I’ve been hearing alot of buzz lately about several major airlines and their recent hiring spree, so I thought now would be the perfect time for tips on landing that dream flight attendant job! It’s definitely not easy to land a flight attendant position these days, but don’t let that discourage you! Perseverance, patience, and some handy research can help you land that job and travel the world! Here are my tips on how I achieved becoming a flight attendant.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
Finding a job as a flight attendant can be frustrating if you aren’t looking in the right places. Sites like Flightattendantcareer.com are a great broad resource for finding ALL the job postings currently available. If you have a specific airline in mind, set up Google alerts with keywords like “flight attendant job,” “inflight services job,” and the airline you are interested in, so you get alerted right when a position opens up. Sometimes airlines are offering hundreds of positions for an influx of new routes or bases, other times there might just be a few positions open during slow growth periods. Be patient if you are dreaming of a specific airline, it could take awhile. If you are less particular and looking to just get your feet wet, you might have more luck.
With that being said, research is also important on knowing what kind of airline you are applying for. Being open to applying to all sorts of airlines is great, as long as you know each airline will operate differently. It’s tough to see new flight attendants on the line who are completely blind-sided by the expectations of the airline, how it changes their lifestyle, and what initial pay/schedules are like when you first start out. Research blogs like The Flight Attendant Life, to get a better understanding of the good, and the bad, of being a flight attendant. Google search for articles on what it’s like for specific airlines, or use job sites like Glassdoor for reviews. Keep in mind that these are all biased opinions, and you will make your own opinions on the line, but they are a good starting point to know what you are getting into.
When you have an airline (or several airlines) you are interested in applying to, use resources like Glassdoor again for interview and application tips. Most airlines have levels to applying. First there is the initial application, which includes your resume, recommendations, additional questions, etc. If you are chosen from that level, they will then send a request for you to complete a video or phone interview. From there, you could be asked to attend an in-person interview, which will be a large group of interviewers all together. The in-person has levels within itself, with elimination rounds, and a mixture on one-on-one questions and group activities. It can be intimidating, but having some prior knowledge on what kind of answers they might ask is really helpful.
Now for tips when you achieve the last interview level…the in-person group session.
Airline interviewers want to see prospective flight attendants in professional attire and well-groomed. For women, this means knee-length skirts or dress pants, medium-height heels, a dress shirt and possibly a fitted blazer. You could add additional flare with a neck-scarf, but its not necessary. For makeup, go with neutral shades that enhance your beauty and possibly a pop of red or pink on the lips. Hair should be styled but it doesn’t have to be too complicated, just out of your face. For men, dress slacks, a button-up, tie and dress shoes are appropriate, with well-groomed hair. If you have tattoos, look into the airline’s policy, to determine whether it just has to be covered up or not allowed at all.
ARRIVE ON TIME, OR EVEN A BIT EARLY
Punctuality is vitally important in the airline industry, so don’t start off on the wrong foot for your interview. Give yourself plenty of time for travel to the location, and for time to take a breather before you start the interview process. This also gives you some time to potentially talk to the other interviewees, which airlines like since it shows you are friendly and personable.
SMILE AND SPEAK IN A POSITIVE MANNER
I know it can be hard to paste a smile on your face 24/7, but try to smile when interacting with others or whenever is naturally possible. Interviewers are imagining you on the plane interacting with passengers, so if you have a frown or look angry, it can be off-putting. When speaking during the group sessions or the one-on-one, try to avoid complaining or speaking in a negative manner. No one wants to hear you trash a former job or feed into negativity during an interview. Also, DO NOT chew gum during the interview!
DON’T RUSH YOUR ANSWERS…SPEAK CLEARLY…DON’T SAY “I DON’T KNOW”
People tend to get anxious during interviews and cut interviewers off. Listen to the whole question and then answer. If you are nervous, slow down so you can speak more clearly. Airlines are looking for flight attendants who are calm under pressure and who can think on their feet. Even if you are unsure how to respond to a complicated question, give it your best shot.
PREPARE SOME GENERAL ANSWERS BEFORE HAND, BUT BE HONEST AND GENUINE
As mentioned previously, sites like Glassdoor are great resources for knowing some of the questions they might ask during an interview. Formulate some answers you could have, but make sure they reflect you. No need to go over the top with outlandish lies to make yourself sound better. Sell yourself, because you are good enough! Use real-life scenarios from previous encounters that apply to the question, interviewers want to see your experience in customer service, handling emergencies and your ability for teamwork.
HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS IN MIND IF THERE IS A Q&A ABOUT THE POSITION
At some interview sessions, airlines have a presentation on what to expect when working for them. This will include a myriad of information, but it won’t outline everything. Formulate some educated questions to ask on topics you are interested in knowing more about. However, DO NOT ask about salary if this is at the beginning of the interview session. It could already be included in the presentation, but if not, save that question for after the final round (or skip it all together). Usually you can find salary info for airlines with a little Google research. Also, don’t be too eager on asking about travel benefits. Airlines know you mainly want the job to travel the world, but they also want to know other reasons you are interested in this career.
Being a flight attendant is an amazing opportunity and I wish everyone the best on pursuing this dream. You can do it!