Behind the scenes at an Emirates Assessment Day

First Steps towards Your Career in the Sky

When you are preparing for an Airline interview to become Cabin Crew, blogs and forums are extremely useful and will help you and inform you about just how intense the recruitment process can be when applying for a Middle East Airline like Emirates.

It will give you are great insight into how rigorous the process is, and who knows –  maybe the next time you fly you will say an extra special please and thank you to your cabin crew knowing what it has entailed for them to get there!


The first and perhaps most crucial step is to go to the Emirates website and see if they are recruiting, alternatively check out our Jobs Board for the latest recruitment news.

If recruitment is open there will either be an invitation to apply online, or to attend an open day. It is really quite amazing the large number of OD’s held during a recruitment drive, in basically every major city that the company flies to, and often in surrounding cities too.

The reassuring fact is that Emirates hire from around the globe, so there is bound to be a recruitment event near you somewhere!

It even pays to travel abroad to an assessment  or open day if you are really passionate and eager to secure a role. It can be an expensive and risky exercise, yet it shows commitment, a proactive attitude and flexibility, which are all desirable Cabin Crew traits.

It is useful to know the difference between two distinct events in the recruitment process:

An Open Day: is the day where you go to a hotel or conference centre and receive information in various formats about the Airline and hand in your CV to the recruitment officers.
An Assessment Day: is often held following the open day following or an invitation to one may be sent to you if you apply online and are successful in the first stages. Favourable candidates are chosen to participate in a range of group activities.

In my situation, there was no Open Day being held in Western Australia in the near future. I was very determined to attend and so I organised to go the Open Day in another Australian city. Anyone can attend an Open Day, but I also received a formal invitation from the airline after I expressed my interest.

To make matters more convenient we stayed at the hotel in where the AD was being held. This actually worked to my advantage, because between activities and during breaks, I could go and freshen up and I wasn’t too wound up which was a very big deal, for me (as anyone that knows me would concur!).


Phase one was a general talk from the recruiters about the ins and outs of the role, the lifestyle, expectations and countless benefits. I was hooked.

Afterwards we were asked to bring forward our application forms, photos and CVs and were given a reference number for the day and asked to come back later for Round One of the Group Activities.

After each Group Activity there were elimination rounds, this is when less suitable candidates are sent home. These candidates cannot apply again for any time up to a year. Seeing people being eliminated set my heart racing as I had my next assessment; the height and reach test to establish whether you could meet the 210cm minimum reach. I stand at a little over 150 something cm tall, but I had been stretching for weeks!

When the recruiter asked me to describe myself in one word I blurted out “determined” before she could even finish her sentence. From then on, I knew it was all up to me to call the shots for the rest of the day. I was in with a chance!

Group Exercise

When we returned from the initial Round 1 of the Group Interviews, we were divided into groups of about 20, and asked to form pairs or groups of three. We all sat in a circle and had to pretend that the recruiters weren’t there, while they circled us and took notes.

Each pair/group was given a postcard with a destination that the Emirates airline flies to written on it. We then had to talk about the different features of that destination. Lots of groups got bizarre destinations that I didn’t know much about, like Buenos Aires.

I crossed my fingers that I our group got somewhere good and we did! PARIS! Only one of my favourite places to visit so far! I said Bonjour and started to talk about macarons from Laudree and the Grand Palais where the Chanel fashion shows are held.

The key is to be confident and personable, and interact with your group more than with the recruiters. While this is going on there was another reach test of 210cm to ensure (for safety reasons) that all candidates can attain the minimum reach requirements.

Next It’s about Paper and Numbers

Next our numbers were called and we were given a piece of paper. One piece of paper said “Congratulations, you have been successful at this stage” or it said “We regret to inform you” which was quite surreal at the time. We were then split up again into smaller groups this time for a role play exercise.

We were asked to solve a problem based on a faulty computer and a hotel booking. We were each given a character and then asked to remedy the problem. I was shaking, but fortunately my voiced never wavered as I coaxed the recruiter-come-diva-customer, into not suing the imaginary hotel into next year! By this stage I was in a daze!

We had to wait for over an hour to hear the next verdict and as everyone around me ripped their letters open, collective gasps and sobs echoed in the empty hotel as their fates were sealed.

I finally opened mine to reveal “Congratulations…”. I can’t tell you how it felt reading such a positive hard earned outcome!

Documents and One-One Interview

After we have been told the outcome of the assessment there was a lot of paperwork and a lot of grinning to myself too, as we were told that we were successful and would be attending a one-to-one interview the following day. I secretly praised myself for bringing two dresses with me to the events and an hour later I was in my hotel room completing the online psychometric test and going over my interview notes.

Important Documents I was asked to Bring:

  • 3 x Photocopy of Passport
  • 3 x Photocopies of Drivers Licence
  • 1 x Passport Size Photo
  • 2 x “Casual” photo
  • 2 x Formal (Professional clothing) photo
  • Photocopies of First Aid Certificate,  RSA and Uni/ High School Transcripts

The next day at my final interview I felt both at ease and in awe. The recruiter was lovely and although she asked me questions that fit the study resources that I had been pouring over for the past month, the assessment actually felt like a friendly chat. I was sent away with a firm handshake, a dazzling smile and a hopeful heart.


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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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