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How to become a flight attendant

Q&A with an anonymous Jetstar recruit.

Q:What is the process to become a flight attendant?

A: Each stage is an elimination round.

Firstly, an online application which asks you basic information including height, previous hospitality or customer service experience, attach your resume and a full length photo.

Secondly, a phone interview in which they discuss your application and ask questions on why you want to work for the company, what you will bring to the company etc.

Thirdly, an assessment day.  At this stage you go to the assessment center for a day. This day was really intense, with about 100 people there.

You start off with a quiz (map of the world, phonetic alphabet and abbreviations in the aviation industry).

Then you do a group task.

We had a list of 6 famous people and we had to save five and talk about who we wanted to save and why, and present it to the room.

Then you have a one-on-one interview. It was simple asking questions, similar to the ones in the phone interview.

Then everyone goes to lunch. After lunch they call out names – those people whose names are called go back into the room and those who aren’t are sent home as they weren’t successful.

Then its a panel interview with three judges. They ask questions about what you think is the most important thing about the airline industry, then typical scenario questions like, what would you have done in this situation, talk about a time when you haven’t got along with your boss, what have you done etc. After that everyone goes home.

About 2 weeks later if you were successful at the assessment day they will call and notify you that they are contacting your references. If you are successful in the reference stage you are then invited to attend the initial ground school training.

FN: It sounds really competitive…

A: Yes, 2000 applicants applied and only 50 went to ground school.

So make sure your resume is perfect. You need to think about the answers they want to hear and also, ensure your grooming is perfect.

FN: Is there a certain time of year to apply?

A: No – they hire at random times.

FN: Did you apply at various different airlines?

A: I only applied for the one company.

FN: What kind of questions are asked at the interview?

  • Give me an example of a time when you dealt with a customer who made an unrealistic or unreasonable demand.
  • Tell me about a time that you dealt with an angry customer or client. What would you have done differently?
  • Tell me about the last time you lost your patience at work.
  • Describe a conflict you had with a coworker. How did you resolve the conflict?
  • Describe a stressful situation in which you had to use your verbal communication skills to resolve the issue.

FN: So, once you were in. What was the training like?

A: The training was tough, but also really fun.

4 weeks in Melbourne (we stayed at the Mantra), a lot of exams and a lot of practicals. Though, if you study hard and listen in class you will have no problem. You can re-sit exams, the company don’t want you to fail. They help you so much!

FN: What do you wish you knew before you jumped into this industry? 

A: It’s not as glamorous as it used to be, or as I thought it would be.

The procedures on board are so strict because safety is the number one priority.

Customers are a pain!! Your face gets so sore from smiling all day and you get so bloated!

But in saying that – it is a lot of fun. You fly with different people everyday to different destinations around the world.

The travel benefits are awesome – free flights wherever you want to go. Tax-free income!

All flight attendants will say that they love walking through the terminal and everyone stares! It’s not a job for everyone but everyone is so curious about our lifestyle. We get to the destination and either operate home or stay in a resort drinking cocktails and laughing. It is also really flexible. I am casual I get to chose when I want to work!

FN: And finally-some tips for the recruitment process?

A: The policy at any airline is that safety always comes first, closely followed by customer service. Remember this for your answers.

Whichever airline you are applying for, do as much research on the airline that you can. Spend time going through the airline website and if possible ensure you understand where they fly, who they serve, which aircraft they use, and the kinds of people they like to employ.

“What do you know about our company?” is one of the most commonly asked interview questions. If it is on their website, there is no excuse for not knowing about it!

Key facts you must know:

  • The airlines routes
  • Customer service ethos
  • Growth plans for the future
  • Main competitors
  • Financial performance

As a flight attendant first impressions are so important. Make sure you are friendly to everyone at the assessment day.  Make sure you are on time and dressed appropriately.

Always sit upright and do not cross your arms!

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