Recently, it has been apparent that those who are attending flight attendant interviews are still confused as to how to dress in a manner that airline interviewers consider appropriate and professional. In an attempt to clear up the current confusion, I would like to offer some advice on how to meet the current standards expected of a flight attendant candidate.
For female applicants, nothing is acceptable other than a business suit or a dress with a jacket. Candidates will not even get to first base if this important item is omitted –very unprofessional! Airline people do not care if you live in Florida or California, where the weather is sweltering and all you want to do is don a pair of comfortable cotton slacks and a lightweight blouse. Their opinion is that when you are working in the tropics and you feel like wilting in your professional looking uniform, you must still look crisp and neat. If you can’t spend a few hours at an interview in professional attire, how are you going to maintain the airline image working a 14- hour day? If comfort is an issue with you, there are plenty of comfortable styles with jackets that are acceptable. Air conditioning is prevalent in warmer climates, and you should be quite comfortable once you are seated in the room used for interviewing.
Believe me, I have seen it all at the interview sessions. I have seen women in chenille sweaters–great look if you are going to the mall; long dresses–nice for going to the symphony. I have even seen people in slacks with boots and a black motorcycle jacket! You name it–I’ve seen it all! But the above mentioned, including sleeveless attire and trendy styles, are not acceptable attire for the flight attendant interview. Dress appropriately – you are competing with hundreds of other applicants for these jobs, not only in your city, but in other cities as well. So do all you can to improve your chances and maintain an edge over others. I have talked with recruiters who say that there are exceptions, like the young woman who was spending time in another city, visiting a friend, when she saw an ad in the friend’s local newspaper for an airline interview which was to take place the following day. The woman did not have any clothing with her, only casual wear, but so desperately wanted to attend the interview that she went anyway, and explained to the interviewer what had conspired. The interviewer understood her plight and made exception – but keep in mind, this is a rare occurrence, and you have to be exceptional in every other way to gain this kind of favor from a recruiter! Take no chances – usually it doesn’t matter how well spoken you are; if you don’t look professional, the recruiters won’t even give you consideration.
In choosing accessories, shoes must be:
The closed-heel type.
No sandals, wedges, moccasins (I’ve seen that too!) or clogs.
Color complementary to your outfit and are neatly polished, without any worn-out heels or toes.
Heels and hose comprise proper business attire.
A professional looking purse should be in a matching shade or a leather-type briefcase may be carried instead of a purse.
For both men and women, grooming is of utmost importance. It doesn’t matter how impeccably you are dressed; if your grooming is careless, you won’t get a second look. Women, your make-up must be in colors becoming to the complexion, and extremes are prohibited. A nice smile and fresh breath are important. And if you have significant skin problems or your teeth are in need of repair, get professional help. People can interview well in every other way, but if teeth are downright offensive to look at, it may put the interviewer off enough to disqualify them.
It goes without saying that your hair should well groomed. If necessary, pay a visit to the hairdresser before the day of the interview. Hair should be:
Arranged in an attractive, businesslike style, keeping with current professional standards.
Style and color is becoming to your facial features and skin coloring.
Clean, in good condition.
If longer that collar-length, it should be worn in an upswept style. It must not fall forward or across face when your head is tilted forward.
No wash-and-wear, wet-look or spikey styles.
No roots showing.
No extreme styles.
Hands and nails should be clean and neatly manicured. Nails should be well-shaped, all the same approximate length, and should not extend beyond the fingertip more than ¼ of an inch. They should be polished either in a shade complementary to lipstick – red or a natural looking color. A French manicure is also a good choice, and clear polish is also acceptable, but nails should not be left bare. No chipped nails, designs on nails, or extreme colors.
Keep jewelry to a minimum. It’s nice that you want to wear the ring grandma or Aunt Sarah left you, but only one per hand, please. Only one bracelet per hand is acceptable, along with a professional looking watch. Wedding rings are allowed as well. For neckwear, choose a simple chain or a string of pearls. And no heavy perfumes, please.
For male applicants, the same grooming rules apply. A business shirt, tie, slacks AND JACKET must be worn. This cannot be stressed enough! An applicant wearing a shiny metallic purple shirt will not be invited to the second interview! Regardless of the attempt to “stand out”, someone who dresses in this manner will not even receive a second look!
Earrings are not acceptable attire for men at most airlines. It may come in the future, but it is not here yet, guys. Hair must be:
Cut in a professional, current style, must not fall into eyes, and the back must not extend any longer than the top of the shirt collar. Styles must be complementary to shape of face and no extremes, please.
Sideburns may extend no further than the bottom of the earlobe.
Mustaches are acceptable if neatly trimmed and must not extend below the corners of the mouth.
Beards are not acceptable, although a few airlines are now allowing goatees. Best to check with someone you know who is an employee of that airline, if possible.
Hands and nails must be clean and neat, not extending beyond the tip of the finger and rounded to follow the curve of the finger.
You may carry a leather-type briefcase.
And everyone – males and females – should bring 2 copies of your resume and cover letter, and a professional looking pen.
Image, as they say, is everything. You may be representing an airline, and it is imperative that you put your best foot forward for them. Good grooming and a professional look are not difficult to achieve if you pay attention to these guidelines. No matter how brilliant your presentation is, if you can’t demonstrate the proper business image, you cannot expect an interviewer to give you consideration for the job.