Flight attendant looks like a wonderful job, especially for people who have never worked in the skies.
Let’s have a look at the interview process for this famed position, and on things you have to do right, in order to succeed and secure your place on board, without having to pay for a flight ticket :).
Your charisma matters more than your education
First of all, you should speak at least two languages, you should look good (this doesn’t apply with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair), and have at least some charisma. It would be tough to succeed in an interview if you lacked any of these things.
The good news is, however, that you do not need any special education, or previous working experience, to be considered for the job of a flight attendant. Airlines have excellent training programs. If they hire you, they will teach you everything you need to know to be an excellent steward.
And believe me, there’s a lot to learn, becasue stewards take care of many things that passengers have no idea about, and can not notice from the comfort of their seats.
Having said that, your success (or failure) in an interview depends mostly on the quality of your interview answers, and whether you can convince them that you have the right personality for the job. Let’s have a look at common questions, and how you should address them.
Questions for a flight attendant interview
- Tell us something about yourself. (Go with a short answer. Keep the eye contact. Remember that they watch how you talk, how you smile, they try to imagine whether it would be a pleasure to talk to you on board. How you speak and conduct yourself is actually more important than what you say, at least at this point of an interview. Nevertheless, you should speak about relevant things, such as your passion for flying, your customer service experience, your language skills, etc.)
- Have you ever flown with an aircraft before? How did you feel about the flight attendants and their work? (Try to stay positive. Talk about your experience with a good service. Mention that the experience of a passenger helped you to understand the job of a flight attendant, at least somehow. You can even say that it motivated you to apply for the job with them.)
What do you think are the main duties of the flight attendants on the short distance and long distance flight? (You can summarize your answer in a single sentence, saying that comfort and safety of the passengers from the moment they enter the aircraft until the moment they leave the plane, is the main duty of the stewards. Or you can say that the goals is to make their flight an unforgettable experience, in a good means, of course :). Alternatively you can list the duties, such as giving instructions on passengers’ safety, distributing meals, etc.)
What do you think characterize a great flight attendant nowadays? (In my opinion, the qualities of a great FA haven’t changed much in the last fifty years. Staying nice and attentive to passengers’ needs throughout the flight, and ready to handle every situation that can occur on board, characterizes a great steward.)
How many languages do you speak on an intermediate level, or better? (In many interviews you will have to complete a written language exam, so it is better to not exaggerate. But you can always say that you work on your language skills, reading books, taking language lessons, etc.)
- How do you imagine a typical day of a flight attendant? (This varies from one airline to another. Search forums or the website of the company to find more about the daily routine of an FA, how many hours per day they fly, where they sleep, the shift patterns, etc. In any case, you should show them that you like to be busy, and are ready to work hard.)
- What do you consider the most difficult thing about this job? (Show them that you understand it is not an easy job. You can say that dealing with irate or undisciplined passengers is the toughest aspect, or perhaps smiling and showing positive emotions while you experience a difficult day, or a tough situation in your personal life.)
- What caught your eye exactly on our job offer, and our airlines? (This is your chance to praise them for their good service. Every airline has some competitive advantage–if they did not have one, they would be out of business. You can point out the list of their destinations, their vision, corporate values, the way the flight attendants work, their history and reputation, the recognition of their brand, anything… The key is to show them that you did your homework, and that you have a good reason to apply with them.)
- Why do you believe you can be a good flight attendant? (Show some confidence in your skills. Tell them that people enjoy talking to you, that you have a good understanding of the job, that you know what is expected from you. You can also list your strengths that are relevant for the job.)
- Do you prefer to work in a team, or alone? (Everything that happens on board is a teamwork. You should stress that you like to work in a team. The only exception is if you apply for a job with an airline company that operates small aircraft, and has only one flight attendant on board of every plane. If this is a case, you should say that you enjoy working alone, and can handle your tasks without supervision or intervention of another person.)
- Do you have any preference of places where you want to fly? (Everyone has some dream destinations, but you should keep your expectations low, at least in the interview. Once you establish yourself in the job and prove your skills, you will have a chance to choose the places to fly. Anyway, you can say, at least vaguely, that you prefer this or that city, but stress that you’d not mind flying elsewhere.)
Behavioral questions – testing your attitude
- How would you handle the situation when two passengers were arguing and disturbing the rest of the travelers?
How would you react if there was a passenger on the flight who claimed to be extremely sick and demanded an emergency landing?
- How would you choose the right people to sit next to the emergency exits?
- How would you ensure the maximal possible customer satisfaction in your daily job?
- Imagine that one of your colleagues got sick unexpectedly. You have to take her shift, after a very physically and mentally demanding week. What would you do?
- What do you consider the biggest mistake you have ever made when dealing with other people?
Right attitude and motivation
“Safety and happiness of a passengers is my first priority” should be your interview motto. When you struggle to find a good answer to their question (or to a question in a personality test), your motto will help you to decide about the correct answer.
Continue your preparation with Interview Penguin
- Interview success package – Do you interview for a job tomorrow, or in a few days? Still feeling anxious? Learn how to get rid of stress, how to impress your interviewers, and how to answer thirty most common interview questions. Interview Success Package is your best bet for the last minute interview preparation.
- Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication? An interesting insight into the topic of body language.
- Interview thank you note – A shorter form of saying “Thank you”. Show the hiring managers that you appreciate their time and effort, even when they did not offer you a job.