Biggest cabin crew recruitment mistakes (and how to avoid them!)

More and more people are deciding that cabin crew is the job for them. But only a fraction of these will make the grade. So what’s going wrong for those who can’t get a foot in the door?

Bland CV

Does your cv include the phrase ‘I am highly motivated…’ mention you ‘love to travel’ and list the jobs you have had with no specifics on what you actually did? Yawn. Bear in mind, thousands of these will land on some poor recruiter’s desk. Do you really want to produce something that looks exactly like everyone else’s?


Avoid saying anything you can’t prove. For instance, if you want to include how motivated you are, back it up with an example such as any charity work, a sporting accomplishment or whatever experience you personally have. Remember, action speaks louder than words- and in a CV you need both!


Poor online test results

Many airlines will ‘pre-screen’ you using online tests. This means that they don’t have to waste your time or theirs by inviting you to interview if you don’t match up. A lot of people struggle with these, often simply because they are a bit daunting and it’s easy to panic.


Get some practice. Take a look at some SHL practice tests or use Go Cabin Crew’s Ability Tests Workbook to get feedback on how well you do on these tests (Coming Soon!)


Lacking confidence

As a passenger, how confident would you feel about cabin crew who don’t seem very sure of themselves? However shy or anxious you may feel, when you are invited to an assessment day you have to show that you are a confident and accomplished person. No one is going to hire someone who will make their passengers feel nervous.


Do your homework. We are all more nervous in situations we don’t feel equipped to handle so make sure you have read up on the role, the airline, what they are looking for and what to expect from the assessment. Tell yourself that you are just attending the interview for the experience, and don’t really expect to pass. That way you are removing any pressure that you have to succeed. Just see it as valuable experience which you can build on for next time.


Not understanding what airlines want

Yes you have to be smart and well presented; yes you need to be personable and friendly; yes you need to remain calm and be helpful. But what else must you do to show you have what it takes? Don’t underestimate the airlines’ requirements. With more and more competition, they can afford to be very choosy. They don’t just want people who will serve the drinks and wear the uniform well, they are looking for team players who can be relied on in a crisis, can soothe troubled situations and who will reflect the brand in such a way that customers will want to come back again and again. Is that you?


Research what they want by reading the airline website and any relevant application information. Find out what makes this airline different from the others in terms of what they expect from their crew. Make sure that when they first come in contact with you, they can see straight away that you are just what they had in mind. You can only do this if you have researched, in detail, what they need.
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Hannah is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist specialising in recruitment, selection and assessment. This means she designs and assesses at selection days just like the ones airlines use.

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