Here are the basic “PILOT INTERVIEW TIPS”
Top materials for job interviews: In this document, you can refer to materials for a pilot interview such as: pilot situational interview, pilot behavioral interview, pilot interview thank you letter… Other useful materials for a successful pilot interview:
First of all, You have to initiate the preparation period including;
Getting Ready: Documents. Bring originals of all appropriate documents to your interview, such as your original logbooks. Electronic logbooks are acceptable, but we will need to see endorsements for each rating you have received. And remember, all logbook pages should be signed!
Tip: Organize all your information into a folder or binder. This makes it much easier for our Pilot Recruitment team to process.
Getting Ready: Time Away You have to arrange your tickets to Center of Airline Company. When you receive an interview date, be sure to arrange time off work, if necessary. If you’re unsure about the time you need to take off, speak with one of our pilot recruiters, who’ll be happy to let you know how long it’ll take.
Getting Ready: What to wear. We recommend all candidates arrive in smart, professional attire, such as a suit and tie.
Traveling to Airline Headquarter. Allow enough time to get to the place where You ll have interview. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview.
The interview day mostly starts at 8am sharp and any late arrivals will have to be rescheduled. Check in with the company representative and sign-in on the interview log. A recruiter will collect all of your documents and logbooks. You’ll be given a briefing about our company and have an opportunity to ask questions about the company or the interview.
The interview will consist of an HR evaluation and a Technical evaluation. (A Simulator Evaluation may be required at airline’s discretion. If you are chosen for a simulator assessment, you will be notified prior to scheduling your interview.)
The HR evaluation consists of verifying paperwork and getting to know you (examples)
The Technical evaluation consists of Jeppesen Charts, IFR regulations, definitions and weather (examples)
At the end of the interview, HR Department let you know if you’re successful and ready to join the Airline team.
After the Interview
Airline will run a background check that takes anywhere from a few days to more than one month. Please ensure that all information for previous employment is correct and up-to-date to speed the process. Once the background paperwork is received and processed, HR Liaison Personnel let you know if you have a conditional offer. All conditional offers are good for one year.
Are YOU Ready to apply?
Someone, please explain the airline pilot interview process
“How do I prepare for my interview and when’s the best time to start?” It’s a triple-barrelled question I am asked on a daily basis.
Obviously, there are a variety of ways to prepare. I am going to give you an overview of a thorough preparation, what times lines to expect when applying to an airline, and the different areas you will be tested on.
THE FULL AIRLINE PILOT INTERVIEW/ ASSESSMENT PROCESS LOOKS LIKE THIS:
- Online application (resume and cover letter)
- Online Psychometric/Aptitude testing (sometimes this is hands-on, on-site for some airlines)
- Video Interview, Whats Up? SKYPE or Telephone interview
- Assessment Day (includes: Technical Questions / Panel Behavioural Interview / Scenario-Based Questions / Flight Planning Exercise and sometimes a Clinical Assessment)
- Sim Test
- Referee Check
- Medical Check
So you’ve applied. Now what?
The waiting period following an application can vary between airlines, some airlines can move quickly if they have a shortage or quick expansion and other airlines are slower due to a large number of applications and a complex screening process.
Not much help is it… but it does vary depending on the airline.
To give you an idea, once you apply you can get a response between 2-4 weeks or 2-4 months, depending on the rate of recruitment and how many pilots have applied.
Many airlines issue time limits for the completion of the Video Interviews and On-Line Psychometric testing as the first two interactive stages. Often that is only 3 days to complete each of those, from the time of invitation.
Therefore getting ready for those processes well in advance is crucial. Especially for those with hectic rosters and not many days off. Remember, if you don’t do well at either stage you cannot progress to the Assessment Day.
Note: if you are overseas or unable to complete the processes within the timelines for a good reason, ask for an extension. Explain your circumstances clearly, often they will agree to give you one.
VIDEO, SKYPE OR TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS
This is a pretty foreign process and not many pilots feel comfortable sitting in front of a screen and talking about themselves, therefore practice is a great idea.
Remember, this is still a “behavioural interview” so know the technique.
Here are some suggestions for prepping for the Video Interview:
- Mac users: you have a built-in recording devise on your MAC, it is the PHOTOBOOTH program. Record yourself and play it back to ensure you are presenting with good eye contact, are not seen to be reading notes and are speaking clearly.
- You can also do a specialised Video Interview Program, where the actual interview is set up for you to practice online. The benefit of this is, the time limits are set, and you can get feedback from a specialist third party such as yours truly.
PSYCHOMETRIC/APTITUDE TESTING PRACTICE
There are many free online practice sites for psychometric testing.
You can request a list of the most common ones from us.
If you have performed poorly in the past, however, you may want to consider doing a hands-on aptitude test where you will receive feedback on your performance and guidance on where to improve. We can help you with a hands-on test, using the top of the line process that many of the airlines use.
UNDERSTAND THE BEHAVIOURAL INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE
Universally, airlines use the Behavioural Interview Technique. Many airlines rate your answers out of 5 points.
It is essential that you understand this method especially with regard to how to give an example. If you don’t provide the recruitment team with an example in the right format, you cannot get enough points to be rated highly. It also helps to understand what attributes and skills the airlines are seeking in a pilot in order to select the right example.
A common question is “ Tell us about a time you deviated from SOP’s”.
It’s a tough one but not if you know why the airline is asking this.
Now you might think: “airlines don’t want pilots who break the rules”, and you are correct. But airlines know most pilots have been in positions where they had to deviate, so you cannot avoid this question by saying “I haven’t”.
Let’s look at it from the airlines perspective. What are they actually trying to find out? Well, they are actually wondering, does this pilot have a “Broad Mindset” or the ability to use “Lateral Thinking”. Can he/she see the big picture and find the safest solution to a situation rather than just following the SOP’s with blinkers on?
There are circumstances that are suitable, I can think of around 8 off the top of my head. It is not a trick question; it is simply about how you behave. Remember that safety is the only acceptable reason to deviate.
Gosh, where do I start? To put it bluntly, this is the biggest regret pilots have. The number of times I have heard “I didn’t do very well in the SIM, I should have done a practice test”…. usually with a few expletives added for good measure.
I know the preparation costs add up, but the SIM is usually the final hurdle, so if you do the right preparation for every other aspect of the Assessment Day and not the SIM, you will kick yourself.
Airlines are moving to “hand flying”. By this, I mean taking the automation off the SIM and seeing you hand fly it. Apart from that, they are looking at how quickly you adjust in changing circumstances and they will assess you on your CRM skills.
Even if you are coming from a multi-crew operation you simply don’t hand fly often, and this test puts you under added pressure/scrutiny. So if you can afford it and have the time…. I highly recommend you do a practice SIM.
If you have just done a recurrency SIM and nailed it, you will probably be ok. In my mind, that’s the only exception not to do one. Make sure your trainer is top notch, has airline experience and knows what the recruitment SIM assessor expects.
PREPARE YOUR REFEREES
Your referees work for you, so make sure they are ready to act on behalf. That they know what you are saying about yourself and which airline you are applying to.
If you cannot tell your current employer about your plans, select a trusted colleague to act for you who has a position of seniority.
That’s it for now, myself and my team are here to help, so ask us anything, we are always up for a chat.
Kirsty Ferguson – Aviation Coach, Founder of Pinstripe Solutions
Pilot Interview Questions
Standard HR Questions:
Tell me something about yourself that we cannot decipher from your resume or application?
What is one accomplishment that you are very proud of?
Why should we hire you here at XYZ airlines?
Why shouldn’t we hire you?
Why did you choose XYZ?
Have you applied to any other companies?
What, in your opinion, makes a professional pilot?
What is one quality/personality trait, given the chance, you would change about yourself?
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Tell me about the toughest crew you had to deal with?
Tell me about a time you went outside company policy?
When was the last time you had an FAA inspector on board and how did it go?
Tell me about a time you had to deal with a stressful flight?
Tell me a time when you witnessed a crewmember do something unsafe?
Tell us about a time you had to use your leadership skills to resolve a problem?
Have you ever failed a check ride, and if so tell me about it?
Jepp Charts are used industry wide and it is strongly encouraged to study the charts in grave detail prior to
• Know how to Brief an Approach or finger fly an approach
• Be able to answer what any symbol is on a low altitude chart, approach plate, SID/STAR
What airplane are you most familiar with?
• What is the max Takeoff weight, Landing weight, and Ramp weight?
• What is the fuel capacity?
• Can you explain to me how the landing gear system works? (if applicable)
• Can you describe the pressurization system? (if applicable)
What is blue line?
What is V1? What is V2?
What is the difference between stating minimum fuel and declaring and emergency?
What is a balanced field?
What are the alcohol consumption regulations?
What is the IFR fuel requirement?
At what FL does RSVM begin and what are the requirements to operate within?
Be able to talk through a departure or Arrival procedure, what to do in case of lost communications, final
altitude, and flight path.
Conflict Resolution Questions:
The proverbial drunken captain question, may be asked in various forms and also be ready to roll play the
• What would you do if during the van ride to the airport your captain smelled like alcohol?
• What would you do if you ran into your captain drinking within less than the regulatory 8 hours
bottle to throttle?
What would you do/say if your captain (flying pilot) was 5 knots slow on Final Approach? Again this
may be role played.