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Home > Interviewing Process > My cadet pilot interviewing experience
My cadet pilot interviewing experience
Pilot Career - Interviewing Process
Sunday, 05 March 2006 05:32
Hello Capt Lim,

God I wish I'd found your website a few months ago. It seems too late to help me now.

I thought you might be interested in this... a Blog entry I'm going to be adding to my space soon, depicting my interview for the only airline that I believe I'll ever be able to attend an interview for seeing how I can't get out of my country easily at all.

Kind regards,

John Ross.

(Blog entry follows)

Flying Solo... So Low I've nearly hit rock bottom.

My hat's off and my head bowed low to those guys from this airline... The interview was one of the hardest experiences I've ever lived through, next to the experience I'm living now... Waiting for a response.

There were four very impressive people on the interview panel - 3 Pilots and 1 psychologist from their HR department. They were good. They were very good. I was totally unprepared for the interview they mercilessly unleashed on me.

The guy who went in before me had told me reassuringly not to worry; they'd put me at ease.

Fat Chance.

They opened by asking me to tell them who I was. I stumbled and fell flat on my ----. I stammered. I told them the few things I could remember about myself - not a bit of it telling them about how much I felt I could bring to them. Not a bit of it telling them how great I pilot I believe I could be. Then one of their guys started to systematically disembowel my much over inflated ego...

"Right - you've convinced me that you're a good music teacher - what'd make you a good pilot" - I wasn't ready. Having fallen flat on my ---- I fell flat on my face as well (Try to conjure up an image of how that feels).

He then - just as I was about to give a good answer rephrased his question - preparing for the ultimate kill.

"Ok - what do you think makes a good pilot - what kind of profile do you think is good for a pilot."

I stammered onwards listing things like being quick on the mark, able to cope under pressure, able to cope with the travel, being away on bank holidays etc. and fatally - I mentioned that a pilot should be organized.

"On our psych profile we see that you're sloppy and disorganized how could you make a good pilot"

I admit my fault and say something half---- about trying to sort myself out - how I'm religiously keeping a diary now etc...  'd mentioned I have a tendency to take on too much. I think I managed to redeem myself slightly by saying a little about how I've delegated some of the work I'd taken upon myself, but I don't get the feeling they were really listening.

Then came the real soul-destroyers.

They asked me about aviation in the world - something that I haven't had time to read about sufficiently before the interview. I mention something about how aviation is on the upturn since Sept. 11, but that was years ago! Suddenly remembering something new about how it is that rising fuel prices are making things quite difficult for airlines.

Then they ask me about the airline projects. Something I'd read about this very morning - I mention that they're expanding routes. I can't remember which country they were thinking of flying to - I still can't remember. I daren't go into my browser history to find out where though. Because I couldn't remember it - I'm boycotting the answer to that question.

Then - to hammer in the nails of my y-shaped coffin - they ask me some basic mathematical questions.

I'm cracking under the pressure. I get the question wrong the first time, and wrong the second time as well, but I think I managed to show them that I still remembered how to get the answer even though I couldn't get it off the top of my head right then. They give me a small reprieve of a second question. I get it right - but only after closing my eyes and looking like an idiot for what seemed like far too long.

Then I'm told that it's over and they'll contact me through the post. I ask if they have some idea when. Sadistic to the last, one of them answers...


"Sometime in the future."

There are only two possibilities of what happened in that interview. Either I did badly or they were just enjoying my failure. Fortunately this to me (at least for the moment, I felt differently straight after the interview) seems unlikely.

The other possibility is that those questions were just weights they were dropping on the eggshell that is my ego, seeing when and if I would crack. They must have known I was a cocky bastard right from my psych tests, in which case I'm only slightly better off - seeing that although I didn't crack completely, I was significantly thrown off-balance.

A thousand ideas are running through my head right now. The main one being - should I write a letter explaining my dismal performance and asking for a second interview? If so - should I send it now or after they've already sent their decision by mail and sealed my fate? What if I didn't perform as dismally as I imagine? Perhaps the fact that it was a tough interview is a good thing and they were just making sure they'd got the right candidate?

God I hate waiting like this.

I think I'll be flying solo for a while. So low, in my car, along the ground.

A word rhyming with 'duck' is all that fills my mind.

Happy New Year.

John Ross

Hi John,

Thank you for sharing your interviewing experience with the other aspiring pilots of my website. I wish you all the best.

Good Luck!


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