Flight AttendantInterview Questions
A flight attendant is responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers on board an aircraft. Flight attendants are a crucial part of an aircraft’s team, and all airlines are required to provide flight attendants for their passengers.
Flight attendant positions are a unique combination of customer service and management. They provide customer service to passengers by providing food and drinks, administering first aid as needed, and making sure complaints are dealt with. Additionally, they are also the point of contact for passengers in case of an emergency, and it is their job to provide direction through it.
Flight attendant responsibilities may include:
- Reviewing evacuation procedures with passengers
- Providing information about the flight such as projected weather and flight length of time
- Serving food and drinks
- Helping passengers safely stow luggage
- Directing passengers in case of an emergency
- Cleaning the aircraft between flights
Flight attendants are expected to provide passengers with a safe and pleasant trip. In order to put customers at ease, a skilled flight attendant will:
- Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of evacuation procedures
- Possess a comprehensive knowledge of safety equipment
- Maintain a calm and friendly demeanor with passengers and crew mates
- Work long hours in potentially stressful situations
- Be able to lift up to 30 pounds (such as luggage) above their head
Flight attendants are an integral part of the crew and must pass 3-6 weeks of initial training through their employer in order to receive an FAA Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency. Outside of this initial training, some employers may require candidates to have at least 1-2 years of related experience within the service industry.
A bachelor’s degree is not required, but it will help you stand out among the other candidates. In addition, flight attendants may receive specialized training in order to be able to work on different types of aircrafts.
The typical salary range for an accountant is $48K to $110K with the median being $75K.
Factors impacting the salary you receive as flight attendant include:
- Degrees and Certifications (CPA, associate's, bachelor's)
- Years of Experience
- Managerial Responsibilities (crew, lead)
- Type of Organization (commercial airline, private or corporate aircraft)
- Location (domestic, international)
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Flight Attendant Interview Questions
Question: During your last flight with an airline, how did you feel about the cabin crew and the work they did?
Explanation: This is a general question whose purpose is to confirm you are familiar with the duties of an airline crew and learn your opinion about what good performance looks like. The interviewer may follow up on your answers to dive deeper into the topics you discuss. You can use this question to guide the interviewer toward topics which you are comfortable discussing.
Example: "I recently flew on this airline during a trip between Los Angeles and Boston. Since I'm interested in a career as a flight attendant, I paid careful attention to the activities and actions of the crew. What impressed me was their attention to detail, their courtesy to passengers, and the emphasis they placed on the safety of both the crew and the passengers. No matter what occurred during the flight, the crew remained calm and effectively addressed the issue."
Question: Can you provide me a few examples of what you consider to be good characteristics of a flight attendant?
Explanation: This is another general question which the interviewer uses to learn what you think makes a quality flight attendant. Again, the interviewer wants to make sure you're aware of what it takes to perform this job. You should focus on the job requirements and characteristics detailed in the job posting which attracted you to this position. Make sure your answer aligns with the qualifications the company outlined in the posting.
Example: "I believe the key characteristic a flight attendant should possess is professionalism in everything they do. The first responsibility of the cabin crew on any airline is passenger safety. Next, they are responsible for ensuring the passengers have a comfortable and enjoyable flight. They accomplish this by being attentive to the passengers' needs, providing the service items the passengers' request, and politely answering any questions the passengers may have. If an issue arises during the flight, the crew should be able to address it with minimal disruption to the passengers or the safety of the flight."
Question: What do you imagine is a typical day for a cabin crew member?
Explanation: The interviewer is asking this operational question to make sure you have a realistic idea of what this job entails. Most people's perception of a flight attendant is what they see during the flight. However, there's a lot more that goes into this job, including training, preflight preparation, post-flight operations, and personal travel before and after a day of flying. Hopefully, you become aware of this during your training and can answer the interviewer's questions directly and succinctly.
Example: "A typical day for a flight attendant begins with travel to the airport where the flight will originate. This may be local, but the attendant may need to take a hop to get to the point of origination. Next, the crew meets to get its assignment, discuss the specifics of the flights they will be taking that day, review the manifest, and take care of any other duties before boarding the aircraft. Once on the plane, they chat with the flight deck crew to see if they have any specific requests. Next, they prepare the plane for boarding in conjunction with the ground crew. They board the passengers, provide a safety briefing, take care of in-flight needs, and prepare the plane for landing. They then help the passengers disembark and prepare the plane for its next leg. This process is repeated until the last flight. The crew will then shuttle to a hotel for an overnight stay. The process is repeated the following day until the crew's assignment is complete and they return to their home base."
Question: What special skills or capabilities do you bring to the job of a flight attendant?
Explanation: By asking this question, the interviewer is interested in what differentiates you from other people applying for the job. Everyone has unique skills and capabilities which may not be evident in the resume. You should be able to easily discuss these in the context of how the airline will benefit.
Example: “In addition to the skills and experience detailed in my resume, I have several competencies and characteristics which will be useful in the role of a flight attendant. First, I am bilingual and speak both English and Spanish fluently. Next, I spent ten years in the hospitality industry, so I’m sensitive about taking the time to understand people’s needs and providing services to help meet those needs. Finally, I worked as a paramedic while going to school. This enables me to provide medical assistance beyond what we were trained in at the academy.”
Question: What do you consider to be the most challenging aspect of being a flight attendant?
Explanation: This is an operational question in which the interviewer is seeking to understand what you find challenging and may have difficulty with if hired as a flight attendant. The best way to answer this type of question is to identify the challenge and then state how you would address or overcome it.
Example: “I believe the most challenging aspect of being a flight attendant is dealing with unruly or uncooperative passengers. Not only do these types of fliers make the flight less enjoyable for the other passengers, but they can also present a safety risk. During my training, I was taught several ways to handle this along with the techniques to use to de-escalate situations involving disruptive passengers. I’m confident that with my natural ability to communicate with people and the training I received, I would be able to handle these situations professionally and effectively.”
Question: Why did you choose to apply to our airline, and have you submitted applications to some of the other carriers?
Explanation: An interviewer will ask this question to make sure you are committed to working with their organization or to determine how important this role is to you. Airlines, like other businesses, prefer employees who have a passion for what they do and can state this clearly. Your pre-interview research should have provided you with the information you need to describe why you are committed to this particular carrier and would like to work for them.
Example: “When I decided to become a flight attendant, I also determined the criteria I would use when selecting the airline I wanted to fly with. These included the carrier having international routes, a high passenger rating, a positive work culture, and opportunities for advancement. While researching your organization, I found that it met and exceeded each of the criteria I set for myself. Additionally, I’ve flown with you on several occasions and witnessed firsthand the professionalism of the flight crews. There is no question in my mind that I will fit in well with this organization.”
Question: Why do you think you will be a good flight attendant?
Explanation: Again, the interviewer is asking you to be somewhat introspective and provide them with the key characteristics you possess that will make you a good flight attendant. This will also indicate to them that you know what is required for this job and have the characteristics needed to be successful. Finally, they will also learn more about your communication style since this is important for anyone who works with the public.
Example: “I’m confident I will be a good flight attendant because of my people skills, professionalism, ability to remain calm during a crisis, and my focus on providing great customer experiences. I’ve always considered myself easy to get along with, so I don’t anticipate encountering any conflicts I can’t handle during a flight. I am attentive to detail which will help me provide the level of service passengers expect. If an emergency were to occur during a flight, I know that I’d remain calm and follow protocol to resolve it to everyone’s satisfaction.”
Question: How would you handle a situation when two passengers were arguing and disturbing the rest of the travelers?
Explanation: This is a behavioral question the interviewer presents you with as a barrier and asks you to describe the steps you would take to resolve it. Behavioral questions are best answered using the STAR framework. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results. You can either describe something that happened to you during a previous job or explain what you would do it the situation were to occur in the future.
Example: “If I were faced with a situation where two passengers were arguing and disturbing the rest of the travelers, I would first assume an authoritative posture. I’d then explain to the passengers that I would like to help them resolve the situation, but I need them to be calm and help me to work through this. I’d ask one passenger about the dispute, carefully listening to their response. I’d then do the same with the second passenger. Once I was familiar with the specific issue, I’d make a recommendation as to how we could resolve it. In most cases, this would be the end of the issue. However, if it weren’t, I’d request assistance from other crew members and the pilots if necessary.”
Question: How would you react if there was a passenger on the flight who claimed to be extremely sick and demanded an emergency landing?
Explanation: This is another behavioral question that uses a scenario a flight attendant will typically encounter. It requires you to balance the welfare of the passenger with the operation of the flight. Again, use the STAR format to organize your answer and walk the interviewer through how you would address and resolve this issue.
Example: “If a passenger were to indicate they were experiencing a medical emergency, I would remember that I need to address their needs while also allowing the flight to proceed to its intended destination in a safe manner. I’d first assess the passenger’s condition based on their description of what they were experiencing and my training to provide medical assistance. If I felt the flight could proceed, I’d work with the passenger to calm them down and assure them they would be fine until we reached our destination. If, on the other hand, I determined this was a real emergency and the plane needed to be diverted, I’d communicate this to the flight deck using the protocols established by the airlines and the FAA. I would also seek to identify additional medical resources available on the aircraft from either the crew or other passengers.”
Question: How would you respond if you were asked to fill in for another attendant who had become ill after a busy week when you were looking forward to some time off?
Explanation: The interviewer will ask this behavioral question to determine how committed you are to the position and whether you would put the airline’s interests ahead of your own. However, they are also looking to see if you would answer this question honestly. Your answer could involve either doing what’s best for the airline or taking care of your personal needs and explaining how this would also benefit the airline.
Example: “While I am always willing to take on additional responsibilities when required by the airline, I have to be honest and say that my answer would depend on how I was feeling both physically and emotionally at the time. If I were to commit to taking the extra shifts, I would want to make sure I was in a condition to perform at my very best. If I weren’t able to do this, I’d explain to the scheduler why I thought that taking the assignment may not be in the best interests of the airline or its customers.”
Additional Flight Attendant Interview Questions
How would you handle a passenger complaining about sitting next to a passenger of another race?
If you are mid-flight and a pilot asks you to do something you are not authorized to do, how would you respond?
What would you do if a passenger was extremely upset and angry?
How would you handle a passenger you cannot understand because of a clear language barrier?
How would you deal with a passenger who has anxiety on a plane due to turbulence?
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