An Introduction to the Cabin Crew Final Interview: Here's What to Expect and How to Succeed

An Introduction to the Cabin Crew Final Interview: Here’s What to Expect and How to Succeed

Terrifying or exciting – Reaching the Final Interview to become Cabin Crew is an amazing achievement.  So many people have tried and failed to get to this stage of the Flight Attendant recruitment process.  And here you are…

Congratulations! You’ve already come so far and there’s just one more hurdle left to jump.  But this isn’t the time to let nerves overwhelm you.  Or to become complacent and think you’ve got it in the bag.

Here’s the thing, I’ve attended numerous Cabin Crew Assessment Day’s I’ve met a lot of fellow candidates.  I’ve had the opportunity to gauge their attitude and approach to the Final Interview and I’ve noticed there are two distinct approaches.

The first is become super nervous and end up fearing the Final Interview.  This group think their performance is going to ruin their chances of achieving their dream.  The second type of candidate thinks they’ve got the job already – as if the Final Interview is a mere formality.

Preparation is Key

The truth, however, is that neither of these approaches is correct.  Look at it like this, you wouldn’t have got to this stage if the recruiter didn’t really like you.  They’ve seen that you likely have the qualities to make a fantastic Flight Attendant with their airline.  So while nerves can be a good thing, don’t let them overwhelm you.  You can do this.

On the other hand, you still need to prove you have the skills, experience and qualities for a life as Cabin Crew.  Being offered the job is not a foregone conclusion.  Preparation is key and here’s why:

Competency and Behavioural Based Questions

The Cabin Crew Final Interview, like most other job interviews, is made up of competency and behavioural based questions.  These questions examine whether you have the necessary attributes to make a fantastic member of Cabin Crew by asking for real world examples.  The answer you give should prove you possess these skills.

Sounds complicated but look at it like a shopping list of skills and qualities.  The recruiter is simply ticking off items from that shopping list during your interview.  If she ticks off enough items you stand a really good chance of achieving your dream.

Of course, you can’t just rattle off loads of keywords and expect to be a star candidate.  Airline recruiters aren’t quite that nice.  But, that being said, from my experience, many recruiters want to see you perform well.  They’ll try to put you at ease and create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.

Be Specific – Use the SOAR Technique

Many questions ask you to provide an example of when you’ve done something to prove you possess the necessary skills.  For example: “Tell me about a time you provided exceptional customer service” or “tell me about a time you worked as a team to resolve a problem”.  These questions invite you to mention specifics:

  • What was the situation?
  • How did you intend to help?
  • What did you do exactly?
  • How did the situation end?

Remember, you can’t just list skills – you have to describe the specifics of what you did.  This works really well when you tell a story.  An effective method of doing this is the SOAR method.  We have a full post on this fantastic technique here.  Very briefly, you describe the situation and what your objective was.  Then you explain in detail what you did and finally reveal the outcome.

Capture the recruiter’s imagination with a story that they can relate to.  Paint a vivid picture of what happened and describe in detail what you did.

Don’t Worry if the Recruiter Interrupts

During the interview, the recruiter might interrupt you or ask a more probing question.  They’re not trying to put you off and you shouldn’t see this as a sign that you’re not performing well.  This is just a way to guide you in the right direction.  Listen carefully to what they are asking and consider the Cabin Crew qualities that you still need to cover.

I said before that preparation is key and I can’t emphasise this enough.  You might be super confident and be able to recall specific examples at the drop of a hat.  But for most people, recalling the right example and then succinctly telling the story – while at the same time ticking off items from that shopping list can be a mammoth feat.  I know it is for me at least!

Create a List of Examples – Now!

Start thinking about your examples now.  I mean, right this very minute.  Make a list of examples from your previous work experience that will prove you have the necessary qualities (for a full list of Cabin Crew qualities, check out this post).  You don’t need to go into detail – just enough so you can quickly recall what the example is about.  The sooner you start this process the better.  Before long the examples will be ingrained in your memory.

For some ‘qualities’ you might want to think about a couple of examples.  Recruiters can ask several questions about core attributes like customer service and team working skills at different stages of the recruitment process.  You’ll be expected to have different example each time.

How Long Does the Final Interview Last?

You might only be able to think of one example for some skills.  This is fine but just make sure you have an example for every skill.  And no, you probably won’t be asked a question for every skill.  That would make for a very long Final Interview.  I’ve been in an interview that lasted just 15 minutes and one that went on for 45 minutes.  I got offered the job on both occasions.

How long the interview lasts will depend on a lot of factors so don’t let an unusually short (or long) interview worry you.

Now that you’ve nailed the competency and behavioural questions, there’s one more thing you need to do – make the recruiter like you!  Honestly, I can’t even begin to explain how important this is.  I’ve previously written about ‘emotional contagion‘ and I’d suggest reading the article to get an idea of how much your body language can affect people around you.

Get the Recruiter to Like You

When I say “make the recruiter like you”, I don’t mean you should try to be the recruiter’s mate.  This is a formal and professional process.  But you can be warm, welcoming, calm and good natured.  Present yourself in a way that will put the recruiter at ease.  Let your personality infect them with good vibes and a happy aura.  Okay, that sounds a bit new-aged but you get the point.

It’s exactly how you would expect to act onboard an aircraft as a Flight Attendant.  Don’t get me wrong, recruiters realise you’ll be nervous and you’ll probably feel a wave of anxiety when the interview begins.  Try to settle into the process.  Take long deep breaths, listen closely to the recruiter and take your time.

Think carefully about your answer and don’t be afraid to stall for extra thinking time.  Honestly, I’ve done this so many times and it doesn’t need to feel awkward.  Try asking the recruiter to repeat the question or even repeat the question back to the recruiter yourself (showing active listening skills at the same time).  If necessary, there might even be a glass of water that you can take a sip from.  The idea is to get just enough time to think of the right example from your list.

Keep a Check on Body Language

Throughout the interview keep a check on your body language and posture.  Sit upright, don’t cross your legs or arms and whatever you do, don’t fidget.  It’s okay to move a little, you’re not a robot after all but stop yourself from fiddling with a pen or jewellery for example.  Do your best to maintain eye contact without staring – that would just be creepy.  If there is more than one interviewer present, remember to address both recruiters.

It’s as easy as that.  Finally, take the opportunity to ask the recruiter a question at the end of your interview.  Keep it related to the role and not the remuneration package.  If you honestly can’t think of a relevant question, simply explain that they have covered all your questions adequately and that you’re happy with the information you have about the role and the airline.

All that’s left to do is thank the recruiter for their time.  No doubt you’ll dissect the whole interview from start to finish as soon as you get outside.  Try writing down some quick notes straight away but wait 24 hours before going into detail.  Memory recall for big events like this can significantly improve once you’ve ‘slept on it’.

The very best of luck!

Mateusz Maszczynski

Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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