CONGRATULATIONS you’ve made it through all the initial stages and now it’s time for the dreaded Assessment Day.
You’ll be nervous but just remember you’re one step closer to getting your dream job in the skies.
Pre-Assessment Day Preparation
First up a few tips on appearance as your personal presentation is crucial. In our industry first impressions count and your assessors will be watching you from the moment you enter the room. Dress smart, but comfortably. Be confident in what you’re wearing and this will help you feel more confident in yourself. Stand tall.
For the ladies a well fitted plain suit. A clean, smart, crisp shirt. Bare hosiery and clean high heels – not too high. Make up should be minimal but noticeable. Put your hair up – a classic bun or French pleat works best. Get your nails done and use tasteful colours for nail varnish. Minimal jewellery such as small diamond or pearl stud earrings. Wear a watch but nothing too overbearing.
Men a timeless navy, black or dark grey suit. A crisp white shirt and a non patterned tie. Iron your shirt and trousers. A smart pair of well polished shoes. Make sure you are clean-shaven, or if you do have beard make sure it’s well-groomed. Do your hair and have clean nails. A simple classic watch and minimal jewellery.
TIP – Do a practice run of your outfit, hair, make-up etc so you know it will all come together on the day. The last thing you want to be dealing with on the morning of your interview is a bad hair day and not knowing what to wear.
Look at pictures of Cabin Crew for the airline you’re applying for and of course be sure to check out our #dolliesoftheday images across our social media.
Cover tattoos. If you have any body piercings make sure they are covered up. Any facial piercings should be removed.
Have a think about some examples to draw on for the interview when they ask ‘Tell me about a time when you have done X, Y and Z’ to avoid those awkward ‘Erm?’ moments! It will be so much easier than having to think on the spot.
As mentioned previously, researching the airline before you go for assessment is crucial. Read their website, any latest industry news, look for anything relevant in the news.
At The Assessment Centre
Arrive early. There’s a lot of sitting around waiting for your turn so be patient! If you make it through the various stages you will be there all day so be prepared for that too.
Typical Assessment day timetable:
Meet colleagues at assessment centre and register with reception. Here you may have to fill in a short form asking if you have attended an interview with the airline before, if you have any tattoo’s etc. This is handed in, usually with a photo and you will be given a name tag or number.
0830 – 1000
This is usually where you complete the ‘tests’ such as reach test, English and math tests, more information on these can be found below. Don’t panic!
1000 – 1030
Presentation by the airline to give you more information about working for them. There may be a short Question and answer session for anything you want to ask.
A few questions you may have include –
- What is the company’s approach to training and development?
- How would you describe the company culture?
- How will my success in the role be measured over the next 12 months?
- How long can I expect to stay in the role before being considered for promotion?
1030 – 1130
Group activity – You may have to build something or decide what to do in a scenario to test your communication and teamwork skills.
1130 – 1230
Role-play in small groups, for example how to deal with difficult customers.
1230 – 1330
Elimination and lunch. Those who have been unsuccessful will be sent home at this point. It’s tough as you may have made friends at this point.
1330 – 1500
Final Interviews – your one to one interview with the recruiter or recruiters. Here you will be asked questions about why you think you should work for the airline, what skills you have to be cabin crew and to give examples of when you have given exceptional customer service. More information can be found below.
1500 – 1600
Paperwork – references, security and personal information etc.
End of the day! HOORAY! You’ve made it. Time to go home and wait.
Of course all airlines assessment days are different and this is just a rough guide. There’s a wealth of information out there so be sure to do your research before the big day.
The assessors will understand if you’re nervous – they were sat in the same place as you once, feeling just as anxious.
If you don’t understand anything its OK to ask. It’s better to know what you are meant to be doing rather than trying to wing it.
You are often required to complete a series of tests. They’re not there to trick you but to allow the recruiters to see if you have what it takes to be cabin crew. Remember that these tests differ from airline to airline.
The Reach Test
The Math Test
Many airlines require you to carry out a basic math test. It’s usually quite simple and usually involves an onboard scenario such as ‘There are 256 seats onboard and we have 237 passengers travelling. How many empty seats should we have left?’ or ‘A passenger purchases X, Y and Z and it comes to £17.89. The passenger gives you a £20 note. How much change should you give?’. Try not to worry too much about this.
The English Test
Some airlines, will ask you to complete an English test as this is the official language used in aviation, no matter where your airline is from. It will be a simple test and may require you to read a passage, write a short essay or answer some multiple choice questions. If you are worried about your English then there is a wealth of information online to assist you.
General Knowledge Test
Things such as countries, capitals, airport codes, phonetic alphabet etc. Some airlines may include a multiple choice test on flight safety and security. Many of these questions will be common sense, but as safety is Cabin Crew’s primary role onboard, it’s always wise to have a basic understanding of safety procedures from the start.
For most airlines, this is now done online before you even make it to the assessment day. A series of personality based and multiple choice questions, often with no right or wrong answers.
This will allow the assessors to see how you react and work with others. It is a difficult balancing act. You need to make sure that you show good interaction and leadership skills, without taking control too much. Put in your opinions and suggestions but always allow others to talk. Just make sure that you’re not lost in the background – no matter how over-powering the other people in your group may be. Assessors want to see that you have good teamwork, initiative and communication skills all essential as cabin crew.
The group exercise can be fun and once you get into the swing of it you often forget you’re there to be assessed.
TIP – Never speak over anyone. Don’t be negative. Try and bring other people in to the conversation.
This is usually done on a one on one basis after you’ve made it through the initial and group exercises. If you’ve come this far you’re doing well and this is often the last hurdle.
It will primarily be customer service focused. Recruiters will face you with a series of challenges and difficult situations and will want to see how you handle them. Remain calm, be polite, use your initiative and focus on what the recruiter is asking you and how to get a successful conclusion to the problem.
Below are some potential role play questions you may be asked and a few hints and tips to help you answer them. Please remember that no two airlines are the same and questions will vary from airline to airline.
Tell us about a time when you had to handle an unruly customer. How did you resolve the ensuing conflict?
This is not a time to rant about previous personal conflicts or express your opinions about certain individuals. The interviewer simply wants you to explain a time when a conflict arose in a professional environment and you managed to deflate the situation. Focus on ways in which you were empathetic, non judgemental of their ailment, demonstrated a sincere desire to assist them, analyse their concerns from all angles to identify the root cause of their problem and finally present your solution to them.
Tell us about a time when a co-worker was not doing their job. Did you step in and if so how?
Again, this is not a time to vent how crap your previous co-workers Were. These are important questions for your interviewer to delve deeper in to your personality. Focus here – not on the ways your co-worker was being lazy, but the ways in which you intervened and what the outcome of your actions were – hopefully positive – otherwise opt for another story.
For example –
‘One day I noticed my co-worker was avoiding the task assigned that morning by our boss who had said they wanted it done by 3pm. As that time was fast approaching and worried what the consequences of missing the assignment might be for my co-worker, I asked him why he had not started and if there was anything I could do to help. It turned out no one had explained to him how to get started on the assignment and which piece of software to use for it and was too embarrassed to ask. I was able to help him out, boost his confidence and in the process make a great new friend in work’
‘A passenger complains that they don’t want to sit next to a rowdy group of passengers. What do you do?’
Apologise and be polite. Explain that you will go and check the passenger manifest and see if it will be possible to move them. Remember to be discreet. Talking about this in front of the rowdy group of passengers may cause them to become agitated.
This is the final stage of the assessment day. Assessors will ask things like why you want to work for this airline? What you think you will bring to the airline and the role of cabin crew? Why the airline should choose you?
Remember to say positive things about the company. Say how you want to be part of the airlines continued success. If true you can always mention that you have a friend who works for the company and they recommend you apply as they felt you would fit with the companies ideals.
TIP – Don’t say the reason you want to become crew is to travel and see the world! This is not what assessors are looking for.
You may be asked to do an inflight announcement so practice one. There are literally hundreds on YouTube which you can watch and use to practice with. Don’t worry too much as you will be given a script to read from. You may also be able to pick an amusing one from our ‘Crew Manual: Public Announcements’ – Just make sure it’s a clean one!
Remember no two airlines tests are the same but hopefully this will give you a rough idea of what airlines are after.
Below are some potential personal interview questions you may be asked and a few hints and tips to help you answer them. Please remember that no two airlines are the same and questions will vary from airline to airline.
What kind of skills should a member of an airline crew be expected to have?
Some good personality traits that interviewers for crew are on the look out for include –
- Good communication and listening skills.
- Confident, firm and friendly.
- Outgoing and charming with an eagerness to help others.
- Independent, fast learner who works well without supervision.
- Alert, observant individual with great attention to detail.
- Strong, fearless leader with good teamwork skills.
- Empathetic person who will go the distance for others.
- Critical thinker who works well under pressure.
Pick the ones that best suit you and personalise your answer.
What do you think are your strongest attributes?
What can you bring to the table – or rather to an airline and its crew. There’s no real right or wrong answer here as long as your answer is sincere, well-spoken and most importantly accurate. If you have difficult speaking about yourself then answer this question ahead of time and prepare.
Do you work better in a team or alone?
Do not answer that it depends on the specific situation. Even if it does and even if you are an adaptable individual, answer according to the position you’re applying for. You can still bend it a little to show your adaptable, but answer either way. It will demonstrate an amount of confidence and ability to follow instruction.
For example –
‘I prefer working with others as part of a group effort, working towards a similar goal or objective, but I do enjoy when each team-mate has a share of work that they are responsible for completing independently. Even when working independently though it’s important and enjoyable to know the way your efforts fit in to the collective efforts of the group and how you are all working together to achieve success no matter what the form’
What are your hobbies?
A little bit of a trick question, one designed to test your general people skills and enjoyment of team based activities. While you shouldn’t lie for this or indeed any question – consider placing a large emphasis on the hobbies you enjoy with others. Sports for example will give you a chance to hint at your leadership and cooperative abilities. If you say cooking and hosting dinner parties it shows off your hospitality skills and the ability to manège many people at once. Don’t ramble on about lots of random things you like to do. Your employer doesn’t care about that as much as they care about how you demonstrate strong people skills in and out of the workplace, and whether or not you’ll be able to bring those skills to this workplace in particular.
Why did you choose our airline and not another?
It’s ok to say that becoming cabin crew is your ambition and you do not mind working for any airline, as long as you achieve your goal. But follow this up by saying that you chose to apply to this airline because it is one of the best. The aim here is to show the recruiter that you have no intention of getting the job with them being trained and then resigning to join a competitor.
Where do you want to be in five years time?
The interviewer wants to know that if they hire you, you will stay with company. Show ambition, but be realistic. Say you aspire to be a purser, maybe a trainer or even part of the recruitment team – you want to be able to give something back. Be sure to describe what a great contribution you would make to the company as you develop experience.
Key words to remember –
Attentive, Caring, Diplomatic, Energetic, Flexible, Genuine, Happy, Initiative, Knowledgeable, Likeable, Motivating, Organised, Punctual, Reassuring, Safe, Tactful, Understanding, Willingness, Zest and that ever illusive X-Factor.
Think about how you personally can bring those skills to your interview.
Then it’s time to wait. This is a nerve-wracking time but the best thing to do is just to get on with normal life and try not too worry or over think it too much. You will still have to get a medical and pass security checks so the waiting game is not over yet.
If you are unsuccessful you’ll probably not get feedback. It can be a bit frustrating in some ways but you may already have some idea yourself of what didn’t go so well.
Just remember ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’
For ‘So You Want To Be A Trolley Dolly? Part One – Applying’ click here
And click here for Part Three – Surviving Training and Your First Weeks In The Air’
Plus, for all the latest cabin crew jobs and even more hints and tips on how to bag your dream job head over to cabincrewwings.com
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