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flight attendant interview questions

Flight Attendant Interview Questions

Practicing a few flight attendant interview questions with its answers can make you confident in those grueling and nerve-wracking airline interviews.  Most interviewers will ask some similar basic questions. Prior to the interview you should already be thinking about the questions you might be asked and how you will respond to them. Listed below are some examples of some typical interview questions. If you can try and familiarize yourself with these and how you might respond, you’ll be ready to answer them in a calm and positive manner.

Some typical questions and answers are given below:

Listed below are the 10 most commonly asked interview questions. A well thought out answer to each of these questions, prepared and rehearsed in advance with the logical sequencing of the events will help you sail through.
 

1. Tell us about yourself
This is an open canvas for you, giving you an opportunity to direct and lead your interview in the direction you want. A. good idea would be to structure your answer in the following three broad heads:
  • Family Background

  • Educational Background (starting from schooling to professional qualifications)

  • Achievements

In all the above subheads speak only that information which will give strength to your candidature. Avoid verbose description of yourself.

2. Why do you want to join us?
To answer this question, you need to research the company well. Here you can quote some of your personal beliefs, which are in conjunction with the values of the company or talk about specific products and services which could be of interest to you too.

In the event where your skill set is mapping with the requirement of the company, do not miss the chance to highlight the same. Specify the initiatives taken or work done to attain that skill set.

3. What would you like to do in five years' time ?
This question is asked to assess candidate’s career plan and ambition for growth and to see if the company will be able to provide that opportunity over period of time. Also to assess if your personal goals are not totally off tangent with what company’s objectives are. It is also to check your stability with the organization. It is good idea to be very realistic in your answer. If required guidance should be taken from your seniors who are already in the corporate environment.

4. Do you prefer working with others or alone?
This question is usually asked to determine whether you are a team player. Before answering, however, be sure about the eligibility requirement of job profile, that whether it requires team work or you to work alone. Then answer accordingly.

5. What are your biggest accomplishments?
You could begin your reply with: "Although I feel my biggest achievements are still ahead of me, I am proud of my sense of involvement. I would like to make my contribution as part of that team and learn a lot in the process".

It will be a good idea to close your answer with also specifying what attributes and circumstances made you succeed.

6. What are your favorite subjects?
It is a leading question giving direction to the panel members for possible areas where they can probe in further for your knowledge base and in-depth understanding. It is advisable to select the topics that you are competent in.

7. Why should we hire you?
Keep your answer short and precise. You should highlight areas from your background that relates to the need of the organization. Recap the organization’s description of the job, meeting it point by point with your skills.

8. What are your hobbies?
This question is generally asked to assess whether you are "desktop" kind of a person or an "interaction orientated person". It also indicates your preference for team-oriented activities or projects with solo contributions. It enables the organization to place you accordingly after selection. Be candid in answering the questions.

9. What is the worst feedback you have ever got?
To answer this question you must admit and share your areas of improvement. Also sharing an action plan for improving oneself will indicate your ability to take criticism well. Your answer should reflect your open-mindedness.

10. What is the most difficult situation you have faced?
Here you should be ready with your real life story. The question looks for information on two fronts: How do you define difficulty and how did you handle the situation? You should be able to clearly lay down the road map for solving the problem, your ability to perform task management and maintain good interaction with your team members and other peers. It is advisable to close by highlighting the lesson learnt out of the incident.

11.How do you measure talent?
[related questions How do you measure talent in an organization (or company or team)? or How do you grow/develop talent in an organization (or company or team)?]

"That's a very significant question. Its implications affect the future health of all organizations - probably now more than ever.."

"The reason why this is such a difficult question for modern organizations to address and resolve, is that while some organizations and leaders know how crucial 'talent' is for their survival and competitive effectiveness, you can't actually measure and grow anything until you can define exactly what it is, which is the real challenge. I believe that you can only begin to measure and develop anything when you can define exactly what it is. Talent is prime example. The concept of 'talent' alone is completely intangible. It means all sorts of different things to different people and organizations. Therefore the key to measuring and growing 'talent' is first to define exactly what 'talent' is - to understand and describe what it means, what it looks like, how it behaves and what it can achieve. And these definitions will be different depending on the organization. Talent in a bank will have a quite different meaning to talent in an advertising agency, or in a hospital. So that's the first answer to the question: First you need to define it and agree the definition, which is likely to be quite and involved and detailed task, because it's such a deep and serious concept..."

"Aside from defining what talent is, the organization needs to acknowledge the importance of talent, (according to the agreed organizational definitions). This requires a commitment from the very top, which must be transparent and visible to all. Then people will begin to value talent more fittingly and preciously. A similar thing happened with the 'total quality' concept, when leaders woke up and realized its significance. But they first had to define it and break it down into measurable manageable elements before they could begin to improve it. Talent is the same."

 

12.How do/would you optimize performance and lift standards in a team?

[related questions - Explain your approach to maintaining high standards and improving poor performance in a team]

"The role of every good leader is to develop a successor, alongside which is the aim to develop team maturity so that it can self-manage. This approach fosters high standards and great performance because the team is being empowered. Open clear positive two-way communications help to establish team understanding and agreement of aims and direction (and standards). Involve and consult and enable and coach, rather than decide and direct and control. People perform and achieve best when pursuing their own goals and aims, not the ones imposed from outside. The trick therefore is aligning people with work, so it's meaningful and important".

13.Have you ever dealt with a customer making an unrealistic demand?

[related questions - Can you give me an example where you've had to deal with a customer who has made an unrealistic or unreasonable demand? or How do you deal with difficult customers?]

"Central to this process is being able to fully understand the customer's position and feelings, without necessarily agreeing with them. Explaining this difference between understanding and agreeing at the interview helps the interviewee to demonstrate capability to deal with these types of difficult situations. Good sympathetic questioning skills, and a good understanding of the options available to the supplier organization in solving problems, are also vital for being able to adapt and develop mutually agreeable solutions".

14.How would you respond if you were offered the job?

Think before the interview and during the interview: How would you actually respond to this question? If you'd accept the job and you are really happy and free to do so, then say so. You have little to gain from being evasive. If you have other options or commitments that need proper and fair consideration before accepting the job offer then say so (it does not put you in a very good light if you demonstrate that you are prepared to treat an existing employer or another potential employer badly). If you need more information (about package, expectations, responsibilities, etc) then say so. If the interviewer is being aggressive or provocative (as can happen in certain sales interviews particularly) you could say that actually the only way to find out for sure is to make the offer, i.e.., "...make me the offer and I'll tell you..." (the interviewer will not normally fall for that one of course but at least he/she will see that you can stand up for yourself, which most tough-nuts will respect).

15.What would you do if you had to deal with an angry customer?

"Empathize, understand, and as quickly as possible obtain the customer's trust in your promise to try to resolve the matter. And then set about finding the facts and resolving it, working within whatever policies and processes are in place for the particular problem. The important thing is to remember the difference between understanding and agreeing - you need to understand without necessarily agreeing or pre-judging the outcome (unless of course you can actually resolve it an agree it there and then). And you need to apologize without pre-judging whatever investigation you need to do or arrange. Finally, take responsibility for seeing the issue through to the finish, when at the end of it hopefully the customer is more delighted than they have ever been, (which is often what happens when you do things properly)."

16.What will you bring to the job/company if we employ you?

"I can see clearly that quick results are a priority - and that's something I'm good at generating, because I have good abilities and experience to interpret situations, and then a strong focus on activities which will achieve change and results in the necessary areas."

"I'm diplomatic with people too, which means I can generally bring people along with me; if needs be though I can be firm and determined enough to convince people who need a bit of extra encouragement."

17.Tell me about the culture at your last company/employer.

"The culture encouraged people to develop, grow, take responsibility. People were coached and mentored towards quality and productive effort. All of this helped me a great deal because I identify with these values, and respond to these opportunities."

18.Tell me about your life at College or University (or even your time in your previous job).

In your answer, emphasize the positive behavior, experience and achievements (ideally backed up with examples and evidence) which will impress the interviewer because of its relevance to the role requirements.

It's a trap for interviewees who look regretfully or negatively on past experiences, criticize or attribute blame, or display 'someone else's fault' attitudes.

College and University are environments which provide lots of opportunity. Good applicants will be able to demonstrate that they have used the opportunity to learn and develop, whether their experiences were all positive and successful or not.

19.What do you want to be doing in 2/5/10 years time? Or: Where do you want to be in 2/5/10 years time?

"Making a more significant contribution to whatever organization I'm working for. To have developed new skills, abilities, maturity - perhaps a little wisdom even. To have become better qualified in whatever way suits the situation and opportunities I have. To be better regarded by my peers, and respected by my superiors as someone who can continue to increase the value and scale of what I do for the organization."

"I'd like more responsibility, because that's a result of personal growth and progression, and it's important for my personal satisfaction."

"I have no set aspirations about money and reward - if I contribute and add value to the organization then generally increased reward follows - you get out what you put in."

"Long term I want to make the most of my abilities - if possible to build a serious career, but in this day and age nothing is certain or guaranteed; things can change. I'll do my best and believe that opportunities will arise which will enable me to keep contributing, increasing my worth, and developing my ability in a way that benefits the organization and me."

20.What is your ideal job?

'A manager or executive with this organization in (function relative to experience and skill set) where I have the responsibility and accountability for using my skills and efforts to achieve great results, work alongside great people, and get a fair reward.' 'I'd like to become an expert in my field (state function if relevant), where I'm able to use my skills and abilities to make a real difference to the company's performance.'

21.What did you achieve in your last job?

Prepare a number of relevant examples and explain one (two or three if they're punchy and going down well). Make sure you feature as the instigator, or the factor that made the difference. Examples must lead to significant organizational benefits; making money, saving money/time, improving quality, anticipating or creatively solving problems, winning/keeping customers, improving efficiency.

22.What are your strengths?

Prepare three that are relevant to the requirements of the role. Be able to analyze why and how you are strong in those areas. Mix in some behaviors, knowledge and experience and well as skills, and show that you understand the difference. Style should be quite confidence rather than arrogant or over-confident.

23.What are your weaknesses?

Start by saying that you don't believe you are actually 'weak' in any area. Acknowledge certain areas that you believe you can improve, (and then pick some relatively unimportant or irrelevant areas). If you must state a weakness these are the clever ones that are actually strengths: not suffering fools gladly; sometimes being impatient with other people's sloppy work; being too demanding; refusing to give in when you believe strongly about something; trying to do too much, etc, etc.

24.Tell me about something recently that really annoyed you.

Don't get trapped into admitting to a temper or loss of control. Say you tend to get more annoyed with yourself than with other people or other situations. Annoyance isn't very productive, so you tend to try to understand and concentrate on finding a way around a problem or putting things straight.

25.Give me an example of when you've produced some poor work and how you've dealt with it.

Don't admit to having produced poor work ever. Say you've probably made one or two mistakes - everyone does - but that you always do everything you can to put them straight, learn from them and made sure you'll not make the same mistake again.

26.How do you plan and organize your work?

"Planning and writing a plan is very important. I think how best to do things before I do them, if it's unknown territory I'd take advice, learn from previous examples - why re-invent the wheel? I always priorities, I manage my time, and I understand the difference between urgent and important. For very complex projects I'd produce quite a detailed schedule and plan review stages. I even plan time-slots for activities that aren't in themselves organized, like thinking time, and being creative, solving problems, etc."

27.How many hours a week do you work/prefer to work?

"It varies according to the situation. I plan and organize well, so unless there's a crisis or unusual demand I try to finish at a sensible time so as to have some time for my family/social life/outside interests. It's important to keep a good balance. I start earlier than most people - you can get a lot done before the phones start ringing. When the pressure's on though I'm happy to work as long as it takes to get the job done. It's not about the number of hours - it's the quality of the work that you do; how productive you are".

28.Do you make mistakes?

Be honest. "Yes of course on occasions, but I obviously try not to, and I always try to correct them and learn from them".

29.What do you know about our company?

If you can relate your knowledge to the area that you would be involved in, it would show that already you have an active interest in the organization.  For example, if you were interested in marketing, "I understand that you are one of the top 10 companies in sales to Europe but are currently interested in expanding your market into Asia.  Competition is keen in that area but you have an advantage in that you product offers features that others do not, such as....." 

It is not only showing that you have done the research but also that you like/know what you have learned about the company and have applied it to how you can add value in the position.

30.Why do you want to leave this job after only four months?

Well, why did you?  What is the closest to the truth:

1. Job was not as it was described to me
2. Organization changed its focus/goals
3. Organization could not effectively use my talents/skills
4. Change in management...wanted to bring in own staff
5. Downsizing, reorganization

All of these will probably prompt a follow-up question.   Do not fabricate...but most interviewers have heard these stories before and really are not interested in all the gory details.  (Note that this job need not be included on your resume since it was of such a short duration but may have to be included in a application form if it looks to account for all your time.)

Circumstances also come to play...did you leave your other job to take this 4 month job? or did you 'try' it while already unemployed...hoping for the best?  If you were recruited to change jobs, there is a lot of room for exaggeration in a sales pitch, and many employees have been misled.

If you have held other jobs for substantial periods and you took the other job in good faith, stress your past performance.  You are not a capricious person---job hopping.  You have skills to offer and want to put them into good use.

31.What do you wish to gain from our company?

Excellent question!  Research is the answer (know everyone is tired of hearing this but we feel this is one great way for applicants to make a difference in their candidacy).  Determine some of the key elements in the corporate structure, product base, employees/management team or recent history.  What appeals to you about working at this company?  Go with what you know.

"In the past, I have had opportunities to work on new products being launched.  I am very excited about your plans to start an entire new line of products.  With my prior experience I know I can provide insights and make contributions immediately and I will also learn so much from the excellent team you have in place.  Having done single products, I would love to be in on the give-and-take meetings planning the new line...there is much I can offer but also much for me to learn."

Finding something specific...the opportunity to use a new technology, a new skill, to work with 'experts on their team"...are ways for you to find job satisfaction, which is another way of asking this question

33.What do you think the employee's responsibilities are to the company?

As an employee you have several responsibilities to your employer. They are as follows:

  • to perform a good day's work

  • to be loyal

  • to act as part of the team

  • to value the relationship

  • to earn the employer's trust

  • to grow with a passion for the product/service.

34.Why do you want to change jobs?

When asked on an application, "If presently employed, why do you wish to change positions", what do you put down.  The reason I am changing positions because the company I am applying at is known nationwide I want to work for a company with their background and one that I can retire from.

This same question is sometimes asked on interviews as well so it is important to have a good answer.  Additionally, if you decide to leave your current employer, it is also wise to have consensus as to the reasons that you are leaving.

It already sounds like you have positive reasons for wanting to work for the national company---go with that.  Use your research to put forth several points about the company that you feel will be a great match (for the company) and suit your particular skills and experiences.  Emphasize the fact that this opportunity to work for them is 'just what you have been looking for' because....and then go into several ways you can add value to the organization.

Remember, when asked why you left, do not downgrade in any way your prior/current employer...leave the interviewer with the feeling that you have only been associated with winners!  Do not go into the 'I can retire from this job' aspect; it can have negative connotations.  Present yourself as a vital, enthusiastic employee that can offer experience to their organization...for many years to come.   Note: If appropriate, point out that you are not just 'looking around' but are sincerely interested in working for this particular company and that you are not a 'job-hopper' but are interested in a long-term career move

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You may also be interested in knowing how to practice for those airline interviews, also airlines look for those with an aptitude for customer care, hence mould your answers so as to give error free replies to the recruiter.

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