Preparing for a flight attendant interview
Submitted by Jon on 28 Jan 2010
Everyone gets nervous before an interview; no matter what job you have applied for. In order to ensure your preparation is sufficient it is advisable to share similar experiences with people who have already passed through the process. Use any contact you may have to gain insight into what is likely to happen during the assessment and prepare for these scenarios. Below are some key points people can use on the day:
Dress for the job
If you want to become a flight attendant, try looking like one. Start by wearing a blue or black suit to the interview. Skirt length should be no more than an inch above the knee and tights are a must for women, as is a tie for men. Keep fingernails clean and polished and long hair pulled back or styled conservatively. Men should be clean-shaven where appropriate and have hair as neat as possible. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum and don’t overdo the makeup. Try to maintain a look that is smart and stylish.
First impressions count. It's a nerve-wracking experience, but try to relax and don't forget to smile. Introduce yourself to other candidates in the room. Airlines prefer applicants who are friendly. So be yourself, enjoy the moment, and laugh! Try to have fun and enjoy the challenge of the experience.
A common tool used in cabin crew selection is the group interview, with about four or five candidates in a group. It's important to make a good impression. Keep it positive whenever answering a question, especially when discussing yourself or any past employers and co-workers. Also, don't be the last person to answer each question. Be confident but, importantly, make sure you don’t interrupt any one else and if you notice someone is being left out or ignored try to actively include him or her.
Talk the talk
Use the phrase "good customer service" and the word "flexible" as often as possible. Flight attendants spend more time with passengers than anyone else in the industry, so airlines are looking for applicants with experience in customer service. Try sharing stories about the times you provided good customer service. As the majority of flight attendants do not get based where they live right out of training, and because a flight attendant's schedule is constantly changing it is very important to remain "flexible." Show examples of that as well. Where relevant, illustrate your understanding of the company brand and ethos. For a lot of passengers, the members of the airline, they have the most contact with are the cabin crew so make sure you are able to promote the company by undertaking your job in the correct manner.
Slow and steady
Before any interview you should be reminding yourself not to speak too fast, and this is particularly relevant during a cabin crew assessment. It is possible you will be asked to read out some text, possibly a safety announcement. This may be to a group or just your interviewee’s but ensure that you keep a check on your reading speed. It is all too easy to just wish the experience to be over and rush through the reading. Also remember, this is a serious topic but the speech colud be lengthy, so try to vary your tone to keep the audience interested. Finally, make sure you get and maintain eye contact with your audience. A good method of preparing for this would be to practice reading books or magazines out loud. Also, practice making an unprepared and non-scripted PA notice, examples would be an announcement about items for sale on the flight or a delayed departure.
A cup of coffee and a chicken wrap
Preparing for any interview is important but it is highly likely you will face basic maths and English (and other languages if relevant) tests as part of a cabin crew assessment. The language test is designed to assess your basic understanding and may consist of a series of paragraphs followed by multiple-choice questions. The numerical tests are generally based around everyday problems you would face in the job, for example: how much change would you give in Sterling if a passenger pays for three beers and a coffee in Euros. All information regarding prices and exchange rates would most likely be provided. If either of these areas causes you concern then have a look on the Internet for verbal and non-verbal reasoning practice and you will find plenty of useful information. It won’t be exactly what you will get in the assessment but it will provide you with acceptable practice.
Travelling and meeting new people
Why do you want to become a flight attendant? This is a question that will come up at some point in your selection process so make sure you have prepared for it. The best way to approach this is to be honest, there is probably a long list of reasons why you want to work as cabin crew for an airline. Even if some of your reasons seem a little silly it may be good to use them as a ‘lighter’ reason, just make sure you combine it with a more serious motivator, such as I don’t like working nine till five, or I enjoy providing good customer service.
Hello and Goodbye
Flight attendants are expected to welcome and say goodbye to each and every passenger while boarding or deplaning a flight. It wouldn't hurt to do the same to the people conducting the interview process. Thank the interviewer for their time and tell him or her you look forward to hearing from them.