Working as a cabin crew member or flight attendant means that you need to interact with your passengers. There’s no way around it, you must be able to make positive impressions on your passengers by having the right social and communication skills. This...
As part of the airline cabin crew assessment day, you may be asked to perform a series of tests, writes Patricia Green.
I am often asked on the forum what are involved in these, so thought it would be helpful to cover them in more detail here! They are not there to be difficult or to trick you but to see if you have the basic knowledge skills that a cabin crew member needs.
Tests do differ from airline to airline and the questions here are examples taken from different airlines over the last year. There are also a few simple tips I can give you – it is all in the preparation! If it’s your dream to become a member of cabin crew, you’ll want to take a look at this:
What does the cabin crew assessment day consist of?
Cabin crew assessment days are held when airlines are recruiting for individuals to work for them – more specifically (as you’ve probably guessed), cabin crew members. Assessment days with airlines are never easy, and the day is split into different, smaller assessments where you’ll need to shine. The below outlines the types of tests you’ll face on your assessment day.
The reach test
Firstly, there is the ‘reach test’ this is the first and most important, as it is as simple as passing the test or failing the whole assessment day. You must be able to reach to 210 cm for most airlines. This is without shoes, and you will be allowed on tip toes with either one or both hands, and fingertips reaching to the marker.
You do need to be able to do this as you have to be able to reach the safety equipment onboard the aircraft in the overhead lockers. Do mark a point on the wall and practice reaching it every day – it is surprising how many people miss this opportunity by not realising how important it is! Some airlines in Asia, in particular, have a slightly lower reach test, as do some of the regional airlines, depending on aircraft type, so these are worth considering if you cannot reach the marker.
The maths test always worries everyone, but you don’t have to be a star maths pupil to survive it, just think practically. It will involve using basic maths in a cabin crew situation – so for example:
• A meal cart fits 6 trays horizontally and 12 trays vertically, how many trays are there in the cart?
• A passenger buys 2 coffees at 2.99 GBP and gives you 10.00 GBP, what change do you give?
Also, consider currency exchange (they will give you the rate…and you may get a calculator) so with the last question:
• What if they gave you 10 euros? What change would you give? The rate is 1.10.
Basically, if you have passed your maths GCSE or equivalent as the requirements ask, then you will be fine!
The English test used by some of the airlines in the Middle East is about an hour long. It does change and subjects will differ, but just as an idea of what to expect:
You’ll be asked to read a cabin crew story – you must then answer 5 multiple choice questions about the story to check your understanding.
- Match the task to text – this checks that you understand the meaning of words e.g. reliable, considered etc. and phrases such as ‘take it or leave it’ for example.
- Read a cover letter – answer 5 multiple choice questions about it
Essay – write about a specified subject. ‘Who is your inspiration and why?’, or ‘If I ruled a country, which country would I rule and why?’ or ‘What traits do you like or not like about yourself? How and why would you change them?’
If you are worried about your English skills, there are books and courses online that specialise in English for Cabin Crew, so it may be worth perfecting your fluency. The current standard for cabin crew in Aviation English is ICAO level 4, but you do not need a special qualification.
Foreign language speakers may also be asked to complete a test in their alternate language to check fluency level, if they are being recruited for language skills. This is often an oral test with a recruiter who speaks your language.
General knowledge test
Of course, no two airline tests are the same, so you can just use this as a basic guide for the assessment day. There may also be a general knowledge test which includes things like geography, airport codes, currency or the 24 hour clock.
While you do not need to study any of these in detail, they will also be useful for your training once you get through. Do take a look also, at the airline’s route map (learn some airport codes…) and also research the aircraft fleet and the airline’s current product and history. This will really help you shine in your tests and show professional knowledge in the final interview stage.
The group exercise will help recruiters to establish whether you have the soft skills required to perform well as a member of cabin crew. Every day your role will require you to work in a group, so you should have a good understanding of how to work with various scenarios like being under time pressure, climate and other stress factors, communicating openly with people of diverse backgrounds and positions, listening to instructions or complaints and being able to problem solve quickly.
You will face a complex task in a group of 8-12 people, all who will differ in personality (another complication you will have to deal with). This allows them to see how you will react to other personalities and approaches, therefore how you will react in a work environment. You will likely be assessed on the following competencies:
- Growth mindset
- Time management
- Active listening
- Motivation and enthusiasm
- Decision making
- Cultural awareness
Avoid arguing, taking on tasks you weren’t delegated, talking over others and dominating the conversation, and not trusting others to help.
In advance of your assessment day it’s important to review common cabin crew interview questions and how to answer them. This will be an important part of your assessment, so be sure you are fully prepared to impress. Speak clearly and calmly, and have a background knowledge of the airline to fall back on. Sit up straight and don’t slouch – show positive body language and posture. Avoid crossing your arms and legs, and remember to smile.
About the Author:
Patricia Green has been Cabin Crew for major airlines in the UK and Middle East for seven years and also an SCCM. She has also worked as a VIP Flight Attendant working for very high profile clients and world leaders on their private jets. More recently Patricia moved to flying on a freelance basis in order to concentrate on working as a freelance instructor as well as setting up as a Cabin Crew Consultant.
She advises potential crew how to get their dream job and helps experienced crew move from commercial to corporate flying. In response to many requests from fellow crew and students, Patricia has written a series of E-books to help guide new crew with lots of insider advice and useful hints and tips.
For more information please visit Cabin Crew Consultant.
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