I consider myself a well-experienced cabin crew interviewee. Having sat five assessments interviews I think I know a little about the process to help guide others!
The cabin crew interview is like no other interview, partly a modelling contest (for some airlines, particularly the Middle East ones) partly a social event (you are expected to get on well with the other candidates!) and partly an interview. Thousands of people apply to be cabin crew every year, if you are invited to an interview, well done! You did well to reach this stage.
Most interviews are assessment centres and either at an airline HQ or a hotel near the airport. Depending on the airline you may be sitting maths and English tests, language tests, group tasks and finally the dreaded two to one interview! You can expect to take about 3 hours in total.
The best advice I would give would be to prepare. To start with make sure you are wearing a smart suit and a well-ironed shirt. Ladies, a skirt suit may be a wise option, make sure you have your hair up and are well groomed with nice make-up and manicured nails. Appearance is important, the British airlines won't mind a couple of spots and you don't need to be a model just well presented, clean and tidy. You get grooming lessons during training as well so don't panic!
The Middle East airlines are a bit more fussy, in my interview the woman even asked me about my current job. Some airlines like Qatar Airways even inspect your teeth and skin and nails at the interview! Emira airlines prefer to focus more on personality and customer service experience, which is how I think it, should be…we're not living in the golden era of flying anymore and looks are not everything!
It may be an idea to go to the library and get a book out on interview techniques. Some examples of the questions you may face:
How much do you know about the airline, where did you do your research, what are the challenges facing the airline at the moment?
How have you dealt with cultural differences?
How have you dealt with a time when there was a problem with someone you worked with?
What makes a team successful?
When have you been upset at work?
Tell me about dealing with an angry person.
When have you provided good customer service?
Why do you want to be cabin crew?
How do you integrate yourself in a team?
When have you been thrown in the deep end?
When have you dealt with someone from a different ethnic background
As you can see, you need to be well prepared and prove to the interviewers that you are a friendly and caring person, can handle difficult situations in a competent manner, can communicate well and are a good team player. You must really sell yourself!
The group tasks can be quite challenging. It can consist of a task such as making a paper tower. You need to prove to the assessors that you can work well, listen to others and achieve the goal. Make sure you get to say your points but don't disagree or argue with your team members. Just say something like 'that's a great idea, what about if we do it like this…what do you all think?' Use people's names too (you all wear name badges.) Try and get yourself heard without being loud or bossy and include the quieter members of the group.
Make sure you plan your journey to the venue and leave plenty of time. Smile a LOT and talk to other candidates. Be positive and never say anything bad about current or former employees.
My fourth airline interview was for a Middle East based airline, Emirates Airlines, it was at a hotel near Garulhos and I had to sit in a room with other girls and guys waiting for 90 minutes, it certainly tested my patience! Unlike my other assessment centres this consisted of a 30-minute panel interview. My height and weight were taken and I was asked questions such as how did I feel moving abroad, why did I want to be crew, what did I know about the airline and when had a dealt with a difficult situation. I also had to introduce myself and I felt that it wasn't going too well but I managed to keep smiling and remain calm and poised even when the perfect looking stewardess (dressed immaculately in her uniform) asked me what I was thinking at that moment. She wasn't being nasty I hasten to point out but when you apply for these airlines based abroad you must realise they have high grooming standards. No British airline would ever ask you such a personal question. Just was being friendly.
Please don't let it upset you, that is the culture out there and they are not saying it to be nasty.
In the interview I also had to walk up and down and the stewardess interviewing me called out 'big smile!' at one point!
After my other two interviews for Qatar, it seemed quite funny, me and another girl caught the bus back to my house together and we laughed quite a bit!
If you really want the job my advice would be to go to as many interviews as possible. If you are getting to the interview stage you are doing something right. I've been to 4 Interviews for Emirates, I know many crew members who went to several interviews before they were successful including one lady who applied to EK seven times before she got accepted.
Good luck and stay positive, if it is what you really want you can get it. I hope to see you in the skies one day!