Cabin Crew Assessment Day

Assessment Day Tips from Jax - recently offered a position after 7 attempts !!

You've applied to the airline of your choice and now you have received the e-mail that says: We would like to invite you to our Cabin Crew assessment/recruitment day held at this hotel on this date no later than this time. Please be on time and wear this and bring that. This is your first test, to see how attuned you are to detail and instruction. When they say to wear a certain kind of attire, WEAR IT! Try for basic black or dark blue with a white blouse. Black or skin tone pantyhose and closed shoes with a heel. It's professional and classic. Pay special attention to your grooming. Light day make-up. Hair tied back if you have long hair.

I will try to help you as much as I can. I have been on that roller-coaster seven times in a year and it has finally paid off. I have been offered a position with a leading middle eastern international airline. Let me tell you, the interview process is trial and error. And it is grueling, both physically and mentally. Some are lucky to go through the first time, others, like me, it can take up to a year or more. The secret is not to give up if it is what you really want.

An airline is not looking for a specific type. They want to see a person with a good attitude, a friendly and open personality. Someone who can work with people. They also don't have a certain amount of applicants that have to be recruited. If only one fits the description, then only one gets the job.

Each assessment day is as different as every airline is. The day will start with registration and the recruitment team will introduce themselves. There will always be two or more. One person will always be observing. You may even be weighed and measured. Yes, it does happen. Some airlines give a visual presentation while others give a verbal background on the company. Take pen and paper with you, make notes. You can use that information to formulate very good questions for the personal interview, but I will get to that later. Most airlines will have written test or essay. This is to test your reasoning and your command of the English language.

After this you will have a break. Take that time to get something to drink and mingle with the other applicants, they are watching, even if you think they are not. After the break there will either be a cut made of the applicants or you will go on to the group activity/discussion. Here is where you have to be careful. Most people don't make it past this part of the day. It doesn't matter what the topic is, WATCH WHAT YOU SAY ! This is where I made a huge mistake the first time.

Be careful not to say anything negative, don't monopolize the discussion, that is never good. Listen to what the other applicants say, NEVER say "no, you are wrong", rather say," I don't agree with you" or "You have a point, but I see it this way" etc. Think of it this way, a "no" is like a dead end street, you can't go forward, alternate answers give you room to move.

The biggest trap to look for is anything regarding race, culture or religion. Keep your cool and think before you say anything. Saying anything negative, insulting or degrading, even as a joke, is a big no-no as you will be working and living with many nationalities, not to mention passengers. They are looking for cultural sensitivity. This may sound mean, but if others step into the trap, let them. It makes you look better and gives you a better chance of success. Use your instincts, read the other applicants and ignore the recruiters moving around you.

The longest break of the day should be here ( it can be anything up to 3 hours!) as the recruitment team will go over each application and discuss the applicants. After this, your group WILL be cut, even if it has already been done once earlier in the day. Some airlines have their personal interviews on the same day, as I had, but others have it the next day or Monday. Pick a time that suits you, but try to go as early as possible, because the recruitment team see 30-40 applicants a day. Early in the morning or afternoon(after lunch), they won't be as tired.

Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview. This is make or break. Have questions prepared. A good place to find questions is Skytrax. A website that rates international airlines and has a passenger forum. I found great questions. Also, check out the airline website itself. Go to the current events and media pages. Here are a few examples:

"According to Skytrax, XYZ airlines is having problems with the seating aboard the A123-000. How will the airline resolve this issue/problem?"

The recent cargo fraud crisis made for a great question: " With regards to the cargo fraud crisis, has XYZ airlines been impacted in anyway?"

"I see you have received 6 new Boeing !!!"s. How will this impact the recruitment or size of staff in the next year?"

Having properly prepared questions shows that you have an interest in the airline and that you took the time to research it. IT HELPS! They will generally ask questions such as: "Describe a situation where you had a difficult customer/client/passenger and how you resolved the situation." Stick to the truth. If you don't have such an example, say " I haven't been in such a situation, but if I had been, I would have done....." Improvise. It shows innovation and imagination.

They might even ask you what your biggest weakness is, this is a tricky one. Find something that is a weakness, but you can work on it and improve on it. Turn it into a positive. Here is what I said in my own interview after that question was asked: "My biggest weakness is that I find it difficult to say no to people, the result being that I take on many tasks at once" My answers showed that I am willing to work as part of a team, help where it might be needed, which makes my weakness more of a positive attribute than a negative one.

Take your time when answering the questions. It's not a tennis match. Think about your answer first. Formulate it in your mind, take a breath and then only verbalize it. Never interrupt. One person will do the interview and the other person will observe and make notes.

If you aren't told if you are successful on the day or not, you usually wait 10-14 days to hear from the airline as, for most airlines, all decisions are made in the country in which the airline is based. If you are successful, you will receive a phone call in that time, and if not an e-mail. Don't be discouraged. Try and try and try again. Learn from that experience and grow.

In my experience, I have learned much in the last year of assessment days. I believe I was successful because I dressed the part, I acted as if the job was already mine and anyone around me could see my self-confidence. I am a friendly, warm and caring person. I believed in myself and I still do.

The most important thing is to relax, smile and be yourself.

I wish you the best of luck.


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