Behavioural interview tips for pilots
After a break of a few years, airlines appear to be interviewing again for pilots. Virgin, Qantas, Jetstar and most other airlines use behavioural style questions in their interviews, as one part of their recruitment process, often with an HR rep and a senior pilot. I did a whole chunk of one-on-one coaching sessions a couple of years ago when everyone was worried about skills shortages and airlines were on recruiting blitzes. There were a few things that consistently came up in these sessions that I thought I’d share.
If you’re a pilot reading this now, in no particular order, here’s what you need to focus on when you answer questions in these interviews:
- Finding the right example to present in interview. That is which example best demonstrates the skills the interviewer is looking for
- Selling your “examples.” By this I mean telling the interviewer what is challenging about the situation you faced
- Finishing off the example you provide, by telling the interviewer the result
- Answering the “team work” and “leadership” questions. Often the work you do with others is limited in a flying sense. So talking about the way you work with others can be challenging
- Talking confidently about your strengths so the interviewer will believe them
- Understanding what it takes to be an effective communicator
- Talking the HR talk, so to speak. HR design these interview questions. They are full of HR/corporate speak that you need to understand. Without wanting to sound patronising you may not have come across these if you worked for a small company
- Being “self aware” in interview. Often HR writes behavioural interview questions using the assumption that you have an understanding of what makes you effective in the way that you go about your everyday business of flying. Most pilots just want to fly because they love it. In the corporate world many people are given tools such as performance reviews, which can help them focus on what they’s good at. You may not have gone through this process if you’ve worked for a small airline.
- Finding compelling reasons to want to work for Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin etc when all you just want to do is fly
Read these tips on behavioural interviews for a start.