What’s Changed in the Cabin Crew Application Process?

Everything you need to know, according to our expert Cabin Crew course trainer!

What’s changed in the Cabin Crew application process for 2022? How can you beat the competition? Read on to find out what knowledge your fellow Cabin Crew applicants would rather keep to themselves.

It’s a worry for applicants, who felt perfectly prepared to apply at the beginning of 2020, and have been thrown by the events of the past two years.

Let’s take a look at the changes you need to be aware of. Read on, and maximise your chances of landing your dream Cabin Crew job!


There’s no way of sugar-coating it.  Increased competition is an important change to the Cabin Crew application process in 2022. You’re competing against more ex-crew members than ever before. 

Don’t despair. Remember, much of getting through the initial application hinges on you having a great Cabin Crew CV. This is something that you can learn how to build! It’s true that other candidates will have previous Cabin Crew experience.  However, if their CV isn’t up to scratch, they simply won’t make the cut. 

This leads us on to the next change to the Cabin Crew application process. Bring on the bots, and say hello to a new era of recruitment technology!

AI Recruitment Technology

You may already be familiar with the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software. This screens candidate CVs using artificial intelligence, to see if they’re a good fit for the role. Your CV will be assessed by a ‘bot’ before it ever reaches a human member of the recruitment team. 

This isn’t a new concept. Airlines have been using ATS technology for years. This is due to the huge number of applications they receive. However, the technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Your CV will have to be correctly formatted to be accepted. It will also need to contain relevant keywords for the airline you’re applying to. A top tip to find these is to look closely at the job and role description, and the airline’s core values. 

Some airlines are using AI video applications, or inviting applicants to submit a video CV. This technology uses biometrics to ‘scan’ your expression. It also analyses the spoken content of your video for key words and phrases, in the same way as a traditional ATS. 

It seems like science fiction, but this is the way recruitment across all industries is heading. And as a result of Covid-19, there are even more digital changes ahead. 

Virtual Recruitment Events

The new normal for Cabin Crew recruitment is a virtual one. Many airlines have replaced the traditional assessment day with virtual events. These involve the activities we’ve come to expect in an assessment day. However, these are completed online, in small group calls. Events are held on platforms you may be familiar with, like Zoom or MS Teams. 

Virtual doesn’t mean casual. You want to be your best virtual self! Treat the event as you would an in-person one, and dress and act accordingly.  

As with any video event, be aware of your background and surroundings. Brush up on video interview best practices too.

It’s normal for assessment events to differ from airline to airline. All airline requirements and recruitment processes are slightly different. The same is true of virtual assessment days. However, as a rule of thumb you can expect these to last around 3 hours maximum. The interview portion should take around 45 minutes. 

You’ll typically be moved between virtual ‘rooms’ as you complete the stages. These will normally include a presentation by a member of the recruitment team, and an ‘icebreaker’ where you’ll introduce yourself. There will also be a group discussion exercise.  Finally, successful candidates will be asked to complete a one-to-one interview

It’s critical you represent yourself at your best at all times. As with a traditional assessment day, candidates will be cut from the process as the event progresses.

The reach test, in which the recruitment team check that your height and reach meet their specifications, used to be part of an assessment day. Don’t attempt to fool the recruiters just because the event is online! You may get through the online process, but will be found out (and asked to leave!) when it comes to the in-person medical checks and training.

Online tests

When it comes to the psychometric ability testing section of your application, there’s a renewed focus on personality testing in 2022. You’ll still need to show that you meet the basic requirements for numerical and verbal reasoning. However, you can expect one or more ‘personality’ tests too:

  • Behavioural/Personality Test: This is used to determine the main personality traits of a candidate. The airline wants to ensure your personality matches their established ‘profile’ for crew. This test consists of a series of true or false questions and statements, that you’ll be asked to rank based on how you would respond.
  • Logical Reasoning Test: Cabin Crew members need to be able to think on their feet and make quick decisions. This test will measure your ability to draw conclusions based on a limited amount of information, and is multiple choice.
  • Situational Judgement Test: To see how you would respond in real-life situations you may be given a situational judgement test. During this test, you will be presented with a set of scenarios that you are likely to encounter on the job. You will be given multiple answers to choose from.

The reason for this focus is that high emotional intelligence is becoming an increasingly important trait for Cabin Crew.

Measuring your Emotional IQ

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways. A,  high ’emotional IQ’ shows your ability to:

  • Cope with stress
  • Communicate effectively
  • Empathise with others
  • Overcome challenges
  • Defuse conflict

Your resilience is also being tested here, and your ability to keep a level head in challenging and unexpected situations.

These attributes are incredibly important to crew, particularly in times of change. The future is still uncertain, as are the long-term effects that Covid-19 will have on society. Airlines want their crew to be able to cope with unprecedented events as and when they occur.

New Interview Questions

In response to the huge changes we’ve experienced in the last two years, the recruitment team will be asking new questions at interview. There are three important questions you should have an answer prepared for:

  • What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic? This question is designed to examine your emotional intelligence, how you manage your emotions in crisis, your resilience levels, and ability to cope with change.
  • How have you been spending your time during the pandemic? This question looks at initiative, your work ethic, and your attitude towards self-development.
  • What do you think about online training? This is designed so airlines can get a feel for how you’d cope with online learning, as even post-pandemic airlines are looking at ways to provide virtual training for their crew – it’s a time and cost-effective alternative to traditional training.

It’s also important that you research how your chosen airline has coped during the pandemic for the ‘do you have any questions for us’ question. This shows  your pre-interview research is thorough and up to date!

As a final note, we can’t emphasise enough the importance of preparing early for your application. Don’t wait until your dream airline is recruiting to get your CV and information up to date. Have it ready and waiting so that when recruitment opens, you’re first off the mark!

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Cabin Crew Wings Team

Our team of experts have the many years as Cabin Crew plus HR experience and are up to date with the latest selection news.

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