Mika From Sweden, joined Jul 2000, 2926 posts, RR: 3 Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 9233 times:
Top o' the morning fellow a.netters,
I'm just curious to hear your stories about job interviews (successful aswell as not so successful) for a job in the aviation business. I've personally just now applied for a position in traffic/route planning at a swedish airline and i've been sending out spontaneous applications to other swedish airlines the last year. I'm just dying to get a go at this industry, at some level and position.
What kind of interviews have you guys been to? Did you pursue a position at the same company for a long time before getting a chance? Or did you simply just slip into the business somehow. Tell us the stories!
PS. I've been thinking about taking an IATA course to get that that competence; other than working for a travel agency, for which positions is it of benefit to have IATA competence? (The course is about $1000 here in Sweden, is it worth it to take it?) DS.
777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12836 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9223 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD MODERATOR
The only time I had an aviation interview was back in 2004 at WLG for a one term school holiday job. My school informed me and I turned up a few hours late at the airport. The airport company were very impressed that I arrived in person at the airport to apply for the job, and I was given the job on the spot, taken on a tour of the international terminal where I would be based, given a uniform, handed my roster and told to arrive at 2pm the next day. No interview for me but given the job on the spot
QXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2408 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9085 times:
Well I just sent applications to different airlines one day because I thought, "hey nothing can go wrong here". I already had a job working in Animal Nutrition that I enjoyed but I thought it would be cool to work at FAT. So I sent applications to American Eagle, Alligeant, United Airlines Express (Skywest), and Horizon Airlines. About 4 months after sending those out Horizon called me at my house and said "I dont know if you remember at all applying for a job with us but we would love to have you come to a group interview." So I said no problem and went. So I went and there was about 10 of us. They only had one spot open. Everyone there was very fit for the job (ticketing agent). They offerd me the job once I started talking about my hobbie in aviation. They asked me a few airport codes and I gave them to them without even hesitateing (even the "Chicago" one giving them both the codes ). Then they asked what aircraft Horizon flew. I gave them all three before they even could breath. So we continued the interview and they asked me to stay out of them all. I was very happy and she said, "We dont want you to be a ticketing agent." I was confused because they asked me to stay. "We want to hire you right now and fly you out next week to training in SEA to be an FA." I was shocked! she said "You have the look and personality of a flight attendand. I would want you as mine." Interesting haha. Well I went back to work (My boss was at the airport leaving for a buisness trip when he saw me and said "I thought you asked the day off last min for personal reasons!" I said, "Yeah this is the personal reason" I was scared haha) and when I got back to work put in my notice that I was leaving in a week. Needless to say I stayed in the Animal Nutrition buisness because they offerd me tons more money and to pay all my college if I stayed and told me to get my Masters on them So I didnt take the airline job
Mika From Sweden, joined Jul 2000, 2926 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9066 times:
Quoting QXatFAT (Reply 3): Well I just sent applications to different airlines one day because I thought, "hey nothing can go wrong here". I already had a job working in Animal Nutrition that I enjoyed but I thought it would be cool to work at FAT. So I sent applications to American Eagle, Alligeant, United Airlines Express (Skywest), and Horizon Airlines. About 4 months after sending those out Horizon called me at my house and said "I dont know if you remember at all applying for a job with us but we would love to have you come to a group interview." So I said no problem and went. So I went and there was about 10 of us. They only had one spot open. Everyone there was very fit for the job (ticketing agent). They offerd me the job once I started talking about my hobbie in aviation. They asked me a few airport codes and I gave them to them without even hesitateing (even the "Chicago" one giving them both the codes ). Then they asked what aircraft Horizon flew. I gave them all three before they even could breath. So we continued the interview and they asked me to stay out of them all. I was very happy and she said, "We dont want you to be a ticketing agent." I was confused because they asked me to stay. "We want to hire you right now and fly you out next week to training in SEA to be an FA." I was shocked! she said "You have the look and personality of a flight attendand. I would want you as mine." Interesting haha. Well I went back to work (My boss was at the airport leaving for a buisness trip when he saw me and said "I thought you asked the day off last min for personal reasons!" I said, "Yeah this is the personal reason" I was scared haha) and when I got back to work put in my notice that I was leaving in a week. Needless to say I stayed in the Animal Nutrition buisness because they offerd me tons more money and to pay all my college if I stayed and told me to get my Masters on them So I didnt take the airline job
Great story! I wish i could get to an interview like that; where more than what's in my CV counts. I personally do think that hiring someone who has a very solid personal interest in the industry (be it any industry/job) is in many cases more suitable than hiring someone who doesnt know anything about it (and has no other interest in doing so other than money/career development) but happens to have a marginally better education or previous experiences. Passion counts, at least in my book. And apparently at Horizon as well, great story!
Iflyswa From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 154 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 9004 times:
I recently interviewed successfully with the Southwest Airlines Co. for an intern position. This was my first real interview with an airline (and being 21 and a college junior, my first "real" job interview). Fortunately for me, it was with a company I love and would love working for! I interviewed with a panel of seven interviewers, and I can honestly say that I've never felt as comfortable in an interview setting--even one-on-one--as I did at Southwest.
Of course my education and background were just what Southwest was looking for. The intern program is hugely competitive, and if this wasn't the case, Southwest wouldn't have gone through the trouble to fly me to Dallas for the interview, anyway. While those things are important, the most sought-after trait among Southwest new-hires is a fun-loving attitude. A maxim for the People Department has always been to hire for attitude, and train for skills.
I took a dressier approach to business casual (no suit) and wore a tie with vintage airplanes and colorful bag-tags that looked like the ones Southwest used to have. The combination subtly told interviewers that I can be serious about an interview (or job), but that I don't take myself too seriously. To top it off, so to speak, going into the interview I wore an inflatable Southwest Airlines 737 hat (it has a headband that goes around your head and secures with velcro, proudly reading "Southwest Airlines" across the forehead). Down the hallway to the conference room where the interview was to be held, heads turned, folks laughed, and faces lit up with big, bright smiles! In the conference room, everyone laughed and smiled as I shook hands. Before we began, I explained myself: "I imagined that it's probably just as easy for you to get worked up over an interview as it is for me, and I thought this (the hat) would be a great way to break the ice." They agreed. "But," I continued, "I'm going to take the hat off before we begin so that you can take me seriously during the interview." They told me to leave it on, but at this point I felt silly. We got on with our interview. I'm not sure if my icebreaker had really worked, or if it was the close affinity I feel to Southwest and its corporate culture, but I really did feel at home with the folks that took the time and care to interview with me, and in general at Southwest Airlines.
The interview set out with me being asked to tell the interview panel about myself. I was then asked about classes I've taken that I enjoyed (and why), and on the flip side, some that I haven't enjoyed so much. I was asked about my experience working in residence life at Western Michigan University, which I used to highlight my teamwork and people skills. I was asked to tell about a time when I worked in a group that didn't work effectively, how I handled the situation, and what the outcome was; and about a time when I thought I went above and beyond, either in work or school. All general interview fare. Because on my resume I had listed "sense of humor" as a primary qualification, I was also asked to give a sample, which I did. We all spent a few moments laughing again. The only question I was caught off guard by (remember, this is Southwest Airlines) was when I was asked: "Who's your favorite superhero?" I used it as a segue to tell them more about my experience in residence life (and to give a better idea of my sense of humor). "Last year, when I was making a bulletin for the month of February, when everyone else was making hearts, and flowers, and bows and arrows, I made an educational board for my residents on safe-sex with a fictional superhero that I made-up named Captain Condom..." We laughed some more. In the end, I had to admit that I hadn't ever given much thought to who my favorite superhero might be. But I later made an excellent recovery (read on)!
At the end of the interview, I put a package on the table with a whole bunch of padded notepads (like post-its, but without the sticky part). I had designed and made them just for this purpose in an imaging course I took this fall. The pads were interleaved with multiple colors and four different sayings, all with the word "nuts" (Nuts about you!, Gone Nuts!, Totally Nuts!, and In a Nutshell). Each sheet also carried "compliments of Christopher N. Sultana" (clever, I thought...what a great way to be remembered when it comes time to make a hiring decision). A receptionist pointed out to me that I had forgotten the most obvious one: "Just 'Plane' Nuts!" But that didn't stop my notepads from being a hit, not just with the interviewers, but with everyone that I gave them out to (pretty much everyone I met at Headquarters).
When I left the People Department, I had several hours before my flight home. I asked if there was someplace in the building I could stay and write some thank you notes. I was issued a visitors pass and shown to "The Landing", Southwest's Employee cafeteria overlooking Love Field. While I was there, I met Herb Kelleher and Colleen Barrett. I was in awe to see them, and a small group had gathered around them when they came in. I asked a man who was eating his lunch if he thought Mr. Kelleher and Ms. Barrett would mind if I introduced myself after explaining why I was visiting Headquarters to begin with. "God no! Herb's such a conversationalist, he'd talk to a fly on the wall if he thought it would talk back! I think they'd love to meet you." This was the answer I was hoping for. I went and stood in the small circle that had gathered around Herb and Colleen, a little to the side. When Herb finished speaking with the gentleman he was talking to, he looked over, saw my visitor's pass, came right over to me with his hand outstretched and introduced himself. I told him the purpose of my visit, and he wished me the best of luck, saying "I hope we'll be welcoming you aboard!" When we were done, he turned to Colleen and personally introduced me. They were such nice people, and very down-to-earth. It was an amazing opportunity to have met with them.
As I continued writing, I got to the note I was writing for the interviewer that asked about my favorite superhero. Here's where I made my recovery. I wrote: "I was caught off-guard when you asked about my favorite superhero. I have many heroes, though most don't possess super powers otherworldly strength. Most are ordinary people like you and I, and I was fortunate to meet two of them today after our interview when I met Mr. Kelleher and Ms. Barrett. Their maverick spirit and commitment to the People of Southwest Airlines is truly inspiring, and I don't believe that Southwest would be what it is today without their forward thinking and positive leadership." Whew!
I went back down to the People Department to leave the notes with the recruiter I was working with. I figured folks would get their notes sooner if they were sent through interoffice mail. By now, a few hours had passed. When she met me again to take my notes, she told me that the interview panel had convened after my interview, and that even though they had said I would know in a few days, they really enjoyed interviewing with me, thought my skills and background were right for the position, and that I would be a "great SWA fit." Before I left, I had already been extended the offer, and I accepted it gratefully. I went to shake the recruiter's hand, but instead was waved-off. "None of that handshake business here, you're family now. Gimmie a Southwest hug!" It was my first of many to come on the way home, from ticket agents, to flight attendants.
I don't tell this story because I'm full of myself. Yes, I was very lucky to be offered an intern position at Southwest Airlines, and I'm incredibly proud to be the Spirit of Southwest Airlines (it even says so on everyone's Employee ID, I believe). I know that I might sound like a brown-noser, but when you're really passionate about something, you give it all the care and effort you have. I wanted to share the story behind my interview because it is amazing, and this--or at least a lot of it--is probably a typical experience for anyone that interviews with Southwest. I didn't come across ONE person that had a bad thing to say about their company during my whole trip. Everyone I met was friendly, and went out of the way to make me feel welcome and comfortable. Even Herb and Colleen (maybe that's not part of a typical interview experience) made it a point to take an interest and care about me and the position I was seeking. I hadn't expected to have an offer so soon (if at all--I'm sure there were many strong candidates), but to have received the offer personally really made an already very positive experience into something memorable and grand.
Thanks for reading and sharing in my experience!
[edited for spelling]
[Edited 2006-12-01 18:29:22]
Opinions expressed by "iflyswa" are not those of Southwest Airlines Officers, Directors, or Employees.
QXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2408 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 9000 times:
Quoting Mika (Reply 5): Do you today regret not taking the job by the way?
I kind of do and kind of dont. Now I am working as a Youth Pastor intern. With me being a strong Christiand and actually going to college to be in ministry, I believe I would still take this job over Horizon. But I do regret not taking the job when I had the chance. If I would have taken the job then I would not be so worried about what I will be doing in 5 years and such. Horizon is doing so great as well as Alaska Air so I am sure that they will not be cutting back jobs.
So all in all, yes I do regret not taking it when I had the chance.
ReidYYZ From Kyrgyzstan, joined Sep 2005, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8908 times:
My first job with a small outfit, I walked into the owners office and asked if he was hiring. He looked me over and asked if I had my own tools and if I smoked. I answered Yes and No, respectively. "Great, go down in the hangar and see ****, see you tommorrow"
Lamedianaranja From Venezuela, joined Nov 2004, 1246 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8876 times:
December 9, next Saturday, will be an unique day for me and my family: we'll all be working the 8AM shift at AMS!
I applied at KLM Ground Services as a CSA years ago because I didn't want to go back into high school teaching. The interview was nice, they basically look at your customer friendliness and language skills. We had to act out a hotel situation with a difficult customer. Role playing is not my favourite thing but I guess I did all right.
My oldest son applied for a job while still in college with a small ground handling company at Schiphol, they hired him after a short interview and now he drives the courtesy car, sometimes helps out as a baggage handler, assists at the gate and takes odd size luggage to the basement. Wonderful job for a 19 year old who's still studying. He wants to be an F/A with KL in a few years and this job will help him get experience.
My youngest son is also still in school but will start working in the KL Crown Lounge on weekends as a internship for his college. Then the same route for him: an airport job and when he's 21 take off as a F/A.
SHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8856 times:
Man, why does everybody have all of these great experiences? Here's mine, with the ONE airline I've wanted to work with since I started flying for business regularly and decided I was going to give the business up...
November 28, 2006 (received December 1, 2006)
##### ******* ***
Boynton Beach, FL 33437
Dear Mr. ********:
I do want to thank you for your interest in the new US Airways. We enjoyed meeting with you and appreciate the effort you put forth in pursuit of the Customer Service Agent position in Fort Lauderdale.
Every consideration was given to your application. While your qualifications are competitive in many areas, we have selected another candidate for this position. Our company requires a six-month waiting period before you are eligible to reapply for this position.
Again, thank you for considering the new US Airways as a prospective employer. We wish you the best of luck in pursuing your career goals, despite the fact that we just made it clear that we do not want you to actually achieve them.
Recruiting Consultant, US Airways
Recruitment, Selection, & Staffing
Yikes...do I have to go to Tempe and wipe the CEO's rear end when he uses the bathroom to get a job in this industry?
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
Charlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1169 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8787 times:
In times of heavy expansion there is a high turn-over at the lowest level companies,I remember Great Lakes in Spencer Iowa wanted a pulse and be able to leave vapor on a mirror..too scary right out of A&P school,Express1 (pinnacle) was like NASA,all for $7.00 per hour,I was making $6.50 pumping gas!! Simmons was right in between and that is the first A&P job I took and didn't regret it. UAL involved a practical test,which was no big deal if you could read an MM. They(UAL) also told us a Polo type short and Dockers were what we were supposed to wear,one mope showed up in a suit and told us it was a test and we weren't going to get hired because you are supposed to wear a suit to an interview,it was fun watchng him doing the safety wire portion of the practical exam and catching his tie in the wire... needless to say he didn't get hired!
ReidYYZ From Kyrgyzstan, joined Sep 2005, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8776 times:
Quoting Iflyswa (Reply 6): if he thought Mr. Kelleher and Ms. Barrett would mind if I introduced myself
This reminds me of my second place of employment. The interview went well, I guess, because I got the job. My first day I was assigned as a slave to a licenced mech, he told me "If Mr. Xxxxx (owner) fires you, don't worry about it, come in the next day, I've personaly been fired 3 times. He likes to power trip once in a while. Once he fired the whole maintenance staff and told the V.P. of Maintenance to 'give the maintenance to Wardair!'"
Greasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3101 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8748 times:
I have worked for one airline, in 2 departments but on 5 different bases.
I applied just before i finished school. I heard nothing so i was on my way from Edmonton to Vancouver to apply for jobs in person.
I was about 3 hours away and i got a call "can i come to a job interview in YZF
The flew me to YZF to see if i was a real person..a few simple questions....Since it was for an apprentice AME pretty much the only skill needed was to be a graduate from an accredited college...mostly.
I flew home. waited a week... Was on my way to Vancouver again and they called to offer me the job.
I remember taking this job until something better came along. Funny how it took 10 years for something better to come along.
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
KBFIspotter From United States of America, joined May 2005, 729 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8743 times:
Quoting ReidYYZ (Reply 9): My first job with a small outfit, I walked into the owners office and asked if he was hiring. He looked me over and asked if I had my own tools and if I smoked. I answered Yes and No, respectively. "Great, go down in the hangar and see ****, see you tomorrow"
Sounds like my experience getting my first aviation job... Granted, I had worked in customer service before (I was previously a manager at a Burger King), but I wanted to get involved in aviation. I went to BFI one day and decided that I was going to hit up every FBO and facility on the field for applications. I started at the north end with Classic Helicopter, and worked my way south, through Galvin and Clay Lacy, before coming to Aeroflight. I walked in, and talked to the receptionist, who immediately called the Line Service Manager up front. He took one look at my resume, asked me about my schooling (I was in school from my A&P at the time), and asked when I could start. I started a week later as the graveyard Line Service, Dispatcher (for the part 135 work), and general maintenance helper. I was in heaven! In fact, my first day on the job, Duran Duran flew into our facility in their G-IV! What a great way to be introduced to the aviation job market!
I later interviewed with a Goodrich recruiter at my school, and was hired on the spot as an apprentice mechanic. Now, I hope to have an interview with Boeing with in a few weeks for a job as a line mechanic...
Bofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 8723 times:
1. I was denided job at SAS because i did not have any relative (mother, father, sister or brother) who already worked at the company. That was in the early 80:s when SAS had that policy. My friend who had a sister working got a job. I applied for a job as ticket agent.
2. 5 years later did i apply for a FA job. I got it! They had changed policy...
HAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31851 posts, RR: 54
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 8679 times:
Attended only Two till date & lucky for me both were sucessfull.One as a fresher just out of Aviation collegein 1992 & the 2nd when the company I worked for was in a Financial mess so I decided to move on & attended an Interview with a Freight operator in 1996.
The first one was Interesting.Being a Young guy,I was worried as if I was writing my Exams.Took along my Certificates in a folder along with my BAMEC docs which I had cleared.Wore a Tie,arrived very early [I tried not to be late].I was called in to a room with Three persons seated,A CEM,HRM & person taking notes.
The questions started from General Aviation to Rules & Regulations to Basic Airframe & Engines both Light/Heavy/Piston & Jet to finally type.It covered 2hrs +.They had a look at my Certificates,Logbook & Experience which was not much at that time.But when asked about my lack of experience,my reply was that If I get an opportunity to work only could I get some experience.
I was then to wait for a second interview with 6 persons covering Type Aircraft questions.Finally I got the Job.I was really hungry by the end of the day as I had skipped lunch.
The 2nd one was when I decided to move on.This time I was more confident,But again I turned up too early for the Interview The board had 4 members for various epartments.The questions were mainly Type related & they were quite pleased.I did not feel any pressure.
I guess Experience helps.
I had an interview at NWA right after the Eastern strike started,room full of guys with graying hair and taxi-run certificates in DC9's and 727's,me a year out of school working in the commuters,only cot a "dear charlie' letter out of them.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 10918 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 8573 times:
Quoting Mika (Thread starter): What kind of interviews have you guys been to? Did you pursue a position at the same company for a long time before getting a chance? Or did you simply just slip into the business somehow. Tell us the stories!
Visited the company at a career fair at my university. Handed them a resume. They called me back. I had a phone interview, and then was invited to the plant. That's how I got in to work on designing aircraft generators, but I'm an engineer, so it is a lot different for a technical position than for other airline positions.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Helomech From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 8406 times:
Finally got into my first civilian aviation job a few months ago working for Expressjet/Continental Express as an A&P mechanic. Glad to be working there--good company to work for. I am currently based in Knoxville, TN. Waited 4 years to finally get a civilian aviation job...worked on helicopters for 5 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, finished my time there, got out with no A&P license, so I had to go to A&P school for 2 years to get that; graduated at the top of the class, but no jobs here in Indiana for aviation. United had gone under at their huge MX base here, American Trans Air (ATA) went belly-up and shut down their hanger...so ended up taking a job as a diesel engine mechanic working on tractor-trailer trucks and large passenger buses to pay the bills. My Marine friend and former flight instructor had taken a pilot position with Expressjet. He happened to fly into IND one afternoon and had an overnight layover--I had dinner with him and he told me Expressjet was hiring mechanics and that I should apply...I figured I had put so many apps out and been rejected so many times this wouldn't make a difference, but I applied anyway--a week later I got a call from the base manager to come down to Knoxville for an interview--the rest is history....very happy to be working in aviation again--especially for an airline.