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10 Questions you Will be Asked in an Airline Pilot Interview

The pilot interview, very important step that you don’t want to miss in your career! I went back to my notes I’ve been writing after my interview to share with you the questions I was asked by either the director of flight operation, the psychologist or the senior captain. These are general questions. I highly recommend the book from Gary Bristow “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview 2/E” for all the technical questions/answers a pilot might get during an interview.


1. Could you please introduce yourself to us?
I have been introducing myself to them first with generic information (Name, Age, From, Family situation) then I went in the review of my school education, where I’ve been working and then about my pilot training. I’ve been talking for about 5 minutes. The most difficult thing is to link everythink together and to make it interesting. Tell only key information.

2. Why do you want to become a pilot?
Before I went to the interview I took a sheet of paper and I made a list of all the reasons why I wanted to be a pilot. The list can be long! Take then three to five most relevant point and that is your answer. Try always to explain why taking examples.

3. Why working as an airline pilot for our airline instead of another one?
Here is a good question eh, why them? Don’t worry, you now know that you will get this question and Internet will certainly help you to have an answer! I remember going onWikipedia to learn first about the airline itself and how big it was. I went into the very beginning until nowadays. The airline survived to the crisis in 2008 and that was one of my key point (job stability)! Does the airline bought some new airplanes? Does the conditions are good enough? Is that a big friendly family atmosphere? Find out at least three relevant points and explain why you want to work there and nowhere else!

4. Give us 3 good & bad qualities about yourself?
Personal good qualities are always easy to tell but how about bad qualities? I had to say 3 and I had only one the day of my pilot interview. It is not easy to tell the employer you want to work for that you are a bastard ?? ! Bad luck for me that day, the psychologist asked me the same question in a different way: “If you sister was able to change one thing about your personality, what would it be?”. I was not expecting that one… Well I took the time to think and I shared a small conflicting situation I had with her and how I reacted.

5. What do you know about our airline?
Well, again take a sheet of paper, build up a folder and study it. Internet is a gold mine of information regarding your future airline. Use it! I even knew what where the best restaurants close to the airport base! ??

6. Do you speak our local/country language?
It is always a very good advantage to speak the local language but if you don’t, please don’t just say “no” or “no but I am ready to learn”, answer in a positive way like “Well, I can’t keep a discussion but since I know I had this interview I’ve started to learn a bit about and I bought a book to learn it” Try to say a few words or to tell them that you will work on that in the local laguage. It is always appreciated! The best example is when you see tourists talking to you in your language. Don’t you like it?!

7. What would you do: If the captain you suppose to fly with is smelting alcohol? If the captain you suppose to fly with shows you wrong fuel calculation (without changing his mind)? If the captain you fly with is flying unstably during an ILS approach (with no improvements)? If your best friend is also part of this pilot assessment but there is only one position available?
This is the kind of situation in which they will put you. In my case the senior captain in front of me was in the skin of this fu… capt’N. “Check your speed!” “Speed is good young pilot!”. “Go around!” “I flew 1000 hours on this aircraft and you tell me to go around?”. I took over the controls when the situation was not safe anymore and that is what they wanted! You don’t have enough fuel? Check out a few times your calculations and if you’re right, explain it to your colleague and again. If you’re right, don’t go without enough fuel! Avoid saying “NO” and be CRM (crew resource management) minded!

8. What are you ready to do as a pilot for our airline?
What a question, I was ready for the interview but not about that one… Flying airplanes? I knew it was not the answer they wanted. In fact you will be representant of the airline in the network of the airline and you must be social, you must show a positive attitude and you must wear your uniform correctly. A lot of people will be facing you since you will have a lot of responsibilities!

9. When could you start working for our airline?
“I was born ready…” you are not a top gun… Find out a way to tell them that you are more than ready! I said: “Since yesterday already!” (with a big smile on my face) and then I precised more seriously that I was able to start immediately.

10. Have you got any questions?
Don’t say no! Show them that you are interested about the development of the airline by asking a question.

Thoughts? Scroll down to add your own question!

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