After a question I got on Instagram on how to prepare for the airline job interview, I figured I could make a list of most common airline job interview questions and/or most common flight school interview questions! I figured I could use my network to ask other pilots to contribute to this post, so I’d like to give a shoutout and special thanks to @samc9807, @pilotovyce, @steve.the.pilot, @smrithi__shetty, @troiallan, @_gabripilot_, @f_infante, @pilotmoradi, @iinessbt, @lacopterpilot and @the_better_window_seat!
General (Personal) Questions
- a) Tell me something about yourself.
b) Tell me about your career so far.
c) Why did you become a pilot?
- a) Why do you want to work for us?
b) Why should we hire you?
- What do you know about this company?
- a) Tell me 3 good and 3 bad things about yourself.
b) What are your strenghts and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- a) What would you do if you could no longer fly due to medical reasons?
b) If you weren’t a pilot, what job would you like to have?
- Tell me a situation in which you were in charge of a team.
- a) Tell me a situation in which you had to cope with a difficult colleague.
b) Tell me a situation where you supported a colleague so they could succeed.
- a) Tell me about a bad situation which you managed to turn around.
b) Tell me a situation in which you failed at something and how you coped with it.
c) Tell me about a situation where you took initiative or had to think out of the box?
- a) How do you deal with failure?
b) How do you deal with rejection?
c) How do you deal with criticism?
- How can you, as a pilot, improve the customer experience?
- What does CRM mean to you?
- Do you prefer working independently or in a team?
- What’s the most difficult decision that you ever had to make in your life?
16. The captain is very arrogant and does not listen to your suggestions, what do you do?
17. After take off, gear is up, what conversation will you have with your colleague?
Note: This is a trick question! They’ll want to hear you respect sterile cockpit so you won’t start any conversation other than standard operational procedures!
18. Bad weather is expected at your destination airport and your alternate airport has marginal weather as well. Your captain does not want to take extra fuel, what do you do?
Note: Think about suggesting a different alternate airport (you can check the weather for all nearby airports and tell the captain what’s the best alternate in your opinion), explaining your concerns about not taking extra fuel, suggest an amount that gives you time to make one other approach or a holding, etc. Many options available, always try to be polite and respectful towards the captain, but stand for what you believe in! If you are not happy with the amount of fuel, SPEAK UP!
19. You have an early morning flight and at the reporting time, all crew has arrived except for your captain. What do you do?
Note: This question may have follow-up questions, for example if you suggest you’d call the captain on his/her mobile phone, they may ask: ”What do you do if the captain doesn’t pick up?” They may then say ”it’s now 10 minutes after reporting time, what do you do?”
20. Due to more fuel taken and/or more cargo loaded than expected, you find out that your take off weight is going to be higher than the maximum take off weight. What do you do?
Note: You want to avoid offloading bags and/or passengers, but you can’t take off above your limited take off weight. If the take off weight is limited by performance, you may consider taking a different runway (if available). This does not apply when the take off weight is exceeds maximum structural take of weight.
21. When you smell smoke in the cockpit, what do you do?
Note: Many different answers possible, but remember that the very first action should be to put your oxygen mask on!
22. Before your flight, your captain smells like alcohol, but you haven’t seen him/her drinking. What do you do?
23. Approaching minimums, the runway is not in sight, but the captain wants to continue beyond minimums as ”he/she has done this approach many times and knows the area very well”. What do you do?
24. You are descending towards your destination and the captain notices that there is another traffic just in front of you. He/She wants to avoid delay (having to slow down or go into a holding), so in order to try and overtake them, he decides to increase the speed to 300 knots whilst the speed limit is 250 knots. What do you do?
25. You are flying towards a busy airport and your captain is flying. There are some CBs around and on your route and the captain changes heading to avoid. What do you do?
Note: Avoiding bad weather/clouds is important, sometimes the frequency is too busy to request a different heading, the best thing in that case is to inform ATC ‘On heading xxx to avoid’ as soon as you find a moment on the busy frequency.
The options for Technical questions are endless, I always recommend the book ‘ACE the Technical Pilot Interview‘, great to have a better idea of all technical questions you may get and also to brush up your knowledge! Click here to find the book on Amazon.
26. Expect to brief an approach plate and/or explain ADF and VOR interceptions.
27. What are the limitations for Low Visibility Cat I, Cat II and CAT IIIa/b/c?
28. Expect to get some questions about Principles of Flight.
29. What does V1 mean and what affects V1?
30. Can you define Balanced Field Length?