In this article, you will learn what a cabin crew assessment day is, what stages does it include and how you can best prepare to pass each one of them.
Most people ask:
Is it different from a regular interview?
Is it harder? Easier?
Do you have to prepare something extra?
Is it more efficient than a classic interview?
Do more or fewer people get hired after the assessment?
Over the past years, I had many conversations with amazing people who dream to be flight attendants. While their experience, age, and nationality differed, there was one thing in common: they are passionate about this job, and they all wanted to know what exactly they need to do to increase their chances of success. I was planning to write an article about some of the activities on the cabin crew assessment day, but I realized that so many of you are just starting on this road, so we need to talk about the basics.
A clarification of terms first:
Assessment Day (or Assessment Center) – Is a process employing multiple techniques and multiple assessors to produce judgements regarding the extent to which a participant displays selected competencies.
Assessor – An individual trained to observe, record, classify and make a reliable judgment about the behaviors of those being assessed.
Exercise (or Task) – A simulation or technique designed to elicit behaviors related to performance requirements of the job.
A dictionary definition: “an assessment” is an evaluation, an appraisal or a rating. It means to examine and judge the value and worth of something carefully.
The professionals explain: “Recruitment assessment days offers several advantages over conventional one-to-one interviewing. Group selection enables some people from the organization to observe some job candidates, as they go through a series of specially designed activities. It also offers the recruiting team an excellent opportunity to present the company and the job in a very professional way, thus appealing to and attracting the best candidates. Also, the unsuccessful candidates leave the process with a very positive impression of the organization and the experience as a whole. This type of recruitment also enables people to show the best version of themselves, often working on real job-related scenarios, which removes much of the guesswork about people’s real abilities. One-to-one interviews tend to favor the ‘professional interviewee’ types, who present very well, but who might then fail to deliver.”
During the cabin crew assessment, the focus will be on a set of varied exercises designed to simulate different aspects of the work environment. These tasks establish how closely your behaviors match the cabin crew role.
It is essential to be aware that each exercise has been designed to assess a candidate’s behaviors in performing a task.
No matter how trivial or petty an exercise may appear to you, remember that the original psychologist designed it to assess how well you display the required behaviors for the role.
The cabin crew assessment day is structured as follows:
1. INTRODUCTION and Q&A
The day starts with all the candidates getting a name tag and a number and given the “house rules.”
The company presentation comes next. The assessors will offer information about the organisation: when and how the company was founded, what is the airline’s promise to their customers, company slogan, working environment, numbers (fleet size, number of destinations, number of employees, number of passengers carried every year, revenue), association with other brands (sponsorship, etc) and testimonials from some of the existing cabin crew, talking about working for the airline and the cabin crew lifestyle.
After the presentation you will have the time to ask questions.
Prepare in advance one or two relevant questions that might benefit the entire group.
2. REACH and HEIGHT TEST
As per the airline requirements, you will need to have a certain arm-reach.
The vertical arm-reach for Emirates is 212 cm, and the minimum height is 160 cm.
The vertical arm-reach for Qatar Airways is 212 cm.
The vertical arm-reach for Etihad is 210 cm.
This mark is placed on the wall, and you should be able to reach it without shoes comfortably. You can be on your tip-toes if it’s necessary.
All candidates are split into groups, and each group will receive an exercise. The subject may be airline related or not. To complete the task, everybody from the group must understand what they have to do and how they can best help and support each other. The members of the group need to have discussions of how are they going to achieve the task. Everybody should participate. The cabin crew job requires you to be positive, enthusiastic, involved, a good listener, friendly and calm under pressure. These skills will be shown during the group exercise.
Teamwork means working confidently within a group, contributing your ideas efficiently, taking a share of the responsibility, being assertive – rather than passive or aggressive, accept and learn from criticism and giving positive, constructive feedback to others. Ask yourself what usually is your role in a group. When you are among your friends, are you the leader that takes charge and wants to answer all the questions? Or maybe you are the one who always suggests new ideas on how to approach a situation? Or are you the critic who only sees the negative aspects of your group performance? Analyze yourself and ask others how do they perceive you.
The airlines need to recruit people who can cooperate, solve problems and work well in teams.
4. ENGLISH TEST
You will have 30 minutes for the English test. It is all in writing, and it can include a short essay on a given topic such as:
“Which is the most exciting place you ever visited and why.”
“Why do you want to be a flight attendant.”
“Why do you want to work for our airline.”
There are also tests that can include a short newspaper article followed by questions based on it. Sometimes simple grammar is also included. Keep in mind that your English proficiency is tested during the entire day, from the Q&A to the group exercise and final interview.
5. FINAL INTERVIEW
Once you’ve made it past the initial assessment, the recruitment team decided that you are qualified for the job. The purpose of a final interview is to determine whether you would be a good fit for the company. The cabin crew final interview usually lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and you will have a conversation based on your resume, experience, education and performance during the day. Typically, the interview starts with some questions to break the ice such as:
“What did you have for breakfast?”
“How did you arrive here today?”
Once the conversation starts, you should expect the following questions to come up:
What major challenges and problems did you face in your job? How did you handle them?
What did you like or dislike about your previous job?What was the biggest accomplishment or failure in this position?
What was it like working for your supervisor?
Who was your best boss and who was the worst?
Why are you leaving your job?
What is your greatest weakness?
What is your greatest strength?
How would you describe yourself?
How do you handle stress and pressure?
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a co-worker who wasn’t doing his/her fair share of the work. What did you do and what was the outcome?
Tell me about a time that you helped someone.
Are you a team player or a team leader?
What motivates you?
When was the last time you were angry? What happened?
Why do you want to be a flight attendant?
Why should we hire you?
What can you contribute to this company?
How long do you expect to remain employed with this company?
Review these question and consider an appropriate response based on your skills and experience.
There are no exact answers which will fit everybody, but bear in mind that for the cabin crew position there are a set of skills expected from a successful candidate: great communication skills, working in a team, keeping calm during stressful situations, being assertive and having cultural awareness. Consider them when preparing your answers.
You don’t need to memorize an answer, but think about what you’re going to say, so you’re not put on the spot during the interview.
I firmly believe that preparation and confidence are the essential elements to get the job. So now that you know what to expect during the cabin crew assessment day, start practicing your answers and reactions.
In the following articles you can explore in more detail each part of the interview.
Learn all the insider secrets on how to be successful from the first try HERE