Being away from home so often can be tough so be sure to express your interest in travel and new experiences. As a flight attendant, you will have the opportunity to fly to many different locations. The interviewer wants to be assured that you would enjoy this aspect.
"I absolutely love to travel. My family traveled a lot when I was growing up and it seems that I caught the travel bug too. My favorite place so far has been Barbados and Spain is on my bucket list of places that I would love to go."
"Travel is the main reason I chose to pursue a career as a flight attendant. I love flying out to Southeast Asia. The layover in Hong Kong to Thailand is one of my favorites because of the food. Now, I've never been to Scotland, and I'd love to go there to see the landscape there."
As an FA you will often be in a new city and in strange surroundings. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of handling this type of situation.
"Technology is an amazing thing these days! I have multiple apps on my phone that help me to find new hot spots in the area. I will sometimes go out with my crew or take to Facebook to see which friends of mine may be in the area. Every trip is different for me and that's half the fun of it."
"If I know ahead of time where I'm going, I always do my research ahead of time and check out online recommendations. If not, I'm perfectly happy to wander around town and pop into whatever looks good."
Display to the interviewer that you have invested time into researching their airline. Show that you are engaged in the process and interested in their particular organization.
"I have conducted a great deal of research on your airline and am very impressed with the strong industry reputation that you hold. This company grew, in just 20 years, from 7 aircraft to a large fleet covering over 100 destinations worldwide. This airline is growing at a rapid pace and I'd be very excited to join the team."
"I know that this airline primarily flies short domestic flights, which I'm completely comfortable with. I also know that this airline appeals to the cost-conscious consumer who doesn't want all the frills, so I know that they're going to be focused on efficient service."
If you have a current passport: "Yes, my passport is up to date and valid for the next 3 years. I could start this position right away." If you do not have a current passport: "My passport recently expired but I can renew it immediately. If required, I can pay the additional fee for a rush order on a passport."
"Yes, my passport is up to date and valid for the next 3 years. I could start this position right away."
"Yes, I certainly do. It's going to expire in two years, so there's no need to worry about that for a while."
Taking care of patients with severe anxiety may be a regular occurrence and you should be prepared to expertly manage a situation like this.
"A person who is in a state of panic can generally be calmed down through conversation and distraction. If I had a passenger experiencing an anxiety attack I would insist that they focus on a conversation with me. Other techniques could including having them close their eyes, take deep breaths, and count to 100 and backwards again,"
"In my experience, people who are panicking from fear can be eased when I get eye-to-eye with them and I make physical contact with them to ground them in the moment before I start talking to them. For example, I might put my hands on their upper arms and squeeze gently to make solid eye contact with them. I'd verbally de-escalate the situation. If that doesn't work, I'll have them try some anxiety relief techniques, such as deep breathing."
Would you consider your people skills to be strong? What have your previous supervisors or colleagues said about your people skills?
"I would rate my people skills as 9/10. In my previous role my supervisor often commented positively on my ability to relate to our customers well and provide excellent customer service."
"Judging from my supervisors, my colleagues, and the number of passengers who smile happily at me when they're deboarding, I'm confident that I have wonderful people skills. I'd rate myself a 9 out of 10, because of that. I give myself one point of room to improve, because we can always strive to be better."
Awkward and sometimes humorous situations will come up during your shift. Assure the interviewer that you can handle these types of situations with ease.
"If a passenger was snoring loudly enough to disturb the person sitting next to them, I would offer a new seat to the individual who was being disturbed. It would not be polite to wake the snoring individual so if a new seat was not available, I would offer them a complimentary beverage, movie and some headphones."
"I'd find out what's the root of the problem is. Is the loud snoring interrupting his concentration? Is he trying to get work done, or is he trying to enjoy the movie? Whatever the case may be, I'll go ahead and give him some earplugs and a complimentary beverage and snack to apologize for the inconvenience. If that's not enough, I can also see if I can put him in a different seat."
Have you spent time on a plane before? Assure the interviewer that you are able to handle the motion that comes with working on an aircraft.
"I have flown on both large and small passenger planes and have never experienced any adverse effects like motion sickness."
"No, not at all. I've flown on all kinds of aircraft for both short and long-haul flights and I'm perfectly comfortable."
As a flight attendant you will often be in tight quarters with people who are rude, panicky, loud and belligerent. Assure the interviewer that you are able to be tolerant of all types of people.
"I have worked in customer service related positions for many years and think I have just about seen it all. I have developed a thick skin and am able to tolerate even the rudest of people."
"I'm naturally a very tolerant person to begin with. Over the course of my career, I've learned to tolerate other people's negativity even when I might be tired or emotionally drained. I recognize when I might be in that kind of state and I use some stress management techniques to make sure that my positive attitude and friendly demeanor doesn't waver."
A hiring manager will not want to hire you if they think that you will not stay in the position for very long. Assure the interviewer that hiring and training you would be worth the investment of time.
"I see myself working as a FA for the very long term. Travel is a passion of mine and working for an airline would make this passion become a reality."
"I want to be a flight attendant for as long as I can. There's nothing more exciting to me than traveling and taking care of people. I've been building my lifestyle around this kind of work ever since I made that decision to be a flight attendant. I'm committed to it, and happily so."
Share with the interviewer a bit about what led you to become a flight attendant. What fueled your passion for this line of work?
"I have wanted to be a flight attendant since I was a teenager. My best friend had an older sister who was a flight attendant and her life seemed so glamorous. Now, I realize that it isn't all the glamour I once thought but to have the ability to travel the world while I work would be incredible."
"I realized that I wanted to become a flight attendant when I realized that I love taking good care of people and that I love traveling. At first I thought I'd work for a hotel because I figured that there would be travelers from all over the world and that it'd be great to meet all kinds of people. But then I decided that I wanted to travel myself. Considering all the things that I love to do and do naturally, being a flight attendant was the clearest fit for me."
If you do have the required emergency training: "I believe that I have all of the required emergency training from my previous FA position. My CPR and First Aid was just renewed last month as well." If you do not have the required emergency training: "I have not attended any recent emergency training; however, I am happy to start that training immediately."
"I believe that I have all of the required emergency training from my previous FA position. My CPR and First Aid was just renewed last month as well."
"I'm certified for First Aid and CPR, and I'm available to take any additional training that's needed."
How do you handle a difficult situation such as a sick passenger, mid-flight? Use a real-life example if you can.
"Last week I had a very ill passenger who was vomiting profusely. We had a doctor on board whom I asked for assistance so that we could rule out the fact that it wasn't an emergency and simply a virus or food poisoning. I offered the patient a new seat in an aisle closest to the washroom while moving the other passengers to another seat. I was able to get the passenger comfortable with a warm blanket, ginger-ale and a cold pack."
How would you handle a situation such as a passenger being incredibly aggressive with you and raising their voice? Assure the interviewer that you could handle a situation like this in a professional way.
"I have had a passenger yell at me before. I did not acknowledge the insults he threw my way and ensured to keep my voice and tone even. I told him that he would be removed from the flight if it happened again. It was enough to calm him down until the plane landed. I do not enjoy situations like this because it makes the other passengers uncomfortable. It's not about my feelings but about the experience that others have."
"Of course I have. The first thing I do is remind myself that this isn't personal, and then I start looking at the situation through the customer's eyes and focus on them. I make it a mission to find out what's bothering them and how I can quickly find the solution to the problem. The customer wants me to be pleasant enough, but I know from experience that they don't want someone to coddle them and tell them that everything is okay. They want someone who's just friendly and positive enough, for someone to acknowledge their frustration and take ownership of the problem that's causing that frustration. Then they want a speedy resolution. I had a situation where an economy-class customer was yelling at me and telling me that I'm incompetent, he insulted my education and intelligence. I didn't let it get to me. I just focused on the fact that he had a problem and that I was the one to solve it. He needed to use the bathroom badly and the ones in that section were all occupied. So I led him to the business class lavatory and offered him a bottle of water when he came out. I also told him to take a couple of minutes to stretch out near the galley, and to let me know the moment he is feeling any discomfort. As we were deboarding, he thanked me and asked me for my name so that he could write about me on the comment card."
It is very common for an upset passenger to take their frustration out on the cabin crew. Discuss with the interviewer your thoughts on why this happens.
"I think that passengers take their frustration out on the cabin crew because it's our job to handle any situations that arise on the aircraft. They don't personally know us so it's easier to dump their feelings on us rather than the person they are flying with."
"People can get very cranky on flights because of the tight space and being in close quarters with strangers. They get frustrated when they're uncomfortable and can't improve their situation on their own. So, naturally, they look to us for solutions. Unfortunately, they typically reach out to us when they're already in a very negative mood. When this happens, it's very natural to not think rationally or clearly, and we become the most convenient outlet for their frustration and anger. It's understandable, and I don't let it get to me, I don't take it personally. I like to take care of people, especially when they're frustrated."
Uniforms are an across-the board requirement for airlines, no matter which one you work for. Discuss with the interviewer your thoughts on the dress code and professional standards in the airline industry.
"I 100% agree with the dress code in the airline industry. The uniform gives passengers the idea that we command respect and creates an air of professionalism."
"I think a dress code is a great way to ensure that customers feel that we're an organized team, that we're consistent and professional. I also like it because that way, I don't have to think about what to wear!"
Share with the interviewer what you would like to earn. Be sure to keep it realistic. Another great way to share your compensation expectations is by sharing with the interviewer what you are currently earning and where you would like to be in your next position.
"I am currently earning a base salary of $38,000. I would like to earn close to this, or slightly higher, in my next position."
"I'm a realistic person, there's no reason I should ask for something silly like $100,000. Right now, Delta Airlines values me at an annual salary around $45,000 and I earned a salary increase of 15% within my first year. I'm confident that, if I'll have the privilege of receiving an offer from British Airways, it'll be commensurate with the value that I bring to the company."
Happy and motivated employees usually have something that they take pride in. What is your point of pride in your current workplace?
"In my current job I am most proud of the environment that I have created with my team since taking over as crew lead. We have fun and get the job done at the same time. Productivity has increased and turnover has declined steadily."
"I'm most proud of how well I take care of my passengers. A lot of them find me memorable. It's always a pleasant surprise when a passenger says hi to me and tells me that they remember me from their trip to such-and-such place. It tells me that I'm consistently doing a great job."
It is reality that in the workplace some people will be overachievers and others will just scrape by with the bare minimum. Share with the interviewer how you feel when others do not pull their weight in the workplace and how you handle it.
"I am not the personality type to confront someone who isn't pulling their full weight. Unless, of course, I am their supervisor. In all honestly I would probably just finish the work for them without saying anything as opposed to causing a fuss. You cannot force people to want to work but you can control how hard you work. I like to keep my focus on my own personal performance and let the rest speak for itself."
"I always try to set a good example for everyone because I think a team works best when everyone is giving it their fullest effort. If that were to happen to me, I'd try to get to know that person to understand why they're not motivated to try their best. There's usually a fair reason. If it's affecting the entire team, I'll bring to to the supervisor's attention."
Strong customer service is crucial to the success of an airline. Discuss with the interviewer how you would deal with this type of situation. If you have experienced this before, use a real-life example.
"My reaction would be different depending on if the colleague was one of my direct reports or not. If the individual reported to me, I would speak with them about the situation in private and request that an apology be granted. If possible, I would upgrade the passenger on their flight seating as well. If the colleague was an equal I would likely leave it be and just take special care and attention on the flight to make the passenger feel comfortable and welcome. If the situation became a common occurrence I would bring it up with management."
"I'd approach him in the galley and chat him up, see if there's anything that's bothering him that might affecting his attitude. Maybe he had a fight with a friend or family member and he didn't leave his personal baggage when he came in to work. If that's the case, then I'll try to let him vent a little bit with me, and then encourage him to focus on something positive. Then I'd suggest to him that the passenger he was rude to looks a little upset at something and that he should check in with him. That way the passenger gets a taste of my colleague's more positive attitude."
Every hiring manager will give favor to the candidate with a great attitude - often choosing them even if they aren't the most qualified. Assure the interviewer that you are willing to go above and beyond your regular duties in order to benefit the company.
"I was raised to believe that you always deliver more that you are asked to do. I am always willing to go the extra mile for the good of my company. Last week I was asked to work a double shift because a co-worker had called in sick. I did so without complaining because that's the type of employee that I am."
"There was a passenger who was upset during the flight because he was flying to his mother's funeral. He couldn't stop sobbing. It was a 20 hour flight, so I invited him to stay with the crew and I in the galley whenever possible, and I also referred him to a grief counselor He was very thankful and told me that he'd never fly on another airline but mine."
When was the last time you took the initiative on a project or decision and the outcome was a positive one? Talk to the interviewer about your capabilities when it comes to taking control of a situation.
"Our company launched a food bank initiative last year where teams would compete to see who could raise the most funds and donations for our local food bank in 30 days. We really didn't have anyone willing to take control of the team and track our progress so I decided to do it myself. It was very rewarding and worth the additional time. I'm happy that I did it."
As an FA what do you feel are your primary responsibilities? Talk to the interviewer about what you feel is most important to achieve on a day to day basis.
"As an FA, I feel that my primary responsibilities are to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers and to be a positive ambassador for the airline."
"I think that my responsibility is to ensure that all the passengers are well taken care of, and that they're safe. Ultimately, we need to make sure that their flight is pleasant and, if possible, free from hassles and discomfort."
It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if the are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far.
"I am keeping an eye out for viable positions. Although I am not in final stages with any other company, I am actively seeking a new position."
"Yes, I've applied to other airlines. I'm waiting on a reply from one airline, and I have a few more interviews lined up as well. To be honest, I much prefer this airline because of the work culture that I've heard so much about."
What are your hopes for this career path? Discuss with the interviewer where you would like your career to go down the road.
"I am currently training as a commercial pilot and so I am hoping that my experience as an FA will help me to be more empathetic with my cabin crew in the future."
"To be honest, I plan on being a flight attendant for as long as I'm physically able. I really love to serve people and turn a negative into a positive. I can picture myself doing this for at least the next 5-8 years, and I haven't thought beyond that. I'll just see where my customer service and hospitality skills can take me and keep an eye on internal promotions and transfers."
Talk to the interviewer about any interest that you have in creativity and how you have implemented that desire in the workplace.
"I do consider myself to be a creative individual. One example of this would be the telephone sales scripts that I crafted for our inside sales team. They were lively and effective, and sales increased by 23% in the first 90 days of implementation."
"I think that everyone's creative to some degree. It really just depends on what kind of environment or context someone can be creative in. Someone people are inventors, some people are artists or poets. Me, I'm very creative when it comes to solving problems for customers. I look at the constraints I'm given and find solutions within those constraints. For instance, a customer might really want to smoke. Now, we can't let him smoke on the plane. So I have to figure out what's making him get that urge. Maybe there's something we can for him to take his mind off of smoking, like giving him something to munch on or suggesting an exciting movie to distract him."
What makes you stand out? Think beyond the job description. This question gives you an opportunity to show off your skills, qualities and accomplishments. Consider answering this question by demonstrating how you have proven yourself in your past roles. You may not know what the other candidates have to offer, but you do know your strengths and the unique ways you can add value to the organization. For example, if you share that you are reliable, offer a scenario that proves you follow through and show up. Consider talking about a difficult project you completed, overcoming obstacles and a tight deadline. Keep your strengths and examples relevant to what you may be expected to accomplish in this new role. Remember, you have so much to offer!
"I'm sure that there are plenty of other candidates who have a lot of similarly good qualities. But I don't think you'll find another candidate who is as a genuinely good fit for being a flight attendant as I am. I consistently and effortlessly give excellent customer service because that's the way I was brought up: to serve people and consider their needs well before I consider my own. I don't get burned out very easily because this is so natural to me. Aside from that, I fit in with a wide variety of personalities, so I can adapt to any crew and become a positive influence on everyone. I think that these are the qualities that make me not just dependable, but also a great asset to the company."
You want to show the interviewer that you work well with every personality even though you recognize there are some folks out there who are quite difficult to please. This can be a challenging question to answer, but it can be done graciously. Think about the person who is seen as hard to please or the person who people are intimidated by. Tell the interviewer what made this person challenging as well as their relationship to you. Be sure to mention a few positive things about the person as well while still making your point. You may say, "I once worked at a store where some of the employees had headsets, and the company owner was very demanding. When the owner would walk into the store, employees would announce over the headset system that the owner was in the building, so they could be prepared for his entrance into their department. The owner had great intentions of having a fabulous store; his people skills were just a little rough around the edges which resulted in him initimidating a lot of our staff." Next, share how you feel your responsibility is to work well with your team and help out however you can, so you chose to adapt to work with this challenging person. You may say, "I could see the person had good intentions, and I recognized that he wanted to do a lot of good things. When we interacted, I always took his feedback with a grain of salt knowing that he didn't mean things as harshly as he might say them. I also encouraged my co-workers by telling them that this person owned a great store and has great intentions, so don't be too hard on yourself when he talks to you. Finally, be sure to laugh a little about the situation along the way. It will definitely lighten the mood and show the interviewer that you understand some people can be challenging.
"I once worked at a store where some of the employees had headsets, and the company owner was very demanding. When the owner would walk into the store, employees would announce over the headset system that the owner was in the building, so they could be prepared for his entrance into their department. The owner had great intentions of having a fabulous store; his people skills were just a little rough around the edges which resulted in him initimidating a lot of our staff."
"I had a boss who was very difficult to deal with. She would change her mind about what direction we should be heading in every three or four weeks, which made it difficult to get any work done. Every time we'd be about to finish a project, she would decide that we need to try something different. So I spoke with the team and asked for everyone's ideas about how we could improve the situation. We decided that we'd do the best that we could and document our successes. Then, when she would approach us to tell us to do something different, we'd all agree to do so. Then, we'd also bring to her attention that we were having success with certain tasks and approaches and show her the evidence. We'd then ask her if she'd like to take that into consideration and asked her for permission to have a meeting about it at the end of the week. After we did all of that, she started being less unpredictable and involved us in her planning process a little bit more."
Are you the type of individual who prefers to know what the routine will be, or do you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability?
"I prefer working in a more predictable environment because I can be more effective in my tasks. With that said, I can certainly work in an unpredictable environment from time to time."
"I don't mind doing routine work on a daily basis because I get more efficient the more I do a specific task. With that said, I do like to also vary my working environment and schedule from time to time so that I don't get burnt out."
Before you offer up your evenings and weekends, be sure that you are clear on what they need from you for this position. Typically the hours are laid out in the job description, but if it only says "part-time" or "full-time" and you are asked about the hours you're available to work, you may want to respond first with, "What hours do you need me to work?" Once they have laid out the expectations, you can tell them, "That sounds great! I'm available on those days and I can offer my weekends if I am needed as well." You want to show them that you're excited about the job and that you are willing to make yourself available to work when they need you.
"I read in the job description that this is a full-time job and that extended travel may be required, so I'm fully prepared for that. What're the scheduling needs look like right now?"
As an FA, long layovers will happen. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of handling a situation such as this.
"I fully understand that long layovers are part of the job. I am accustomed to this happening and don't mind keeping myself busy in another city. I simply view this as an opportunity rather than a set-back."
"I'm okay with whatever happens on the job. I see everything as an opportunity to do something fun or interesting. If there's a long layover, all that means is that I get more time to do just a little more exploration. Or if I'm tired, I get to relax a little bit more. I always make the best of whatever situation I'm in."
We recommend selecting three words that truly define who you are, and the words have no possibility of being taken negatively. "Encouraging" is a great option. "Caring" is a good choice. "Respected" might be an appropriate choice. "Hard-working" is a commonly used choice. "Punctual" is great for those who are always a little early. "Customer service focused" is an excellent selection. Just be yourself, and remember to keep it positive!
"Most everyone says that I'm really kind and friendly, and my supervisors have always said that I'm dependable."
Before you have your interview make sure you conduct research on the company and thoroughly review the job description for any clarification you may need on the position. Asking intelligent questions demonstrates to the interviewer your level of interest in their company and with the position. Tip: If for some reason you are not prepared for the interview and you need to think of questions off the top of your head, ask them questions regarding company culture, traits they are looking for in the ideal candidate, and if there is anything not listed on the job description that this position will be in charge of. Typically pay is not discussed during phone interviews, so avoid asking any payment questions unless they bring it up first. Example: “What do you enjoy about working here?”
"I always want to do an outstanding job. So let me ask you: if you were to hire me, what would I have done in the first 90 days to make you say, 'Wow, I'm really glad that I hired Jenny! I'm proud to have such a superstar on the team' ?"
We recommend primarily sticking with the professional basics and adding in a few fun facts along the way to show the interviewer that you are a real person too. Start off by telling the interviewer about your highest level of education. Give a very high-level overview of your past position stating your job title and what your standard job duties involved. Next, share 2-3 fun facts about yourself focusing on special non-work related skills or hobbies. For example, you might share that you enjoy beatboxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when its possible! Finally, share with the interviewer why you are seeking a new position focusing on positives such as wanting to further your career or having an opportunity to work for this exciting company.
"First of all, I genuinely love to serve people. When I was young, I'd always be making family meals. My whole family never had to worry if they had to stay at home with sickness or an injury because they knew that I'd be so good at taking care of them! To me, I see all the people I serve as one big family. We're all living on this earth together, and we're all just trying to get through the flight to move on to our next destination. So why not make the most of it? Have fun. Sometimes, I do a little magic for the kids, if they look bored and can't sit still."
Take a look at the educational requirements for this new position listed on the job description. Sometimes employers are very specific and require that you got a degree from a top school or that you received a certification in a specific skill. Lucky for you, you meet the requirements and have landed the interview! Now all you need to do is know how to talk about your training! How did your education prepare you for this role? What are some valuable lessons you learned? Highlight a few courses you took that interested you and talk about what you learned. Focus on the skills and knowledge that will benefit you in this new role.
"I have a [degree], and I think that during that time, the psychology and sociology classes I took really informed the way that I look at the kinds of problems that flight attendants have to resolve."
Flight attendants have a significant role in the airline industry. They are the face of the airline as they assist passengers during their onboard experience. They ensure company safety protocol and procedures are in place before during and after flights. Traveling is a very stressful undertaking for many flyers, and that leaves a heavy burden for flight attendants to maintain a positive and encouraging environment for patrons.
A successful flight attendant should be capable of working under stressful conditions while maintaining a positive attitude. Understanding airline policy is crucial, and every flight attendant must ensure all policy is enforced to the passengers during the entire flying experience. Being able to make announcements and speak in front of a large group of people is another skill flight attendants should have. Attendants must be professional and able to handle a wide diversity of individuals. Being able to give clear and concise instructions is another valuable key.
Landing a flight attendant job will require a strong performance during your interview. Interviewers will be looking for the skills mentioned above, and more. Make sure you can give examples of when you remained calm throughout a stressful situation. Be able to highlight past experiences where you have enforced company policy no matter if you may have disagreed with the policy. Being able to work a flexible schedule is a must, and the interviewer needs to understand you are willing to adjust your flight schedule at any given notice. Lastly, being able to fly repetitively without feeling ill is a must. Be sure you have flown several times and can talk about your experiences to the interviewer.