1 Jun

How to Succeed In Your Aviation Job Interview

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!