20 Common Pilot Interview Questions and Answers
If you have made till the call letter for the interview, half the work is done.
Now it’s only left to impress the recruiters and make them feel that you are the right person for the job.
In an airline pilot interview there are 2 sections:
- Technical section
- Performance & competency section.
The technical part can be easily overcome with technical knowledge, but the recruiters play hard in the competency check level, where tricky questions are asked to assess the mental stability level of the person.
Here every interviewee struggles the most to overcome.
Pilot Interview Tips:
Rehearsing before the interview surely increases your chances of getting recruited to the organization. The pilot job is a kind of job where you need to manage many difficult and unusual situations in your daily life.
During the pilot interview, you need to demonstrate all your skills and make sure to convince that you are a perfect fit for this job. Ensure that you showcase all the soft skills you possess as a candidate during the pilot interview process.
Attributes that a pilot needs to possess:
- 1. Problem Solving
- 2. Situational Awareness
- 3. Team Work
- 4. Prioritization
- 5. Communication
- 6. Business Orientated
- 7. Delegation
- 8. Adverse to risk
- 9. Planning
- 10. Flexibility
- 11. Reliability
- 12. Motivated / Passionate
- 13. Empathy
- 14. Leadership
- 15. Customer Minded
Tips to follow in a pilot job interview process:
- 1. Make a good first impression
- 2. Body language
- 3. Keep calm and be confident (even if you don’t know the answer)
- 4. Practice well
- 5. Good interview attire
- 6. Arrive 10 minutes early to the interview place.
- 7. Greet the selection panel properly
- 8. Be honest
- 9. Research about the airline well
Few things that you should know are,
- 1. Aircraft types (engines, passenger configuration, MTOW, VMO, Max Ceiling)
- 2. Fleet size
- 3. Product (Configuration First / Business / Economy)
- 4. Destinations
- 5. Bases
- 6. Orders
- 7. History (when was the airline formed)
- 8. Key people (CEO, CFO, Director of Flight Operations, Chief Pilot)
- 9. Financial and Performance Overview (Profit, revenue, passengers carried, year on year growth)
- 10. Recent company news (e.g opening a new route or ordering a new aircraft)
- 11. The airline’s biggest competitors
- 12. The industry threats (oil price, competition, market saturation, global epidemics (Ebola/SARs).
Best Pilot Interview Questions and Answers:
The following mentioned are few common aviation interview questions and answers.
1. According to you what defines a professional pilot?
Someone who has knowledge, punctuality, effective and excellent communication skills, take the first-hand command in all critical situations, well understand his limitations, willful in continuing training and adherence to company procedure at the same time very systematic in all approaches.
2. State the importance of proficiency in a number of languages for a pilot?
Those pilots who fly privately only require understanding control towers, knowing only English can be just enough, but for pilots who need to fly publicly in a regular basis must be fluent in languages other than English also.
This then becomes an added advantage for the Pilot in handling situations.
3. Pilots are required to take many simultaneous responsibilities during flight. Say something about this?
It is the Key responsibility of the pilots to navigate the flight, monitor and guide his team of crew members, check & maintain the required technical instruments as well keep regular track of the weather condition at the same time controlling the height & air traffic.
Pilots are required to be skilled enough to perform all these duties and more, besides these, they are requested to have salient abilities in multi-tasking with strong concentration power.
4. What would be a pilot’s role during an emergency?
An answer to this question should be to express your feeling first.
It would be best to prove citing examples, that you will be able to keep your mental calmness intact during such problematic situations and you can with your expertise easily self-control the emergency and assign tasks for crew members if necessary.
5. Did you ever have to modify the flight course?
Depending on the internal or external conditions; pilots are trained enough and able to reform the course in flight.
Modification of the flight course is a very vital responsibility and requires close contact with control towers and attention to detail.
6. How would you assess your success in this job?
There are a number of ways in which you could assess your success in the field. You set big challenges for yourself and met them.
The achievements you gained counts as your big success. Your boss told you that you had done a great performance. All those achievement cards, rewards & awards will speak about your success.
Your dream is to work for the company and you can cross any hurdle to achieve success in this company too.
7. What do you mean by V1?
Takeoff decision speed is known as V1.
8. What do you mean by V2?
Takeoff safety speed is known as V2.
9. In a situation when the ground crew is running behind or was busy with another job, what would be your role in loading the airplane with boxes?
In such a situation where the ground crew needs my help, I would, of course, stand by him and help load the airplane with boxes.
10. What do you mean by LDA?
A precision approach that is offset from the runway is known as Localizer Type Directional Aid, it may have Ground Speed.
11. How your current boss would like to describe you?
He describes my qualities as a dedicated team player who always looks to make a difference.
12. In your opinion what qualities make a good pilot?
A good pilot takes his or her job seriously and is a good risk evaluator, not a risk-taker. He is one who consistently carries his able attributes as his personal baggage on each & every flight.
13. What was your motto behind becoming a pilot?
Try listing the reasons behind you becoming a pilot beforehand and cite 2-3 most strong of them.
14. What lesson have you achieved from mistakes from your pilot job?
You have to be very honest about such a question. Your answer has to be brief and to the point.
You cannot tell a lie that your career has been flawless. Your answer reflecting a positive aspect where you have learned from your mistake will add an advantage to your answer.
It is very common that you might fall short somewhere, you may make mistakes its human nature, but not all employers give a very positive gesture on that. There are people who find a learner in such situations and help them learn from the mistakes made.
Here your answer would be stronger if you could add examples of your mistakes where you had a positive take-home effect.
“I am a constant learner and prefer learning even from my mistakes. My mistakes in my career have made me more alert and confident in those situations. My knowledge has enhanced and skills sharpened from mistakes.”
15. What were your actions to improve your pilot knowledge in the previous years?
Here one should work to include the improvement activities that he/she has done to the job in the previous years.
Activities related to positive self-improvement should be mentioned. Most employers look for employees who are goal-oriented.
Exhibition of readiness for a life-long learning process is desirable. Regardless of what hobbies you choose to showcase yourself, you must remember that the goal behind everything is to prove yourself as self-sufficient, good at time management, and highly motivated.
One may frame answers like “I am a person who prefers to learn in a continuous process and also learn more deeply from my mistakes”.
My learning enhances with discussions with seniors and experienced fellows in the field as well. I prefer to regularly upgrade myself with new courses and certifications and also attending job-related seminars & workshops.
16. Point out your biggest weakness.
The most tricky and obvious question to be asked in an interview is about ones weakness. One can never lie to this question.
If your answer to this question is like “no you do not have one”, the interviewer is assured that you are lying.
A personal weakness description would put you in a false position. A mention of weakness may reveal a point which might not be beneficial, your employer would put you in stake. So look to mention a flaw that would reflect your good qualities rather.
- I do not like sitting back idle, I am always into some kind of constant reading and upgrading.
- I am not much fluent in communications and like to develop the same with more public speech and presentations at work.
17. Say something about your achievements?
By this question, the employer wants to understand about your work skill. You have to answer on work-based achievements mainly.
Here, you have to exhibit those things in your career of which you are proud of. You have to point your key achievements, people involved, your role and your take-homes. These will definitely work to impress your interviewer.
If you have not many career-related achievements, try mentioning some of your personal achievements where you can highlight your social skills like communication, teamwork, presentation.
18. What do you rate yourself in handling situations at stress and work pressure?
Your rating should be justified, not over marking nor underrating yourself. It could be harmful for you. Never say you get panicked easily.
You may be very good and able in handling stress & pressure, just mention them with examples. How you handled them, what were your key responsibilities and how you executed.
Your answer would add stars if you mention cases where you were unable to handle such situations, you even sought expert advice & guidance where from you also learnt lessons, would simply showcase your inclination towards betterment.
19. What are the 3 most vital things you must report before entering into a hold?
Expect the further clearance time, the time of arrival at the holding fix and altitude needs to be reported on time.
20. What does the MSA circle on the approach plate means and mention its use?
The Lowest altitude that provides at least 1000ft obstruction or terrain clearance within 25 miles of the navaid it is based off.
This is used for emergency purpose only and does not always adhere to signal coverage.
21. How does radiation fog form?
Heat is radiated from the ground. After the ground starts radiating the heat into the atmosphere it has accumulated during the entire day under the sun.
The ground has the capacity to quickly cool down overnight and the air just above the ground space cools immediately as well, a presence of moisture in it cools to its dew point thus forming fog.
22. Would you not mind flying fatigue? What are the countermeasures to avoid in-flight fatigue?
No, I would never fly fatigue. Flying fatigue impacts a lot.
There are a number of new solutions and countermeasures that are prevalent to lower the rate of fatigue in pilots. They are:
During a 90 minutes flight, a small nap provision of 40 minutes has proven results in better attention and better Psychomotor Vigilance Test results.
This has resulted in faster response rates and fewer lapses than the control group who has not availed the napping provision.
In-seat cockpit napping is also a risk management tool but still not employed by most of the airlines.
These are another most important technique to counter in-flight fatigue. Higher fatigue rates are seemed to coincide with the circadian trough where the body temperature gets low.
Science reveals that a higher rate to pilot in-flight fatigue prevails in those who have not taken a walk or any other activity breaks.
A roistered system in the flight could give a set of well-rested crew team who are alert and are well able to support in vital in-flight situations.
A proper roister could give enough time for a set of crew to have activity breaks, cockpit napping, bunk sleep, etc.
Further in-depth research needs to be conducted on the optimal number of crew members sufficient for properly rested crew members to operate the in-flight operations.
Another very effective fatigue management technique is bunk sleeping. Based on the time zone from which the pilot takes off, he can decide and fix a time span when he may feel drowsy. He can assign this time for a Bunk sleep to keep himself alert when he is in the seat.
Proper lighting in the cockpit:
Studies have shown that only by increasing the lighting level by 100-200 lux improves the pilot alertness.
Common Pilot interview questions:
- Explain the procedure of take-off
2. Explain the procedure for landing
3. What is meant by SALR in meteorology
4. What would be your response when there is an emergency on a flight
5. What steps would you take if lost engine during take-off
6. what is the process of modifying a flight path
7. Have you ever experienced flowing an aircraft with mechanical problems, how did you deal with it?
8. Did you ever break an SOP, if yes then WHY and WHEN?
9. Define SOP’s
10. When do you need to increase the final reserve fuel to 45 minutes
11. What is meant by V1
12. What is meant by a balanced field length
Apart from airline interview questions & answers, there are certain tips that really matter for the selection of the right candidate.
- Make the most out of the first impression, it really counts. The person on the other side of the table is competent enough to figure you out in the first few seconds of meeting you.
- Your body language at the interview must be open & receptive with eye contact with the interviewer.
- Have ample & adequate knowledge about the airline.
- You should be properly groomed as a professional pilot, the professional dress code for the industry is suit & tie, and it should be properly maintained.
- Be punctual to arrive at the interview.
A well based technical knowledge and win over the impressing tips will surely help you to crack through the job of a Pilot.