AIRLINE PILOT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Airline Pilot Interview Questions and Answers is the ULTIMATE insider’s guide for anyone who is serious about becoming a pilot. This resource will teach you how to prepare for and pass the technical and non-technical interviews.
After all the hard work of getting an interview, many people fall down during the non-technical interview for becoming an airline pilot.
We will provide you with the non-technical skills and attributes that the airlines are looking for, followed by lots of “typical” non-tech questions, so that you can get a better idea of how to answer them.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE AIRLINE PILOT INTERVIEW
In most cases you should strive to give a sensible and relevant answer of some sort to the airline pilot interview questions you will be asked. There will be a million and one answers to each type of question; it’s just a case of staying calm and answering wisely, without digging a big hole.
TOP INTERVIEW TIP – PAUSE, THINK AND THEN ANSWER…
We would strongly recommend that you practice and rehearse your answers to the questions contained both on this webpage and also within the workbook. In addition to writing down your prepared answers to the questions, we also recommend that you say the answers out loud enough times so that you sound natural and spontaneous.
Before you start the Non-Technical Questions however, we have covered many of the required skills for the role of an Airline Pilot below. As you read through them, think about your own experiences and make a note. Let’s start by taking a good look at what Non-Technical Skills the Airlines looking for.
- A strong positive attitude.
- A safety conscious attitude.
- Captain Potential – Airlines only ever employ future Captains!
- Somebody that performs well under stress/pressure.
- A team player.
- An ability to learn.
- Someone that looks, acts, dresses and speaks as a professional.
- A self-confident person- with a streak of humility.
- Someone that’s well rounded and personable.
- Someone with an ability to influence other people without dominating them.
- Someone that is customer-oriented.
- Good ability to communicate.
- Able to facilitate, plan and organise.
- A good sense of humour.
- Ability to work with all types of people.
- Cost and profit aware.
- A role model.
- Past, present and future oriented.
- A love of flying.
With regard to leadership and management the Airlines require the following abilities/skills:
- To be able to inspire people with enthusiasm.
- To be approachable and visible.
- Motivate the team with appreciation.
- Change style as the situation changes.
- Show interest, empathy and respect.
- Team involvement and task completion.
- Compliance with rules.
- Intervene if task deviates from standard.
- Deviate from standards if situation requires it.
- Tasks prioritised.
- Distribute workload appropriately.
- Allocate enough time.
- Authority and Assertiveness.
- Advocate own position.
- Take control if required.
- Project ahead.
- Plan clearly shared and if necessary adapted.
- Make full use of all available resources and data.
- Encourage team participation in planning.
- Encourage review of progress of plan.
There is an acronym that a lot of Airlines use for dealing with a problem called: DODAR.
D – Diagnosis – What has happened? Why has it happened?
O – Options – Generate options
D – Decide – Decide on the best course of action
A – Allocate – Delegate duties, teamwork
R – Review – Is the plan working? If not start DODAR again.
Group exercises will test the following:
Team building – open participation environment, encourages feedback and does not compete.
Supporting others – offering solution to problems, show genuine interest and praise where appropriate, assist other team members in demanding situations, tolerant of weaknesses.
Understand the team needs – feedback, condition of crew-members, take notice of others’ suggestions and listen without interrupting.
Conflict solving – agreeing to disagree, admit own errors, concentrate on what is right, suggest solutions, keep calm, ability to de-escalate conflict.
Business prioritisation – acknowledges conflicting priorities and exercise sound judgment.
Customer focus – provides timely and relevant flow of information to the passenger, promote the company when appropriate, apply appropriate behaviour when dealing with customers.
Supporting other departments – establish professional relationships with other departments.
Business understanding – understands the impact on the business, identify reasons for profit/loss centres of the organisation.
The Airline Pilot Group Exercises
In this exercise the group takes part in three exercises:
1. Practical problem solving
2. Group discussion
3. Communication and verbal reasoning.
The exercises generally last half a day, with two assessors monitoring the group closely.
- How could high fuel prices affect your career as a pilot?
- How would it be possible to change the traditional image of an airline pilot?
- Discover the best method to drop food aid parcels to villages in need, via the most fuel-efficient route. Also take into account packing the goods, so
- that they leave the aircraft in order. Think about volume of packages etc.
- Build a bridge out of pieces of wood that could hold a cup of water.
- You find yourself stuck on an island. What items do you think would be essential for you to have with you?
- Discuss together a typical issue in the news and reach a conclusion.
- Build a bridge that would be able to support a glass of water.
Bear in mind, the assessors are looking for team skills such as listening, questioning for clarity and making statements clearly.
- Positive and supportive attitude
Each group member will be graded on a scale from “well below average” to “well above average.”
Your personal style, task skills and team skills are assessed.
Personal Style – Manner i.e. calm cheery etc. level of involvement, supportive and cooperative, easy to work with and constructive reasoning.
Task Skills – goal oriented, positive contribution, time aware, admit errors and respond accordingly, understand the briefing.
Team Skills – good listener, clarify, seek/give support, seek/give ideas, take the lead/make decisions, question, speak clearly.
TOP TIP: Make sure that you don’t try to dominate, argue or point score. Try hard to give a positive contribution to the discussions and above all, get to know your team, relax and enjoy it!
HOW TO BECOME AN AIRLINE PILOT – ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lee Woolaston is currently a Flying Instructor and Captain with a Major UK Regional Airline. He currently flies the Embraer 135/145, a modern regional passenger jet airliner. He has approaching 5000 flying hours total time (3500 with the Airlines) and holds a JAR-FCL ATPL.
Prior to the flight, pilots check flight plans, ensure that the aircraft’s controls are operating efficiently and calculate the required fuel for the flight. They are also responsible for checking the weather conditions and briefing cabin crew.
Dear future pilot,
I’d like to briefly introduce myself and give you a glimpse of my career so far in Aviation. I am currently a Captain with a Major UK Regional Airline. I fly the Embraer 135/145 at present. – A modern regional passenger jet airliner. I have approaching 5000 flying hours total time (3500 with the Airlines) and I hold a JAA ATPL.
My interest in learning to fly started when I did a series of parachute jumps for cancer research. After answering lots of my questions, the pilots at the parachute club said that it would be a good idea if I stopped “bugging” them and book myself in for a trial-flying lesson. That is exactly what I did, and the rest is history! I was hooked and instinctively knew that this is what I wanted to do for a living. It’s interesting that every pilot I’ve ever asked the question “how did you get in to flying?” Always has a unique story to tell.I became a flying instructor ten years ago (at the time of writing) and eight years ago got my first job as an Airline Pilot.
Within eighteen months I had progressed to a major regional UK Airline where I have spent the last six and a half years. I achieved my Command eighteen months ago and I have really enjoyed my career so far.It has been my intention to write this manual for a few years to help inform people about: financing, qualifying, becoming and working as an Airline Pilot in today’s market.
The main reason being that there are many pitfalls along the way, which year after year lots of people become victims of, especially nowadays.This guide will give you an invaluable insight into being an Airline Pilot and how you can avoid the many pitfalls along the way.
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