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Step 6: The Airline Interview

The airline interview process varies greatly from airline to airline. The keys to a successfully airline interview is to research the airline, talk to the airline's employees, prepare and study for your airline interview (if necessary), dress professionally, practice for the interview, and other ideas you find necessary.

Airline Interview Format

Most airline interviews usually consist of a:
Technical Interview
The technical interview typically consists of one or more airline pilots from the company that is a part of the interview committee. They will ask questions to determine your aeronautical knowledge, commitment, leadership abilities, decision-making skills, flight experiences, etc. They are judging you to determine if they would like to fly with you on a trip, how you get along with others, and if you’ll pass initial training.
Human Resource Interview
The human resource interview usually consists of one or more human resource administrators that is a part of the interview committee. They will review your application and ask you questions to determine your commitment, leadership abilities, decision making skills, how you get along with others, etc. Sometime the questions they ask are very similar to the same questions asked during the technical interview.

Note: Some companies combine the Technical and Human Resource Interview into one interview.

Simulator (Sim) Evaluation
Most airlines require applicants to take a sim evaluation in a simple flight training device (ie. Frasca Sim) or full motion simulator. The purpose of the sim evaluation is to judge your flying skills and procedures, and to observe how you work together with others in the flight deck. A sim evaluation typically consists of flying a few instrument approaches, departure and arrival procedures, missed approach, holding pattern, and landing.
Medical Evaluation
Some airlines make applicants take a medical evaluation. This typically occurs after they have been offered a conditional job offer. The medical evaluation is similar to a FAA 1st Class Medical Certificate. A drug test, blood samples, and/or psychological test are also taken, which is dependent on the airline. Before the airline invests a lot of money and time into your training, they want to make sure you’re mentally and physically fit to act as a pilot (crewmember) for their airline.


Preparing for the Airline Interview

There are various sources of information (i.e. books, web sites, fellow pilots, etc.) to help you prepare for an airline interview. Provided below are a few tips to help you prepare:
Read the “Gouge”
The “Gouge” is information documented about an individual’s airline interview experience with a particular airline or company. The gouge describes the airline interview process from beginning to end, which usually includes interview questions, flight scenarios asked by the interviewers, simulator evaluations and profiles flown, etc. There are several websites that allow visitors to post information about their interview experiences. You should visit these websites and print the gouge, when you have an interview scheduled.

Word of Caution: Airlines change their interview process; so don’t use the information you find on the Internet as your only source of preparing for an interview.

Research the Airline
Before you interview with an airline, you should reach the company to learn about their past, present, and future trends by visiting their website. Their web site should provide some company history, vacant job positions, employee benefits, hiring requirements, pilot bases, route structure (where they fly), type of aircraft flown, and more. You should also read their press releases to learn about the company’s new partnerships, stock price, etc.
Interview Books
There are several airline interview books that can help you prepare for your airline interview. There are general interviewing books available at the local library and bookstores. Provided below are several airline interview books you can order:

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Written by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.



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Learn to Fly: Become a Pilot is your one-stop source to information on flight training, flying lessons, flight schools, and helicopter schools. Learn about the entire flight training process to help you earn your pilot certificates or ratings such as student pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, instrument rating, and others.

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