How to Pass a Group Exercise

How to Pass a Group Exercise

A look at how to excel in a group exercise scenario

How do I pass a Group Exercise assessment?

In short, a group exercise is about moderation. Don’t engage too much or too little. Make sure your contributions are valuable, clear and concise. Don’t be too overbearing yet don’t be too passive. Involve others, listen and provide feedback.

What is the Purpose of a Group Exercise?

A group exercise is used to reveal how you interact with others as part of a team in a pressurized environment. Generally speaking, people find it harder to act and hide personality traits when under pressure so a group exercise is an effective way in which the assessors can reveal an individual’s personality and behavioural characteristics. Revealing these traits is important as it allows the assessors to predict how you are likely to behave in the workplace (i.e. on the flight deck) in the future. There will likely be between about 6 to 12 people taking part and you can expect these individuals to have range of personalities and characters. Having a dynamic group reflects the make-up of real-life teams.

The environment can be a bit false. You are being put under the microscope with multiple assessors located round the room, furiously scribbling down information on your every word or move – it’s difficult to be completely natural!

Have a think about who you will need to interact with on a daily basis as a pilot…

  • The Captain
  • Cabin Crew
  • Engineers
  • Operations Control
  • Crew Control
  • Dispatcher
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Passengers
  • Cleaners
  • Caterers
  • Fuellers
  • Security
  • Border Control

In order to get the aircraft from A to B safely, a pilot has to interact with many groups of people, all with different personalities, backgrounds and priorities. How do you think you should interact with any of the above groups? Hopefully you will have said professionally, clearly, concisely and courteously. This is in essence, how you should come across in a group exercise.

The Standard Group Exercise

A typical group exercise lasts around 15 – 30 minutes. You’ll be led into a room and sat round a table with a number of assessors strategically located around the room. Usually there is one assessor who will be tasked with taking notes on you and one or two others in the group.

You will be given a task which needs to be analysed by the group. A decision will need to be made or a problem solved within a set time period. Finally, you will be required to report your solution to the problem to the assessors. Some members of the group may be given different pieces of information regarding the task which isn’t always initially obvious. In a group exercise, there is no right or wrong answer. The assessors are interested in your individual contribution to the team rather than the specific team result. If you feel the team has ended up making the wrong decision, don’t worry it’s what you did to get there that counts! You may have excelled even if the team didn’t reach a conclusion or ended up making a decision which you felt was wrong.

Starting the Group Exercise

When seated, note the time the group exercise has started. Someone within the group should volunteer as the time keeper and provide the group with updates regarding how long is left. Pointing out the half way point, 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute to go can be helpful to ensure the group is on track to finish on time.

Each candidate is typically provided with an information card or piece of paper with detail about the scenario. You will usually start by reading through this. Initially you should aim to establish that all candidates have received the same pieces of information. Note that sometimes the information cards may initially appear to provide the same information, but are in fact subtly different. For example, a single sentence may differ between the information provided which can add or clarify important details. If only one information card is provided, someone should volunteer to read it clearly so all group members can hear.

Finishing the Group Exercise

Whilst the final decision of the group is very unlikely to actually be factored into your overall score, how you get to the result is very important. As you approach the end of the exercise, with a few minutes to go, if the group isn’t already in the process of finalising the decision then tactfully direct the group to do so. You can suggest that as the end of the exercise is approaching, the group should start to finalise the plan. Once the group has made a decision or has produced a solution to the problem, then in the last minute or two, offer to provide a summary of what the group has decided to ensure everyone is on the same wave-length.

What are the assessors looking for in a group exercise?

  • Your ability to relate to others
  • How you interact and work with an unfamiliar team
  • Teamwork and Co-operation skills
  • What leadership qualities you might have
  • Initiative
  • Time Management
  • Your communication skills
  • Listening / Verbal Communication / Body Language
  • Your ability to make decisions as a group

How should I approach a group exercise?

  • When speaking to other members, try to address them by their name. It’s not only polite but is an attention getter and shows you have an eye for detail.
  • If you don’t interact you can’t be assessed! You can only be assessed on what the assessors see. If you don’t engage and don’t say what you’re thinking, you won’t pass. Be conscious of how much you are talking and what your input have been and ensure there is a good balance between making valued contributions and either talking too much or too little.
  • Making valuable, useful and helpful contributions is one of the most important factors in a group exercise, i.e. ensuring quality over substance. There is no point doing a lot of talking if the points you are making are irrelevant.
  • Whilst it’s important to get involved, it’s equally important not to be too overbearing and take control of the group. It’s possible to be too dominant, which as on the flight deck, is not a good attribute. Listen to what others have to say without interrupting.
  • Volunteer to be one of the time keepers, note keepers, summarisers etc. Perhaps even volunteer for more than one of these tasks if needed, however, don’t volunteer for lots of roles the expense of others not being given a chance to have the opportunity to do so. Be inclusive but not authoritarian.
  • Involve others. If someone is quiet or hasn’t had the chance to say anything, invite them to participate. Perhaps saying something like ‘What do you think about this idea Barry?’.
  • Try to keep the group on track. If the group starts to go off on a tangent, try to subtly restate what the purpose of the exercise is in order to redirect the discussion.
  • Don’t dismiss other people’s ideas (not matter how silly they are). Listen to what others have to say and support their participation. If you disagree with an idea or suggestion, highlight why you’re not comfortable with it, but try to extract some positives from it. “I can see why you’d want to take the matches Tim, it’s important to be able to light a fire, but do you think taking water should be a higher priority?”
  • Ask open ended questions. What have we missed? What does everyone think of this?
  • Advocate your position with clear and concise reasoning.
  • Offer to monitor the time limit. If there isn’t a clock in the room, you could put your watch in the middle of the table for everyone to see the time. Keep your eye on the time, and provide updates to the others in the group. For example, “that’s 10 minutes gone so we’re half way through” or “we’ve got five minutes left so shall we think about finalising our decision?”.
  • Be polite and courteous at all times. Even if someone is being very overbearing and annoying, keep your cool and stay respectful.
  • Offer to conclude or summarise what the group has decided near the end of the exercise. For example, “we have one-minute left, shall we just run through our decision to ensure we are all happy and understand what we’ve selected”.
  • Risk shift is a factor to consider. You’re more likely to agree to a riskier decision as a group than an individual as the responsibility and consequences of the decision are spread across the group.

If you found this article helpful, take a look at our ‘How to Pass an Airline Interview‘ page.

Pilot Life Insurance

Life Insurance for Airline Pilots

Ensure you and your family are fully covered

Pilot Life Insurance

Unfortunately, the last couple of years have shown us just how important it is to ensure you and your family are protected should the worse happen. Having the peace of mind that your family are left debt free or given a lump sum payment should you pass away is essential.

Our partners at William Russell are familiar with the unique requirements of airline pilot life insurance requirements and their specialist advisors are standing by ready to help. They also have bespoke packages for expats with policies offering up to 20 times your annual salary.

The specialist advisors at William Russell are ready to discuss your bespoke requirements today – let them know you’re an Airline Pilot and a visitor of FlightDeckFriend.com.

You can get an online quote here, or email / call specialist airline pilot advisor Joe Holden via [email protected] or +44 (0)1276 486 456.

Pilot CV Example Templates

Pilot CV Example Templates

Check out our free CV templates

Free Pilot Example CV Templates

Designing a pilot CV can be tedious and time consuming so we’ve got some free pilot CV example templates to give you inspiration. Professionally tailored flight crew CVs might be outside of your budget, but you can copy our designs without spending any money.

Our example pilot resumes have been designed to be very clear and concise, making sure all the vital information is included whilst making it easy for the the recruiter to find what they need. Recruiters may spend as little as 15 seconds reviewing your CV, so it is vital that all the information they need to see is spelt out clearly. It’s also becoming more and more common for the initial screening to be completed by an automated ‘ATS’ system, so we’ve laid them out into specific sections to ensure they are professionally structured whilst ensuring they are ATS friendly.

If you don’t have time to create your own CV based on our designs, then you can download our CV templates in Microsoft Word format, which you can then customise yourelf, for £14.99. When you edit these CVs, we recommend you do it in conjunction with our CV Design Guide.

Example template CV for pilots
Free Pilot CV Example Template
Example CV template for someone applying to Wizz Air as a pilot
Ryanair Pilot CV Example Template
Aer Lingus Pilot CV Example Template

Download Our Example CV Templates

Our Pilot CV Template Package contains 7 Microsoft Word documents. There are 2 generic CV templates and 5 airline specific templates which can be manually adjusted to an airline of your choosing by amending the colour scheme.

The documents were designed in Microsoft Word for Mac version 16. The CVs have been designed for low hour pilots but can be customised for pilots of any experience levels.

Once payment has been completed via our Sellfy store, you will be able to download the .ZIP file containing the 7 Microsoft .docx files immediately.

The 4 specific airline CV designs are for the following airlines:

  • Wizz Air
  • Ryanair
  • Jet2
  • Aer Lingus
  • DHL / EAT

Want to use our Professional CV design service? Our team have experience in designing selection processes, screening CVs and selecting candidates for airlines. Visit our Professional CV Tailoring page or email us to see how we can help support your airline application.

 

Pilot Job Online Application Guide

Pilot Job – Initial Online Application Guide

Tips and guidance on the initial online application phase for a pilot job

A Guide to Filling in an Online Application for a Pilot Job

The vast majority of airlines now use online applications as their primary method of inviting prospective candidates to apply for a role. This often means that a CV or Cover Letter is exchanged for a series of “personal example” or “HR competency” based questions and questionnaires.

These applications are typically manually reviewed by a real person who assesses your motivation, skills and past experience to see if they believe you would be a good initial fit for the position.

Some recruitment software packages may use an automated system to assess your applicaiton. The systems will score points for your application based on what it believes is the quality of your answer including the use of key words and phrases.

As this is typically the first stage of the application process you will be up against hundreds if not thousands of candidates. The online application questions provide an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the airline and make you stand out from the crowd.

Typical Application Questions

Typical questions that might be included in such an online application include:

  • What skills can you bring to this airline?
  • Why do you want to joing FlightDeckFriend.com airways?
  • Give an example of when you’ve shown good leadership skills
  • Give an example of when you have had to take initiative in a

Example Answer to a Motivational Question

Question: As a commercial pilot with SkyAirways, how could you contribute towards helping the airline become one of the regions preferred airlines? (300 words)

In my experience, there are three key areas that passengers particularly value when travelling with an airline. These are safety, punctuality and customer service. I believe that I can help contribute to all three areas as a pilot with SkyAirways in order to help the airline cement it’s positions as the regions preferred airline.

By setting very high professional standards, demonstrating sound non-technical skills and operating the aircraft inline with the company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), I can effectively support the Captain, ensuring the aircraft is operated safely and efficiently.

Demonstrating sound planning, time management and leadership skills can help promote punctuality through driving the turnaround in order to ensure an on-time departure where possible. Flight Crew can be proactive in anticipating problems to ensure flights don’t incur any unnecessary delays. These are skills I posses and look forward to utilising on a daily basis to enhance the customer experience.

Passengers particularly value a high standard of customer service. Whilst all staff have a responsibility to ensure this is delivered, pilots can directly contribute towards this. I believe ensuring clear, timely and enthusiastic communication with the passengers is a particularly important asset for the flight crew to demonstrate, especially in times of disruption.

Passengers value being given up-to-date and accurate information about the status of the flight, and if there is a problem, what is being done to resolve it. Face to face interaction with the passengers is also something that can be utilised to demonstrate that the pilots care about the passenger experience, which can be achieved during disembarkation if one of the pilots is available to say goodbye to the passengers. As someone with strong communication skills I look forward to positive interaction with the passengers to enhance their perception of SkyAirways.

Tips for answering online application questions . . .

Most of it is common sense but when answering such questions; keep a few points in mind:

  • Don’t rush. Take your time giving an answer you’re completely happy with. When you’ve written out your answer don’t submit it straight away, have a look at it again the following day which may help to give a fresh prospective or spot any errors.
  • Does the question have a word or character limit? You should typically aim to use the maximum words or characters allowed – tweak your answer to achieve this.
  • Think about the airline you are applying for. What is the airline culture, are they scheduled or charter based operations, is it a large or small carrier? These factors may influence the content of your answer, requiring subtle or significant differences depending on the airline you are applying to.
  • Proof read the answer. Ask yourself, does my answer address the question? Check for grammatical and spelling errors, you need to demonstrate your attention to detail.
  • Ask someone to proof read it. The person doesn’t necessarily need to have an aviation back ground, it’s to get a second opinion on the fluidity, construction and grammar of the answer.

The answer to the question . . .

A question which has been used in the applcation process before is:

“How can you as a First Officer improve customer service?”

This is a fairly straight forward question to tackle, and a number of good points could have been made.

The airline in question is a charter airline and therefore the customers flying with the airline are typically flying for leisure on holiday. The overall flight experience offered to the passengers is therefore of critical importance to the airline. Here are some of the points that could have been made when answering the question:

  • Operating the aircraft with safety at the forefront of all decisions is indirectly the biggest contribution you can make to passenger safety.
  • Positive interaction with the passengers such as informative and friendly PA’s.
  • Keeping passengers informed of any delays or technical issues in a timely manner.
  • Maintain a professional image at all times by acting in a professional manner and maintaining a high uniform standard.
  • Meet and greet passengers embarking or disembarking where time permits.
  • Consider passenger comfort at all times. This can begin at the pre-flight planning stage where flight conditions can be assessed and re-routing considered if areas of turbulence are anticipated.
  • In flight requests for turbulence reports from air traffic control can be made requesting higher or lower cruise altitudes or re-routing as appropriate.
  • Requesting direct routings from air traffic control in order to improve on time performance.
  • Low drag and continuous descent approaches can be conducted to reduce the company’s operating costs and therefore pass lower fares onto passengers.

How to Design a Professional Pilot CV

How to Write a Professional Pilot CV

Guidance on what to include in your airline pilot CV and how to present it…

How to Design a Pilot CV

This guide can help you to create a stand-out CV that includes all the vital information a pilot recruiter wants to see, in a clear, concise and industry accepted format. If you follow the steps in this guide, you will be much more likely to be invited for an interview compared to trying to create a CV with no knowledge of how to do it properly. Keep in mind that pilot CVs are unique and a CV used for other ground-based jobs won’t be suitable.

Who wrote this guide? This Pilot CV design guide has been written by a professional pilot who has been part of an airline recruitment team, contributed to the design of pilot selection processes, screened pilot CVs and took part in the assessment and selection of candidates. The author also has a distinction in a Masters Degree in an aviation based subject which covers the pilot selection design process.

The advice on this page is relevant to all levels of applications, whether that be for a Pilot Cadet Program, Low Hour Pilot or an experienced Captain.

Note: Some areas might not be applicable for certain job applications, for example, details on flying experience probably won’t be relevant if you are applying for an airline cadet program.

Why is your CV so important?

You should not underestimate the importance of your CV in the airline application process. Recruiters may only spend a few seconds reviewing your CV before deciding whether it’s worth looking at in more detail or putting it in the ‘no thanks’ pile.

Having a well-constructed CV that includes all the essential information is vital. This may well be the only document they review to consider your pilot job application so you must quickly sell yourself and convince the recruiter that you are the right person for the job.

Your CV can say a lot about you as a person. If your CV is poorly constructed with spelling and grammatical errors it could suggest that you don’t have a good attention to detail or your command of English language is poor. If you leave gaps or give generic dates (rather than specific months & years), it might demonstrate you aren’t well organised or have gaps that are unaccounted for which could create security referencing problems.

Design Overview

Your CV is there to showcase your skills and experience whilst demonstrating that you are a well-suited candidate for the role. You need to do this in a well-structured, clear and concise way. There’s a fine line between overcrowding / cluttering a CV and including a good amount of quality information.

Keep it to a single page wherever possible. You can adjust the size of the text to help you achieve this.

Consider including the airline’s colours (for the airline you are applying to) in the document, for example in the heading bars. This shows attention to detail and that you’ve taken the time to personalise your application specifically to an individual airline. These little additional touches can make a big difference when it comes to first impressions.

Font & Colour

Keep the font and text colours conservative. Don’t use unusual/outlandish fonts or colours that are difficult to see. The contrast ratio between the text and its background should be high enough for the text to be very clear.

Organising your content can be achieved by ensuring each section is given a clear heading. This allows the recruiter to quickly see the context of the section they are reading. Some suggestions as to how to split the sections are included in the content section below.

Many people make the mistake of not using the documents vertical space in an efficient way. There are different ways in which you can ensure the documents horizontal space is utilised in an effective way through columns and reducing the margin sizes.

Keep in mind that if the recruiter can’t find some essential information that they require (for example a 5-year checkable history), most aren’t going to take the time to get in touch with you to find that information out (particularly with low experience levels).

Why would they when the next CV in the pile (and probably hundreds more) might have all the information they need to progress their application to the next stage? That’s why you need to make sure that all the essential details are included, without fail. What might be a minor piece of information to you (like your notice/availability period), could be a make or break item for the airline.

Making your CV Relevant

Consider who you are sending your CV to and try and assess your CV from their perspective. If you are from France and sending your CV to a British or Irish airline, don’t use abbreviations the recruiter won’t understand. Write it so it’s understandable for all nationalities. For example, some countries have compulsory military service. State it was compulsory, not every recruiter will know it was.

Explain your education in an understandable format and give it context. Highlight the equivalent level of education for the country in which the airline you are applying to are based. For example, if it’s the equivalent of high school or secondary education, point this out. Don’t just put down ambiguous grades or marks without context. If you scored 7.5 in English language, state what this 7.5 was out of i.e. 7.5/10.

Consider the Type of Airline…

Consider the type of airline you are applying to. A large low-cost carrier will probably want to see you are focussed on threat and error management and non-technical skills. A legacy carrier may be more focussed on customer service and operational considerations. This might affect what skills you focus on highlighting in the document.

A Single Page

For most applications, and particularly for low hour and inexperienced flight crew your CV should normally consist of a single page. This is the standard industry format. Keep in mind that most recruiters will only get a very short period of time to evaluate your CV and therefore it should be kept clear, concise and to the point. If you’ve gone onto a second page, you’ve probably either included too much information or haven’t been very space efficient with your design.

Only extend it past a single page if you have very good reason such as an extensive career history before flying. For example, an experienced Captain might have reason to do this if you have held a number of positions, but then in this case you could probably leave out all your academic history except for the highest level of qualification you achieved, as you’ve been operating as a pilot for some time.

The longer you’ve been operating, the less important you career prior to flying and your academic qualifications are. However these details are critical if you are a low hour pilot as the airlines need something to differentiate you from all the other low hour applications they receive.

It should never exceed 2 pages. If you’re struggling for space, have a look at our example CV’s to see how you can be space efficient.

How to keep the document to a single page

Some tips to keep the document to a single page if you’re struggling:

  • Reduce the margin sizes. This will allow you to fit more information in on all 4 sides of the document.
  • Pick a space efficient font. Some fonts have bigger spaces between the letters than others. Experiment with some different fonts to see what works for your documents.
  • Consider using a smaller font size, perhaps only for certain areas of the document, but ensure it is still clear enough to read
  • Reduce the space between each line. Both Microsoft Word and Apple Pages will allow you to reduce the standard spacing between lines

Your personal details should be at the top of the CV and easy to locate. If any of these details are invalid, the recruiter might not be able to get hold of you. Pay particular attention to your mobile phone number and email address being correct.

Personal Details Layout

  • Full Name – As stated on your passport.
  • Address – Make sure you include the country and province.
  • Mobile – and home phone number INCLUDING country code. If an international company wants to get hold of you, don’t expect them to work out what the country’s dialling code us. Double and triple check that you have put down the right number.
  • Email Address – As above, double and triple check it’s accurate. Make sure you email address is sensible and professional.

The Less Obvious…

  • Notice / Availability Period – Be specific, don’t say ‘approximately’.
  • Willingness to relocate – State whether this is globally, across the continent or nationally.
  • Able to fund a type rating? If an airline is specifying that you must be able to self-fund a type rating, specifically highlight that you are able to do this.
  • Nationality – This is different to hold a passport as you might hold nationality somewhere but not a passport. If you hold a nationality it would demonstrate eligibility to hold a passport for that country.
  • Passport(s) – List which countries passport(s) you hold.
  • Driving Licence – Full and clean if applicable. Many airlines state in their flight crews’ contracts, that they must hold a full driving licence. You need to make sure you tick all the minimum requirement boxes.
  • Date of Birth – Some people leave their DoB out, especially if they are above 30 and applying for their first flying position. Our recommendation is to always include it as it’s a vital piece of information for the recruiter. It helps contextualise the rest of the CV.
    • If you don’t include it, it could be interpreted as saying that you feel your age may negatively impact your application. Different airlines will have different views on age. There are age discrimination laws in place within Europe, so it shouldn’t really matter but unfortunately the reality seems to sometimes be different.

Flying Experience & Qualifications

The recruiter must verify that you meet the minimum flying qualifications for the role and therefore setting out your flying credentials clearly is essential. There are people out there who apply for flight crew positions who don’t even hold a licence and plenty more who apply for the position without meeting the minimum requirements. It’s therefore important that this section is prioritised towards the top of the document and we would suggest it immediately precedes your personal details.

Other details to include…

  • The licences you hold (for example frozen ATPL – CPL, ME/IR, MCC)
  • Which state your licence was issued by?
  • Your flight crew licence number
  • Total flight hours. Your total flight time should NOT include simulator time – list this separately. Simulator time is less important if you are an established F/O or Captain.
  • Flight hours broken up into time on type (if you’ve done more flying than the minimum required for licence issues and particularly if you’ve been rated on multiple aircraft types), multi-engine time and Pilot in Command (PIC) time.
  • What type ratings you hold and if you aren’t currently in employment, when they will expire.
  • Any other endorsements or courses like a JOC or tail-dragger course.
  • State you hold a Class One Medical certificate, including any restrictions, which state it was issued by and when it expires.
  • Your English Language Proficiency (ELP) level (e.g. ICAO ELP 4).

Education & Academic History

  • If you haven’t got a great deal of work experience or have recently graduated from flight training, we’d recommend including this before your employment history. If you are a currently pilot in employment then we’d suggest placing this section after your career history.
  • List events in reverse chronological order with the months included for all start and finish dates to demonstrate a five-year checkable history. Do not just put the years.

Flight Training History

  • Your flight training should be listed either under this section order under Flying Experience & Qualifications. We would recommend grouping it under Education and Academic history as it’s easier for a recruiter to follow your chronological history. They want to see a consistent 5-year checkable history for security clearance purposes.
  • Your flight training history should detail where you completed your ATPL Theoretical Exams and the fact they were first time passes (leave out if not) and what your average ATPL Theory grade was. You may need to have obtained an 85% average pass mark for some airlines.
  • Your flight training history should include where you completed your hour building, CPL, and Multi Engine Instrument Rating. Also include which aircraft you have operated. If you completed a full-time integrated course all your flight training can be listed under one-time bracket and one flight school.
  • Details of your MCC should include where you completed it, on what type of simulator (B737/A320?), and how many hours it consisted of.

Secondary Education

  • Low Hour Pilots should include all education from Secondary School (College) / Higher Education onwards. For each academic institution attended include when you attended, it’s name, where it’s located and the grades / certificates / qualifications achieved. Detail supplementary information such as notable achievements (such as captain of the rugby team or achievement awards).
  • If you’ve achieved a GCSE level of education and acquired reasonable grades (C and above), it’s probably worth highlighting how many subjects you passed and what the mark was in each subject, particularly Maths, English and Science. Again, with A-Levels, University Degrees, Diplomas etc, include the grades in each subject if they are reasonable. If they are poor grades, it might be best of leave them out.
  • You should check the minimum requirements for the job and ensure that the academic qualification section specifically demonstrates you meet the requirements. For example, if it states you require 5 GCSEs with grades A-C, make sure this is clearly visible.
  • Established pilots should include their highest level of academic achievement, including the details as set out in the two bullet points above.

Work Employment & History

  • Place this section above your education history if you’ve recently graduated from your commercial flight training.
  • Start and finish dates should include months as well as years.
  • State your role and which company you worked for.
  • Where was the role located (City and Country)?
  • What did your role entail? Try and link some of the key skills and attributes required to that of a First Officer (for low hour pilots). Examples include communication, decision making, planning, situational awareness, working under time pressure, prioritising, leadership, team work.
  • If it was a flying job, highlight a bit of information about the type of operation considering the type of operation of the airline you are applying for.
  • State if the role was part time and the fact you were working whilst in education if applicable.
  • If you were working to fund your flight training, state it. It shows a high degree of determination and perseverance.

References

References can take up unnecessary space in a CV and space is at a premium. At the point of scanning through your CV, a recruiter is not going to contact any references you list. References will usually only be contacted if you are successful and you are provisionally given an offer of employment. It’s at this point the company will check your references. Save the space for something more relevant.

Hobbies & Interest

Recruiters and particularly fellow flight crew want to see that you’re (hopefully) a well-rounded and interesting person and listing your interests and hobbies can be an effective way of achieving this. Examples might include detailing any sports you play or some sort of club membership or association.

The recruiters can sometimes find something here that they find interesting or perhaps having something in common and this can be a good way for them to kick off the interview. For example, they might say ‘David, I see you like to sail, what sort of boat do you sail?’. This can result in a relaxed opening to the interview, setting the tone and putting you at ease.

Needless to say, you shouldn’t make anything up here as you can quickly become unstuck if one of the recruiters shares a similar interest and questions you on it.

Achievements

You might also include achievements that aren’t appropriate to be listed under your education or employment history. For example, highlight your participation in the Air Cadets or completing the Duke of Edinburgh award.

If you are going to spend most of the day locked in a small compartment with one other person, you probably want to be with someone who has a bit of character and outside interests.

Multilingual skills can be a useful commodity for flight crew. It opens up potential job opportunities across the world which might not otherwise be available. It’s also potentially useful to better engage with passengers if you are flying internationally to some destinations. Include details about the level of language skills you have if applicable, for example, native, fluent, advanced, conversational. If it’s very basic, it’s probably not worth listing.

General Advice & Tips

  • Double check the minimum requirements set out by the airline. Make sure every single one of these minimum requirements is addressed in the CV. For example, if the job advert says you require ICAO ELP 5 or above, make sure this is specifically included this.
  • Think about the type of operation and the ethos of the airline you are applying to. Consider the skills you have developed in your previous career and tie this into the airline’s operation to which you are applying.
  • If you’ve got large gaps (more than a couple of months) in your CV within the last 5 years, you need to justify it. If a recruiter sees a significant gap which is unaccounted for, it leaves many question marks as to what you were doing, your work ethos and ability to attain a 5-year reference. If you travelled for 6 months, include this in your career or education history. If you were looking for employment, state this in the document. If your CV has any gaps, pre-empt how the recruiter will interpret these and what questions they might have. You can then include answers to these points in your document.
  • Ask a friend, colleague or family member to double check it for you to highlight any spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Double and triple check all contact information.

A Photo or Not?

It depends which airline you are applying to. Generally speaking, we wouldn’t suggest excluding it for applications to Western European airlines, but include it for everywhere else like Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US.

Some Western European airlines aren’t always keen on you including them because your appearance isn’t important and there are possible discrimination law implications if the applicant isn’t selected for the role.

Sending the Document

  • Your CV should be saved with a sensible and concise name such as ‘John Tods Curriculum Vitae’ (not something like ‘JT CV 2’). This signifies attention to detail, professionalism and makes it easier for the recruiter to search for it if required.
  • Send or upload your CV in PDF format. Sending it in Microsoft Word or Apples Page’s may result in formatting issues depending on what software is used to open the document. For example, the fonts may look different or boxes could overlap, turning a well-structured document to a misaligned mess. The PDF file type standardises the format, ensuring it is viewed in the same consistent way regardless of operating system or software.
  • You can save the document as a PDF file using both the latest versions of Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. Always check the PDF has formatted correctly once it’s been converted. Ensure that the images have been converted to a reasonable level of quality.

Cover Letter

  • If you’re emailing your CV it should be accompanied with an airline specific Cover Letter, more details of which can be found in our Covering Letter section. We would suggest including the Cover Letter in the body of the email as well as attaching it in a PDF format.
  • Include a sensible subject line in the email such as ‘Blue Air First Officer Application’. This avoids it being filtered as spam and can be quickly directed to the right person or recruitment department.

Want to use our Professional CV design service? Our team have experience in designing selection processes, screening CVs and selecting candidates for airlines. Visit our Professional CV Tailoring page or email us to see how we can help support your airline application.

 

Check out our example CV that has been designed specifically for the role of an airline pilot. You can see that we’ve matched the colour scheme to the airline and that everything is presented in a clear and concise way.

For more free design examples, check out our page dedicate to example Pilot CVs.

 

Aer Lingus Pilot CV Example Template

Recency Simulator Price Comparison

Simulator Price Comparison for Maintaining Recency

A list of companies offering pilots simulator practice

Price Comparison of Flight Simulators for Pilots Looking to Maintain Recency

An unprecedented 2020 bought a temporary halt to many aviation careers with thousands of pilots finding themselves out of work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As flight crew, maintaining an acceptable standard of our perishable skills set is vital to ensuring our career continuity.

To support pilots wishing to maintain some exposure to the operating environment and practice CRM, manual flying and SOP application, we’ve compiled a list of companies who are offering use of their simulators for recency/currency purposes.

The prices were correct at the time of writing but may since have been updated. Any enquiries regarding the service offered should be directed at the company in question.

FFS – Full Flight Simulator

FBS – Fixed Based Simulator

Dry Hire – No instructor provided (instructor may be available at an additional cost)

CompanySimulatorLocationPrice
MotionFBS 737NG, Dry HireGatwick£60 P/H
Virtual AerospaceFBS 737-800, Dry HireNorthampton, Shoreham£110.00 P/H
Virtual AviationFBS 737NG / A320, Dry HireCambridge£120 P/H
AlphaTechFBS A320, Dry HireBelfast & Vienna£144 P/H
SimTech Aviation
FBS B737-800Dublin€300 P/H
SkyBourne
B737MAXGloucestershire Airport£300 P/H +VAT
Virtual Aerospace
FFS 737-800 / A320Gatwick£499.99 P/H
Lufthansa
VariousFrankfurtPOA
HOPCRJ/ERJFrancePOA
CompanySimulatorPriceLocation
MotionFBS 737NG, Dry Hire£60 P/HGatwick
Virtual AerospaceFBS 737-800, Dry Hire£110.00 P/HNorthampton, Shoreham
Virtual AviationFBS 737NG / A320, Dry Hire£120 P/HCambridge
AlphaTechFBS A320, Dry Hire£144 P/HBelfast & Vienna
SimTech Aviation
FBS B737-800€300 P/HDublin
SkyBourne
B737MAX£300 P/H +VATGloucestershire Airport
Virtual Aerospace
FFS 737-800 / A320£499.99 P/HGatwick
Lufthansa
VariousPOAFrankfurt
HOPCRJ/ERJPOAFrance

Airline Pilot Interview Example Questions

Pilot Interview Example Questions

A comprehensive database of example competency and technical airline pilot interview questions designed to help you prepare for your airline interview.

Pilot Interview Example Questions

Join the hundreds of pilots that have downloaded the FlightDeckFriend.com interview question database to help prepare for an upcoming airline assessment. The database consists of over 350 example questions (with suggested answers) that are regularly asked at flight crew interviews.

Our database has been created by pilot recruiters, technical pilot instructors and management pilots to ensure it is representative of airline interviews questions asked across the globe.

With intense competition for each position which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s vital that you thoroughly prepare for your airline interview in order to place yourself ahead of the competition. Our interview question database is a fantastic tool to help you prepare for your upcoming airline assessment, regardless of your experience level. You can study it in your own time, on any device. We firmly believe that if you can answer the questions in our database, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for your interview! 

Please note, we have a separate database for Cadet Pilots looking to prepare for an airline mentored scheme or a Flight Training Organisation. Details of this can be found here.

Over 350 Questions

Our pilot interview question bank consists of over 175 personal and competency based example interview questions (typically referred to as HR “give us an example of…” questions) and over 175 technical questions. We update the database on a regular basis based on feedback from pilots attending assessments and new questions that we come across. The database has been built by current airline pilots, with the questions answered from a currently pilots perspective.

Instant Download

Whilst you are able instantly download the database in PDF format, the question bank is also located in our exclusive ‘members only’ area online, which allows you to access it on the move and at any time of day or night. If you are on a budget, you can select our standard package which contains over 350 example interview questions without answers. Our enhanced package (recommended) comes with both questions and example answers to the Competency and Technical questions. The database has been compiled by current airline Captains and First Officers who have extensive airline selection experience. 

Here’s a small selection of the type of pilot interview questions that are included in our Airline Interview Question Database – both Competency (HR) based and Technical Questions:

  • Tell me about the typical day of a pilot?
  • What makes a good first officer?
  • What challenges does the company face over the next 10 years?
  • Tell us about a time you’ve fallen short at something?
  • Explain Dutch Roll?
  • How do you calculate the required sweep of the wings?

All of these questions come with appropriate answers.

Advanced Package – WITH suggested answers to 350+ Competency and Technical Example Interview Questions

£39.99 – Instant PDF Download

What’s included in our advanced package?

  • Reviewed December 2021
  • Instant PDF download
  • 350+ interview questions and answers
  • 107 page document consisting of over 30,500 words

Once payment has been completed, you will be able to instantly download the question database in PDF format.

For any further queries, please contact us via email at: [email protected]

Pilot Cover Letter Examples

Example Cover Letters for Pilots

Don’t let a poorly written Cover Letter hold back your application!

Example Pilot Cover Letters

When applying to an airline for a pilot position, you need to ensure your application contains a well written, highly specific Covering Letter that addresses the airline’s ethos and operation, matching them with your skills and attributes.

Whilst we offer a full Professional Pilot Cover Letter tailoring service, we appreciate this isn’t within everyone’s budget. Therefore, we have put together a set of example pilot cover letters for specific airlines which you can download and edit yourself. These Pilot Covering Letters have been specifically designed for both Low Hour and experienced First Officers to help increase the chances of your application being advanced to the next stage of selection.

All the Cover Letters have been written by a current airline pilot with previous airline pilot recruitment experience and holds qualifications which specifically cover airline pilot recruitment.

Each Pilot Cover Letter (other than the generic one) considers the airline’s type of operation, fleet, ethos and history. This attention to detail demonstrates a few highly desirable attributes to a prospective employer such as:

  • You are highly motivated
  • You understand the airline’s operation
  • You have spent time researching the job you are applying to
  • You are prepared to invest time and energy into a high-quality application

“An investment in a high-quality Pilot Cover Letter is an investment in your future”

*Important* – The example pilot cover letters are intended be used as a guide to demonstrate how to customise your cover letter in a professional way and what sort of content to include. You should take the time to amend your cover letter to ensure it is unique and genuinely reflects your application. You should not submit the cover letter as part of the application without amending it to reflect your own beliefs and circumstances.

Pilot Cover Letter Combo


Example Cover Letter Combo Package


This combo package provides excellent value for money with example Covering Letters for 5 airlines included. The package includes example Cover Letters, suitable for First Officer or Low Hour pilots, for the following airlines:

  • Ryanair
  • Wizz Air
  • Jet2.com
  • Jet2.com Pilot Apprentice Program
  • Generic Covering Letter (suitable for all airlines)
  • Flybe (now defunct)

Generic Pilot Cover Letter


Generic Airline Example Cover Letter


Reviewed December 2021.

Extract from the Generic Pilot Cover Letter:

I make decisions in a reasoned and analytical manner, taking into account of a range of options and including all team members in the option generation process. I believe this allows me to make well thought out decisions, and support others to do so, which is absolutely vital when operating a commercial aircraft. I am prepared to adapt and change my decisions if required, as circumstances change and new feedback is received.



Jet2.com Cover Letter


Jet2.com Pilot Assessment Guide

Jet2.com Example Cover Letter


Reviewed December 2021. Suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers.

Extract from the Jet2.com Cover Letter:

Jet2.com has built up an excellent reputation for the level of customer service it delivers, which is supported by the fact that Jet2.com won the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice award in 2019. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Jet2.com has been able to weather the storm due to its resilience and the Dart Group’s strong financial position which is testament to the leadership demonstrated over the last two decades.



Jet2.com Pilot Apprentice Program Cover Letter


Jet2.com Pilot Apprentice Program Example Cover Letter


Reviewed December 2021. Suitable for applicants to the Jet2.com Pilot Apprentice Program

Extract from the Jet2.com Cover Letter:

Jet2.com already has a reputation for delivering friendly low fares, but I believe the Pilot Apprentice Program can play its part in supporting the airline to maintain a commercial advantage over its competitors through…



Ryanair Cover Letter


Ryanair Example Cover Letter


Suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers. Reviewed December 2021 to reflect the Covid-19 pandemic.


Wizz Air Cover Letter


Wizz Air Example Cover Letter


Suitable for Low Hour Pilots, First Officers & Captains. Updated January 2021 to reflect the Covid-19 pandemic.


Flybe Cover Letter


Flybe Pilot Recruitment

Flybe (now defunct) Example Cover Letter


Despite Flybe being defunct, this document is an effective example of a Covering Letter for a turbo-prop airline. Suitable for Low Hour Pilots & First Officers.


Aptitude Testing Practice – Symbiotics

ADAPT Online Pilot Aptitude Testing

Partnered with FlightDeckFriend.com

Pilot Aptitude Testing Practice

Pilot Aptitude testing is a very important element in the pilot recruitment process. They are designed to allow the assessor to gain an understanding of an applicant’s potential to succeed in both the training process and ultimately in their role as a pilot, prior to any specific training taking place. Airlines use Pilot Aptitude Testing to identify suitable candidates and predict future success.

Prior to your pilot aptitude test, taking online practice tests can help you familiarise yourself with the pilot aptitude testing process, helping you to lower test anxiety and help you to achieve your true capability. We have teamed up with Symbiotics to offer you practice bundles allowing you to take advantage of substantial savings and practice the ADAPT tests used by airlines and training organisations across the globe.


Why Symbiotics?

During the early stages of the challenging path to becoming a pilot, you will be required to pass a number of aptitude tests (sometimes referred to as psychometric tests). These tests have been specially designed to demonstrate that you have both the aptitude and traits to be successful in both the training to be a pilot and your career as a pilot.

Our partners Symbiotics are the owners and only providers of the genuine suite of ADAPT pilot aptitude tests that are used by flight training organisations, airlines and business jet operators in over 50 countries around the world. The ADAPT solution is used by these organisations to predict your future performance as defined by ICAO’s pilot competencies.

The assessments are designed to measure specific skills and aptitudes including Psychomotor skills, Cognitive skills, Problem Solving and Decision-Making skills.

Type of Pilot Aptitude Tests

  • Maths Test
  • Physics Test
  • Cognitive Reasoning Test
  • FAST Practice Test
  • Co-Ordination Test
  • ADAPT Personality Questionnaire
  • Aviation Interview Practice (online)

All of Symbiotics tests have been created by a team of experienced psychologists using genuine and authentic measures.

It may not always be obvious how best to prepare as airlines and training schools do not always provide details of the specific aptitude tests you will undertake during the assessment process. This being said, however, in our experience most assessments follow similar subjects so we recommend practicing the following tests to improve your chance of being successful: Maths, Verbal, Physics, Cognitive Reasoning, English, Multi-Tasking (FAST) and Hand-Eye Co-Ordination.

Symbiotics have grouped these key practice tests into bundles that include 3 month access to multiple online ADAPT practice tests, featuring immediate reporting and personalised revision guidance notes. The bundles allow you to group together key tests to make substantial savings.

Aptitude Test Bundles

  • Essentials Bundle
    • Maths Test
    • Physics Test
    • Cognitive Reasoning Test
    • FAST Practice Test
    • Co-Ordination Test
  • Insights Bundle
    • Maths Test
    • Physics Test
    • Cognitive Reasoning Test
    • FAST Practice Test
    • Co-Ordination Test
    • ADAPT Personality Questionnaire
  • Ultimate Bundle
    • Maths Test
    • Physics Test
    • Cognitive Reasoning Test
    • FAST Practice Test
    • Co-Ordination Test
    • ADAPT Personality Questionnaire
    • Aviation Interview Practice (online)

How to Write a Pilot Cover Letter

How to Write a Covering Letter for a Pilot Job

How to structure it and what details to include

If you are looking to put together a professionally written Covering Letter in support of your application for a flight crew position for an airline, ensure you are familiar with what to include and how to structure it. This guide has been written by a current commercial pilot who has extensive experience in screening initial applications, such as CV & Cover Letters and running pilot selection processes.

The importance of ensuring your CV or application is accompanied with a specifically tailored Covering Letter which has been written specifically for the airline to which you are applying can’t be underestimated. A cover letter is your platform to demonstrate that you are well suited to join the company and are familiar with its type of operation and values. Many people choose the easy option of producing a generic ‘one size fits all’ supporting letter which makes no effort to address the airline you are applying for.

To be blunt, why should an airline consider inviting you for an interview if you haven’t shown that you are prepared to spend the extra half hour needed to demonstrate you’ve really researched the airline, its ethos and type of operation when other candidates have? The excuse of ‘I don’t have the time’ is just not acceptable – you are applying to operate a multi-million-pound aircraft with potentially hundreds of people onboard therefore they expect the highest levels of professionalism to be demonstrated right from the initial application stage.

A generic Cover Letter is very easy to spot. Simply changing the company name and a couple of sentences around when sending a cover letter out to different airlines is not good practice. More than half of the Cover Letter you send should have unique content, whilst the best ones will have much more than this. Think of the differences between easyJet and Virgin Atlantic; each airline has unique challenges, one across a short haul operation, one over long haul with both providing a different type of service. Each airline has different values and is probably looking for slightly different attributes from its flight crew. Your covering letter should address these factors.

Whereas a CV showcases your skills, qualification and history, a Covering Letter should set out your motivation for joining a specific airline and how you are well suited for that company and type of operation. It should be limited to a single page (again a recruiter only has a finite amount of time to review each application) unless you have extenuating circumstances to make it longer.

Ensure it adheres to standard letter format which includes your address, date and name. You should address the letter to a specific person within the company if possible, like the recruitment manager of chief pilot.

  • What aircraft type you are applying to operate.
  • What operating base you are seeking (or stating you’d be prepared to relocate to any of them).
  • Highlight that you meeting all the minimum requirements and emphasising any specific qualifications that might ensure you are looking upon favourably (for example holding an A320 type rating when applying to operate that aircraft).
  • Why you want to work for that company. Consider its mission statement, values and ethos. Include a quote from one of these, whether it be a slogan or specific statement. This demonstrates you have extensively researched the airline.
  • Include a couple of sentences which demonstrate that you have researched the history of the company such as including its formation date and how it has progressed since then.
  • Mention your future aspirations in the company. This might include one day being promoted to the role of Captain or joining the training department. You could also tie this in with acknowledge any orders the airline has on order, and the opportunities associated with this.
  • Highlight the type of operation and how this is well suited to your aspirations and attributes. For example, multiple aircraft type fleet with both long and short haul operations or maybe a lost cost carrier with a single aircraft type fleet but operating to many destinations. Both have their own advantages (see the section below).
  • Address the skills you possess (particularly non-technical skills), how you acquired these skills (through previous employment etc) and how they are well suited for the type of operation of the airline you are applying for.

When writing the Cover Letter, you might consider some of these points depending on the type of airline you are applying to.

  • Double and triple check your spelling and grammar. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes.
  • Make sure the letter flows properly. When you re-read it, if you have to go back and re-read a sentence because it doesn’t read right, then change it so it does flow. Sometimes sentences make sense but they just don’t read right due to the choice of words or construction of the sentence. If you’ve had to re-read it, so will the recruiter.
  • If you aren’t fluent in written English and the application is required to be in the English language, use a specialised service such as our Tailored Covering Letter service to ensure you present a fantastic document.
  • Use the ‘about‘ or ‘investor relations’ section of the company’s website to find out more about the company’s mission statement, values, vision. Try and incorporate some of these into your letter. For example, if the airline’s website says ‘we are committed to provide the best customer service in the world’, mention that you want to help the airline achieve this and talk about how your previous experience supports your experience in this area. If you haven’t flown before you might talk briefly about a previous customer service role you have been in or what you have done as a pilot to enhance the passenger experience.
  • Look specifically at the details of the job description. This can give you some ideas about topics to address. For example, if the airline mentions a very large route network or rapid career development, you can talk about how your non-technical skills would allow you to manage the challenges of this appropriately whilst finding it very rewarding. You could also talk about your career aspirations such as joining the training department.

Want to use our Professional Cover Letter design service? Our team have experience in designing selection processes, screening applications and selecting candidates for airlines. For more information about how we can support your application, visit our Professional Cover Letter Tailoring page.