Uncovered- the all NEW airline interviews

Although some airlines still use ‘old school’ style interviewing, most have at least a few of the new style questions. So what are they? Here we explore what you need to know.


  • The questions are different

    You may be expecting questions about why you want a career as cabin crew, and what your strengths and weaknesses are, and it can’t hurt to have answers to these questions prepared just in case. But most likely you will also have the sort of questions which are known as ‘behavioural’ or ‘competency based’

  • The new types of questions?

    You will need to give details of things you have done in the past. These questions tend to be phrased ‘tell us about a time when..’ or ‘give us an example of a time when…’ The term ‘behavioural interviewing’ is related to what you need to focus on in your behaviour. Your interviewers want to know what you did and how you did it. They are less interested in your opinion on a topic as they are with the evidence you provide about how you have performed in the past. This is because past behaviour is assumed to be a pretty good predictor or future performance.

  • Your evidence and examples

    It’s usually a good idea to focus on one example per question. So if you are asked to describe a time you have demonstrated effective team working, don’t describe your approach to team-working in general. Instead, chose one example of a time you think shows how well you worked as a team and describe that. For example ‘when I was working in the call centre I was part of a small team who had a monthly target to achieve. We all had to pull together to ensure we met our goals. I made sure I was pulling my weight by…’ It can help to structure your answer by describing the situation, the task, your action and the result (you can remember this by the acronym STAR’).

  • Preparing your answers

    Think about what is important to the airline you are applying to. Is their focus customer service? Is it efficiency? Are they a budget airline who may be most impressed by working quickly and selling goods? Or are they known for a strong safety record? Review your experiences and jot down a few examples of things you have done that you are proud of. You may find you need to draw on these in your interview.

  • Appearing confident and ready

    Confidence is important in cabin crew, after all, in an emergency you will need to convey a sense of calm and control to everyone around you. You can’t afford to be thrown by these types of interview questions. The best way to build your confidence and skill in answering these sort of questions (it’s surprisingly easy to miss the mark) is to practice and get feedback. you can either do this in a training environment and gain professional feedback or even practice in front of a mirror at home.

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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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