One of the final steps in the Lyft driver application process is to complete a “Mentor Session” with a Lyft driver. At the Mentor Session, your Mentor will inspect your car, show you how the app works, and have you take them on a quick test drive. (This process used to be called the “Welcome Ride”.) After the session, the Mentor completes a checklist inside the app and sends the information off to Lyft.
If you pass, you move on to the background check stage of the application. If you don’t pass, you won’t become a Lyft driver and you typically don’t get another chance. The stakes are high, but it’s pretty easy to pass as long as you show up prepared.
I asked real Lyft drivers and applicants to share their experiences so others working through the application process can see what to expect. For a lot of drivers, the Mentor Session is quick and easy, but for others, miscommunications and difficulties with the app can make it a bad experience.
Important! Lyft cancelled the Mentor program in 2017. Read more about the current Lyft requirements here:
You don’t have to do the Mentor Session if you rent a car through the Express Drive program
Lyft now offers vehicle rentals through their Express Drive program. If you rent a car through Express Drive, you don’t have to do the Mentor Session. Instead, the application flow will be: Apply > Do background screening > Get rental car > Drive.
Mentor Session stories from real drivers
“My mentor’s name was David, and he was the best. He met with me during the afternoon at Starbucks and literally walked/drove me through all the basics, tips, and tricks of being a Lyft driver. He saved me a load of money in potential tickets by telling me to sign my registration card, a fact that the DMV won’t tell you in NC! He also gave me advice on when to accept a ride and when to let someone else take it, how to call passengers, and how to avoid people vomiting in my car. All in all, he was so cool!”
My mentor session was great. We met in a Home Depot parking lot since my place is complicated to get to. My mentor was a super nice guy who made sure my car was working great (lights, turn signals, seat belts, clean car and trunk). We went on a short test drive so he could see that I drove responsibly and told me all of the details of what driving for Lyft is. I asked about what would happen if someone threw up in my car and he said that shouldn’t happen. He said to always have lunch bags in case I couldn’t pull over safely, but if they did I would report it to Lyft and they’d charge the customer the cleaning fee.
My advice is to make sure your car is clean (inside and out) and to make sure your trunk is empty since some people need to put bags in the back if they are going to the airport or they don’t fit in the car. It was very simple and he let me know that I could call him if I had any questions. He also said that if I picked someone up and didn’t feel safe to end the ride, because safety is their number 1 priority for both drivers and passengers. It was much easier than I thought and he made it a breeze!
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After signing up I was immediately contacted by text thanking me for joining and offering time slot options. Well, I was under the impression that they were coming to me so I opted for an early time to get it out of the way on that. “How about Saturday, I texted?” Why did I do that, I instantly got a text telling me where I should plan to meet. I immediately texted back, How’s 10 a.m. sound?” Well, it was about a half hour drive, silly me I thought that would count for my 30 minute ride… nope that was in addition to the ride. I arrived in ample time thinking that timeliness was part of the session. I was a bit flummoxed when it appeared that the address was a parking lot. Was this some kind of test? I immediately called announcing my arrival and was told that I was to drive to the McDonald’s next to the parking lot where he would be arriving shortly.
He showed up shortly and instructed me to follow his car to a nearby side street, he had me park, got out and took pics of my truck which I affectionately refer to “Moose.” After having amusing chit chat, and me harassing him for his tardiness he explained that he was trying to give directions to another individual who was apparently lost. I guess it’s safe to say that the other individual’s GPS was not working properly…hmm? a sign of things to come? I digress…
The mentor went on without him and without realizing it was assessing my personality and humor. After a few minutes and a quick ride (I reiterated to him the 30 minutes it took for me to get there should count I ride served) and that I had been driving longer than he’s had his big wheel, he laughed all the while typing information into his phone. Lastly, he asked me to stand next to a building where he took my “mug shot”, I mean my pic and I was on my way. September 6th makes 30 days and I’m $750 richer, I believe I used your code Doug so that payday you received somewhere on the 13th of August was thanks to me. I knocked out the 50 rides in 7 days of acceptance on the 8/6. Anyone reading this, please feel free to use my invite code to help a struggling student pay back her school loans “LYNNETTE658972”. Thanks Doug for paying it forward. I appreciate it!!!!
Mentor Sessions that didn’t go so well
My mentor gave me an address that I couldn’t find! We never ended up meeting.
My mentor never showed up so now I’m driving for Uber.
I don’t know if my experience was a unique one, but I hope it was. The process lacked structure, Lyft’s communication was stuck on loop repeat, my mentor and I hung out and talked, bsing and laughing 45 minutes beyond my ride and she told me she submitted it and was excited for me to start driving.
Thrilling news, I immediately logged onto Lyft’s website to check my drivers status while watching my mentor drive away.
Lyft’s informed me they were not going to extend an offer to me. After numerous email with a thin number of nongermane responses, followed by arctic silence I receive a text from Lyft congratulating me me on being accepted as a driver and encouraged me to get on the road right away. My welcome package and trade dress arrived a short two weeks later.
All that being said, I’m currently driving for Lyft and Uber. Despite being made a partner with Uber nearly two weeks after Lyft I have a few hundred rides with Uber, maintaining a 4.85 rating and have about 100 completed rides with Lyft where I maintain a 4.98 rating.
What you can learn from this: How to pass your Mentor Session
From all of the stories I heard from Lyft drivers about the Mentor Session, there are a few main points that showed up again and again that will help you pass when it’s time to meet your Mentor.
- Be prepared. Show up on time with a clean car, bring your documents, be showered, dress decently.
- Treat your Mentor Session like any other job interview. Be easy to deal with and try to impress your Mentor.
- Don’t do anything to stand out in a negative way. Bad driving, negativity (bad mouthing Lyft or Uber), inappropriate jokes or comments — All of that could make you fail the Mentor Session.
- Don’t give up! If you’re having a hard time meeting your mentor or if your first meeting with your Mentor falls through, keep trying to connect with your Mentor. If you get totally stuck, email Lyft support.
Not sure if you passed the Mentor session? Here’s a trick you can use to find out
I get a lot of questions and comments from readers who have taken the Mentor session, but they’re not yet sure if they’ve passed. Sarah, one of my readers and a Lyft Mentor, suggested using a great trick that will let you know if Lyft is still considering you, or if they’ve moved on.
The best way to check though would be to test the mentor. If you are able to reach them and you’re still in their queue, you’re good! But if you get a response saying your mentor (or “your driver”) is not available, you’ve failed the check and have been disqualified from driving for Lyft and your name had been removed from their mentoring queue. – Sarah