I interviewed with ExpressJet Airlines (Continental Express) in Houston last month for a System Operations Internship. I know ExpressJet is its own airline now, and I applied for a management job, but the location and atmosphere appeared the same. Also, I am an aviation student at the University of Oklahoma and we learn all about airline interviews.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW:
Study, study, study!
One of the main aspects to prepare for an airline interview is to know the company. Know about the overall company culture, such as the Go Forward Plan. The best way to learn about CO
's culture is to read Bethune's book, From Worst to First. This is a great book that I've read several times. You should also read CO
's annual report.
Furthermore, get on Continental's website and study, or at least read, everything. Know about their airplanes and hubs for sure. And know about the 787, or at least that CO
has firm orders for it. (And go ahead and check out their hub airports websites, such as www.fly2houston.com,
which you will find a very impressive Long-Term Plan).
You will be asked, "What questions do you have for me." So, prepare at least two questions to ask the interviewer.
One key factor (if not the 1st) airlines look for is safety (especially with pilots and FAs). So TELL the interviewer, "Safety is your top priority."
You do NOT need to wear a suit on your flight. However, if you’re flying as a non-revenue space available employee, like I did, then you DO
need to dress professionally. However, you do not want to wear your suit in case it gets dirty (unless you have two).
On your day of travel you do need to do several things. Talk to all the employees and tell them where you’re headed and how you’re going to interview to become a FA
. Talk with gate agents, pilots, and ESPECIALLY the FAs. Learn their names and ask what they like best about their jobs. Also, make a mental note of your flight, such as aircraft, any turbulence, and if it was on time. You will be asked about this later.
As far as hotels, there are over 20 on the airport property (which is where Continental's In Flight Training and ExpressJet's In Flight Training Centers are located). All airport hotels offer free shuttle service so transportation won't be a problem. There is also a free employee shuttle bus that runs from Terminal C to CO
's In Flight Training Center.
On the day of the interview, note CO
's current stock price and the weather.
My interview was relatively short and painless. In fact, the entire process took less than 4 hours. Yours will be much longer, however, ExpressJet put me on one of the last flights to OKC
just in cause the interview did take longer than expected. So, CO
could be doing the same thing for you.
Also, all the interviewees took a mandatory drug test at CO
's Medical Clinic in Terminal C. Which this is another topic in itself. Applicants are categorized as "last priority," so any employee needing medical attention or needing a random drug test will be ahead of you. I've heard stories of new applicants waiting up to 4 hours!
Some sample questions ExpressJet asks in their interview...
1. Have you ever gotten any speeding tickets?
2. What makes you a better applicant than the others?
3. Why should we hire you?
4. What do you know about the company (stock, CEO, airplanes, hubs, routes, culture)?
5. Name one word that best describes you?
6. What do you do in your spare time?
7. If you had to choose another airline to fly for, who would it be?
I hope all this helps. Like I said, my interview was for a management internship with ExpressJet, so your interview will be different. But I incorporated what I have learned in school and my ExpressJet interview experience. So whatever you’ve learned about CO FA
interviews, you can add this info on top.
Just have fun and be yourself! Remember to emphasize that you absolutely love flying and Continental Airlines and that you don't care what the pay is...you just want to join the TEAM!!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.
I got the internship by the way.
-john c. denman