Judy Tarver - Pilot Counseling Services, Inc.
The former Manager of Pilot Recruitment for American Airlines, she is also an aviation consultant, speaker, and writer with over 29 years experience in pilot selection and recruitment.
|Failed checkrides and your interview|
We all make mistakes, however some are a little harder to overcome than others. The most common mistakes for pilots are failed checkrides.
First of all, in my experience, it is hard to find someone who has not failed a checkride. However, it is not something to take lightly. The more failed checkrides you have on your record, the harder they are to overcome.
The brand new pilot
It is not uncommon to have a failed checkride in the onset of your career. Beginning pilots donít always realize how it can impact the rest of their careers. Failing a private, instrument, multi-engine or commercial checkride is not always the kiss of death-- depending upon the reasons. Failing two isnít typically an issue. Failing three or more will put you under scrutiny.
The more experienced pilot
Once you have progressed in your career, maybe with a regional airline or in a corporate position, failed checkrides arenít so easily dismissed. Failing initial training or upgrade training will be a bigger obstacle to overcome. Sometimes it may take several years of flying with no failed rides to convince an employer to hire you. Under law, companies are required to retrieve training records going back five years.
How airlines evaluate failed checkrides
Airlines are looking for trends in behavior that demonstrate lack of discipline, poor judgment, or learning deficiencies. So if you failed more than two checkrides, you can expect them to spend more time questioning you. Not only will they look at the reasons you failed and how long it took to retake it, but will take a closer look at your career progression and college grades to see if there are trends that might also indicate learning problems.
The interview Ė how to deal with failed checkrides
Airlines may still interview you, but how you deal with failed checkrides is really important. Take the following into consideration when dealing with the issue:
∑First and foremost, be honest
∑Take responsibility for your actions
∑Be poised, polished and professional in your demeanor and how you communicate the incident(s)
∑Be factual-- give specific details, but donít go off on a tangent
∑Donít be cavalier about it or act like it is no big deal
∑Donít act like you didnít know what happened
∑Donít get emotional or defensive
∑Donít place the blame on others
∑Tell what you learned and how you have grown from the experience
Reminiscent of Mr. T, I say, ďI pity the fool who hasnít
made a mistake!Ē and I pity those more who wonít own up to it.
Pilot Counseling Services, Inc
Judy Tarver, President of Pilot Counseling Services, Inc., helps pilots prepare for interviews at all airlines. Her experience includes:
- Manager of Pilot Recruitment for American Airlines; responsible for the hiring of over 7,100 airline pilots
- Author of Flight Plan to the Flight Deck: Strategies for a Pilot Career
- Consultant for major airlines and associations such as the Air Line Pilots Association and the University Aviation Association
The above article is Copyright © 2007 - Pilot Counseling Services, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
For more information, please visit Pilot Counseling Services at www.pilotcounseling.com