Pilot Interview Questions - Airline Pilot Interview
The pilot interview stage is a significant part of the assessment process and is sometimes the final stage you will face before being offered a place in the flight school’s pilot training program.
By no means does the interviewer expect you to possess all the life experience and skills of a pilot.
I was just eighteen years old during my assessment day and naturally had far less life experience than someone in their twenties or thirties.
This blog post is part of our extensive How To Become A Commercial Pilot Guide.
The interviewer is interested in assessing the calibre of person you can become and if you have the non-technical skills, ambition and drive to become an airline pilot.
To extract this information, they will mainly ask you about past experiences.
With these experiences, they will ask you when you have demonstrated specific skills, such as leadership, motivation, teamwork and much more.
They will also be looking at your communication skills as the interview is happening, so try and maintain open body language and use eye contact to your advantage.
Example Pilot Interview Questions
Here are some examples of the questions you can expect in your airline pilot interview:
‘If we asked your friends to describe you in one word, what would it be?’
‘A pilot is responsible for safely transporting their passengers to their destination. What else can a pilot do on top of performing their basic requirements that will improve the passengers’ overall experience?’
‘Tell me about a time when you have demonstrated leadership.’
‘When have you had a setback, and how did you overcome it?’
‘Tell me about a time when you have had to make a split-second decision. What was the result?’
‘Tell me about a time when things didn’t go to plan for you. How did you handle the situation?’
‘Demonstrate an example of how you could go above and beyond for customer service as an airline pilot.’
How To Best Prepare
The most important advice I can give you is to prepare your examples thoroughly so you are not head-scratching regarding the interview.
You may wonder what you can do to get ahead with your interview prep. I would honestly say that conducting mock pilot interviews with friends and family is a great way to prepare.
In the interview itself, you should always pause after each question. Take a few seconds to compose yourself and think about the example/point you are about to share before sharing it.
Spider diagrams with each topic at the centre, such as leadership, teamwork, and other non-technical skills, work well. For example, it could look like the following:
As you can see, the examples are all incredibly varied. I actively chose to provide examples from school, work, public life, etc., to emphasise that you may have displayed leadership many times in your life.
It is good to have a few examples for each topic. The topics I would use as a starting point would be:
Recovering from a setback.
It is entirely normal to be nervous about attending any interview process.
The key to the process is to go in with examples of critical events and the skills you displayed with an open mind.
Try to change your perception of the process from a ‘scary’ interview process to a friendly conversation with people interested in your life, the things you have achieved, and, more importantly, just how you achieved these things.
Pilot Interview Questions – Staying Up To Date With The Industry
You must keep up with the aviation sector as they may ask you questions about the industry.
Of course, they aren’t expecting you to know how many passengers the Boeing 757 can carry at one time, nor the fuel burn of the Airbus A330. But you might be asked things like:
‘What key challenges do you think aviation faces now?’
‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’
‘What’s the most interesting thing you think is happening in the commercial aviation world now?’
General knowledge of the industry will allow you to answer these questions. I always think it’s good to know the rough cost of a barrel of oil, too.
This is a significant fact to bring out during your interview if asked a question like the examples above. It also shows that you do have an interest in the industry.
You can keep up to date with the industry by reading news articles, following specific aviation website blogs, or subscribing to a monthly magazine publication (or following The Pilot Guys blogs)!
If you aren’t asked questions directly related to the aviation industry, do feel free to throw in some of your knowledge if relevant to the question asked.
Interviewing For Sponsored Airline Schemes
Of course, if you are applying to an airline scheme such as the MPL or Sponsored course, you must know and keep up to date about that particular airline.
Again, they don’t expect you to answer trivial questions about the airline. However, they might well ask you questions about the airline you are interviewing for, such as:
‘What are some of our airline’s biggest challenges in the next few years?’
‘Where do you see yourself within the airline in five years?’
‘Why do you want to apply for this airline instead of others’
‘How can you as a pilot go above and beyond for our customers in your role as a pilot?’