Nine Steps to a Successful Airline Interview

FindaPilot guest post by:

Angie Marshall

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Consulting offering Pilot Career Services
including; Airline Interview Preparation & Pilot Resumes

Prior to and during an interview there are all kinds of unknowns facing an applicant. What exact questions will be asked? Will the interviewer be friendly or aggressive? What am I going to do if a question is asked and I don't know the answer? Add to these concerns the intense competition and the fact that, no matter how structured the process appears, the human element is always involved and there is no doubt-interviewing is stressful.

Every applicant wants to know what to expect when they sit down in an interview chair. Every applicant wants to understand how to avoid the most common mistakes. Every applicant wants to feel comfortable discussing weaknesses while at the same time stressing individual strengths. Every applicant wants to walk out of the interview saying, "I did my very best."

These are attainable goals! But, as with flight training, the learning process must be approached in a logical manner.

This logical process consists of nine basics steps. To be fully prepared for a pilot interview you must:

1. Understand the reasoning behind the pilot interviewing process.

2. Become familiar with the roles of the people involved in the process.

3. Gain an awareness of the most common mistakes.

4. Determine what life experiences (both positive and negative) best describe your individual personality.

5. Learn how to discuss your life experiences in a complete yet concise manner.

6. Practice your verbal delivery.

7. Study for the technical/written/simulator side of the interview.

8. Prepare your physical appearance to ensure a professional impression.

9. Make sure all your paperwork is complete and accurate.

Notice that nowhere have I listed "memorize the answers to the questions." This statement obviously does not apply to the technical portion.

Common Mistake #1: There is a great deal of airline interviewing advice that suggests the best way to prepare for a pilot interview is the collect a list of all possible interview questions and memorize the answers that have received the most positive responses from interviewers. I suppose that might work if you were the first person to present these answers, but you won't be.

It is important to remember that although there are thousands of pilot applicants, there are a limited number of pilot interviewers. This limited number of interviewers talk to the thousands of pilot applicants. And, never forget that interviewers talk among themselves. It is only a matter of hearing the same answer to a specific question two or three times before interviewers tag the answer as rote. It becomes obvious that the applicant is parroting an answer that someone else told them would work. No matter how good the answer is the applicant is given negative marks for using it. This parroting can sneak its way into your thinking even if you have made a sincere effort not to prepare in the manner. More mistakes to follow.....

Authors: Cheryl Cage (Checklist for Success-A Pilot's Guide to a Successful Airline Interview) and Angie Marshall. Owners of Cage Marshall Consulting

For more information or assistance with you airline interview, please visit us at or call 720.222.1432