By Chartered Occupational Psychologist Hannah Vallance
Following on from our article from last month Step Six…The Assessment Day we look this month at the big day itself – the Cabin Crew Interview.
After successful completion of the Cabin Crew Assessment Day (if you’re one of the candidates lucky enough to make it to the end of the day) you’ll be invited to a one to one interview with the airline’s recruitment team.
Some airlines do incorporate the interview into the assessment day – you’ll be informed if this is likely to be the case! Others will invite you back on a different date for your interview.
What happens at the Cabin Crew Interview?
In general, you can expect the interview to last around 30-40 minutes, and to be made up of competency based and behavioural questions.
You can recognise competency questions by the way they are worded:
‘Please provide an example of a time when you have….?’
‘Please describe a time an occasion when you have…..?’
‘Tell us about a time when you….’
You should draw on your own experience for these types of questions and describe a situation where you have performed a task or carried out an action yourself. This will most commonly be from your previous work experience.
The most common mistake when answering competency questions is for people to not explain well enough how their actions led to a situation being resolved, and instead provide a generic list of ‘buzz’ statements to try to prove that they have skills in a certain area – without evidence to back them up!
The STAR Technique
Use the STAR technique to prepare both your application and interview answers to questions which ask for an example from your personal experience.
S – Describe the situation i.e. set the scene
T – What was the task or activity you were involved in?
A – What action did you take?
R – What was the result?
The majority of your answer should focus on the ‘A’- the action you took. Describing what you did is the most crucial part of your answer so do make sure you give this aspect priority. It is a common mistake is to spend too long on scene setting.
Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! This statement has never been so true in an interview situation!
Make sure you have prepared answers to the most obvious questions. Why do you want to work for this particular airline? Why do you want to be cabin crew? What are your career ambitions? What are your main strengths and weaknesses? You may or may not have these sorts of questions but it can’t hurt to have a slick answer prepared just in case.
If you are trying to show that you are a hard-worker don’t just say ‘I’m a really hard-worker’. Go on to describe evidence of this ‘…for example, when I was working at…’ If you give a clear example you are giving a much more compelling reflection of who you are; remember, actions DO speak far louder than words! Have examples ready to back up your points.
A good idea is to ask family or friends if they’ll do a ‘mock interview’ with you, to give you the chance to practice. A word of warning though, be prepared to be flexible with your answers and DON’T try to memorise answers then ‘fit’ them to the real interview questions – it will be obvious to the panel if you try to do this.
Interview Day Tips
- Make sure that you have all your documents to hand, and that they’re up to date. You’ll be given a list of what to bring in the email inviting you to the interview.
- It’s a good idea to bring a copy of your CV to refer to
- Be punctual, and remember to be polite and smile to make a good first impression!
- Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get ready and plan your journey beforehand.
- Dress to impress – formal business attire, like in the Assessment Day, is the way to go!
- Take your time when answering – pause and take a sip of water if you need to
- If you don’t get the job on this occasion then try to remember how incredibly well you’ve done to make it to the interview stage – thousands of applicants don’t!
The next step in the process, if you’ve wowed the recruitment panel and been offered the job, are the pre-employment checks.
Next month we’ll look at these in detail (Step 8 – the pre employment checks), as they can cause a lot of worry for some candidates!
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