Pilots also make mistakes. How to get better prepared for a job interview?

Written by BAA Training

On 2017-09-25

According to the latest data from the largest global aviation recruitment agency AviationCV.com more than 540 captains and over 170 first officers’ job ads are submitted at the moment. Most of them belong for Asian and European companies. Although the world is talking about the shortage of pilots, airlines do not want to make any reckless decisions. Companies are investing into more advanced recruitment tools and resources, thus, a job interview is becoming a challenging stage for pilots who are applying for a job. What must be taken into account while hunting for a pilot’s position?

Mistakes pilots make

Head of Recruitment at AviationCV.com, Jurgita Bartasiunaite, claims that the average number of candidate CVs within a week is 500. It largely depends on the job description and location. The figure of over 2000 CVs per month shows that pilots’ labour market is very competitive, therefore, pilots should put much more effort while applying for a job. How? By trying to avoid the most frequently made mistakes.

Quite often applicants slip during the very first stage of a job search – CV preparation. They fail to properly show their previous experience or indicate inaccurate numbers of their flight hours. Agne Novikiene, Head of competence development centre EMBLICK, highlights that a well-prepared CV is as important as other small technical details.

“Pilots sometimes forget to attach the required documents. This may hold them from other recruitment stages immediately”, says A.Novikiene and advises to always double check if all the licences, certificates or any other related documents are attached.

Practical part is the key

Naturally, the most important part of a job interview is an assessment of specific technical skills evaluated at the simulator.

“If a person has not completed a recurrence simulation in the last month, it is advisable to have some practice in the simulator prior to the job interview. These days it is all about hand flying, so those skills must be up to scratch. Practice, practice, practice is the key”, reminds Kirsty Ferguson, Expert Aviation Interview Coach at Pinstripe Solutions from Australia, the internationally recognised company delivering aviation recruitment services.

Vaiva Maslauskaite, Head of Crew Resource Division at Small Planet Airlines, a leisure airline company flying European and Asian passengers, agrees by adding that “flight safety is a priority for the airline, so we are looking for people who are, first of all, skilled in their profession. We need to trust our employees, therefore, only those applicants who are motivated to work and learn, are attentive to details and able to cope with various situations properly are invited to the second stage of the assessment”.

In the practical interview stage, not only flying skills, but also stress handling capacities, reaction and teamwork capabilities are under the magnifying glass.

“Special tests help airlines to reveal the core character traits of a pilot and their personality in general, therefore do not forget to be well rested before attending an interview and stay focused during it. There is nothing to be afraid of, only be yourself and show your best”, gives advice V. Maslauskaite.

Shared values

V. Maslauskaite emphasises the importance of a careful check of what specific skills and qualities companies are looking for. Usually in addition to impeccable skills and reputation airlines are also looking for synergy between pilots and company values.

“An ideal employee for an aviation company is not just about the skills, it is also about being “fit” within the airline”, adds Kirsty Ferguson.

Candidate pilots should carry out a detailed company research prior to the interview. A pilot will be able to find out whether the aviation company and the company culture is a good fit for him or her.

First impression is the only one

From the very first moment pilots arrive on the assessment day, they should switch on an interview mode and forget about any problems. Each of them is assessed right from the moment they enter the office: how a person interacts with the staff, how he or she behaves among strangers etc.

So, how to prepare for a successful job interview? There are a number of steps you should take before the interview to make a solid first impression.

  • Take more time to analyse the job position and the airlines.
  • Practise answering interview questions you will probably be asked during an assessment. Most frequently asked questions of a job interview can be found online.
  • Pay attention, be attentive, and look interested. This is something you can work on.
  • Be yourself and remember that practice makes perfect.

These are just a few insights of BAA Training born from the observation of the pilots’ assessment process. This extremely competitive employment market forces pilots to look for ways to stand out from the crowd. If you want to be certain about your career and get a pilot job easier we advise you to contact a specialist who knows the market and is ready to give you valuable assistance. A simulation of a job interview and review of your performance could pave the way to success.

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