Airline Pilot Job Interview Tips

When you are trying to get an airline pilot job, the last step is always a face-to-face interview. For many, this is the most daunting part of the hiring process. With proper preparation and a few tips, you can not only get through the interview but pass it with flying colors. This article will give you an idea of what to expect in an airline pilot interview.

General Preparation

An interview for an airline pilot position has most of the same general rules that apply to other job interviews. Punctuality is certainly necessary for a pilot job, so make sure you arrive on time. Getting to the interview site 10 minutes early is  recommended. You may want to "scout" the location in advance if you've never been there.

Pilots are expected to present a very professional appearance to the public, so wear a suit to the interview. Dress shoes should be worn. Hair should be neat, and a short haircut is recommended for men. Body language is also important. When meeting your interviewer, make direct eye contact and give a firm handshake. Don't worry if you have to pause before giving an answer. This shows that you are thinking about your answer, and that's a good quality. When you do answer, use a confident tone.

A terrific source of information about pilot interview body language can be found at this website:

Interview Question Types

You will be asked several varieties of questions during the interview. We'll break down the question types and provide  examples of each.

Background Questions

Obviously, these will deal with your own past. Examples of background questions might include these:

  • What made you want to become an airline pilot?
  • Why did you leave your previous position?
  • Where did you get your pilot training?

Psychological Questions

These questions are designed to see how you would react in certain situations. They are tests of your problem-solving and leaderships abilities. Knowing these questions in advance is a definite advantage and will prevent any "fumbling" when you answer. Here are some sample psychological questions:

  • When did you have to make a decision involving the safety of others?
  • How would you resolve a conflict with a superior?
  • What would you say your biggest weakness is?
  • How would you handle a situation involving an abusive passenger?

Technical/Company-Specific Questions

Some questions may be directed towards your technical knowledge of the pilot position, as well as knowledge of the company that you are interviewing with. It is definitely a good idea to do a little research on the specific company to see what their unique policies and procedures are like. General examples of these questions might be these:

  • Why did you select our airline to apply to?
  • Are you familiar with our company's requirements for logging repair requests?
  • What do you think the biggest issue facing our company is?

Of course, each interview is different, but you can definitely expect questions similar to those above to be asked. You may want to consider doing a "mock" interview with a friend or family member as preparation. There is no such thing as too much preparation when it comes to a job interview.

Keep these tips in mind and good luck!