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Airline Customer Service Agent Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 25

Have you had any cash handling experience during your career at any point, as it would relate to customer transactions?

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Airline Customer Service Agent Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Have you had any cash handling experience during your career at any point, as it would relate to customer transactions?

      Part of your duties, if you were hired as the next Customer Service Agent, would be receiving payment from customers for flight tickets. Payment from customers definitely could be in person at the airport, so having experience here is a plus. If you have any sort of cashier or other cash handling experience, be sure to let your interviewer know what that job entailed in this regard. If you don't have direct experience, try to study the important aspects of cashier-type duties to be able to speak to your ability to handle this part of the job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "As you can see from my resume, I worked as a cashier for a large grocery store chain during my final year of high school and while I earned my associate degree. Cashier duties required a strict attention to detail when accepting cash transactions and counting change back to customers. I also was trained to follow guidelines when accepting written checks and testing large bills for counterfeiting. A lot of transactions were also handled by credit or debit cards and I had to help customers work the self service pad for transactions. At the end of each shift, I was responsible for balancing the cash and checks in my till against the transaction registered. During my three years on this job, I never had an issue with an imbalance at the end of a shift."

  2. 2.

    As our next Customer Service Agent, you will be expected to know many facets of our business. Have you ever held a role where knowing your business from back to front was necessary for your role?

      Airline Customer Service Agents are often the face of the company to customers. In this role, you will be expected to know all of the details on flight scheduling, ticketing, baggage policies, and many other areas of the business, so you can explain details to customers in your interactions with them. To get at your ability to be as knowledgeable as possible in this role, your interviewer is asking this question to see if you've had to do this in any previous roles you've held. As you answer this question, talk about the position you've held that required a vast knowledge base about the organization you worked for, and explain why having that knowledge was critical to the role. Make sure that you also reiterate to your interviewer that you are willing to learn and master every aspect necessary for this role.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role, I work with customers over the phone and with those who come into our location in-person, and I'm most often the first face they see. To best help meet their needs, I know our entire product catalog off the top of my head and also know our entire sales and marketing teams to be able to direct customers to the right person, when necessary. When I was hired for my current job five years ago, I took it upon myself to familiarize myself and learn our products and staff in a short amount of time to be the expert representative of my organization and, if hired for this role, I would work hard from the start to gain this same level of expertise in this role."

  3. 3.

    In this role, you would be expected to come to work each shift in uniform and neatly groomed. Would you have any issues in doing this?

      Appearance to customers is huge in the commercial airline industry and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you will take pride in your appearance by being neatly groomed and in uniform for work each day. Prior to your interview, try to research the particular image standards that the airline you are interviewing with has, and be able to speak about the standards and your compliance during the interview.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I would not have any issues with the dress policies that you have in place for your staff. I really love the uniforms that are required for the job and would take a lot of pride in wearing it each day. I am aware of other accessory and grooming policies that your airline has. I do have a tattoo on my upper arm that would never be exposed, and I always keep my hair neatly styled and cut on a regular basis."

  4. 4.

    Our staff are expected to withhold the highest standards of professionalism while on the job. What does being professional mean to you on the job?

      If you have ever flown commercially, you know that all staff of the airlines look the part and walk the part of being a true professional on the job and with this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you'll bring a professional attitude and demeanor to the Customer Service Agent job, if you are selected for the role. As you respond to the question of what being a professional on the job means to you, it is important to understand that professionalism is defined as the level of excellence that is expected of a professional, and that this definition directly applies to this role in the way that you handle yourself and your service to others while on the job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I've always prided myself on being a true professional in any job that I've held during my career. For this job as a Customer Service Agent, that would mean coming to work each day well groomed and in uniform, well rested, and ready to go. From there, my professionalism would be on display by the way that I reflect the airline's core values of honesty, integrity, pride, and excellence in all that I do."

  5. 5.

    Talk about a time that you identified an area for improvement on the job in the past. How did you go about ensuring that changes were made, and why did you take this course of action?

      By posing this question to you, your interviewer is looking to hear that you are a forward thinker who is always looking for ways to improve the overall customer experience. As you reflect back upon your career, try to think of a time when you can demonstrate your ability to identify a problem, hypothesize a solution, and then set the wheels in motion to make the change a reality. As you answer, make sure to talk about the resources you used to help make the change.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current job, we were having a big issue in regard to customer wait times on our phone system around five years ago due to a new product line we were selling that was generating a ton of traffic. As one of the front line staff who was talking with customers after really long waiting times, it didn't take long to realize that customers were very upset. I knew that there were great options out there for automated phone systems to route customers to the correct person, but our management had been hesitant in the past to utilize a system like that. I made the decision to monitor our customer wait times and track the number of complaints that we were getting for a week long period before approaching our management about the need for an upgraded phone system. After seeing the data, they were supportive of the idea, and I led a team of staff that demoed new systems in the coming months."

  6. 6.

    This position would require a background and employment verification check. Would you have any issues being subjected to this?

      Prior to applying to and interviewing for this role as an Airline Customer Service Agent, it is important to know that both the TSA and FAA have strict regulations for background checks for airline staff. They require commercial airlines to run criminal background checks on prospective employees, and there is a specific list of criminal activities that can automatically disqualify your candidacy for the job. As well, they do require that an employment verification check does take place as well, where the airline will look into at least the last 10 years of your employment history. At this point in your interview, you need to be open and honest about any gaps in employment that you have and any blemishes that you have on your criminal record. Keep in mind, you should explain any gaps in employment with a legitimate reason, and you should address anything on your criminal record, even if it is something as small as a simple speeding violation in a vehicle.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have no issue being subjected to a criminal background check and employment verification. My current employer is required to run a criminal background check on our staff every two years. As you can see from my resume, I have no gaps in employment over the last 15 years of my career since high school. The only item that shows up on my criminal record is a reckless driving violation I received eight years ago for driving too fast in icy conditions and hitting a tree alongside the roadway."

  7. 7.

    Our Customer Service Agents need to have the ability to say no to our customers at times. How would you approach a customer who is hoping for a ticket on an upcoming flight that is sold out?

      In any customer service and sales type role, the ability to say no to a customer in a professional and even educational manner is extremely important, and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are able to do just that. On top of letting the customer know that you can't meet their need with this particular request, it is more important that you use your ability to problem solve and provide the best service possible by taking the time to search for more options for the customer. As you answer, keep this in mind.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In this particular situation, I would be very upfront with the customer and let them know that their desired flight is sold out and would refer to any particular policies that the airline has about overbooking with the customer. To try and help them find a solution, I would work with them to find other available flights that would meet their schedule. I would look at alternate routing, if necessary, and once again work within policies on pricing for the customer."

  8. 8.

    At our airline, teamwork is the key to providing the best overall experience to our customers. How do you work as part of a larger team?

      While it may be easy to assume that working as a Customer Service Agent is a solitary job working with customers, the truth is that you'll be working as part of a much larger team within the airline towards one overall goal--to provide the best service possible to all customers. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are an agile team player who gets along well with others, is able to take direction, and is able to grab the bull by the horns and take the lead, when needed. In your answer to this question, don't hesitate to give examples of how you've worked as part of a larger team in the past.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I really thrive working in a team based environment, and that really drew me to applying for this position. If you were to talk to my references or any past colleague and manager, they would tell you that I am reliable in doing what I say and saying what I do at all times. They would tell you that I have excellent communication skills, the ability to problem solve as part of a larger team, and that I bring a positive attitude to work on a daily basis. From my own perspective, I have the ability to take direction from others and also to take the lead on things when I am the expert in any situation."

  9. 9.

    What do you consider your greatest accomplishment during your career?

      Some people consider a question like this to be a softball question during a job interview, but it is important to know that your interviewer is likely looking to gain insight into what you consider important in your work and how you get things done while on the job. Prior to your interview, be sure to really think about what you truly believe is your greatest accomplishment during your career and make sure that it highlights some key qualities for this role as a Customer Service Agent. As you answer, speak with enthusiasm and detail to really sell your interviewer on your answer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I consider my greatest accomplishment to be the time I helped lead a team of colleagues on a project to maximize our efficiency as a department. This came at the request of our department director, and she tasked me with being the lead on the project because of my knowledge and experience in the department. I took the time to evaluate the two to three others I would invite to the project team and selected them based on their performance within the department. I organized weekly meetings for us to meet, and we started with brainstorming ideas and then putting our ideas into action. In just three short months, we took a handful of proposals to our director that involved redistributing duties among our staff to be more streamlined in our work. Looking back on this two years later, it's amazing how successful this work was and I am so proud to have taken the lead on it."

  10. 10.

    What is one advantage that our airline has over our competition?

      As a Customer Service Agent, you will often be the face of the airline to customers. With this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear two distinct things in your answer. First and foremost, they'll be looking to hear that you have done your homework on their airline and understand what sets them apart from other airlines. Second, they'll be looking to hear that you have a bit of a sales side in being able to talk about this advantage, as you would do for customers, if hired for this role. Prior to your interview, be sure to research the airline you will be interviewing with to be able to talk about a unique advantage they have over their competition, so you can explain this with confidence.

      Ryan's Answer

      "What is really drawing me to work for your airline is the great ticket pricing and the traveler amenities that you provide, which I experienced last year as a passenger. Your complete dominance at ticket pricing make this airline one of the most preferred to travel on. As a passenger who received the best rate with your airline, I was thoroughly impressed by the free DirecTV with my coach seat for my four hour flight, and this would be a great thing to point out to potential customers who wouldn't receive that from other airlines."

  11. 11.

    If a customer approached you with a question or request that you weren't sure how to respond to, what would be the next steps you would take?

      Looking to dive into your ability to problem solve with this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are quick and resourceful, while continuing to provide great service to the customer. Describe the upfront and honest approach you would take with your customer and set a timeline for finding them an answer. Then, explain the steps you would take to find the right person with the answer. The keys to displaying your ability to help customers in this situation are honesty, timeliness, and follow-up with the customer.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current role handling incoming customer calls to our business, I am often asked questions that I don't know the answer to. In these situations, I let the customer know that I will get them in touch with the best person to answer their question and do so right away. I let them know that if they get a voicemail, they can leave a message and the call will be returned shortly. In these situations, it is important that I know our staff, their expertise, and their daily schedules to be able to get customers in touch with the right person. In this role working for a much larger airline, it will also be important that I know the staff well and the types of colleagues best suited to answer customer questions. I would let the customer know that I am unable to answer their question, but that I want to make sure it gets answered, and I'd work quickly to contact the right person for the answer."

  12. 12.

    Talk about a time you had to deal with an unreasonable person in the workplace. How did you handle that situation with ease?

      Travelers can often be very unreasonable to deal with for airline staff and your interviewer needs to hear that you have a calm, cool, and collected approach to handling unreasonable customers, if hired for this job. Whether a customer is experiencing a major delay that requires a change of personal plans or a customer is traveling for a life altering reason, you need to approach them with empathy and professionalism no matter what that situation brings your way. The example you share can be from an experience with a colleague, manager, or customer, just make sure that you can explain your approach with the unreasonable customer by setting the stage for the situation and explaining how your actions provided a positive outcome.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having worked in the food industry at an early age in high school, I learned lessons pretty quickly on how to deal with unreasonable customers. One shift I was working as the night lead, we had a very angry customer from our drive through who came into the store after receiving his order. He was berating our cashier and having heard this from the kitchen area, I immediately went out to try and calm the situation down. He demanded that he receive a full refund for his order because the meal he had ordered had ketchup on the sandwich, and he wasn't aware of that. I explained to him that while our drive through menu did explain all condiments on the sandwiches, I'd be happy to have another sandwich made to his order at no extra cost. While he still mumbled a few extra words after that response, I know he got the point that he was being very out of line to our staff for his mistake, and he apologized to our cashier after receiving his new sandwich. In any situation like this, it is important to maintain a professional approach, even when someone is out of line."

  13. 13.

    What appeals to you most about being our next Customer Service Agent?

      With this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear about your personal motivation for seeking this position with their airline. To really sell them on your ability to join their team and make an immediate impact now and into the future, try to focus your answer on the customer service aspects of the job because it is the heart and soul of the role and should be the reason why you are applying for this position. Prior to your interview, try to research the mission and values of the organization and touch on some points that relate to their mission and values.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Throughout my career, I've been working my way towards a role that is customer facing and customer focused in every aspect of the job, and after carefully researching my next move, this position is perfect for my skillset and career goals. I chose your airline because my values align closely with your community engagement initiatives, sustainability efforts, and diverse culture of staff."

  14. 14.

    Safety and security are extremely important in the airport setting. How can you help foster a culture of safety for our staff and customers?

      To help keep passengers, flight crews, and all other airline staff safe and well, the airline industry has strict safety requirements that all employees need to adhere to. To add to that, specific airports also have many safety and security protocols that all passengers and staff must adhere to. By posing this question during your interview, your interviewer is looking to get a sense that you believe in safety first and will both obey all safety and security measures and promote them among your coworkers. As you answer this question, try to focus on an anecdote of when you needed to be focused on safety on the job, and explain your overall mindset towards safety to ensure that your interviewer walks away from your interview knowing that you are a safety-minded individual.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I'm a very caring individual who wants people to be safe and happy at all times, so I put a lot of effort into ensuring that the workplace is as safe as it can be for all people who enter it. In my current job, I focus on safety by ensuring that lobby areas are clean and free of germs, and that there is no clutter in travel areas that would make for a tripping hazard. I understand that there are very strict safety and security measures in the airport setting, and I would make it a priority to learn those measures in my first days on the job."

  15. 15.

    Our Customer Service Agents need to know and adhere by the FAA's regulations and policies on a daily basis. Have you worked in a job in the past where adherence to local, state, or federal laws was important?

      The Federal Aviation Administration is the controlling force over the commercial airline industry and its policies and regulations impact the day to day jobs of every staff member of an airline. While your interviewer won't be looking for you to know the FAA regulations off the top of your head, they will be looking to hear that you have the ability to play by the rules if you are hired for this position. As you prepare for you interview, think back to a job you held where adherence to regulations was important in the work you performed, describe that experience to the interviewer, and explain the steps you took to ensure you were following all policies. If you don't have exact experience with more government set regulations, reassure your interviewer that you are a team player who follows the rules by talking about other roles where company rules dictated your work.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my time in the restaurant industry, we had to follow strict FDA and OSHA guidelines in our work. In my job, that was ensuring that cooler temperatures were taken and recorded at set times each day, making sure all packaged food was labeled with an expiration date and all uneaten food was disposed of properly and timely. Very quickly after starting this job, the importance of following all of these regulations was instilled in me by my manager. If hired for this role, I would make sure that I learn and adhere to all FAA regulations while on the job."

  16. 16.

    Talk about a job where you had to multitask your duties each day. What did you do to stay organized and on task throughout the day?

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  17. 17.

    Have you every had a job where you provided service over the phone? What key skills from that experience would you bring with to this role?

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  18. 18.

    Part of this role will entail escorting passengers to and from flights in a timely manner. What interpersonal skills do you have that will make you excel in this aspect of the job?

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  19. 19.

    Our Customer Service Agents help with ensuring that aircraft are prepared for flight inside the cabin. Do you have any cleaning and/or stocking experience during your career?

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  20. 20.

    Our Customer Service Agents often have to handle unique requests from our customers with a smile on their face. Talk about a time you had to handle a unique request that fell outside of your typical job duties. Why did you oblige the request?

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  21. 21.

    At times in this role, you may be required to transport passengers via a shuttle van. Do you have a valid driver's license and a clean driving record?

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  22. 22.

    Describe a time you had to explain something complex to a colleague or customer. How did you handle this conversation to ensure that the message was conveyed?

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  23. 23.

    How would you describe your communication style?

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  24. 24.

    If hired as our next Customer Service Agent, you would be expected to train diligently on our software programs during your orientation process so you can hit the ground running. How would you rate your ability to do this?

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  25. 25.

    If you were on the phone with a customer that was demanding that you match the ticket pricing of a competitor airline, how would you handle that situation?

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