Tips for Interviewing for Your Pilot Job
Your commercial pilot job interview should be an enjoyable process. It can be if you’re well prepared, which is why we have created these tips for you to showcase your abilities.
10 Steps to Prepare for Your Pilot Interview
- Tip 1: Research
Pursuing a career with an airline is a major decision, and you’ll be better prepared for you pilot job interview if you do your research ahead of time. There are many incentives offered by different airlines, and there are many requirements you must meet. Research these as well as employee feedback on the airline, pay, benefits, etc. Ask yourself if this is a company you want to be working for in a year. Pilot jobs tend to be more long term. Plan with that in mind. Learn all you can about the company, including its fleet size, aircraft types, destinations, leaders (CEO, etc.), financial overview, corporate values, mission statement, etc.
- Tip 2: Resume
Prepare a professional resume and cover letter. There are numerous examples online. Ask a friend or colleague to read over for you. Your resume is your pre-interview. A solid resume can get you pushed to the top of the job interviews.
- Tip 3: Mock Interviews
Ask a friend or family member to create a list of questions to ask you in a mock job interview. Do not read the questions ahead of time. This will help you rehearse and refine your answers for the real thing. Do this several times before your interview. Have them ask different questions so you will be comfortable with any question during your actual interview. Many interviews include scenarios and problem-solving: What would you do in this situation? These could be on any topic: weather, technical challenges, passenger issues, flight crew, etc. Airlines and charter businesses want to be sure you can delegate, problem solve, lead, mitigate risk, etc.
- Tip 4: Why You
Be prepared to list at least three reasons why this job is right for you and why you are right for it. Rehearse your explanation, and give your reasons at the appropriate time during your interview. You will likely be asked why you want this job. That will be your opportunity to address this. Because you have researched the company, you will be familiar with its mission statement and corporate values. Echoing these in your response can suggest you are a good fit for the company. Let them know you want to work there long-term.
- Tip 5: Weak Areas
Make a careful assessment of your areas of strength as well as your shortcomings before the interview. Be prepared to acknowledge and address weak areas during your interview, such as low time, no corporate experience, etc. It’s best to simply acknowledge this when it’s mentioned and express your determination and dedication to broadening your work experience.
- Tip 6: Paperwork
Prepare to provide any paperwork necessary. It is best to have copies in case your interviewer needs one. These would include resume/CV, driver’s license, pilot license, class one medical, logbook, etc. This shows initiative and preparation on your part and could expedite the hiring process. Carry these in a professional looking folder, folio, or case of some sort. Do not show up clutching a stack of papers.
- Tip 7: Before the Interview
Be sure you have slept the night before. If you are flying in for your interview, do so at least one day before to help acclimate your sleep schedule so you are well rested.
If needed, make sure your hairstyle is neat and trimmed ahead of time.
Prepare your business attire – suit, neatly pressed shirt, necktie for men. Conservative colors, nothing outlandish.
Drive to the location the day before to make sure you are familiar with the area so you can arrive on time.
- Tip 8: Day of the Interview
Do not wear any fragrance. Interview rooms are usually small.
Be sure your business clothing is neatly pressed. Lint-roll your outfit once it is on.
Arrive 15 minutes early to your interview. Allow time for traffic, parking, finding the interview site.
Be prepared to stay on site beyond the interview. If all goes well, you may be invited to tour the facility, meet others, etc. It would not look good to break it off and rush out.
Shake the interviewer’s hand, make eye contact, and smile.
Do not slouch in your chair during your interview. Use good posture when walking and while seated.
Speak clearly, slowly, and loud enough to be heard.
Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
Listen to questions before answering. Ask any questions you have.
Never speak negatively about a former employer.
Answer all questions honestly.
Do not ask about benefits and pay at this time unless the interviewer specifically brings it up as a topic of discussion. Be prepared to discuss it if this happens by having first done your research about the company.
Maintain positivity through the entire process.
- Tip 9: End of Interview
At the end of most interviews, the interviewer typically asks if you have any questions. This is an opportunity for you to show your interest and curiosity in the company. You should have already done your research, so you should have at least one or two serious questions prepared. No matter how you think the interview went, shake the hand of your interviewer and thank them for their time. Congratulations on getting through your pilot job interview!
- Tip 10: After the Interview
Send a follow-up thank you email for the interview opportunity, and say that you hope to hear from them soon.