Becoming a Flight Attendant?
Becoming a flight attendant is a rigorous process as the life of a cabin crew member is demanding. Therefore airlines use a challenging recruitment process for cabin crew candidates that can include both aptitude tests and interviews. To help you be successful at each stage of the process, this article goes through the major steps providing useful advice and preparation materials.
The online application is the first opportunity the airline has to get to know you so they ask you to provide your basic details, academic and work history. There are also questions concerning the criteria you need to meet in order to become a cabin crew member such as your height and language abilities. Remember to include all languages you speak as they can give you an advantage. Some applications ask a number of short competency questions while others ask you to give long answers to one question, such as “Why do you want to be a member of the cabin crew?”
Online Aptitude Tests
Many airlines require candidates to complete one or more aptitude tests, usually verbal and numerical reasoning. These tests look at your skills and abilities in dealing with different types of information. As the tests can determine whether or not you proceed in the recruitment process, practice is essential.
Cabin Crew Aptitude Test Practice
Even if you have taken aptitude tests before, practice is still important as it is the best way to refresh your skills and keep your mind sharp. At JobTestPrep, we have a number of tailored practice test packs specific to the testing companies you are likely to encounter during the recruitment process. The materials can help you prepare and give you the confidence you need to be successful in your quest toward becoming a cabin crew member.
Cabin Crew English Written Test
Almost every airline requires cabin crew employees to have a strong grasp of the English language. Therefore, most hiring processes involve an English skills test. The test measures literacy, writing, and oral English skills. It can be delivered online or in pen and paper format.
Verbal Reasoning Tests
Verbal reasoning tests look at your ability to understand and analyse information delivered in a written form. Note that these tests are different from the English language tests you may have to take later in the process. During the test, you are given a short text to read and then questions to answer. The questions can either be multiple choice question related to your comprehension of the text or statements related to the test where your task is to determine whether they are true, false, or cannot say.
Numerical Reasoning Test
Numerical reasoning assessments are a chance to test your numeracy skills.You are presented with various pieces of numerical information, often displayed in a graph or table, followed by a number of questions relating to the data. Your task is to use the data and basic numerical functions to answer the questions.
All airlines hold an assessment day for cabin crew applicants. Most assessment days have three major activities: a group exercise, a reach test and an interview. Some assessment centres may include further tests, such as an assessment of your English language skills (for non-native English speakers only) or further aptitude tests. The day will also be your opportunity to learn about the airline and the job so make sure to arrive ready and well rested so you can focus on the tasks and presentations.
Tip: Many applicants are advised to dress the part of a cabin crew member at the assessment day so find out what the dress code is and do you best to meet the standards for the assessment day.
As the majority of the work you will be doing as a flight attendant will be with a team, the group exercise is a crucial part of the assessment day. Airlines use a variety of team building exercises to help them determine both your skills in a group setting and your leadership skills. During the exercise, make your voice heard but be careful not to take over the group in anyway.
As mentioned earlier, cabin crew members have to meet certain height requirements. At the assessment day you are asked to perform a reach test to check that you can reach the required height of 212 cm.
English Language Test
Many airlines such as Emirates ask candidates who come from a non-English speaking background to sit an English language test to see if their fluency is at the level they expect it to be. Note that you need to pass this test in order to move on in the process. If you are feeling nervous about your fluency in English, do not fret. Get our PrepPack™ and give yourself the lift you need
The final part of each assessment day is the interview, which consists of a mix of general knowledge, competency and motivational questions. Remember that this is your last opportunity to make a good impression so take advantage! Before your interview, think about why you have chosen this career path and this airline. Make sure to give specific reasons for choosing this airline over others as this is something recruiters are very interested in. Read up on the airline to get a good sense of its history.
Sample Questions Include:
- Why have you chosen this career?
- Why have you chosen this airline?
- Give an example of a time when you worked with a team to achieve a goal successfully.
Employers can set many different interview tasks, so get the competitive edge by preparing for what you might encounter
These assess your ability to communicate clearly and formally, testing your skills in timing, persuasion, analysis, public speaking and creativity. Interview presentations usually last 10 to 20 minutes, and are prepared in advance using Microsoft PowerPoint.
Employers using assessment centres may set impromptu presentation tasks based on an exercise you've already completed. You'll be given around 30 minutes to prepare, which tests your response to pressure. Regardless of the scenario, ensure that you:
- discover how you'll be assessed
- focus on your primary aims and desired outcomes, tailoring your presentation accordingly
- include an introduction, main section and conclusion
- minimise visual prompts, highlighting key messages using figures, bullet points and short sentences
- prepare for questions by familiarising yourself with background information.
When giving your interview presentation, ensure that you:
- maintain eye contact with your audience
- remain calm
- speak loudly enough to grab everyone’s attention
- stay within the allotted time, leaving room for questions
- use pauses to allow the audience to absorb your words.
Also known as inbox or e-tray exercises (if completed digitally), these synthesised business situations require you to organise your workload. They're a popular interview test with large graduate recruiters as they're very reliable predictors of job performance, and assess key competencies such as analysis, decision-making, time management, accuracy, organisation and communication.
You'll have around 30 to 60 minutes to work through 10-30 items of paperwork such as emails, faxes, letters, memos, minutes, reports, organisation charts, policy documents and telephone messages. Your primary goal is to prioritise your items, explaining what action is required for each. This could involve responding to queries, drafting replies, making decisions or delegating tasks. You may also be given new material during the exercise.
Ensure that you:
- check how you'll be assessed, and whether you can write on the documents
- note actions in bullet form, paying attention to detail and referring to the material provided
- prepare to justify your decisions
- read all instructions and materials that accompany the in-tray exercise carefully before starting, making a rough plan based on any identifiable key issues
- work quickly, accurately, systematically and logically.
These usually involve 8 to 10 candidates, and are often used in assessment centres or when organisations have multiple vacancies. The recruiter will usually provide an industry or workplace-related problem that requires a solution.
Candidates are assessed to performance criteria that accounts for key competencies including teamwork, leadership, enthusiasm, decisiveness, persuasiveness, problem solving, critical thinking, communication and commercial awareness. Some typical group exercises are:
- Ice-breakers - Aimed at relaxing and bonding the team, these are one of the most common interview exercises. They often involve completing a task such as building a tower from straws, paper and pins.
- Discussion - You're usually given a business scenario and asked to reach a logical conclusion. Usually, no member is designated leader so candidates may be asked to lead the discussion in turn.
- Role play - Candidates are provided with a particular role, background information and a brief. One common example is a mock meeting, where each candidate assumes a specific function and is expected to fulfil individual and group objectives.
Throughout all group exercises, ensure that you:
- actively contribute, making your points clearly, concisely and confidently
- don’t criticise, interrupt or undermine others, but do politely intervene if one member is dominating
- follow instructions carefully, relating everything to your brief
- include others and delegate appropriately, choosing the best person for each task
- offer praise and appreciation for others, understanding and building upon their comments
- stand up for your opinion if criticised
- stay calm, but work quickly and decisively.
Another common group exercise is an interview where you're interviewed alongside fellow candidates. Employers are interested in your engagement with others in a competitive situation. Stand out in a group interview by displaying your knowledge of what's being discussed, and highlighting the skills and experiences that make you unique. It's not only about performing well you'll need to think carefully about the way you answer questions and the answers that you give. Here are some suggestions of good ways to start your answer:
- I agree and would like to add that… - This gives you a chance to elaborate on a point that someone else in the group has made. Be careful not to just repeat their answer though.
- Another approach would be… - Here you're demonstrating that you can accept others points of view but that you also have an opinion on what should be done. Make sure to not just completely dismiss someone else's point.
- We seem to be agreeing that we take the following action… - You're showing the recruiter that you understand what's going on, want to drive the task forward and that you have some leadership skills. Be careful not to overpower others and make it seem like you're just rushing the task.
- Does anyone want to add to this…? - An important part of a group interview is teamwork and this is a great opportunity to show you can include others and are interested in their point of view.
Particularly common for management consulting and accountancy firms case studies test your analysis, creativity and problem-solving skills
The recruiter will describe a situation and you'll need to respond with advice, in the form of a report or verbal explanation. Your conclusion is reached by collating and analysing provided information. Anticipate the type of case study you could receive by researching the organisation and sector. Also ensure that you:
- can justify and defend your decisions
- identify the real issue by looking for patterns, inconsistencies and contradictions
- manage your time carefully, but pay attention to detail
- read all instructions and materials before you start, to understand what's expected of you
- treat the task like a course assignment, arranging your material and drawing conclusions.
These interview tasks usually involve writing an essay, email, letter or report on a given topic, though you may sometimes be asked to proofread, review or summarise a document. Tasks typically last 40 to 60 minutes, and your common sense, comprehension and written communication are being assessed. Ensure that you:
- read all the instructions and materials carefully
- use a combination of headings, bullet points and writing styles to add emphasis
- use acronyms only after you’ve explained them
- use correct spelling and grammar
- write for someone who doesn’t have your knowledge.
These 'informal' sessions allow you to socialise with other candidates, assessors, recent graduates and senior management. They're excellent opportunities for you to learn more about the role. Remember to behave yourself though, as you're being assessed - despite social events not being an obvious interview test. Try to appear socially confident and capable of relating to different people.
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Written by Rachel Swain, Editorial manager
Prospects · May 2017