The cabin crew recruitment process is one that for me, felt like it took forever, when in actual fact at five weeks from submitting my application to receiving the congratulations email it probably wasn’t that long at all. Especially when compared to the Emirates process which can take months.
Online Application Form
The first step to becoming cabin crew is the online application form. I’d say it took me about 30-45 minutes to complete it and hit the submit button. There were a series of questions I had to answer before I was able to start filling out the form, things like confirming your right to work in the UK, no tattoos and piercings etc. A little tip, I do have piercings other than in my ears but they are not visible so I still said that I did have piercings as I thought it would confirm they weren’t visible later, but it said I couldn’t proceed any further! So just say no if you have any tattoos or piercings that aren’t visible, you can always contact recruitment if you aren’t sure about them. I was then asked a series of questions, none of which were difficult, they were mainly common sense. The part that I was most concerned about was the mini essay type question, mine was why did I want to be cabin crew and why did I want to work for this airline, you might get a different question ie; what is good customer service to you etc. Thousands and thousands apply whenever there is a recruitment drive (we were told 17,000 at the AD), so it is important that what you write here makes you stand out from everyone else! No pressure then! The best advice I can give is to just be honest, have a think about what really attracts you the cabin crew role. A good place to start would be to mention how much you enjoy customer service and working as a team, as they are both big parts of the cabin crew job. It might be a good idea to get a pen and paper and jot down all the things that attract you do the job. If you are unsure about your spelling and grammar, or even if you just want a second opinion, get a trusted friend or family member to proof read it.
After submitting my application I honestly didn’t expect it to go any further, so you can imagine my surprise when I got a congratulations email inviting me to attend an assessment day! They wanted me to attend 2 days later eeek, there was no way I could make it! For one I was working all the available dates and I couldn’t get the time off work, I also had travel arrangements to think of etc. The main obstacle in my way however was my GCSE certificates, you need to bring them to the AD, but I had lost mine years and years ago. I had to apply to AQA and EdExcel for replacements and I paid £80. At the time of writing my AQA certificates still haven’t arrived, my EdExcel certificate arrived a few days before. If you’re like me and you have lost your certificates I would strongly recommend applying to get them before you apply, I very nearly lost my place on the AD because I kept putting off attending due to not having them! I had been told by a recruiter that I could attend without them, they would chase them up if I received an offer of employment. However I believe one girl was sent home at the start of the day for not having hers so it is not a risk I would be willing to take.
The Assessment Day
This was the big day! I can honestly say that I have never been so nervous about something in my entire life! The day starts at 8am so I had to travel down and stay in a hotel the night before, it cost me a lot of money! I spent almost £400 which is a crazy amount when I wasn’t even guaranteed an interview. It was a price I was willing to pay for the chance to get my dream job.
It is so important that you don’t arrive late, I’d say about 5 people turned up late and I thought it made such a bad first impression, as far as I’m aware none of them got through to the interview. So I would definitely make sure that you know where you’re going and leave with plenty of time to get there. I was 35 minutes early but I would rather that than even just 2 seconds late!
Another really important point is leave your shyness at the door, go and talk to the other candidates, smile and be friendly. Teamwork and people skills are such an important part of the cabin crew job, it’s not like other jobs were you can take your time getting to know your colleagues, you have to be able to communicate and get on with people you have never met before in a short amount of time.
So, the first thing that happens is the height and reach test, if you can’t reach the handle or are below 5 foot 2 you will unfortunately not be going any further. Two girls were sent home for being too short on my day. If you think you might be scraping it on the minimum height, get someone else to measure you and get someone else to do it again to be sure! Wearing super high heels still doesn’t change the fact that you are too short. Next we had to make sure that we weren’t too big, there was a painted off area and if you went outside it you were too big. It is a pretty big area so don’t worry if you aren’t a size 8 or even a 16 tbh! The hardest part was when I had to grab a handle on the wall with my right hand and then reach down to a strip of red material that was attached to the floor with my left. I actually hurt my neck doing it, but I did it and the man checking was happy enough. I did make a mental note to do some stretches if I was successful though. The final test was checking I could fit in the jump seat and could fasten the seatbelt, I also had to adopt the brace position which they show you how to do.
We sat around for a while (there is a lot of sitting and waiting so be prepared, it is obviously part of the process as I think the day could have been much shorter than it was, they will be watching to see if you get impatient etc) before we were then called in to watch a presentation about the company. I’ll be honest and say that it didn’t really tell me anything that I didn’t already know, but I had spent months on forums and finding out all I could about the job. There was an opportunity to ask questions, I would not ask about pay as for one it clearly states the salary when you apply and it can make you look unobservant. The recruiters were really nice so don’t be afraid to ask, just remember your manners and don’t interrupt etc.
Next for me was the group task, if I remember correctly while some people were doing the group task others were doing the role play. The group task is really important, I can’t stress that enough. You will be given a scenario and it is up to you as a team to work together to come to a solution/conclusion. The actual answer/result is not important, my group didn’t even finish. What is important is that you show good listening and communication skills, never ever interrupt someone else while they are speaking, that is an absolute no-no. You definitely need to speak up and make a contribution, it’s also a really good idea to ask other people’s opinions. If you notice that someone is a bit quiet try to get them involved and include them, I did. It’s easy to view the other candidates as your competitors but you should view them as potential colleagues, you have to show that you can work well in a team! Also make sure you go to the toilet and get a drink before the exercise starts!! Trust me on that one!
Next I had the role play, this is basically a customer service exercise you will more than likely have an angry customer or a problem that you have to resolve. I was left alone for a few minutes to read a few paragraphs relating to the role play. When the recruiter came back in I was asked to read it out loud, this is nothing to worry about just speak clearly and loud enough so that you can be heard. Then we did the role play, I was convinced I had mucked it up! Everything I had read online had said not to give in, well I gave in (after a few moments of uhmming and ahhing over whether I was doing the right thing!) I was so worried I had blown it, but when I sat back down I realised that I had been really polite and courteous when dealing with the complaint. That is what they want to see. At least one person refused to ‘back down’ to the customer and they got to the interview and received a job offer. So if you’re doing your role play and you don’t think you should give in to the customer don’t, just make sure you do it in firm but friendly and polite professional manner.
The final task of the morning was a short multiple choice test, you are given 15 minutes but most people were done in 5. It was by far the easiest part of the day, so I wouldn’t worry about it at all.
Next was the long horrible wait to find out if we were going to get an interview, or if this was the end of the journey. Two recruiters came through, as soon as the first guy finished reading out the names on his list I knew that my group were the successful ones, there were a few people who I just knew weren’t getting an interview for various reasons although there were a few that surprised me but I didn’t see them in the group task or role play so I really have no idea how they performed. We were taken to the room where we had watched the presentation, after a little speech about how well we had done to even just get invited to the AD we were given the good news. I was so relieved, we were all so happy laughing and hugging each other. Even though I had only met these people a few hours ago we had all gotten along so well and I was genuinely so happy for them.
After a little lunch break we all waited to be interviewed. I was one of the last to be called, the longer I waited the more I just wanted to get it over with. When my name was finally called I was led to a room by one of the interviewers, where the other was waiting. I had a man and a woman, the woman explained how it would go and then asked if I was ready to start. Even when I sat down I was feeling relatively confident, I had made lots of notes and practiced my answers. But as soon as they asked the first question I panicked, my heart started racing and I felt like all my practice was going out the window. I did answer all the questions, giving what I felt were good examples, well apart from one which was a question that had caught me off guard! All I could do was hope that I had said enough to impress them, and that I had shown how much I wanted this job. You will be given an opportunity to ask a few questions, it is a good idea to make a list of a few that you would like to ask.
Well obviously I got the job, I wouldn’t be writing this blog otherwise 🙂 We had been told that it could take anything from 5-14 days to hear back, but I actually heard back 2 days later which I was relieved about as I think I would have went crazy if I had been kept waiting 2 weeks! I am now waiting for them to ask me for my 5 year history and to start my background checks, fingers crossed it will be done quickly and I can start the training course ASAP! I will keep you updated with how the referencing process goes.