Im assuming youre interested in airline pilots, as opposed to corporate/charter pilots.
There are various aviation message boards similar to this one, such as pprune.org where pilots post about good/bad parts of employment at their respective companies, and if the company is hiring. Generally people have a specific airline as their dream job, and will work to build qualifications as well as network with pilots at the company to help them get hired. The social network is an important part of getting hired, especially when a desirable airline has say 100 openings and 5000 applicants. Pilots at an existing carrier could write a letter of recommendation, and/or talk to their chief pilot or hiring department to add some influence to your application being reviewed.
The application process typically involves a lot of background data including places you have lived/worked for the past 10 years, as well as types of aircraft flown and hours in each type. When you go to an interview at an airline they will typically look through your pilot logbook to verify your level of experience. General documents like passports, medical certifications, pilots licenses, etc are reviewed as well.
Most airlines will fly you out to their interview, some will pay for your hotel the night before. Interviews vary greatly, but most have different sections such as a technical interview where you are quizzed on aircraft systems, general aviation knowledge, etc. Then perhaps a human resources type interview where you are asked situational questions "How would you handle flying with a difficult crewmember" etc. Sometimes there are written exams as well, that get more in depth with aviation knowledge. Most airlines also have a portion of thew interview where you fly simulator and perform basic maneuvers. Ive also been to interviews where there is a medical exam portion where a company doctor will give you a physical exam to ensure you are healthy for duty. Some interviews are notoriously intense and challenging, but the payoff is a career at a great airline.
[Edited 2012-11-18 17:42:24]
These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.