How to Become a Flight Attendant: The Hiring Process
I've been a flight attendant for about a month now. Becoming a flight attendant with my airline is more exclusive than getting into Harvard. From the application process to graduation day, this entire experience has been filled with trial and error, patience and lots of coffee!
It all started around April of 2016. I had just gotten out of a long term relationship and was single again, was working a dead end job and had no idea where my life had even gone to! I had made all these plans through school, traveled the world and it was almost like my life went to a standstill... it was so frustrating!
I started applying for different jobs that could grant me the position to travel. I applied for cruise ships, and after talking to a few friends in the airline industry, I decided to also apply to be a flight attendant. It's something I never thought could happen. It's incredibly exclusive and I thought I didn't "look the type".
After hearing nothing for the longest time, in June I was sent a link for a video interview. I had given up hope at this point, so as you can imagine, I was extremely skeptical! The video interview is a pre-recorded video of people asking you questions with 10 seconds to think of your answer before you record back your response. It's safe to say that this was not very pretty... I wore a brown blazer from my mom and I quickly realized that I blended a little too well into the kitchen behind me. My interview was filled with stumbles and "um"s, but I hoped that they saw just how much I wanted this opportunity.
A few weeks after, I gave up hope AGAIN. But in late July, I got a call from a random number inviting me to a group interview! They shared that it would be in August and they gave me several days to choose from. I was surprised, and excited, and nervous! As August 10 was approaching quickly, I made the trip with my family to Seattle, Washington. We stayed near the interview location and even did a dry run in the car to see how long it would take to get there.
Ready or not, it was the day. The day starts at 7am. As the people poured in, we walked up the stairs, got our nametags and did a reach test before we could even enter the room. A reach test is making sure that you are able to reach to a certain height. There were about 50 of us interviewees, all at different tables. The interview begins with each table paired with a current flight attendant and a supervisor of some kind. It felt very personable and as if they asked questions that were really valuable at getting to know each of us as individuals.
I really liked my flight attendant pairing, and I also appreciated how this gave us the opportunity to ask questions about their life and job. Each person had a group interview time and an individual interview time. It separated the larger group of us and made it much easier for them to pick people out of the crowd. My group was with a handful of others, and a panel of flight attendants and supervisors asked us hypothetical questions of how we would react to situations that could (and do) happen on the plane!
This whole process was super insightful and helpful, and you could also totally tell who might not make it by the end of the day! Almost immediately after the group, I had my individual interview. You're paired with two of the employees. They ask you personal questions and questions about your job experience. I made it my goal to make them laugh and to have a good time! I wanted them to see my personality. I was one of the last people to have their final interview and at that point it was about 12pm. That's when the cuts began... one by one, names would be called. At first we didn't know if this was good or bad.
Those of us left in the room decided to split into small groups to make it less awkward! After plenty of names were called and tears were shed, we were left with only about 15 of us! The staff then all returned to the room and gave all 15 of us a conditional job offer! I was elated (and in disbelief). At the time, I felt as though I didn't "look like a flight attendant" or even cut out to be one. Flash forward to today: I am so happy that they saw something in me that I didn't see in myself.
This experience has changed my life and if you're thinking about doing it, I suggest you give it a try! You can travel for your work and fall in love with your life all over again. Stay tuned... my next flight attendant post will be all about the training process :)
Of course, keep in mind that my experience with my airline may differ from your airline, therefore your interview experience may be unique.
Have any questions about the interview and hiring process? I'd love to answer them in the comments!
This is part of the mini series "How to Become a Flight Attendant" written by Emma Crane, a recently crowned flight attendant! The perfect get started kit for future flight attendants, Emma aims to ease a daunting process. Stay tuned for future posts!
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BLOGGER: EMMA CRANE
Emma is a part-time contributor at FashionablyFrank.com, bringing her love for travel and exploration. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2013 and living in London, England for almost 1.5 years, she is now a flight attendant with a major airline. In her spare time, she enjoys embroidery, travel + breakfast food.