The Etihad Cabin Crew Assessment Day: How to Pass the Random Question Test

Etihad’s cabin crew Assessment Day’s are generally regarded as some of the most professionally run in the Middle East.  Most candidates, whether successful or not, leave an Etihad Assessment Day with a positive experience – they feel like they’ve had a fair opportunity to present themselves and leave with a good impression of the airline.

But there’s one element of the Assessment Day that is sure to confuse and worry nearly every candidate – the random question test.  If you’ve ever had an opportunity to experience an Etihad Assessment Day then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.  If, however, you’re still an Etihad newbie, let me briefly explain.

During the first selection round of the Assessment Day, you’ll register with a recruiter, answer a few brief questions and then complete the dreaded reach test.  Then comes a short presentation and a simple English test.  Finally, just before the first elimination candidates face the random question test.

Individually, candidates are called into a room and asked a question – no two questions are the same and there’s absolutely no way of knowing what you might be asked.  So what’s going here?  Why does Etihad have this element of the Assessment Day and how can it possibly help them decide if you’re suitable for the role?

Well, the random nature of the test is the beauty of this exercise.  There’s no way for candidates to pre-prepare a structured answer.  You can’t game the system and rehearse your lines like an actor.  Candidates have to go into the test expecting the unexpected – just like the situations they’ll face on an aircraft at 39,000 feet.

Example questions…

There’s no way of providing a comprehensive list of every question that might be asked but well-known examples include:

  • What superpower would you like to have and why?
  • If you had a time machine, what year would you travel to and why?
  • What is your favourite book and why?
  • What are you most looking forward to in life?
  • What song most resonates with you?
  • Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke?  Why?
  • Do you think aliens exist?
  • What three items would you take to a desert island?

You might be wondering what any of these questions have to do with becoming cabin crew.  In fact, some experts are sceptical the random question test is an effective way to eliminate applicants but the exercise can reveal key personality traits about a candidate.

It’s a little bit like a pscyhometric test but this exercise allows recruiters to indivually and subjectively assess whether your personality will be a good fit at Etihad.

How to prepare for the test

So now that we know why Etihad do the random question test, how do you prepare yourself to successfully pass it?  This is the tricky bit because, as I previously mentioned, it’s a very subjective test.  That being said, there are some principles that you definitely want to follow.

1. Body language

First, watch your body language – you’ll be stood in front of two complete strangers and while they will try to make you feel at ease, it can be a very intimidating experience.  Watch your body language isn’t closed, or even worse, defensive.  Stand tall, with relaxed shoulders and watch the positioning of your hands.

You don’t have to stand there like a statue.  Use open hand gestures as an additional form of communication.  Adopt a natural smile and enter into a friendly conversation with the recruiters.

2. Active listening

When you’re asked the actual question, make sure you’ve heard and understood it before rushing to give an answer.  Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter to repeat the question and think about repeating the question back to them as well.

“To clarify, you would like to know what superpower I would like and the reason why I would choose this superpower?”

This is a great way of proving your communication skills and giving yourself valuable time to think about your answer.

3. Take a deep breath

You don’t have to rush into answering the question.  Take a deep breath and then start.  Clearly articulate and project your words.

4. What does your answer say about you?

Consider whether your answer shows you have some of these qualities:

  • Positive
  • Kind
  • Considerate
  • Inclusive
  • Open to change
  • Determined
  • Mature and sensible
  • Trustworthy
  • Friendly

5. Does the recruiter need any further clarification?

Once you’ve finished your answer, don’t feel like you have to rush out the room.  Ask the recruiter whether they would like you to clarify or provide more depth to your answer.  Thank them for their time and wish them a good day.  Leave the room in a positive and upbeat fashion.

It really is as simple as that.  On the day, it can be a nervewracking experience – people will be desperate to know what questions have already been asked and the atmosphere can become tense.  Don’t let this get to you – this is your opportunity to show off your personality.

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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