FAPA.aero | Are You Really Ready For Your Interview?

Pilot Job Market & Interview Prep

Are You Really Ready For Your Interview?

By Judy Tarver and Claudette Carroll

Everyone knows it is important to be prepared for any interview; however, it seems many aspiring pilots underestimate the importance and value of interview preparation at the beginning of their careers. If you are pursuing any position that provides another level of experience through which you can move forward in your career, you want to do all you can to increase your chances of getting hired. Don't forget, seniority rules!

Between the two of us, we have interviewed thousands of pilots at regional and major airlines and have seen some big blunders! That is why interview preparation by a professional is so important regardless of the company you are pursuing whether it is your first flight instructor job, a regional, charter, cargo or major, global or international airline.

Important factors to understand are below.

• Knowing you have done everything possible to prepare will give you a feeling of humble confidence and help you relax in the interview.
• Pilots come to interviews unprepared and don't realize how important it is to have the documents requested and presented in a professional manner. There are no excuses for not being prepared.
• Beware of the gouge. Having an idea of the types of questions one might get is fine, but often the gouge can be exaggerated and often out of date or incorrect.
• Beware of having someone tell you what to say in the interview. The interviewers want to get to know you, not your friends. Coaching is one thing, but having someone tell you what to say will not work.
• Responding to interview questions is not as easy as it seems on the surface. Knowing yourself and how to present your answers is very important.
• Knowing how to discuss negative issues or obstacles in an interview can often require some coaching from someone neutral and will help put the response in proper perspective.
• Many pilots, especially those new to interviewing, really don't understand the interview environment and often say or do something that will impact their chances of getting hired.
• Pilots often go to an interview and don't have a clue about the company or its culture.
• Not only should pilots be prepared for the interviews, but many companies conduct technical tests and simulator evaluations.

If you are really serious about your career, why would you go to an interview and wing it? Would you go for a check ride without preparing? Without understanding the science of interviewing, you could go to an interview and talk for an hour and not say a thing that will have a positive impact on getting the job.

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Meet the FAPA team

Thomas Smith, MBA, CFP®

Vice President - FAPA Financial Services

ThomasSmith, MBA, CFP®

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with undergraduate business degree from The University of Toledo, Master’s degree in business and finance from Arizona State University, and personal financial planning certificate from Kennesaw State University.  Started professional career as stockbroker with Merrill Lynch and spent 15 years as a Vice President of fixed income securities with both The First Boston Corporation and Lehman Brothers. Experienced individual income tax preparer with H&R Block.  Entrepreneurial and administrative credentials include founding principle and Chief Financial Officer of startup environmental contracting company. Tom lives in Marietta, Georgia with his spouse of 40 years, Julie Smith, and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Client Testimonials

Anonymous

I just wanted to thank FAPA for the gift certificate I won in a drawing back in July in Denver. I just used it to order a couple uniform items I will be needing. I also want to thank you all for the service you provide to the industry. If it wasn't for the job fair, I wouldn't have known about the opportunities.