So you are thinking about becoming a flight attendant? You have been dreaming of becoming part of this highly elite group for as long as you can remember. So, where do you start? You probably are wondering if you have what it takes. Right? This is Part one in a series of three that will address the do’s and dont’s of the hiring process for major airlines. There is not a specific formula as far as I know, but there are some commonalities among flight attendants that might give you a leg up on the competition. As in the past, you are not required to be a nurse, unmarried, under 30 years old and have a tiny little waist. See, you already have an advantage.
There are some requirements you must possess to start the application process. Read on to see if you have what it takes and good luck!
When applying for an airline, you must first meet the job requirements in order to even be granted access to the application.
- You must be at least 18 years old. (Some airlines allow you to apply earlier but usually by the time you are finished with training, you must be 18.) This is the minimum age, some carriers require you to be at least 20.
- You must be willing to relocate. (They ask you more than once in the hiring process.)
- You must be able to fly in and out of the cities the airline travels (No travel restrictions).
- You must possess a valid passport for airlines that travel international. (I am pretty sure even for the regional carriers, they require it.) It is best to get started on this right away. If it is not in your possession when they invite you to the face to face interview, your hiring process may be delayed.
- You must have a high school diploma/GED or equivalent.
- Some airlines require you to take an online questionnaire before advancing you to the online application. These questionnaires vary from 100-300 repetitive questions asked in different forms. They are personality assessments to some degree.
- Height sometimes can be a factor depending on the size of the plane. Usually you must be at least 5’1″.
- You must be friendly!! Oops, did this accidentally slip in here under requirements?!?! Although not a REAL requirement, I put it in here because I might have to work with you one day! 😊
Once you meet the pre-requisites, you are now ready to fill out an application. This is a very lengthy process, so allow yourself plenty of time to fill it out in full. (There is the option to save and continue later, but you are wasting precious time and losing senority by the second)
- Honesty is the best policy. Be honest about everything you are filling out. If you don’t know exact dates or contact information, take the time to find out the answers. More often than not, the question will come up again. There are many repeat questions throughout the process.
- Know the right answers. Showing that you are prepared and organized will be beneficial during the process. Especially during the face to face interview.
- The more information you provide the better. Detail your work experience as best as possible.
- Highlight your customer service experience. This is a MUST! They need to know you have experience working with customers!
- If requested, but not required, attach a resume (Sometimes this is optional) This allows you to add anything extra that will help you land the job that they may not have asked about specifically.
- Always include volunteer work, non-profit work and anything else community related that shows you are committed to your enhancing your community. If you do not have anything like this under your belt just yet, I say get started right away! This is a very competitive field so as much volunteerism as you can do, it helps!
- Do NOT leave gaps in your employment history. This will delay your application significantly.
So, you STILL think you got what it takes? Hit that send button and wait for an e-mail stating whether or not you are heading to the next round of the interviewing process. Check back HERE soon for part 2 and 3 of this series.
I will cover the video interview, the face-to-face interview, image standards and the medical portion of the process. From start to finish the hiring process can take as little as a few months or as long as upward of a year or more. This is a very lengthy and detailed process, so be prepared to sit back and enjoy the ride.
*I am not an airline recruiter and by following the advice on this post, it does not guarantee you will be hired.
This is the second post in a series of three in hopes of landing that coveted position as a glamorous flight attendant. The odds are very slim when getting hired as a flight attendant. When I say this, I mean it. I will not sugarcoat it, many will apply, few will get selected. Do not let this discourage you, but have an open mind when going through this process and keep trying. Over the last two years, one major US airline accepted over 240,000 flight attendant applications and hired a fraction of that number. Approximately 3,100 to be exact. That puts the odds at a staggering .0129% of being selected. It might be easier to get into Harvard! I say all of this to prepare you, not to discourage you.
We covered the pre-requisites and the application process in Part One. This post I will address the video interview as well as the face-to-face interview and image preparation. In Part Three we will cover the medical portion of the hiring process as well as FAQ’s.
3. VIDEO INTERVIEW
This is a link sent via e-mail. Some airlines use this tool to get a preview of the applicant before actually having to fly them out to the formal interview. They ask a few questions to see if you can follow directions and are able to articulate your words. They are also looking to see if you have visible tattoos or piercings on your face. Image is an important aspect of hiring flight attendants. They are the face of the company. Flight attendants spend the most amount of time with the customer and need to be a good representation for their brand.
4. FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEW
If you are one of the lucky ones, you have met the pre-requisites, you passed the application portion of the process, you were invited to and passed the video interview and now you get the call saying you are invited to the coveted face-to-face interview. Now, you have to step up your A game. Preparing for this portion is imperative of your success. The face-to-face interview needs to be taken very seriously. Usually it will include a group exercise, both a one-on-one and group interview and a written essay. The entire interview can be as short as two hours but may sometimes take up to five or six hours. If at the end of the day you have caught a recruiters eye, they usually will keep you there for fingerprinting and paperwork. Not always, but most of the time, if you get fingerprinted, Congratulations! They think you have what it takes and are interested in hiring you! Whew, was that worth it? We seem to think so. The turn over rate for flight attendants is very small. Once they are hired the first year has the biggest drop off rate. Those who can’t seem to do the commute, didn’t expect the job to be what it was or other varying factors. Most of us love the benefits so much, we never leave! Come fly with us!
- Outfit- When choosing your outfit, cater toward the color of uniform the airline you are applying. A solid dark colored suit/skirt is best. Use dark shades of black, grey, navy or brown. Subtle pinstripes are okay, but NOT bright fabrics and prints! Be sure your suit is pressed and does not have wrinkles, stains or holes. A solid white dress shirt underneath is best. Males- a Subtle tie is welcomed and pulls your suit together nicely. Wear a solid pair of socks. Females- a cute scarf will add a bit of pop to your suit. Nylons are a MUST!
- Hair: A clean cut and groomed look always bodes well. Natural hair colors are a must. No bright colors! This is frowned upon. Females- pull your hair back out of your face and do away with the “whispy’s” (fly away, straggler, extra hair around the face) Males- do yourself a favor and get a haircut and shave your facial hairs.
- Hands: Have manicured looking hands. Nails that are too long are frowned upon. Females- a red nail polish to match your lipstick looks great!
- Shoes: A solid dark color to match your suit looks best. Females- a medium high heel is perfect. Do not wear three inch heels or wedges, save that for the club scene. Males- Nice solid dress shoes are perfect. Be sure to polish your shoes before you show up at your interview.
- Make-up: Natural colors are always best. If you normally wear a lot of makeup, wear less. If you don’t normally wear makeup, wear at least some rouge, mascara and a red tinted lipstick.
- Jewelry: a cute simple necklace is acceptable. One pair of basic earrings is normal uniform protocol. I suggest a pearl necklace and earring combo. It is always classy and sophisticated looking.
- Tattoos and piercings: No visible tattoos or piercing. You may have tattoos to get hired but must be able to cover them while working. So bear this in mind when you go to your interview. I suggest one pair of earrings and make your tattos disappear (cover them) during both the video and face-to-face interview. You will be asked numerous times throughout this process about tattoos. Do NOT lie about your tattoos, they do find out! If you lie about this small thing, they will not continue the process.
Ensuring a clean cut professional look will only give you an advantage in such a competitive field of applicants. Good luck!
Have you heard the term deadheading? As a flight attendant the word is used quite often. We look forward to deadheading on a flight.
As defined by dictionary.search.yahoo.com:
- 1. A person who uses a free ticket for admittance, accommodation, or entertainment.
- 2. A vehicle, such as an aircraft, that transports no passengers or freight during a trip.
- 3. A person regarded as dull-witted or sluggish.
In my case definition number one best applies!
I am being transported on a plane to get to a different location, while not working, I am in uniform. On a really good day, you get a seat like the one above. On a bad day, you might be stuck in a middle seat. Today, my friends, is one of those good days. First class is a nice treat every once in awhile.
While deadheading, we are not being paid the full flight hours, but, half the flight time will be credited to our account. Although, the full amount of flight time would be nice, I am good with some flight time hours. I am not actually working if I am sitting here, doing this: