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The Ultimate Interview Guide for Cabin Crew

Viewed 74,101 times
By cabincrew.com on Wednesday 27th Jun, 2012 at 10:17

Whether you’re blessed with the confidence of Lady Gaga, or suffer with nervousness, job interviews can be a daunting experience. It’s easy to slip up at a cabin crew job interview by saying the wrong things, forgetting to mention key achievements, or misinterpreting questions entirely.

So what’s the answer? Preparation of course, and that means planning answers to popular interview questions well before you slip on your smart suit.

So Cabincrew.com has compiled the ultimate guide. We take a look at the different types of interview question you can expect, and provide advice on giving answers that will help you land your ideal cabin crew job.

Preparation

So you have secured an interview for your dream cabin crew job. That’s a great achievement in itself. The golden rule of being interviewed is to be prepared! It sounds simple but so many jobseekers make the mistake of arriving for interviews without preparing properly in advance, expecting their past experience to help them walk into the job.

Some useful hints and tips

Whether it’s Virgin Atlantic, BA, Emirates or Easyjet, do as much research on the airline that you can. Spend time going through the airline website and if possible ensure you understand where they fly, who they serve, which aircraft they use, and the kinds of people they like to employ.
“What do you know about our company?” is one of the most commonly asked interview questions. If it is on their website, there is no excuse for not knowing about it!

Key facts you must know
• The airlines routes
• Customer service ethos
• Growth plans for the future
• Main competitors
• Financial performance
Recent published news

Ask the recruiter!

If you are working with an external recruiter ask them for the information! The recruiter should be able to give you all the information you need, ensuring you go into the interview prepared. If there is anything you are not sure about - ask.

Find out about the interview process, company culture, team size, current management, working conditions, and the challenges faced by the manager, team or business for example. The better prepared you are, the better your chances of impressing the interviewer.

Presentation

First impressions count especially for cabin crew roles! Ensure that you are dressed for the job you want, rather than the job you already have. Always overdress rather than risk being underdressed and if you are at all unsure about the dress code ask the recruiter.

Punctuality

Find out where you are going and plan how you are going to get there. If you are unsure of the exact location of the cabin crew interview print out a map, again often found on the airline’s corporate website or available online from one of the many online map providers.

Allow plenty of extra time in case of travel delays. If you arrive very early find a nearby café and collect your thoughts and make any final preparations e.g. ensuring you have your mobile phone turned off before you go into the interview etc.

It’s good practice to show up 5-10 minutes early, as this shows you are keen and ensures you don’t hold proceedings up (also remember it can take up to 10 minutes to get signed in as a visitor in some buildings).

The interview

You’ve arrived! When you first meet the interviewer, greet him or her with a firm handshake and try to smile. Break the ice by asking them how they are or how their weekend was etc, some interviewers are better than others at making job seekers feel at ease.

Take out any papers, notes, questions etc and your pen before the interview starts. This will save you having to look for them later during the interview.

Sit upright looking alert and giving the interviewer your full attention. Leaning back in your chair while twirling your pen will not create the best impression so is best avoided.

The Questions:

Andy Yeap, founder of FlyGosh the cabin crew and pilot blog, suggests some questions to expect and the kinds of answers to give.

Tell us about your hobbies?

Everyone has their own hobbies so this question is pretty straightforward. Just don’t mention anything which a cabin crew shouldn’t be interested in, such as telling them you love getting tattoos done, and partying all night! Sports and fitness, travel and sight-seeing, film, music, languages are all good to mention.

Do you like children?

When you fly, there will definitely be children on board. Some can be naughty and mischievous. Just mention that you love to be around children and it’s not a burden attending or to play with them so as to make sure that they are not disturbing other passengers or inflate an emergency vast accidentally. Say whatever you are comfortable when dealing with kids.

Tell us about your current or your previous job?

Whatever previous jobs you have had, just mentioned those that are related to cabin crew. They love to hear things like how you solve a problem in a team, how you’re committed to your job, how well you handle your colleagues or customers, have leadership skills. The goal here is to convince them that you previous experience will be useful and will complement the role of a flight attendant.

What languages can you speak?

Not only will you be travelling to different parts of the world but you will also have different nationalities on board. The more languages that you speak, it will definitely be an advantage for you.

Tell us the aircraft that we fly?

It’s essential to do some research on what kind of planes they fly. Definitely don’t tell them you’ve never even heard of a Boeing 777 or an airbus.

Why did you choose our airline and not others?

You can say that being a cabin crew team member is your ambition and you do not mind working in any airline so long as you achieve it. You can also say that you chose to apply to that airline because it is one of the best around that region, if not the world. The goal here is to show them that you are being hired by the best airline and have no intention to resign and join others. No airline or any company would like to train someone only to lose him or her to a competitor.

We think these specific insights from Andy are really helpful. Here are a few more classic questions that will remind you of what to expect and what kinds of answers to give.

How would you describe yourself?

This is where the interviewer wants to get an idea about YOU as a person. Although you can mention your career strengths it is better to use this to talk about your personality. Whatever you say you need to be honest and genuine. You want the interviewer to feel confident that they are seeing your true personality rather than telling them what you think they want to hear.

Study the job specification carefully before you go to the cabin crew interview. Often the airline will describe exactly the type of person they are looking for – organized, a team player, dedicated to delivering good service, friendly, positive-minded. If you fit what they want then make sure you say so. If you forget then you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

Where do you want to be in five years time?

The interviewer wants to know that, if they hire you, you will stay with the company. After all, nobody wants to hire a flight attendant who will switch to a different airline after a couple of months.
Although you want to show ambition, your answer must be realistic. If it’s a trainee position, or junior cabin crew, it would be expected for you to aspire to a purser role or cabin crew supervisor.
It would be useful to describe how you want to make a great contribution to this company as you develop experience. You can emphasise specific goals you would like to achieve, such as to get involved in a customer service initiative, or help the company to make money.

What are your strengths?

The interviewer wants to know what your key strengths are in relation to this particular job. Make sure you choose examples that are relevant to the cabin crew role, but also examples that set you apart from other applicants.

It’s useful to have 4-5 strengths available in case the interviewer asks for some further examples. Are you really supportive to friends, very organized in your daily life, good at following instructions, happy to spend time talking to children and older people, used to coping under stress. There are many strengths to talk about, but remember to always back them up with examples. If you claim to be a good communicator, what will you say if they ask ‘in what way?’

For most cabin crew jobs you will want to include an example of working well as part of a team as most companies are after people who fit in well with others.

Asking questions

You may have the opportunity to ask questions as the interview progresses, it is normal interview practice for the interviewer to give the job seeker the opportunity to ask questions for the last part of the interview.
Asking insightful, well thought out pre-prepared questions when given the opportunity is as important as any of the answers you will have already given during the interview, this is well worth remembering.

Not having pre-prepared questions or squirming uncomfortably as you try to think up a list of intelligent questions on the spot will make you look badly prepared and disorganised.

Spend time before the interview reviewing the job profile and review any notes you have taken during any briefing discussions with the recruiter before the interview. Pick out anything about the role, team or company you are unsure about.

When going through the corporate website, note down any questions that are not answered by the information available.

Have 10 questions prepared before you go into the cabin crew interview. As the interview progresses several of these will no doubt be answered as part of the general interview dialogue. However, when it is your turn to ask questions, pick the 3 to 5 questions that seem most relevant at the time.

Good questions to ask might include:

• What is the company’s approach to training and development?
• How would you describe the company culture?
• What is the biggest challenge facing your team / department or XYZ company currently?
• How will my success in this role be measured over the next 12 months?
• How long would you expect someone to stay in this position before being considered for an internal promotion?

At the end of the interview

When the interviewer has indicated that the interview is about to end ask the interviewer about additional stages the interview process, ask for an indication of time scale for feedback.

Finally ensure that you thank the interviewer for their time.


Following the Interview

Following the interview, some candidates ask for feedback from the HR department. This can be particularly useful if you haven’t been successful and need to move on to other applications.

Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative try to view it objectively, and think about how you can improve your cabin crew interview technique in the future.

Finally, there is a great post on our forum by ‘djbrazil’ giving useful details about the Emirates interview process. For the full post click here.

Good luck!

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