Flight Attendant Interview Questions and Answers
Want to nail an interview for a flight attendant position? Let us help you! In this guide, you will find frequently asked questions and winning answer examples.
Want to nail an interview for a flight attendant position? Let us help you! In this guide, you will find frequently asked questions and winning answer examples.
According to CNBC Make it Happen, the largest US airlines accept about 100,000 flight attendant applications per year. And only 1% of those candidates receive job offers. There is some good news though. If you get an interview invitation, you will have already sidestepped hundreds of rivals. But do not rush to run a victory lap. To become a crew member, you still have to prove your professional aptitude and motivation at the in-person meeting with potential employers. Our guide will help you face up to this challenge. We prepared a list of the most frequent flight attendant interview questions and tips for your winning answers. Follow them to join the 1%.
How to Prepare for a Flight Attendant Interview
The interview is the final and critical step in the selection process. You can either consolidate your success and get hired or receive gratitude for your interest in the position and godspeed in your next attempt. To achieve a favorable outcome, check out the following to-do list you need to complete before the big day. Remember, even your outstanding talents cannot compensate for poor preparation.
- Explore the company. Your awareness of a potential employer is half the battle. First, your knowledge of fast facts proves that you have gone the extra mile in preparation for the interview. Such a responsible approach always increases loyalty to your candidacy. Second, companies are often looking for employees who share their mission and values. A preliminary study will help you create a customized self-presentation and prove yourself as the right person.
- Learn the job description. You undoubtedly understand the general requirements for the flight attendant role. However, to get a position, you must meet the expectations of a specific airline. For this purpose, read the job description carefully. It shows a portrait of the ideal candidate they are looking for, including skills, personal qualities, and work style. This information will be your valuable cheat sheet when answering most interview questions.
- Rehearse your dialogue with a recruiter. We will provide you with examples of winning answers, but your success will depend on their communication and presentation to the employer. Speak out each answer in front of the mirror or conduct a trial interview with your inner circle. It will help you perfect your speech and body language, eliminate junk words, and increase your self-confidence.
- Prepare a package of documents. You must provide the employer with all the information necessary to make a decision. Before you go for an interview, make sure that your folder contains the following documents:
- A printed copy of your high school or college diploma. A degree in tourism, customer service, or another related field can be to your competitive advantage.
- The results of your medical examination. Airlines put forward strict requirements for the physical condition, weight, and height of a flight attendant.
- 5 copies of your application documents. That way, if the recruiter forgot to print your resume or cover letter for flight attendant position, you can save time and get down to business. If several company representatives conduct the interview, you can provide a copy for each stakeholder. In any case, your foresight will work for you.
Prepare for a Group Interview
Group interviews allow airlines to evaluate several candidates at a time, which significantly reduces the selection process. Often this type of interview involves an introduction part and group exercises. To cope with both steps, keep the following rules in mind:
- Prepare a short self-presentation. In the introductory section, you will only have one minute to introduce yourself. Do not waste it retelling your biography. This information is unlikely to make interviewers distract from their notes. Instead, focus on your critical benefits and motivation. Your knowledge of the company will help you highlight key points.
- Get ready for cooperation and not rivalry. Group exercises simulate flight attendant real-life situations to demonstrate your actions and behavior. Many candidates try to show their superiority over the others instead of achieving a common goal through joint efforts. This is a typical mistake that discredits teamwork and collaboration skills. Therefore, be prepared to listen to the task carefully, take into account the exercise partners' views, and stick to well-coordinated work. This tactic will help you catch the attention of the interviewers and get extra points.
Flight Attendant Interview Attire: What to Wear
No recruiter will judge a book by its cover and put your appearance above your qualifications. Nevertheless, your look is the first thing that salutes the eye and affects the first impression of you. To give a good account of yourself, take the following tips into consideration:
- All airlines have strict dress codes for their employees. But this does not mean that your attire for an interview should comply with all the requirements of the uniform. Instead, just stick with business-style clothing.
- A plain shirt is the best solution for women and men. You can choose both long and 3/4 length sleeves. The primary condition is to hide your tattoos if any.
- Women should wear a knee-length skirt, give preference to natural make-up, and scrape their tresses into a ponytail.
- Men should opt for classic trousers or dark blue jeans.
- Unlike men whose choice is limited by dress shoes, women can wear high heels, pumps, or even peep-toes.
- Neatness is a prerequisite for both sexes. Clean shoes and clothes and well-groomed nails and hair are more critical than the inches of your skirt or shirt.
The Most Common Flight Attendant Interview Questions & Answers
There are three main types of interview questions for flight attendants.
- General questions relate to career choice, skills, plans for the future, and so on.
- Behavioral issues focus on your experience, the challenges you faced, and the problems you resolved.
- Situational ones allow the recruiter to understand what steps you would take in the proposed circumstances.
Our list includes the most popular questions of each type that American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest, and Delta use to evaluate a candidate and examples of answers that can tilt the balance in your favor. Remember, you can always modify the answers at your pleasure to reflect your personality most accurately.
- What can you tell about yourself?
Focus on points that are relevant to the position and have value to the employer.
“I have a bachelor's degree in customer service management. During my training, I mastered quality service standards, methods for increasing customer loyalty, and ways to manage conflicts. All this knowledge applies to the flight attendant role, since, as the airline frontman, my responsibilities include constant communication with passengers.”
- Why do you want to be a flight attendant?
Your answer should reflect not only the reasons for your choice but also your aptitude for the position. For this purpose, refer to the job description and select a couple of the primary required skills.
“The flight attendant position is an excellent opportunity to put my impeccable customer service skills into practice. I want to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers throughout the flight, thereby increasing their loyalty to the airline. Besides this, I am attracted to the flight attendant work environment. It is a good example of coordinated work where everyone performs essential functions and contributes to common goals. I am sure that my collaboration skills will help me become a useful link in the overall chain.”
- Why did you choose our airline?
Apply your accumulated knowledge about the organization and reflect its mission or values in your answer.
“I am delighted with the United Airlines "Diversity and Inclusion" strategy, which brings together employees from different cultures to provide excellent service to your passengers worldwide. You respect and value every member of the team. This approach engages other employees and me in a common cause and inspires high-quality performance. United Airlines understands that only a partner who feels its value can be committed to their work.”
- What is your second language level?
Bilingual employees are of particular value to airlines providing international flights. If you have sound knowledge of several languages, feel free to talk about it. If you are only improving your language skills, focus on the efforts that you are making.
“At the moment, I have a pre-intermediate level of Spanish. To improve my skills, I am attending online classes three times a week and practice my knowledge through the regular reading of books and news articles in Spanish. I am sure that my persistence and fast learning will help me meet your standards shortly.”
- What makes an excellent flight attendant?
Remember the portrait of the ideal candidate from the job description and name 2-3 characteristics.
“Customer service is not a chore, but a passion for the perfect flight attendant. He is not afraid of new experiences and is looking for an individual approach to each passenger. This is a leader who can remain calm in emergencies, get the upper hand, and take responsibility for the life and safety of passengers.”
- What characteristics of an excellent flight attendant do you have?
Be honest with your potential employer and keep your answer reasoned.
“I have advanced customer service skills since I have worked in the sales and travel business. Both industries included helping clients by resolving their complaints and improving their experience with the company. I have not encountered emergencies on board yet. However, my leadership qualities and unquestioning adherence to instructions will allow me to become the very person the passengers rely on.”
- What do you think passengers expect from you?
Your answer should reflect the value of your role.
“First of all, passengers count on my help and comprehensive support, whether it is a timely glass of water or a clear emergency plan. My actions should simplify their trip and solve their problems from take-off to landing.”
- What is the ideal work environment for you?
Your answer should prove that your career choice is conscious, and you understand the conditions under which you will have to work.
“I will be able to unlock my potential in a volatile and even stressful work environment. I am sure that every challenge and every difficulty tempers my character, gives me invaluable experience, and allows me to expand my boundaries. These are necessary conditions for my professional and personal development.”
- Do you prefer teamwork or solitary performance?
Most flight attendant jobs involve ongoing collaboration. However, some airlines still use small aircraft with only one flight attendant on board. Therefore, your answer depends on the potential employer.
“I am a great team player who clearly understands the functions and importance of each crew member. I am ready to share the best practices and adapt to the experience of my colleagues.”
“I can do the job alone. My experience, knowledge, and skills help me achieve high-quality performance that does not require constant monitoring and intervention.”
- Is there room for independent solutions in your job?
Your answer should demonstrate your leadership qualities and decision-making skills.
“I appreciate teamwork, but sometimes circumstances require quick decision making. In this case, I do not spend time on negotiations and rely on my expertise. I trust my colleagues and hope that they also trust me. All my actions aim to achieve a common goal, namely the safety and positive experience of passengers.”
- What do you consider the most difficult component of your work?
You can name any challenge of your profession but make it clear that it does not affect your performance.
“It is sometimes challenging to maintain a positive attitude amid personal concerns. But I prefer to leave my worries and problems overboard because my mood should not affect passengers and crew members.”
- How do you feel about the frequent change of routes?
Often, new-hires or inexperienced flight attendants do not have an established route and fly in different directions. Prove that such an experience does not scare you.
“I quickly adapt to the new environment. Frequent change of routes is not a problem but an invaluable experience that allows me to land in a new country, get acquainted with a new culture, and expand my networking.”
- Do you have preferred flight directions?
Undoubtedly, you have continents, countries, or cities that you dream of visiting. But clarify that you do not put your preferences over your professional duty.
“China has always attracted me with its history, and I would be glad to know the local culture more closely. However, each country is a new chapter for me. Therefore, I appreciate the opportunity to accompany airline passengers in any direction.”
- What was the last conflict with a colleague? How did you settle it?
Do not complain or blame colleagues. Instead, prove your conflict management skills that contribute to a favorable working atmosphere on board.
“Once I mixed up the orders of two passengers, and my colleague delivered food and drinks that did not meet their needs. It led to a misunderstanding and put her in an awkward situation. This situation disgruntled her as it was not her fault. I apologized to my colleague and both passengers and took care of replacing the orders.”
- What mistakes did you make when interacting with other people?
Since your work involves constant interaction, the employer wants to know your weaknesses. Be honest and share your negative experiences. But mention how you plan to avoid it in the future.
“At the beginning of my career, I was afraid to voice my opinion or object to passengers or more experienced crew members. It negatively affected the outcome of the situation and my effectiveness. But now I go with my gut and know for sure what to do in certain circumstances. My negotiation and persuasive skills help convey my point of view to others.”
- Describe a situation when you were working under pressure.
When answering this question, focus on your stress tolerance, patience, and self-control.
“Once the delivery of food on the plane was delayed. Passengers expected to take off for an hour. During this time, I received hundreds of identical questions and complaints. Nevertheless, I understood that my panic and irritability would only aggravate their discontent. I kept them informed of all the changes, thanks to which they saw that we were doing our best. Besides this, I distracted them by talking about the country where they were going and valuable recommendations that defused the situation.”
- How did you deal with passengers who refused to follow your instructions?
Prove to the employer that you can resolve the conflict with the passenger without damaging the airline's reputation.
“Many passengers continue to use their phones despite my requests to turn them off. Often they are not aware of the consequences of their actions. Therefore, I explain that interference with navigation systems will cause them to not arrive at the destination on time and even put them in danger. After that, I suggest spending the remaining time of the flight watching a movie or reading a book.”
- How do you deal with friction between passengers?
Friction worsens the flight experience of all passengers. Therefore, the employer relies on your indifference.
“Loud disputes worry passengers and their children, especially during night flights. I always try to understand the cause of the conflict and help in resolving it. But if my persuasion and efforts do not bear fruit, I turn to the senior pilot for additional measures.”
- Give an example of how you interacted with a passenger who put forward unrealistic requirements.
Some requirements are contrary to airline policy. In this case, you need to refuse the passenger but maintain their loyalty.
“The passenger wanted to smoke an e-cigarette on board and tried to convince me that it does not harm others. I explained that the smokescreen still spreads around the cabin, which infringes on the rights of non-smoking passengers and passengers with children. Instead, I offered him menthol chewing gum and sugar-free candies to replace the urge to smoke for a short time.”
- What were the disadvantages of the previous crew you worked with?
This is a tricky question. If the candidate puts their colleagues and the previous employer in a bad light, they will most likely do the same after leaving the new job. Therefore, observe business etiquette.
“I spent many hours on board with a professional team where each member knew their stuff. Also, I kept in touch with some colleagues after hours, which allowed me to build trusting relationships. Nevertheless, I feel the need to learn new directions and develop as a professional, which made me apply to your company.”
- How do you plan to ensure the satisfaction of airline passengers?
Do not try to guess the correct answer. Just remember your best practices and tell the employer about them.
“I will become an indispensable assistant for your passengers throughout the flight. I will become the very person who can provide an answer or solution for any issue. My presence may not be noticeable, but I will always be there to remove any obstacles to the perfect travel experience. Confidence, calmness, and comfort are the main components of customer satisfaction.”
- What will you do if a pregnant woman sits next to the emergency exit?
Demonstrate your knowledge of safety rules and interpersonal skills.
“According to safety flying regulations, pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities cannot sit next to the emergency exit. They may interfere with the safe evacuation of passengers and crew. If I notice that a pregnant woman has taken a seat next to the emergency exit, I will familiarize her with the safety rules, find another comfortable place on the plane, and carry her luggage.”
- How would you deal with passengers with aviophobia?
Some passengers panic during turbulence or throughout the flight. Your empathy can mitigate their fear.
“I will pay extra attention to the passenger with aviophobia since they should not fight their fears alone. I assure them that the flight is proceeding smoothly and their safety is in the good hands of our professional team. Then I distract them with small talks and soft drinks.”
- What will be your first emergency response?
Assure the employer that you can take control of the situation and keep a cool head.
“I will put on my oxygen mask, provide a short briefing, divide the passengers into groups, and indicate the nearest emergency exits. Besides this, I will prevent panics and persuade passengers to follow the crew's precise instructions to ensure a safe and quick evacuation.”
- How would you react if a passenger is rude to another flight attendant?
Show your collaboration, problem solving, and conflict management skills.
“I believe that mutual assistance is the main component of teamwork. Therefore, I would intervene in the conflict and try to understand its causes. If my colleague made a mistake that caused the passenger’s anger, I would help correct it. To avoid a recurrence of the conflict, I will check passenger satisfaction from time to time throughout the flight.”
- What will you do if passengers complain about a baby crying loudly?
Little travelers cannot manage their emotions. Your task is to reach a compromise between their parents and other passengers.
“I would offer my help to the parents of the child. Perhaps his crying is caused by external factors that I can influence, be it the low temperature in the cabin or the volume on the neighbor’s tablet. If I can’t turn things around, I will offer earplugs or headphones to passengers who complain of crying.”
- Imagine that a passenger speaks to you in a foreign language, but you do not understand it. What will you do?
You cannot speak all languages fluently, so you are not immune from the language barrier issue. However, prove to the employer that this complexity will not be an obstacle to excellent customer service.
“I will try to find a person with good command of the required language among my colleagues or resort to an electronic dictionary and translation tools.”
- If you do not get the job, will you apply again?
This question does not mean that you failed the interview. The company wants to make sure of your commitment and a sincere desire to join their team. Therefore, prove your perseverance and give an affirmative answer.
“Yes, I will try my strength at the next application process. That is why I hope for your feedback. It will help me identify areas for improvement and become a worthy candidate for a flight attendant position in your airline.”
Questions to Ask in a Flight Attendant Interview
A perfect interview is a constructive dialogue between a recruiter and a candidate where each party receives all the necessary information for decision making. To keep this dialogue going, arm yourself with the top 5 questions that help you make the right choice. Remember, your activity and initiative prove your genuine interest in the position.
- How many flight hours per month will I have? The number of working hours varies from 75 to 200, depending on your employer and job tenure. It is a pretty broad range. Therefore, clarify this issue in advance to apportion the time between work and personal life for the next few months.
- Does my position involve career progression at your airline? Some airlines offer only natural career growth that promotes you to senior flight attendant or even inflight vice president positions. In contrast, others allow you to move to another department and take the roles of flight attendant recruiter or instructor. You have every right to know about your prospects and think a few steps ahead.
- How will you measure the success and quality of my performance? The quality of your work directly affects wage increases and career advancement. Therefore, you should find out who evaluates your performance and what are the evaluation criteria.
- When can I use medical leave? Airlines often provide flight attendants with up to 50 sick days a year. However, some employers do not allow staff to take sick leave during critical periods, namely Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, and July 4th. To avoid nasty surprises, clarify the policy of the chosen airline.
- Is there anything that bothers you about my candidacy? You must avoid any misunderstandings that may interfere with your employment. Perhaps the recruiter wants to clarify your answer to one of the questions or some points from your resume. It is better to give an exhaustive answer than to leave room for guesswork.
An interview is a pretty stressful process. You try to make a favorable impression, prove your professional suitability, and guess the recruiter's reaction to each of your answers. However, the more nervous you are, the more mistakes you can make. So calm down and take an unbiased look at the situation. You have already received an interview invitation, which means that the employer has marked your candidacy among thousands of job applications. You have already studied the most frequently asked questions and winning answers, which means that the recruiter will not be able to catch you at a weak moment. You have already chosen the job of your dreams and bent every effort to get it. You just have to make the final push. And your self-confidence and positive attitude will help you cope with this.