How to Succeed In Your Aviation Job Interview

Written by BAA Training

On 2017-06-01

The pilot interview is a very important step that you do not want to miss in your career! The second step is to convince the recruiters that you are the right person for the job. The airline assessment is an endurance, determination and courage consuming process. Emotions can stir things up even for the best. It is better to be prepared for any situation.

BAA Training has recently asked Kirsty Ferguson, Expert Aviation Interview Coach, a few key questions about the things graduates from aviation academy should consider when applying for a job with airlines. Let’s find out what the situation in aviation employment sector is and how to avoid common mistakes and to succeed in your job interview!

What are employment trends in the aviation sector?

Currently there is a worldwide pilot shortage, that means more Ab Initio pilot cadet programs are opening so that airlines can bring their own teams from the ground up.

Another trend is “Advanced Cadet Programs” so pilots with CPL’s but low number of hours can still apply.
With the shortage we are also seeing Turbo Prop pilots (from regional airlines) migrating to the Jet Carriers and leaving large gaps in the experience band within the regional airlines. Because of this we will probably see more opportunities for pilots to be included in recruitment drives. At the moment Cathay Pacific, Emirates and China based airlines are attempting to fill their gaps in by recruiting candidates on a large scale from Europe, South America, Australasia and the USA.

Movement into the Jet carriers is always good in aviation, as this opens gaps in General Aviation and Regional Airline employment, where pilots can grow their hours steadily.

What are the most common mistakes pilots or cabin crew members could possibly make during job interviews?

The most common mistake is being underprepared. It is essential to know:

  • What the skills/attributes the airline is seeking in a candidate;
  • What the airline’s values are;
  • Understand the role thoroughly, and that means actually doing the job from a sign in to a sign off for each flight.

The second most common mistake is not having a bank of “examples” ready to illustrate your ability. The best indication of future performance is past performance and the airline will not just take your word for anything, they want evidence.

Third, not realizing that from the time you arrive at the Assessment Day, you should be in an interview mode. You are assessed at every moment throughout the day; how you relate to other candidates, how you interact with the staff etc.

The fourth mistake applies to pilots specifically. If you have not completed a recurrency SIM in the last month, you need to do some SIM practice. These days it is all about hand flying, so those skills must be up to scratch, think how hard that would be on a new Jet SIM. Practice, Practice, Practice is the key.

The fifth mistake applies to cabin crew specifically. Cabin crew often fails to demonstrate evidence of confidence. Confidence in your ability is crucial, work on self-knowledge and gain confidence around your abilities and skills.

How to avoid the simplest mistakes?

Get a checklist together, you might as well get used to that, they will be part of the daily role from now on. The checklist should cover attire, resume copies, log books, referees, location details for the assessment, a list of preparation to do before the day. The more organized you are, the less likely you are to make mistakes.

What does an ideal employee for an aviation company look like?

It is not just about the skills, it is also about being “fit” within the airline culture.

Some of the areas they look for are:

  • Leadership potential
  • Team and cultural fit
  • The ability to be trained
  • Solid technical knowledge
  • Sound communication skills
  • The ability of self-management
  • Process driven and calm under pressure
  • Safety focus
  • The ability to see the big picture
  • Customer service awareness
  • Maturity and self-knowledge

How could you describe the tipping point of preparation for a job interview?

Once a student understands the process and what makes a great pilot or a cabin crew member from the airlines perspective, rather than from their own, the light bulb usually goes on. They then commit to the process and become more open to thinking about things in a little bit different way.

We hope you found these tips of how to succeed in your airline interview shared by Kirsty Ferguson, Expert Aviation Interview Coach, useful. No matter whether you are applying for your first airline job or switching jobs, we wish you confidence: prove that you are ready. Good luck!

You May Also Like…

We use cookies and other similar technologies to help provide our Services, to advertise to you and to analyse how you use our Services and whether advertisements are being viewed. We also allow third parties to use tracking technologies for similar purposes. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. To learn more, Read More.

Necessary Cookies

Always enabled

These cookies are necessary for our website to function properly and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms or where they’re essential to provide you with a service you have requested. You cannot opt-out of these cookies. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but if you do, some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
Performance Cookies
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site, which helps us optimize your experience. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not be able to use your data in this way.
Targeting Cookies
These cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
Save & Accept