The interviewer would like to know what brought you to be an aircraft maintenance technician. Talk to the hiring manager about what has influenced you to become an AMT. You can make the answer a touch personal but be sure to keep it concise.
"From a young age, I have always had a strong interest in airplanes. My father was a mechanic and saw the aptitude in me at a young age. The moment I realized that I could mix my love of aircraft and maintenance into one career, that became my goal. I love what I do and have never looked back."
"I initially enrolled in vocational school to become a computer scientist. After a couple of semesters, my admissions officer suggested that I specialize in aircraft electrical systems. This career path sounded fascinating to me. I am happy airline maintenance is the direction I chose to take."
"I chose a career as an aircraft maintenance technician because I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather who was an AMT for the military. He took so much pride in his work, which is why I admired him so much."
The interviewer would like to know if you come with your tools for the job. If you do not, that is okay, too. How you answer this questions will help the interviewer to prepare the right tools for your first day.
"Yes, I have collected a really good range of applicable trade tools over time. If you require, I can absolutely come prepared with my own."
"If you do not have tools: "I have always worked in roles where the tools are supplied. Do you prefer for me to have my own tools?"
"If you have a list of tools required for the job, I will come with those on my first day. I am well equipped with the tools of the trade."
The interviewer would like to know your favorite part of being an aircraft maintenance technician. Tell the hiring manager what you enjoy the most when it comes to your job as an ATC, and why that particular aspect is so enjoyable for you.
"What I enjoy most about working on aircraft is that I have the unique experience of working on some very rare and unusual planes. I have had some unique experiences in my time as a maintenance technician with the military."
"So far, the most enjoyable aspect of being an ATC has been learning the fundamentals of aircraft hydraulics. I find it fascinating."
"That's a tough question since there are so many aspects that I have enjoyed over the years. Currently, I am having the most enjoyable time teaching and training new ATC's on technical inspections."
The interviewer would like to know if you understand the consequences of shortcuts in the industry and if you can handle the pressure associated with being in a career with zero room for error. Tell the hiring manager that you understand how imperative it is that you do not perform shortcuts in your industry. Express to them that you are a very thorough and devout employee.
"I understand that as an aircraft maintenance technician, there is zero room for error. Every time I sign my name on any documentation, I am 110% sure that the job was completed fully and correctly. People's lives are in my hands, and I take that responsibility very seriously."
"If I fail to do my job correctly, a lot of people can get hurt or even die. I fully understand that working as an aircraft maintenance technician is a high-pressure position, but at the same time I am confident in my abilities and attention to detail."
"I have been able to accept and work with the pressure of being an AMT over the years. I do understand that if I do not do my job correctly, there can be dire consequences. Rest assured, I am cautious in the workplace and aware of the responsibilities attached to being an AMT."
ATA is a numbering system standard for aircraft documentation. It is in place to help maintenance technicians, engineers, and pilots to communicate through a standard code. Tell the hiring manager about your level of knowledge in ATA codes. You can display your understanding by comparing your experience against others in the same role.
"I have an above-average knowledge of ATA codes. In my most recent review, my supervisor commented on that strength of mine. I continue to study the ATA codes so that I am always up to date on them."
"I learned the basics of ATA while attending vocational school. At this point, I would rate myself as a basic user in ATA, but I am studying these codes on a regular basis."
"I am an expert in ATA and have been teaching ATA codes to junior AMT's for the past four years."
Tell the hiring manager about your educational path thus far. Your resume will outline your education so use that as a guide, but expand on it. Discuss any awards, scholarships, and recognition that you have achieved as well.
"I love to learn, and I did well during my post-secondary education. My primary education in aircraft maintenance comes from the military. I am now FAA certified. If there are any additional courses that you feel I should take, I would be happy to do so."
"I recently graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Mechanics, finishing top of the class. I am proud of this accomplishment and, because of my excellent grades, I was able to land a great practicum with Air Canada."
"In addition to my Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Mechanics, I have taken additional training and workshops in pilot-static systems, electrical systems, and preventative maintenance systems. I have also trained many ATC's during my career."
Assure the interviewer that you are up to date on the public image of their airline. Before attending an interview always be sure to research the company and their public perception. Tell the hiring manager the positive press or reviews that you have come across. Avoid mentioning any bad media if you can.
"I have researched your organization a great deal and see that you were recently featured in the news for your charitable efforts this past holiday season. I enjoyed what I saw and would be proud to work for a company who puts philanthropic efforts at the forefront of what they do."
"Your airline is often in the news regarding your growth and community efforts. The last I heard about your company was the fact that you had another hiring spree in January 2018."
"I have had my eye on your airline for some time now. I set up a Google alert so that any related news comes to my inbox. The most recent that I heard was that you bought out a couple of smaller airlines this past month."
The interviewer would like to know what you dislike the most as an aircraft maintenance technician. Tell the hiring manager if there are any areas of aircraft maintenance that you do not enjoy doing. Talk about why you dislike it as well and what you are doing to improve/change.
"I dislike working with navigation systems the most. It isn't my strongest suit, and I much prefer working on the electrical components. I can still perform these tasks but would benefit from additional training in the future."
"As I am newer with aircraft inspections, I have not yet found an area in which I dislike. With that said, some areas are more challenging. Those areas include electrical writing and anti-friction bearings."
"Over the years as an ATC, I have certainly come to enjoy certain tasks more than others. Because my experience is advanced, I prefer to commit to more advanced tasks."
The interviewer would like to know what specialty you would bring to their organization.
"My maintenance specialty is within rigging and turbines. I have spent the past three years focusing primarily on these areas. With that said, I am strong in many other areas as well including marking and preparation of equipment for shipping."
"If you do not have a specialty: "At this point in my career, I consider myself a 'generalist' when it comes to my mechanical knowledge. I have a firm basis of training in test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment. Is there a particular specialty that you are looking for?"
"Over my years as an aircraft maintenance technician, I have come to specialize in organizational maintenance management and logistics maintenance management. I look forward to bringing these skills to work here."
When an interviewer sees slow career progression on your resume, they will immediately want to determine whether this is by your own choice, any outside circumstances, or if you just are not motivated to create growth in your career. If your job has progressed slower than you wish, you must be honest with the interviewer when discussing this.
"I agree with you that my career progression has been slower than some. You will see that between 2001 - 2009 I worked for the same company without an increase in my job title. The company was too small to offer a promotion to me as the next level was ownership and the business wasn't for sale. After this, from 2009-2012 I was on leave as I needed to care for my ailing parents. The growth since returning to work has been steady but those years were a bit of a standstill for me. I am ready to spring into action now, and forge ahead in my career."
"I have progressed comfortably in my career. Although it may not seem as advanced as some, I am content with my progression as it has offered me a manageable pace."
"Early in my career, I was left to care for an elderly, sick parent. Her care required more of me than expected, so I allowed my career to sit and wait. I am happy with that decision. Spending those last precious moments with a loved one is worth the setback."
When the interviewer asks about your work ethic, they are looking for specific examples or keywords they can relate to. When you read the company job posting or job description do they refer to particular company ethics? Talk about their values and how those align well with your work values.
"I am a very dedicated and loyal employee. I saw on your website that you describe your company as honest, transparent and you go the extra mile for your clients. My work ethic is the same. I am honest, flexible, and come ready to work hard for my employer every day."
"Some characteristics you may want to use are: - Determined/Driven - Accountable - Humble - Respectful - Dependable "
"My work ethic can be described as reliable, honest, and consistent. You are welcome to speak to my references in regards to my work ethic. I am very proud of my reputation in the industry."
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing with business matters. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or vice versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
"I do not lean one way or another when it comes to verbal or written communication. Both are equally important to me. If I have to choose just one, I will choose written communication as one can always look back on written communication for reference."
Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you are able to handle an environment that offers diversity.
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I am most comfortable, and happy, in this type of environment because it offers a great learning opportunity."
"In my current role, I work alongside cross-functional teams regularly. Together, we manage our business and effectiveness."
"I would say that pretty much every company I have worked for has valued diversity. Working with people from all walks of life help shed different perspectives and identify potential problems faster."
A part of being a diligent employee is to ensure that you are always on time and present when expected. It's great to even be 10 minutes early rather than just showing up right on the dot. Talk to the interviewer about your attendance.
"I had zero unexcused absences last year. In total, I took 12 vacation days out of my 15 allotted days. I was sick just 2, and those were accompanied by a note from my Doctor. Once I was late due to a terrible snow storm, and I always try to be 10 minutes early for my shift."
"I cannot recall the exact number, but I think it was around three days total. All absences were excused and with notice."
"I think I missed ten days, counting vacation time. Of those, five were for my vacation. For three days, I was excused under a doctor's note. The other two absences were pre-approved family days."
Integrity is displayed through honesty and consistent moral values. Talk to the interviewer about the way(s) that you show your integrity in the workplace.
"Honesty and integrity are two values at the center of my being. I like to think I practice this in the workplace by always doing the right thing by the company, its customers, and its people."
"I show integrity every day at work by being my true self. The "me" that you see at work is the "me" that my family and friends get. I am an honest and genuine person."
"Integrity is important to me. I was once given credit for a report that I did not create. I did present the report, but one of my staff members had put it together for me. I made sure to show thanks for the compliment and alert everyone to its creator. I took my subordinate out to lunch later for making me look good."
A potential employer will often base their offer on your current salary. You should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests.
"I am currently earning a base salary of $58,000 and health benefits. I am looking for a competitive salary in my next position."
"As I am a recent graduate, I would like to be offered a fair salary that reflects my recent education. I am most concerned with joining an organization that will help me to grow my career as an AMT. Compensation is not my primary driver."
"I am currently making $80,000 per year. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth."
Workloads will increase and decrease as the market demands. The interviewer would like to know how you adapt to these changes.
"I fully understand that my workload will increase from time to time and I easily accept that. Personally, I prefer it when times are busy, so I do not mind an increase in workload."
"In my current position, my workload changes depending on the team and their needs. I can adapt to those needs quickly and effectively. Just last week I had two team members who were sick, and my workload increased significantly. I worked overtime and met my deadlines."
"My workload changes by the minute. I keep a to-do list every day and push incomplete items to the next. Then, the next day I come in to see 150 emails and have to completely re-prioritize yesterday's to-do leftovers with today's emergencies."
We all like recognition in some way for our accomplishments in the workplace. Share with the interviewer how you want appreciation for your hard work. Through gifts? Financial perks? Public recognition? Kind words? Title promotions?
"I am very much an over-achiever and find that the best way for me to be recognized for a job well done is words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work is seen."
"I am very simple. I do not require any formal recognition, but kind words from my coworkers and superiors will keep me motivated and working hard."
"I love accolades given, in sincerity, by those whom I respect. I love the shout-out in the company-all meeting. The atta-girl in a private setting is fantastic, too, but honestly, it's even better when others know that my hard work is not only noticed but appreciated and commended."
As an aircraft maintenance technician, it is an expectation that you will be working in extreme weather conditions. Tell the hiring manager that you are able and willing to work in these circumstances. Now is the time to mention any restrictions that you may have.
"Yes, I can work in extreme weather conditions. I understand that this is a regular part of the job and I am happy to accommodate whenever necessary."
"I have no restrictions when it comes to the weather conditions that I work in. I will diligently perform my tasks, regardless of the weather."
"Over the past seven years as an aircraft maintenance technician, I have worked in a wide range of weather conditions. I can perform in any of them."
The interviewer would like to know the type of protective gear you are familiar with wearing. This question can be answered briefly and to the point. You can complete the answer by asking the hiring manager what type of PPE they ask their employees to wear.
"I am accustomed to wearing full PPE gear including steel-toed work-boots, safety glasses, helmet, and fireproof gear. Is there any other type of protective gear that you ask your employees to wear?"
"I understand that as an AMT I will need to wear protective gear such as steel-toed work boots, safety goggles, fireproof gear, and a helmet. Am I missing anything?"
"I am accustomed to wearing it all! I also come with my fireproof gear and steel-toed work boots. Are there any additional requirements that you have related to dress code?"
The interviewer would like to know if your mechanical aptitude comes naturally or if it's a result of teaching and training. If you have always had a strong mechanical aptitude: "I have had a strong mechanical aptitude since I can remember. My parents really nurtured that in me and my father, being in the trades, was always happy to answer my questions and guide me in the way of mechanics. I feel this has really helped me in my career as an airplane maintenance technician."
"I have had a strong mechanical aptitude since I can remember. My parents really nurtured that in me and my father, being in the trades, was always happy to answer my questions and guide me in the way of mechanics. I feel this has really helped me in my career as an airplane maintenance technician."
"If you have not always had a strong mechanical aptitude: "I believe that my mechanical aptitude came a bit later on in life for me. I had a strong interest in engineering when I was younger but never really pursued that type of knowledge until later in my high school years. This was when I realized I had a talent in the mechanical sense."
"I have always had a strong mechanical aptitude. Coupling this with my interest in aircraft, it was a no-brainer for me to become an aircraft maintenance technician."
Answer this in a way that does not pigeon-hole you into a particular type of work.
"I have worked in both commercial and private airline environments and really enjoy each one, for a variety of reasons. I applied to your company, a commercial airline, because I would like to gain the experience that only comes from working with a large and recognized company/brand."
"I have not yet formed a preference between commercial and private airline. I am looking forward to working with your organization and learning more about this industry."
"Through my 13 years as an AMT, I have worked in both commercial and private. Although each has their unique challenges, I do enjoy the growth opportunities that come with commercial airlines."
The interviewer would like to know how seriously you take the subject of safety in the workplace. Talk to the hiring manager about your interest in safety and what you do to ensure safety in the workplace.
"To me, safety is the most important factor in the workplace. I have all of my current safety certifications and will continue to keep them updated. My team currently holds the record for the least accidents on the job."
"In my opinion, safety should be at the forefront of everything we do in the workplace."
"You can be assured that safety will be at the forefront of my mind, in everything that I do here. In my eight years as an aircraft maintenance technician, I have not had any major incident on shift or with any of the equipment that I have worked on."
The interviewer would like to know where you draw the line when it comes to working without proper engineers authorization. Talk to the hiring manager about your stipulations when it comes to appropriate approval in the workplace. Be sure to reinforce your desire for safety and respect on the job.
"There is no situation where I would conduct work on an airplane without proper engineers authorization. I take rules and safety very seriously and would never risk anyone's job or safety just to get a job done."
"I would never work on an airplane without proper authorization. One of the main things I learned while obtaining my AMT certification was that proper authorization is always mandatory."
"There is no situation where I would work on an airplane without proper authorization. In my 15 years' experience in this industry, this has never been in question for me."
The interviewer would like to know if you have ever considered skipping steps on the job. Assure the hiring manager that safety is of utmost importance to you. Talk about your experience in inspections and if you would, or would not, ever consider skipping an inspection.
"I would never consider skipping an inspection on an aircraft. Inspections must be routine, and there are no exceptions, in my opinion."
"Absolutely not. Inspections are vital to everyone's safety, and I would never skip one just to save time."
"The repercussions for skipping an inspection should be job loss, in my opinion. I would never skip an inspection and would report anyone who did so. Safety is my primary concern as an aircraft maintenance professional."
Before your interview, make sure you have a start date in mind for the new employer. Whether you need to give two weeks to your previous position, or are unemployed and can start right away, be prepared with an affirmative answer. If you are currently working, you should always show professionalism by offering two weeks' notice to your current employer. No hiring manager is ever impressed when they hear "I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!" Show that you are professional and reliable in all situations.
"I can quit my job today and start tomorrow!"
"I would need to give a customary two weeks' notice to my current company so that they could choose if they want me to stay and transition accounts or make it my last day. But, out of courtesy to them, I need to let them make the decision."
"I would need to give my employer two weeks' notice. Due to my length of employment, it is possible that I may need to work an additional week if they were to request it of me to aid in the transition to the next manager, but I am available immediately following. Can you clarify your timeline for me?"
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on airplanes and helicopters. They also inspect airplanes and helicopters as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).