Applying to a Middle East based Airline – what to do and what NOT to do!

DO

Apply for every opportunity with a Middle East based airline that comes your way. It is impossible to secure a role if you don’t apply for it!

Put yourself out there, express interest even if there are no vacancies. Prepare yourself in every way possible!

Everyone needs to start somewhere.  Whether becoming cabin crew is your end goal, or even becoming a pilot or airline CEO…you’ll have to start from somewhere. That start may be working as ‘front of house’ staff for an airline, or in a general customer service role in a different kind of company…use your time to get all the relevant experience you can!

Get experience in essential skills like first aid, swot up on your aviation terminology, take up a sport or hobby to keep yourself fit and healthy, go on a recognised cabin crew course! This will all look great on your CV.

The possibilities are endless once you have your foot in the door of a company you want to work for. The only way is up, literally!

DON’T

Pretend to be someone you are not. It’s not healthy and the recruiters will most likely see through your rouse!

It might feel alright to pretend to be different than you really are for a day or two, through the recruitment process…but it’s important to consider the “bigger picture”. If you are recruited on the basis of how you are ‘acting’ rather than on how you intrinsically feel, this could lead to trouble for you; both personally and professionally.

Make sure you know exactly what the relocation will involve, and try to honestly evaluate how you will cope with this.  It’s a very different culture and way of life.

Just imagine that you have left home, moved to a foreign country and are still settling in…how would you cope dealing with setting up insurance, a phone, a bank account, internet and a life if you can’t stand your new job or company? It’s something to seriously think about.

DO

Research your prospective airline thoroughly. Memorise facts, their fleet information and any little bits and pieces of information that will set you apart from the rest of the candidates.

It helps if you have a genuine passion for aviation- as the facts will be so easy to remember if you are interested in the field! Be prepared for new, potentially confronting situations; meeting new people and then being hurled out of your comfort zone faster than you can perform the safe evacuation of an Airbus- A380!

Most airlines will use Behavioural Interview style questions, such as “tell us about a time when…”. It is great to have some answers prepared and rehearsed just in case you are caught out or put on the spot when you will be nervous, being surrounded by more than 300 prospective colleagues!

DON’T

Listen or take to heart other people’s negativity. People may question your motives, your choices and your reasons. You don’t have to justify yourself to anybody!

If you want to quit your day job and become a cosmopolitan jet setter, get paid to be generally nomadic and travel the world, then it is your prerogative to do so. Some may be dubious, others downright jealous. People tend to stay in familiar boredom rather than live a foreign adventure.

Moving far away from home to work might seem like a terrifying experience to some, but the reality is that it’s an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity – to experience the amazing Middle East culture and crew for some of the most iconic airlines in the world, like Emirates or Etihad.

Don’t let other people’s doubts and negativity bring you down to their level![/one_half_last]

DO

Ensure that your personal grooming is perfect! From head to toe and everything in between. Natural is best. If you have freckles, curly hair or some wicked brows, let them be! Never use make-up to hide your true self, only to smooth over imperfections (such as shift work-induced racoon eyes).

The recruiters will see right through your over- reaching lip liner and winged eye-liner. Keep it clean, polished and professional. Steer clear of bright eyeshadows and thick foundation!

If red lips are your “thing” a la Taylor Swift, then by all means be yourself. Don’t just present how you think they want you to, make sure you are the best groomed, most professional and eloquently YOU can be!

Look at the crew for the airline you’re applying for, and use how they look as a guide for what that airline is looking for.

DON’T

Waver in your determination or your motivation. Even if you apply for every opportunity that comes your way, you might be unsuccessful the first (few) times. If this happens to you, don’t let it get you down!

With most Middle Eastern Airlines, if you apply and don’t make it to the final interview stage, you only have to wait 6 months before reapplying again. If you get to the Final Interview and don’t secure a role, you may have to wait 12 months before submitting another application. Don’t lose heart!

Use this time to grow, to learn and to research. Apply for other airlines, or even different roles such as ground staff. Work on your CV and cover letter. Anything to keep you distracted, interested and motivated in securing your journey to the sky!

DO

Wear something that is appropriate for the cabin crew recruitment or assessment day. Especially with Middle Eastern Airlines. They have strict dress codes for the public, let alone for cabin crew uniform and grooming requirements!

As a general rule, keep skirts and dresses at knee length or just below. Ensure sleeves are present (no sleeveless or strappy numbers) and always wear tights or stockings.

They will be looking at everything. If you don’t like hosiery then perhaps flying mightn’t be for you! I have been through more stockings than most people have had coffees. No word of a lie, you should always have a spare… and a spare of a spare!

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Taylor

Taylor has been loving and living the Aviation dream for 5 years. She has flown as Cabin Crew for an International Airline based in Dubai, where she lived and worked. Taylor is now based in her hometown of Perth, Western Australia, as a Lounge Agent for the national carrier.

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