Lyft has always emphasized on quality control and the Mentor Session is just another additional screening it puts in place to uphold those standards. There’s reason as to why Lyft is regarded as one of the better, safer ride-sharing services.
What is the Mentor Session?
The basic idea is to simply connect an experienced Lyft Driver (Mentor) with the new driver. It is an extension of the Driver Inspection process which allows new drivers to learn the “Do’s and Don’ts” of driving for Lyft, especially with regards to any behavior which may seem unsafe or creepy to passengers.
Before the Mentor Session – A To-Do List
Before you show up for these sessions, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- There may be city, region or metropolitan area specific guidelines, DMV regulations, local laws etc. pertaining to your driver application. Do ensure you review them before you show up.
- Lyft subscribes to regional inspection lists provided by law for many areas. If your region is part of the list, you’d need a clearance before appearing for the sessions.
- Take a test-ride as a passenger with Lyft. Again, this allows you to understand the user experience, and know the kind of grievances passengers may have when you’re giving them a ride. Always a good idea to understand your client’s perspective.
- Watch the Welcome Ride videos – Lyft provides a very handy resource of these. They may be obvious and even boring, but go through each one. Pay attention to ‘Tap on’, ‘Tap off’ actions, ‘re-adjusting fare’ and other actions concerning your ride and how much you charge.
Scheduling a Mentor Session
You may set up an appointment with a Mentor when you’re ready (from the last page of driver application). You can set up location, time and once accepted, a Mentor would confirm.
Else, after a certain waiting period a mentor would contact you on behalf of Lyft.
Preparing for the Mentor Session
A mentor gets paid $35 per session, irrespective of the fact that you pass or fail. So yes, it is like a scaled down version of a job interview. Prepare accordingly
- Be on time for your interview – Your mentor would take over from there.
- Don’t treat the Welcome Ride casually – Once you schedule your mentor session within the Lyft App, and the Mentor confirms it, you’d need to show up at the location of choice requested by the Mentor. You have to treat it like a real customer request for a Lyft Ride.
- Treat it like a driving test – Mentors are usually the best of Lyft drivers responsible for upholding Lyft’s quality standards. Aggressive driving is a good way to fail the session. Don’t show up with a friend, a colleague, family members or pets.
- Don’t request the Mentor to drive to your location – A passenger wouldn’t do that when they request your service! Request re-scheduling only if you have a strong reason to do so
- Keep your car clean. Vacuum the seats and the floors, wash your car. Ensure there isn’t any strong odor, food crumbs, visible dirt or grime. This is emphasized strongly in Lyft guidelines.
- Clear out your seats and trunk off personal items.
- Dress Appropriately and maintain good Personal Hygiene. Overtly grungy fashion statements, revealing outfits or dresses with paint splatters, unclean look or torn stuff isn’t the best idea. Lyft is pretty casual as a workplace, but think about how passengers might feel about you looking a certain way.
- Keep your documents handy – License, insurance and registration papers would all be cross-verified against your application by the Mentor
The Mentor will take a picture of your documents, you and then your car for Lyft’s records. Your photograph and the one of the car would be retro-fitted with an ivy green background to create the Lyft ID for the app which passengers would see. More reason to dress appropriately and keep your car clean!
Tip 1: If you don’t own one already, it might be worth it to invest in a GPS Mount and get used to looking at your phone with a geo-location/ navigation app like Google Maps or Maps Connect. It would come in handy when the Mentor takes a test-ride in your car, and convince them about your app navigation skills. Again, a good first impression is half the job done!
Stay professional, follow instructions and it’s likely to be a smooth, casual ride. In fact, the mentor session is a great opportunity to tap into the knowledge of an experienced driver. Use it well.
Mentor Session details
- The Mentor will conduct a 19-point inspection of the vehicle and would ask you to show certain aspects of your vehicle in working order. If you and your car are unprepared for it, it’s best to schedule the session when you’re fully prepared show up undercooked.
- The entire inspection could take up to 45 minutes or more. Plan accordingly.
Re-Scheduling Mentor Sessions
If you re-scheduled your mentor session and didn’t hear back in 24 hrs, don’t worry! It’s likely that your region doesn’t have enough mentors available at the time.
Disliking your mentor isn’t a good excuse for re-scheduling your mentor session. Often there are few top-tier drivers in a region and they’re all you have in a reasonable driving distance.
Approval and Post-Session Details
Once the session is complete, you will hear back from Lyft within a day regarding the results. The email notification may also include notes from the Mentor regarding ways to improve your service, based on their observation during the Mentor Session.
Your Welcome Kit gets shipped to you once everything is confirmed.
If your documents weren’t photographed right, or were missing some information, the processing time may be delayed by a few days as they request the proper documentation. Lyft’s endeavor is however, to always get you on road quickly, and earn more money – so generally things are speedy.