3 Keys to the Cockpit: How to Ace Your Airline Pilot Interview

Published: 10-15-2018
Get a job flying with these airline interview tips.

Whether you’re a rookie pilot or an experienced flyer looking to find a new airline, interviews can be daunting. Some people never shake the feeling of anxiety or dread when it comes to a job interview.

As an airline pilot, of course, anxiety is the last feeling you want to reveal to an airline and potential employer. Pilots are supposed to be calm and collected under pressure. That’s practically the job description.

Because it’s so important to stay cool during your interview, preparation is key. Here are the 3 aspects that you should have complete knowledge of during your interview.

Your Character as a Pilot

As with any job, your prospective employer wants to know about your character. We’ve already covered the emotional aspect. You want to stay calm and focused.

You also should speak clearly and directly. Pilots may be forced to make split-second decisions, and airlines want to know that you are decisive. This reveals intelligence and confidence.

Airlines want to know how your character will reflect on your ability to be a successful pilot. The pilot is the leader of the plan, so even if you don’t have much experience, you can expound on other leadership opportunities you have had.

If you are just starting your career, you may be asked why you became a pilot. Have a compelling story about how you became interested in flying. Try to recall what it was like when you first took to the skies.

Your Experience Flying Airplanes

Airlines will want to know all the basic details: your education, flight training, certificates, licenses, etc.

Your interviewer will also ask you about your experiences flying. What troubles have you overcome that relate to this particular job and what skillset do you bring to the table.

They may also ask what airplanes you have flown and what routes you have taken. You may be asked to describe memorable interactions with crew, engineers, flight attendants, mechanics, passengers, and more. Make sure to show that you are a professional at all levels.

Expect questions on your safety record as well. If you’ve conquered any adverse weather conditions, you may have some good stories to tell.

The Airline Itself

Know the airline! If you walk into an interview and you haven’t done your research, the interviewer will assume you don’t really want the job.

Go online. Talk to pilots. Learn the ins and outs.

This means learning the CEO, the head of the flight department, how many airplanes they have, which planes are in their fleet, what are their routes, and how does that airline compare to its competitors.

As with flying, you want complete control. Understand these three keys and prepare. Then, you will ace that interview.

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