someone looking to begin their career is driving instruction?
‘Choose your own own hours carefully, taking into consideration the earning potential you have in front of you’.
I tell Martin I have some un-related questions. He appears to be intrigues.
Note - these questions were actually asked to interviewees at Google!
You are shrunk to the height of a pennyl and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
Martin laughs! ‘I’ve Never heard of that question before, can you repeat it please’? I re-read the question and can almost hear the cogs turning! ‘Let me think’..... ‘Tick tock’ I say jokingly! ‘I honestly don’t know! This question has completely thrown me! How about…… I would either roll at the same speed as the blades or lie completely flat underneath them’! We are both laughing by this point.
Explain the significance of ‘dead beef’!
‘Errrrrrr - to provide food for people of course’!
Huge thanks to Martin Howard from English School of Motoring for not only providing a great insight into the work he carries out but also for answering some tough questions from Google interviews!