Online Flight Attendant Career Center


Welcome to your FREE online Career Center, specifically geared towards learning how to become a Flight Attendant! Here, you learn everything you need to help you earn a position as a Flight Attendant. You can check out our resources on how to create a resume, cover letter, gather references, and much more. I am dedicated to helping you figure out everything you need to know and do in order to successfully secure your dream job.

Flight Attendant Interview with Virgin Airlines


It has taken swashbuckling adventurer and legendary entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson less than twenty-seven years to revolutionize and to rise to the head of the class in the tired and worn out looking airline industry. His flagship international enterprise, Virgin Atlantic, scoffs in the face of an airline industry and culture in decline and retreat. Instead, it constantly succeeds at bringing back the golden age of the skies with unrivaled professionalism and enviable elegance and luxury. As a case in point, this innovating leader among airlines pioneered seat back, individually controlled entertainment, as well as menu choices for even those in economy class.

It should not come as much of a surprise that the real jewels of the airline are its flight attendants. Dashing and debonair in their red suits and supremely confident in their bearing, these model looking women appear ready to pose for photographs all the while they are giving instructions for an unexpected emergency landing. All of this makes it only natural that Virgin’s steward and stewardess positions would be in great demand. Virgin receives mountains of job applications, sometimes numbering as many as sixteen thousand in a single hiring period, yet they accept a mere five hundred, or about three percent, from these incredible numbers, much like a prestigious university or ivy league college. Naturally, to weed out these thousands of applicants takes a fairly rigorous and involved application and hiring process.

Step 1 – Applying Online

The first step in beginning a career with this justifiably envied Virgin Airlines is to apply online at their website. This application pulls the basic information, such as education, previous employment, and references, but it also requires applicants to fill out a questionnaire and to take a personality test. Out of the countless thousands who go through this first step, the most interesting or qualified applicants will receive a coveted phone call about a week later. This call will mark the beginning of the recorded over the phone interview.

Step 2 – Passing the Recorded Phone Interview

rich-mimosa-virginamericaThe recorded over the phone interview is as much a screening to eliminate still more candidates as it is a get to know the interviewee session. Virgin phone interviewers want to understand the reasons that prospective candidates wish to become a flight attendant in general, and why they want to work for Virgin Airlines in particular. They also inquire closely about why a person wishes to leave their present job.

Following a few more routine questions that help the interviewer to establish the prospect’s personality, they will decide whether to schedule an in person interview and activities day. This decision is made on the spot. Many times, but not always, another questionnaire is dispatched to the applicants by email to be completed and returned in advance of the in person interviews at Virgin facilities or hotels near the airport.

Step 3 – The Face to Face Interview

As many as twenty-five to thirty prospective hires will be brought together at a time for the group activities, Virgin Airways presentation, and face to face interviews stages. This typically involves four to five or more hours of engaging in group activities, then listening to a ten minute company presentation, before the one on one interview commences. Applicants are closely scrutinized the whole time at the facility. After the one on one interview, would-be flight attendants typically engage in a two on one interview. Interview questions commonly fall into categories. The most difficult ones are under the headings of group, situational, and problem solving questions.

The toughest five Virgin Atlantic Airways interviewing questions are “What have you done to support diversity in your unit?” “What do you consider to be your most significant strength?” “Give an example of a time that you placed yourself in a position of leadership,” “What are three positive character traits that you lack?” and “Do you think that you are actually overqualified for a position as a flight attendant?” Besides this, they also ask competency questions, group interaction questions, panel questions, other strengths and weaknesses questions, and communication skills questions in both the phone and in person interview stages.

The hardest part of the one on one and two on one interviews is that Virgin Airways deliberately interviews multiple individuals in the same room at the same time. This allows them to determine how well an applicant concentrates under pressure and with distractions and to learn if she becomes easily irritated. All of these interviews and group activities games are conducted by the station manager and a couple of his supervisors and GST’s. Out of these thirty applicants, Virgin plans to hire around six, or about twenty percent.

Step 4 – Receiving An Offer

Now comes the suspenseful moment of truth. Sadly, it will be more than a moment, or even many moments, before the qualified and fortunate applicant learns that she has obtained a position with this most admirable of airlines. Generally about a week after finishing the group interviews, the selected new hires receive an email that they have passed the interviews and have been selected, pending successful drug testing and background checks. This starts with taking and successfully passing a standard drug test. Once the results are in on this, another email will arrive stating that Virgin Airlines is conducting their extensive background check. When both are successfully passed, a congratulatory phone call is gratefully received. Virgin typically follows this up with an email reiterating the offer of employment and outlining the details of three weeks paid company training.

Employees say that the whole hiring process from online application step to email outlining offer of employment and training takes around a month or more. While the process is lengthy and rigorous, all of the employees surveyed said that it was fun and engaging. They also encouraged would be applicants with observations that while the supervisors watched them closely in the interview process and group activities day, they were all friendly and encouraging all the while.


 

Professionalize Yourself

Before you present yourself professionally you should go through all the existing platforms that represent you and revise them so that you are being reflected in the best of light.  The best thing you can do right away is improving your voice-mail message.  It seems like such a simple thing, but this goes a long way.  Just think from your employers point of view.  They call you and you’re not there.  They get a voice-mail of you in the middle of a noisy crowd, or maybe they get a snippet of you with a tone of voice that makes it sound like you’re depressed.  A make-over may be needed here, and will absolutely get you going in the right direction.

The woman with the laptopHere’s what you do.  Get into your voice-mail account and listen to what you currently have recorded, if anything at all.  The objective with creating a professional voice-mail is to keep it clean, crisp, and concise.  Be cognoscente of background noise and the clarity of your voice.  Don’t get too creative here.  You may consider presenting yourself as a “Flight Attendant Professional” to provide some validity of who the caller is contacting.  Be sure to have some spunk and character in your voice.  Avoid monotone.  Be clear.  When you’re done recording, have your hard-of-hearing uncle listen and make sure they clearly understood what you said.  Here’s an example of a very simple message:

Hi, this is [your name].  I’m not currently available but if you leave your name, number and a brief message, I will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Done deal.  Simple.  I actually write this down and read from it like a script, just to make sure I don’t fumble my words.  You should then have the option to listen to your recording and confirm that you like it.  Listen to it.  If it doesn’t meet your standards, rerecord.  Keep rerecording until it is perfect.  It’s so easy to make this perfect so don’t “one and done” this.

First impression is huge.  A lot of the time your voice-mail message is your first connection with the people you are most eager to impress.  This is a critical thing you want to have ironed out when you start filling out applications and providing your contact information to the world.

Keep Your Social Media Platforms Clean

Facebook is awesome!  However, there are so many horror stories of bosses finding crazing things of perspective/existing employees on Facebook, and they end up getting canned.  You cannot let this happen to you! It is not a bad idea, and is actually prudent to go through your old photos and clean house.  Keep only the ones that show your positive side.  Employers won’t be impressed to see you with a party hat and that glazed look in your eyes.

You may also try to go through and clean up some of the controversial things that are available to the Facebook world.  Religion and politics are hot topics that should be avoided when you are in the lime-light.

Always Have Something to Share with People

Most people in the professional world carry business cards, particularly when they are networking and trying to represent themselves.  I love sharing business cards, and I speak from personal experience on this one.  On the occasions when I am recruiting for new hires, there is always at least one candidate who will provide me with a personal business card, in addition to their resume.  These candidates are few and far between and definitely make an immediate impression.

In addition to doing things a little differently than everybody else, keeping business cards on you is an extremely useful way of sharing your information with people.  You may be saying “I have all the information that they could possibly need on my resume”.  This is true, however, it is not recommended that you hand out your resume to every single person that you meet.  What you should do, instead of bogging down somebody with a generic resume, is give them a quick elevator pitch followed up with a business card.  I talk about the elevator pitch in this post.

For example, if you’re at the airport hitting it off with a Flight Attendant and he/she seems to be very interested in possibly helping you out, don’t shove a resume down their throat.  They will not be the one to hire you, and you don’t want to put the burden on them to to find somebody to give it to…they typically won’t.  In addition, you have lost control of that networking lead by placing your destiny in their hands.  Instead, say “thank you, here is my contact information if you happen to think of me in the future”.  The trick here is to also get their contact information (preferably an e-mail), or ask if you may connect with them on LinkedIn.  You follow up with them, and you can go from there.  I talk more about setting up informational interviews.

I put my name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, @twittern handle, and social network buttons (e.g. LinkedIn).  If you have a personal website, go ahead and put that on there if you feel it would enhance your chances for employment.  I don’t recommend creating your own website just to put it on your business card.

If you implement all of these things, you will be ready to hit the ground running.  Let’s quick summarize some of what we talked about:

  • Professionalize voicemail
  • Clean up social media platforms
  • Create personal business cards

If you were to do only one thing, you need to professionalize your voicemail.  The other two points will only enhance your brand/image.  Becoming a Flight Attendant is competitive.  Why not do everything you can to give you an edge!

I would next recommend reading my post on developing an effective elevator pitch, to be used during networking events, informational interviews, and any random conversation that may lead to a golden opportunity for you to productively communicate what YOUR career goals are.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. If you are serious about starting a career as Commercial Airline Flight Attendant, then read The Essential Guide To Becoming A Flight Attendant - Kiki Ward explains it all! If becoming a corporate flight attendant jives with you check out Beyond the Red Carpet.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, of contact me here.

 

Interview Tips and Tricks


Once you’ve scheduled an interview, you’ve officially got your foot in the door.  All the hard work and diligence you put into creating your resume and cover letter has landed you an interview, which you now need to figure out how to NAIL IT!

The best way to impress at an interview is to show up prepared.  How to do this?  Know every interview question, and have an answer prepared, before the interview even starts.  Create a list of every possible question they could ask you.  Then prepare a solid answer for each question.interview-tips-tricks

The trick, however, is to prepare the RIGHT answers.  When determining the best answer, you need to prepare an answer that has the airline/employers best interest in mind.  You don’t want to tell them something that obviously benefits your interests while potentially putting the airline at risk.  For example:  Why Should We Hire You?

  • BAD – “Because I really need a job”, “Because I will be able to travel the county all of the time”, “Because nobody else will”.
  • BETTER – “Because I provide a distinguished skill set that will allow your customers to have the flight experience they deserve.  This is supported by my experience doing …”

I hope you would never think about providing those answer in the first bullet, but you should be able to notice to contrast between answers.  Think of it this way, you are selling them an investment…they are investing in you to fulfill their business model.  How are you going to fill in that gap that is needed for them to make their business complete?

Okay, here is a little tip that I have been using for all types of personal engagements…particularly with business.  Attempt to build or further develop a personal connection with your interviewers before getting into the meat and potatoes of your interview.  Build report.  Become likeable.  Try to become friends.  If they like you, they will do everything they can to find a way to hire you.  They will find an excuse to hire you.  If you couple that concept with a great resume and cover letter, then you’ve got the job.  Go in there with a funny story, or dig for a topic that you can both relate to.

Show up to the interview with several copies of your cover letter and resume, in case you need to hand out additional copies.  I also like to make a personal business card and hand these out to everybody I talk to while in the facility.  You are advertising your brand and you’re creating brand recognition, your name.  I’ve even seen some people put a picture of their face on their business card.  I don’t know if I would do that, but it could certainly be effective.

A few more small things to remember:

  • Eye contact
  • Breath
  • Try to have fun
  • Attitude
  • Avoid negativity
  • Please and Thank you
  • Posture
  • Cleanliness
  • Timeliness

Once you’ve finished your interview, I want you to immediately debrief yourself.  Not every interview goes perfectly, and a lot of interviews don’t go as well as you may think they do.  Make a note of things that you think went well, and make note of things that need improvement or more attention.  Don’t let a bad interview destroy your self-confidence.  By channeling your after-interview thoughts onto paper you will be able to look at the bigger picture and avoid getting lost in your own chaotic cloud of thoughts.  Turn it into a learning experience.

As soon as you sit down at your computer after your interview, e-mail your interviewers.  Thank them for their time.  This really goes a long way.  When I see people do this, it sticks out.  In about a week (or after the time frame they had communicated to you about when they would make their decision) CALL them.  Don’t inquire as to whether they have made a decision, but simply ask if there is anything more they need to help them through their process.  Maybe give them an update on yourself.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. If you are serious about starting a career as Commercial Airline Flight Attendant, then read The Essential Guide To Becoming A Flight Attendant - Kiki Ward explains it all! If becoming a corporate flight attendant jives with you check out Beyond the Red Carpet.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, of contact me here.


 

Flight Attendant Cover Letter


A cover letter is where you can get a little creative, I think.  There are formats out there.  But, what I like to do in the cover letter is really present the wow factor.  This is where you have an opportunity to really make a connection with the reader.  I’ve seen a lot of boiler-plate cover letters, and they are the worst thing to read…worse than a poorly developed resume.  They are just a waste of time for your employer.  Give them something that is actually useful and enjoyable to read.

If there has been a connection made in the past, whether on the phone or in person, you can make a reference to that point(s) in time and immediately bring a connection to your cover letter/resume.  Get detailed…say thank you for a particular piece of advice they gave you, or say it was delightful listening to that person provide insight to the airline industry…whatever it is.flight-attendant-cover-letter

Another great thing you can do is tell a story that shows affection between you and the airline.  Tell a story of how you had a unique and positive experience with airline in the past.  Bring that experience full circle and tell them how you hope to exhibit this positive experience as you enter the work force as a Flight Attendant with that particular airline.  An example for me is when I was a youngster, the flight crew took me down into the cock pit of the airplane and let me have a brief look-around with the pilots.  It was amazing for me at that time, and it’s a memory I’ll have for the rest of my life.  I would reflect on that, and say that my goal as a Flight Attendant would be to facilitate that type experience and customer-service.  This will further compound your connection.

Another idea would be to exhibit some POSITIVE knowledge of the airline.  For example, you may see in the news that American Airlines (or any other airline) is expected to add 10,000 new Flight Attendants to they’re flight crew by the end of the year.  You can easily make a positive statement saying that you look forward to the opportunity of joining you growing team of flight crew.  This is nice and subtle and will hit the reader that you are well informed and relevant to read.  A good posture as they get ready to read your resume.

You want to have flow and readability to your letter.  Tell a general story.  Figure out what your general message is, and organize the content to deliver that message.  Try not to be all over the place with random facts and antidotes.  Treat this as setting the stage for them to read your resume.  Build connection, likability, and trust.

Good luck!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. If you are serious about starting a career as Commercial Airline Flight Attendant, then read The Essential Guide To Becoming A Flight Attendant - Kiki Ward explains it all! If becoming a corporate flight attendant jives with you check out Beyond the Red Carpet.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, of contact me here.


 

Flight Attendant Resumes


Successfully positioning yourself with a great employer/airline has a lot of moving parts, if you have not already noticed.  However, the cornerstone to all of those moving parts is an iron clad resume.  This is where it all starts, and it is how you direction yourself.  Undoubtedly, the most important part in establishing a career as a Flight Attendant is building a solid resume.

The key to a good resume is communicating your RELEVENT skill set in a clean and concise manner.  But, to separate your resume from good to GREAT you need to tailor your resume to meet the needs and goals of a particular airline/employer.flight-attendant-resume

There are different ways to layout your resume.  But how you lay it out depends on what your skill sets are, and what the best way is to communicate them.  The following are typical resume headings to help organize your information:

  • Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Qualifications & Skills
  • Core Competencies / Personal Qualities
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • References

First, start out by writing each of these categories in your word processor.  Then go through each category and fill out as much information as you can under each one, using bullet points.  Don’t think here, just write.  Get as much down as you can.

Next, go through and format each bullet point and category heading.  Your formatting is directed by the design layout you choose.  Determining which design layout to use is completely up to you.  I personally use very simple and clean layouts.  The most important thing with formatting and laying out your content is CONSITENCY.  All similar items (e.g., category headings) should look identical.

Now that you have the font, margins, sizing, etc. all setup, go through and trim the content that you’ve written to fit all on one page.  You are probably going to need to prioritize your bullet points.  Be sure to prioritize through your interviewers eyes.

Now you’ve got a working document.  The next step is to polish the content of your resume to improve readability and impressiveness.  You need to target generalized, overused, cliché, and passive words and expressions and substitute them power words and statements.  There is probably going to be quite a bit of re-tooling to get your sentence structures the way it should be.  Let me give you an idea of a bad sentence and a good sentence:

  • BAD – “Hard worker”, “outstanding professional”, “exceptional customer-service”
  • BETTER – “Accomplished sales goal at ABC Retail Store by developing improved customer-service standards.”  “Increased customer satisfaction by delivering products consistently on time and thereby achieving the Customer Satisfaction Award of the Year for ABC Retail Store.”

There is a general rule of thumb when developing a resume…Eliminate unsupported claims of greatness.  Every average resume is littered with claims that can be made by anybody.  Therefore, every resume that makes these types of claims will be immediately placed to the side.  Separate yourself by placing statements that will lead the interviewer to make their own conclusions to your greatness.  Make a strong statement with action words, and back it up.  Use quotes from your past performance reviews, or cite awards and recognitions that prove your statement.  Forget the fluff…employers want and know how to find the real thing.

Now give it to three different people for review.  Review it for grammar, punctuation, and readability.

Get it printed on a nice semi-gloss paper and cover each copy with a cover letter.  Good luck!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. If you are serious about starting a career as Commercial Airline Flight Attendant, then read The Essential Guide To Becoming A Flight Attendant - Kiki Ward explains it all! If becoming a corporate flight attendant jives with you check out Beyond the Red Carpet.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, of contact me here.


 
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