Updated on August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
How does this position fit into your career goals?
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Is this particular position a good fit? Is it a step up in your career or - a stagnant move that you are just complacent with taking until something better comes along? Assure the interviewer that this position will be challenging for you, is a step up in responsibilities, and that it fits with your overall career goals.
"My primary goal in my career as a flight attendant is to become a senior team member and eventually train others in the airline industry. I feel that what Cathay Pacific offers is a strong path towards those goals and I am excited about what this position has to offer."
"This position offers the next steps in my career and the growth for which I am ready. I have spent the last couple of years attending additional coursework to get me here, and I'm excited to show Cathay Pacific what I can do!"
What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?
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There are some things that your resume cannot do. Showing off your fabulous personality is one of them, for instance! Talk to the interviewer about some of your unique qualities and be sure to tie these qualities into how they will benefit the company, should they hire you.
"I have a unique ability to strike up a conversation and build rapport with nearly anyone. This skill is a great help when it comes to customer service and sales. My up-selling percentages are always very high."
"I have a strong ability to lead teams of people no matter their background or personality. I can relate to many people because I approach them on their level and get to know them in a way they are most comfortable."
Cathay Pacific has over 20,00 employees. Of course, you won't work with all of them, but you will be working with a wide range of people in a variety of job functions. Workplace relationships are essential to nurture. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to earn the trust of your new co-workers, should you be offered the position.
"I feel that the best way to earn the trust of my co-workers is to be helpful, always do what I promise, and be honest with them at all times. Strong relationships have to be built on these principles."
"Here are some ways that you can build trust with your coworkers:
- Show common courtesy. Say hello, hold the elevator door, bring coffees now and then
- Be respectful in your communication, avoid over cc'ing unnecessarily in emails
- Avoid being a distraction, and respect the use of their time
- Respect their personal space and the line between work life and personal life
- Always ask if they have time before diving into a conversation
- Try to find the answer to your questions before running to ask a manager or co-worker
- Connect with them on LinkedIn but avoid more personal social media platforms
- Treat everyone the same, regardless of their job title
- Do not complain about your job to your coworkers
- Reach out to new employees and make them feel comfortable
- Own up to your mistakes and fix them
- Be timely with your followups and meet your deadlines"
How do you determine priorities when you have multiple tasks at hand?
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When you feel torn between multiple projects or tasks, how do you decide which one needs your attention the most? Assure the interviewer that you can be diligent when it comes to assessing your priorities.
"I will determine which project requires my attention by the number of hours we are behind and then the project size. I am comfortable delegating tasks when needed, but I am also aware that these times will require an additional commitment of hours from me. Never have I under delivered on a deadline."
"If, for example, I have more than one customer who needs me, I will page for assistance so that nobody is left waiting. It's essential to have team members that you can rely on to step in when you become too busy."
What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?
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There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the apps you have used and assure them that you can learn about their internal system, should it be new to you.
"I have used a variety of team-based messaging applications. I am best versed in Brosix, AOL Instant Messenger, and Freedcamp. No matter which system you use I am sure that I can pick it up very quickly."
"Our current company uses Slack for most projects. Slack stands for 'Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge,' which helps describe why it's so useful for a sales team. All knowledge of clients, products, and projects are at our fingertips. Which team-based applications do you use here?"
6. Where do you see yourself five years from now? Interviewing and on-boarding is a costly and time-consuming process for any company and hiring manager. Assure the interviewer that you are seeking a long-term fit with your next employer.
Take a look at the career growth options with the company. If any of these stand out to you, it's a great idea to mention them to the interviewer explicitly. Your expressed interest in those particular internal opportunities will solidify the fact that you are, indeed, seeking a long-term fit with them. Here is an answer example: "I am looking for a long-term fit in my next position. As you can see, I had strong progress and career growth in my previous company. I would love to see the same success with your company. I did notice on your website that you have global leadership opportunities. If I could work my way into a role like that, I would be thrilled." Here is an answer example: "It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but be sure to assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long-term fit for their position.
For example: "Ideally, five years from now, I would love to see myself growing into a more prominent leadership role within your organization. My career interests align very nicely with your company's goals which helps me to see a great long-term fit here."7. Think about a difficult boss, professor or coworker. What made him or her difficult? How did you successfully interact with this person? Show the interviewer that you work well with most personalities even though you recognize there are some folks out there who are quite difficult to please.
Think about that one person at work who is seen as hard to please. Perhaps there is someone at work who tries to intimidate others. Talk to the interviewer about what made this person challenging and what their relationship was to you. Avoid speaking poorly of anyone and be sure to end your response on a positive note. Here is an answer example: "I once worked at a locally owned shop where the owner was very demanding. When the owner would walk into the store, employees would announce over their headset system that the owner was in the building, so that everyone felt prepared for his entrance into their department. The owner had great intentions; however, his people skills were a little rough. I could see that he meant well, and I recognized that he wanted to do a lot of good things. When we interacted, I always took his feedback with the understanding that he didn't mean things as harshly as they came out." Here is an answer example: "I once worked for an executive who was very difficult in meetings and with interacting with groups of others. I took it upon myself to help this person interact better with others. When she would bark orders, I would reiterate what she was trying to say to the group more professionally. It took some time, but she learned to behave in a way that made people want to work with her."8. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work? Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace. Here is an answer example: "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!" Here is an answer example: "Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused on my project despite the challenges that come my way. I am a creative thinker, so setbacks are often used as a new jumping off point to something even better."9. What are your salary expectations? The best way to discuss your salary expectations is to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise. Here is an answer example: "Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000, and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher." Here is an answer example: "Although my current salary is $45K/year, I am seeking $52K in my next position. Because I work for a very small organization, they are not able to offer me a competitive compensation compared to the industry marketplace."10. Tell me about a time when communication became an issue when working on a team. Give an example of a time you when you couldn't seem to explain what you needed from other team members or, talk about how one of your team members couldn't communicate effectively. Be sure to include what the overall outcome was of the situation, and what you did to repair the communication issue. Here is an answer example: "I worked on a team to solve a problem that could have potential effects on our ability to grow the business and reach our goals. Each person on the team was tasked with a different aspect, such as gathering data and analyzing it. We came together to discuss the results but couldn't seem to agree. We were struggling to listen to each person's opinion. I explained my observation, and I suggested we give each person a chance to talk through their findings and opinions, which helped us take a more collaborative approach." Here is an answer example: "My current company recently went through a merger which has caused a lack of communication between the team when thoughts of job security flood people. I suggested my department head that we have a team building event. Gathering everyone together to remind them that we are still a team was very helpful."11. What work situations excite and motivate you? It is essential, for your success, that the hiring manager knows how to keep you motivated and excited to come to work every day. Share with the interviewer what they could do to ensure that you are happy and productive. Here is an answer example: "I am most motivated, on the job, when tasks are organized, and the vibe is positive. I value strong teamwork and good leadership." Here is an answer example: "I am most motivated on the job when I feel like an active contributor and an important member of the team. When I feel listened to and valued, I am excited to do my best work."12. Personality fit is important to us at Cathay Pacific. How would you describe your personality? Personality and character are two very different things. The interviewer is looking for more information on your traits vs. your integrity. This example could include buzzwords such as extroverted, energetic, and confident. Here is an answer example: "I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me." Here is an answer example: "I am confident, friendly, and a go-getter. Are these personality traits that you are looking for in your next hire?"13. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating. On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself? Here is an answer example: "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills." Here is an answer example: "Communication is essential in the airline industry. I would rate my communication skills as a 7 out of 10 because there is always room for improvement. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything. Communication needs to run smoothly, both ways."14. How do you get along with others at work? Think about your relationships with coworkers, past and present. Which ones were healthy? What were the dynamics of those working relationships? Think about what you enjoyed about some of your relationships with past coworkers. Excellent communication, sense of humor and support are all great qualities that make co-working relationships fun. Here is an answer example: "I get along great with my coworkers. I try to maintain a positive attitude and be supportive, whether I am offering to assist someone who is overwhelmed, or if I am taking time to listen to someone who is having a bad day." Here is an answer example: "I put a lot of effort into my relationships with my coworkers. I believe that harmonious relationships in the workplace are important for the happiness of everyone as well as for productivity levels."15. If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take? A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why? Here is an answer example: "I certainly do not regret the direction I have taken my career; however, if I had to start over in a new direction completely I would likely pursue my Degree in Education and become a teacher. Both of my parents were teachers, and they seemed to have a very fulfilling career. I enjoy coaching and leading others so, any tasks in my current career that related to these skills, are very welcome." Here is an answer example: "I would take the same direction! I love what I do, and wouldn't change a thing. This industry brings a lot of excitement and fulfillment to my life."16. At Cathay Pacific, exceptional customer service is our priority. How will you ensure that our service standards are continually met? According to their website, the vision of Cathay Pacific is to be the world's best airline. This mission means they always strive to excel in everything they do. Their dynamic team provides the highest quality service so that Cathay Pacific customers are happy they chose to fly with them. If you are familiar with Cathay Pacific prior to your interview, you will likely know a little bit about their goals when it comes to customer service. Tie in your knowledge of the company with your service standard. Here is an answer example: "I understand through my research and exposure to your company that customers always come first. I wholeheartedly agree that the customer must be taken care of, even beyond their expectations." Here is an answer example: "I will ensure that your customer service standards are continually met by following your service protocols, exactly. I am always willing to lend a hand and am a happy person, which creates a positive environment for customers. I want to help you reach your goal of becoming the best airline in the world."17. When have you had to shift your priorities in response to sudden changes? Have you been asked to change your priorities on a dime? How do you react to this kind of shift in priorities? Assure the interviewer that you can respond professionally when it comes to sudden changes. Here is an answer example: "In my current role, our schedule is changed on a regular basis and always at short notice. I have been able to adapt very well to these frequent, sudden changes." Here is an answer example: "The airline industry is full of sudden changes, most frequently, when flight times are changed. This change affects everyone's schedule when it happens. I can roll with the punches and understand that I need to respond positively and swiftly when sudden changes are made."18. The airline industry is full of unexpected scenarios. When have you faced an unexpected difficulty? How you face unexpected difficulty can say a lot about your character. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have encountered an unexpected challenge. How did you handle the situation? Here is an answer example: "The biggest difficulty that I have faced was my unexpected lay off during the last recession. I had to adapt to a new economy and search deeply for other skills and opportunities. I was able to earn enough to avoid financial strain and am quite proud of my ability to be versatile when required." Here is an answer example: "I face unexpected difficulty frequently in my current position. The company is in financial strain, and some days we are not able to deliver the customer experience that we should. I overcome this by giving everything I have when it comes to service. I strive to leave a good impression."19. What do you hope to gain most from your time with Cathay Pacific? The interviewer would like to see that you are wholeheartedly interested in working for Cathay Pacific. What are your hopes and expectations from your time with Cathay Pacific? Talk to the interviewer about the ways you feel you would benefit from this position. On the Cathay Pacific careers site, they say, 'Two great airline brands, a supportive culture, exciting destinations, a modern fleet and huge opportunities for talented people.' Keep in mind that the company has Cathay Dragon as well. Here is an answer example: "After reviewing the culture and mission of Cathay Pacific, I feel that I would be able to find a long-term fit here and that is most important to me. Your training programs are industry renowned and well respected which is also interesting to me. I also appreciate that you offer opportunities for growth, for your shining star employees." Here is an answer example: "What I hope to gain most by working with Cathay Pacific is an unmatched level of training and expertise in the airline industry. Your company is well known for its second-to-none training."20. List the top 3 skills that will make you an ideal team member at Cathay Pacific. When you are asked to list your top skills, it's best to tie in your rock-star skills with the requests contained in the company's job description. Which skills do you possess that are the most helpful for this role with Cathay Pacific? Here is an answer example: "I see that your job description requests candidate who is organized, honest, and driven by customer satisfaction. These skills are at the top of my list, but in addition to these, I am a proven leader and can work well under pressure." Here is an answer example: "Try to include a variety of words that the interviewer does not hear all the time. Be unique! Here are some ideas:
- Witty"21. As a Flight Attendant, you are responsible for ensuring that the safety of all passengers is a priority. What would you do if you felt there was a safety threat? Airlines will always have strict safety protocols. Talk to the interviewer about how you would react in a situation where you felt safety was at risk. Here is an answer example: "My reaction to a safety threat would rely on my on-the-job training. I would want to make sure that I follow company protocol and safety regulations. I believe that if faced with a safety threat, I would do everything to ensure passengers remained calm." Here is an answer example: "I am well trained on how to react in urgent, distressed, and mayday situations. In an emergency, my first course of action is to ensure the passengers are prepared."22. All employees of Cathay Pacific are expected to wear a uniform to work. Are you comfortable with this policy? Uniforms can be a controversial discussion in many organizations; however, in the airline industry uniform use is more common than not. Discuss with the interviewer your experience working in uniform and your willingness to abide by the dress code within Cathay Pacific. Here is an answer example: "I am accustomed to wearing a uniform at work and am happy to abide by any dress code requirements to work with Cathay Pacific." Here is an answer example: "Uniforms are very important in this industry so, yes, I am comfortable with this policy. I would love to see the uniforms before I fully commit, of course."23. Why are you the best choice for Cathay Pacific? What makes you the best candidate for Cathay Pacific? Talk to the interviewer about what makes you a stand out candidate for this role. Be sure to discuss unique skills and characteristics that will make you a memorable candidate. Here is an answer example: "I feel that I am the top candidate for Cathay Pacific because I already bring five years of industry experience. My customer service skills are unmatched, and I am fluent in 3 languages which allow me to communicate smoothly with a large range of customers." Here is an answer example: "As you can see, I am invested in this interview process with Cathay Pacific and will bring this same level of dedication to you if hired. You won't be disappointed."24. Employees of Cathay Pacific are expected to be reliable, on time, and accessible when on shift. Do you consider yourself to be a dedicated employee? Cathay Pacific employs over 20,000 people so you can bet they are looking for people dedicated to making it a positive experience for everyone involved. Provide examples to the interviewer on times when you have shown dedication on the job. Assure the hiring manager that you possess the qualities and characteristics they are looking for. Here is an answer example: "In my most recent position I was often recognized for being flexible with my availability. I believe in being 10 minutes early for work. I come with solid references who will be happy to speak to you about my reliability and dedication on the job." Here is an answer example: "I am very dedicated, and would show my appreciation for the role by being a reliable team member of Cathay Pacific."25. Aside from your experience working in the airline industry, do you have experience in other customer service based roles? Customer service is a huge part of working for an airline and, knowing that Cathay Pacific aims for world-class service, this couldn't be any truer. Discus with the interviewer your experience working in customer service based roles. Take them through your resume and highlight your customer service skills. Here is an answer example: "I started working at a young age in a restaurant as a server. From there, I moved into a restaurant management role and also attended post-secondary education with a focus on Restaurant and Hotel management. Most of what I've done has been customer service focused." Here is an answer example: "I am new to my career, so this will be my first customer service based role. I do have volunteer experience with the local Food Bank which gave me valuable exposure to working with the public, and collaborating with a team."26. In order to work for Cathay Pacific you are required to pass a criminal record check. Are you comfortable accommodating this? A clean criminal record is a must for all airline related roles. You must be able to pass the criminal background check and may even be asked to present one in your interview. Your answer can be short and to the point. Here is an answer example: "You will find that I have a clean criminal background. I'm willing to participate in any background check that you require for me to work at Cathay Pacific." Here is an answer example: "I can complete a full criminal background check as well as any drug testing, or other background checks that you require."27. As a Flight Attendant you will be asked to work a wide range of hours and a lot of overtime. Are you able to accommodate the unpredictable schedule associated with being a Flight Attendant? Cathay Pacific has a fleet of 144, flying to over 200 destinations. This flight volume means that your schedule could be hectic at times! Assure the interviewer that you are aware of the inconsistent schedule associated with being a Flight Attendant. Use examples if you have some experiences to draw on. Here is an answer example: "In my most recent position with Airline XYZ, I had an inconsistent schedule that required me to often be on call. I worked many weekends and holidays. This schedule is part of the lifestyle of a Flight Attendant, I completely understand. I'm happy to work any hours offered to me." Here is an answer example: "I am available for a wide range of hours and overtime. I prefer to be made aware of my schedule ahead of time so that I can make appropriate childcare arrangements."28. Have you received training on how to handle an in-flight emergency? If an in-flight emergency occurred, would you know what to do? Assure the interviewer that you are confident in your ability to handle an emergency situation in a professional manner. If you are new to the industry and do not have the related training, be honest about that and comment on any other training you've completed, that may be relevant or helpful. Here is an answer example: "In my role with Company ABC, I received over 100 hours of in-flight situational training. I am confident in my ability to react professionally and appropriately in an emergency situation." Here is an answer example: "As I am new to a career in the airline industry, I have not received in-flight emergency training; however, I have taken emergency response training in my current position at the hospital. I am confident in my ability to react professionally and appropriately in an emergency situation, and I look forward to taking the in-flight training with Cathay Pacific."29. Do you have any formal training in First Aid or CPR? Cathay Pacific needs to know that you can react appropriately in an emergency situation involving a passenger. First Aid and CPR training is a requirement for many roles in the airline industry. Assure the interviewer that you have current and valid certification in CPR and First Aid. If you do not, be sure to express your willingness to do so. Here is an answer example: "I do not currently hold a valid CPR and First Aid certification; however, I am happy to complete this requirement right away." Here is an answer example: "Yes, I have formal training in First Aid and CPR. I have brought my certifications here for you to see."30. Tell me about any airline related training that you have been through. Regardless of any industry related training that you have been through, you will need to complete training specific to Cathay Pacific.
If you do not have any industry-specific training, perhaps you have training that would be transferable to this role (IE: Sales, Safety, Customer Service, Technical, etc.). Walk the interviewer through any on-the-job training you feel would be helpful. Here is an answer example: "I have taken industry-related safety and customer service training with company ABC. In addition to this training, I have four years of industry experience." Here is an answer example: "Although I have not taken specific airline related training, I do have some current certifications that I believe will be helpful. These include CPR, First Aid, and WHMIS training."
Author of Cathay Pacific Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 06/19/2018 Last modified on: 08/21/2018
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