There are various hurdles to cross, there’s no “easy” way out.
Must-dos before you apply
A typical selection process may include a combination of the following stages:
- Take time to fill it in, ensure you meet the requirements including hours and work permits.
- Make sure that someone who you trust reviews your application form to look out for grammatical errors or any other corrections.
- Read the list of documents required to be attached or have read and make a checklist.
- Do not leave any boxes blank, if you are unsure send an email to the given email to clarify.
- Keep a check of the deadline, it is not uncommon for the application window to close early if the airline has been overwhelmed with applications so make sure you don’t leave it last minute.
- If the application is asking for answers with max characters – don’t exceed them! Read the question and answer the question, not what you want to write but what it requires you to write.
- Do not make up your flying hours or any other details it can be a criminal offense and most likely blacklisted from applying again.
- You will be required to complete some form of a theory test as part of your selection. If you are a newly qualified pilot, you will be required to have your ATPL theoretical knowledge up to speed.
- Make sure you refresh on important topics such as Air Law, Operational Procedures, Performance, Flight Planning, Meteorology, and other relevant subjects.
- Don’t just memorize the answer. Check and build your understanding so you can answer questions in case the wordings are different and can demonstrate your knowledge if asked during face-to-face interviews.
- A common rule still applies; practice makes perfect.
- There are some great books such as “Ace the Technical Pilot Interview” which provides a good summary of theory subjects.
CV/ COVER LETTER SUBMISSION
- Your CV is the first impression of you and your cover letter is your first confirmation of your motivation to join the airline, so invest good time in both.
- Airline Pilot CVs are very different to let’s say normal CVs. They require specific information and you must be able to highlight them because typically the employer will spend less than 20 seconds to either call you or simply bin your application, so don’t risk!
- We offer CV prep and guidance and will have “A free review” feature available in the future. Here are some tips to make sure that your CV shines out!
Keep it one page, highlight your flying hours and achievements. Check the formats and spellings before sending it off. Talk about your exam results and check ride attempts. Keep the most recent experience on top, and work experience relevant. Make it easy for the reader to assess, and keep a simple personal statement on top. Don’t leave spaces and avoid overloading it with too much detail. Don’t forget to keep the focus on your key strengths.
Tips for the Cover letter
- The first paragraph should be an opening statement saying why are you writing and where you saw the vacancy.
- The second paragraph should focus on your experience and skills sets for the role (use the job description and tailor your answer). Mention key strengths and how you will add value.
- The third paragraph is all about why you are the right candidate for the job. Share your knowledge about the company, recent news, routes, destinations, plans, etc. Make sure you put to the company what can you bring to the table to contribute towards the growth of the airline.
4. The fourth paragraph requires you to form a closing statement which should include a summary of what you spoke, your desire to meet one to one at the personal interview, and thank them for the opportunity in advance. Close on a positive note!
- Pilot Aptitude tests help the airline to check the individual’s ability to succeed in certain tasks without prior knowledge.
- They are used heavily by airlines for newbie pilots as well as highly experienced pilots.
- They test using multiple software which have many diversified tests to assess a range of different scenarios.
- Tests could include hand-eye coordination, memory test, multi-tasking, reasoning, spatial orientation, mental maths and physics, shapes and patterns, managing failures, and listening actively whilst dealing with other issues.
- Most also include verbal reasoning and situational tests to assess your understanding. You do not have to be a genius to pass it but preparation and getting yourself exposed to these tests through online prep, video games, books on mental maths will help you prepare for these tests.
- There are multiple companies that provide a practice platform that can help you prepare for it.
- These are a sort of personality tests to identify traits and behaviors which will allow the airline to assess someone’s personality.
- Airlines typically give over 300-500 questions that must be completed in a given time which are all about yourself and are grouped into categories.
- It will allow the airline to identify individuals who are suitable for roles and pick out the extreme ones.
- You can practice a few of these tests online but the key here is to be yourself and not guess what the correct answer will be!
- These are fairly common for many airlines these days. You are grouped with typically 5-10 candidates where you will be presented with some information about a task to complete.
- You will then be allocated some time in which you work together as a team to come up with an agreeable solution.
- The key to understand is it’s not the right answer to the problem which is what they are looking for it’s rather how you work within a team.
- Speak up, share ideas, listen to others, have a check of time, involve others, and keep your body language in check.
- It is important to demonstrate these traits of you in that short period to ensure the assessor gets to know how you work in a team.
COMPETENCY/ TECHNICAL INTERVIEW
PART 1- GENERAL INTERVIEW
- This will involve some sort of an ice breaker question or along the lines of telling them about yourself.
- Tip: they do not want a life history this answer should focus on your education, training, work experience and skills you acquired, and your relevant interests.
- As a newly qualified Pilot, you will be asked about your training experience, challenges, likes, and dislikes as well as some motivational questions.
- Prepare thoroughly on questions such as why they should hire you? Do not give a generic answer; be specific.
- The key is to highlight your skills and what you can bring to the airline as well as your knowledge about the airline to demonstrate your motivation to join.
- It may also include your long-term goals and aspirations!
PART 2- COMPETENCY INTERVIEW
This is by far the hardest part of the assessment. it involves demonstrating your competencies under various scenarios for the assessor to get an idea of how you would deal with different events. Questions typically begin with “give me an example when…” you worked for a team, solved a problem, resolved a conflict, prioritized safety over commercial, etc. It will involve a lot of preparation and you must truly give yourself a lot of time. Your answers must be structured, a typical way to break down your answer to competency questions is:
Situation: You need to describe the setup or a challenge you faced. Be as specific as possible.
Task: Next, describe your responsibility in that situation.
Action: Talk about how you completed the task and focus on what you did, rather than what your colleagues did. (Tip: Instead of saying, “We did xyx,” say “I did xyz.”) For example, in a teamwork scenario do not talk about what the team did to achieve success instead talk about what you did in that team specifically and your contribution which led to a successful outcome.
Result: Finally, explain the outcomes by the action taken. Most importantly talk about what you learned from this experience and how you would do things differently (if asked about give me an example when you made a mistake) in the future.
PART 3- TECHNICAL INTERVIEW
- The technical interviews can vary depending on your experience, if you are a newly qualified Pilot you must keep your ATPL theory knowledge high, know about the aircraft you trained in.
- If you do not understand the question DO NOT second guess it! Mention that you will look into it outside the interview or come back to it towards the end if you need some time to think.
PART 4- THE AIRLINE
- Know the airline! IT IS A MUST that you research the airline you are applying for.
- Make sure you know the type of aircraft they fly, engines, routes, destinations, bases, history, industry threats, business values, business model, products, fleet size, growth plans, stock price, financials, recent announcements, key people including the CEO/CFO/Directors, competitors to name a few.
- Have a strong credible answer as to why you want to join the airline and what can you bring to the table for the airline.
- It can involve conversing about a topic of the assessor’s choice within a given time frame.
- Ask questions, bring in relevant ideas and points to the table, give others the opportunity to speak, maintain good body language, and do not stay quiet!
- Be proactive in engaging and enthusiastic to show that you are keen and are capable of holding up conversations with anyone.
- One last major hurdle is a Simulator check, this varies depending on the airline to airline as well as your experience.
- For a newbie pilot typically this will involve a raw data departure following a SID, general handling including steep turns, climb/descent, VOR tracking, departure/arrival brief, non-technical threat such as sick passenger, fight onboard, etc. and a raw data ILS or any other approach.
- The key is to plan ahead, think of what-if scenarios, work closely with the other member make them involved and give them support in return, resolve any problems and check understanding throughout.
- Do not become a single pilot! You are applying for a multi-crew role don’t forget. During the non technical scenario, work with a decision-making model making sure one person ALWAYS flies the plane.
- Be a good Pilot Monitoring colleague, support if you notice deviations, and do not overload the other pilot with information.
- If at any point you are unstable in the approach GO AROUND and try again do not continue to land from an unstable approach.
- If you are an experienced Pilot you may face engine failures, complex failures, abnormal attitude management, precision, and non-precision approaches during your check.
- Make sure you study the systems and processes to manage failures properly with the same general rules which apply to the above-mentioned points.
SECURITY/ BACKGROUND CHECK
CONGRATULATIONS! You have received an offer letter! One last hurdle on which your job really depends is your security/background clearance. It is vital for an airport ID without which the airline cannot hire you so make sure you have a clean record, arrange all police clearance, and other required mandatories in advance to avoid any start date delays!
Also remember general rules apply such as:
- Arrive on time
- Bring all required documents
- Carry photocopies of each document along with the original
- Have a pen and paper ready for the day
- Silent your phone or turn it off (ideally) before you step into the assessment area
- Do sleep well and not rush – use relaxation methods to help you stay calm
- Don’t overdo the prep, take breaks and ask for help if not sure
- Stay professional & be nice to everyone including the front desk staff you’re being assessed
- Keep engaged and smile also don’t forget to enjoy the day it definitely takes the pressure off
- Write a thank-you email after your assessment regardless of pass or fail
- If you do not succeed don’t be disappointed and make sure to ask for feedback to learn
- Dress up smart and iron
- Shave, trim, and don’t forget a decent haircut
- A firm handshake and good eye contact
- Don’t forget you’re a Pilot – safety comes first!
Founded in 2021, for pilots by pilots.
Faguni Saxena (DGCA & FAA Commercial Pilot)
Dipeet Mehta (UK, EASA Airline Pilot)
Please note all information is based on practical experience and procedures with regulations valid at that time. Always check for the most updated information directly with the supplier, regulator, and other means. We hope you enjoy our website!