Interview Tips and Techniques

Ashley Green is a Representative for PilotPool.com and acts as the liaison between PilotPool.com and the Airlines who use it to recruit pilots. She is also important to the In-house Interviewing process between Republic Airlines and ATP’s pilots, and as such she is offering some tips about how to be successful in your next interview:

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As ATP  moves forward with more upcoming interviews with Republic Airways, we would like to offer our students and instructors the following interview tips:

Dress appropriately. Men should have their hair and nails trimmed, and present a clean-shaven appearance. Women should wear neutral color make-up and nail polish. Make sure your attire is not wrinkled. Wedding rings, watches (and post style earrings for women) are acceptable, but should be the extent of jewelry worn.  This should go without saying, but wear deodorant. Light perfume or cologne is okay, but do not bathe in it. If you smoke, wait until after the interview.

Bring a few printed out copies of your resume to the interview. Be sure to have looked it over beforehand to reflect current information and flight times.

If you have been asked to bring additional documentation (pilot certificates, logbooks, medical, ID, etc), have it collected and ready to hand over. This shows you have attention to detail and have arrived prepared.

Do not chew gum.

Maintain proper posture in the interview. Sit up straight, and do not fidget.

Turn your cell phone OFF prior to entering the interview.

Research the airline you are interviewing for. Know what types of aircraft they have in their fleet, the number of hours a month you will be guaranteed to fly, and an overview of the company history. If you know the name of your interviewer, it doesn’t hurt to find out information about them on sites such as LinkedIn to be able to better relate to them.

Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. If you have multiple interviewers, address the one who posed the question but also take time to glace at the other individuals in the room.

When asked a question, it is okay to take a second to formulate your response before you answer. Avoid words such as “um”, “uh” and “like”. If you are still trying to think of an answer, it is okay to reformulate the question as a statement to begin your answer.

Avoid negative comments about past employers. When asked why you left/are leaving your previous job, career advancement is always a great answer.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. When asked an area you could improve on, provide an answer that is believable but does not portray you in a bad light.

Practice makes perfect. You will almost always be asked how you got involved in aviation. When you answer this question, your interviewer should be able to tell this is a career you have an avid interest in.

Another question you will almost always be asked is “Have you ever had an emergency? If so, how did you deal with it/what actions did you take?” Even if you have not had one in aviation, you most likely experienced a situation in life that will show you are capable of sound decision making in a stressful, time imperative situation.

When asked scenario questions about overbearing captains or cranky flight attendants, use your best judgment. There is no correct “textbook answer”, but you should do a cost benefit analysis of the simulated situation to determine if it affects the safety of flight to help formulate how you would proceed in the scenario.

Express interest and engage the interviewer in questions you have about the position, the airline, or their experience with the company.

If you would like to view more information on interviewing tips,  please view Paul Templeton’s article from October 2012 titled “Prepare for Success in Your Airline Interview“.

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We hope these tips and techniques will help our students prepare for the next step in securing their successful aviation career.