Share Your Opinion = Fail Your Airline Interview

We are living in an era where facts, evidence and truth, when inconvenient, are disregarded. Be warned, aviation job seekers cannot afford to follow this trend.

Blurring the lines between fact and fiction with fluffy platitudes, rampant opinions and selective memory are tactics that might work some of the time but certainly not all of the time.

And never in aviation recruitment.

Any career within the aviation industry requires a degree of risk management unlike any other I can think of. Safety has to be top of mind in most, if not all, roles. Therefore, airlines insist that you use actual facts and evidence to prove you can do what you say you can do, because lives depend upon it.

I don’t think this trend in… I don’t know, lets call it ‘anti-facts’ is a conscious response in any of us, more a tone of vagueness set by a particular ‘Influencer’ we hear from relentlessly on TV and social media.  He has managed to influence the standard by which we engage each other and interpret what we hear.

In my world as a coach, this trend appears as a tendency in some to skip over incidents, in attempts to justify decisions or often offer opinions instead of facts.  More alarming, some candidates are using examples/events that are not theirs. We can pick those apart pretty much immediately.

And it just won’t do.

Follow this trend and you will disadvantage yourself and your career.

Bland, general, fluffy, opinion-based statements honestly mean nothing. Especially to someone who does not know you. Someone who may be sitting across from you deciding if you progress to your dream flight crew role on a 787.

Over the last two weeks I had 3 pilots say to me: ‘I purchased your “Airline Pilot Feedback notes” so I know what to expect, I get it, I’m just going to wing it” or something close to that.  I can also tell you that at least 2 failed their assessment day, I have not heard from the 3rd. That’s what prompted me to spend my Sunday writing this piece.

Whether you have heard of STAR or SAR or not, pilots and cabin crew need to know it back to front and inside out.  At its core, it is based on FACTS and EVIDENCE.

It is the preferred method that ALL AIRLINES want you to use during your panel interview.

But not only the panel interview…you need to use the same guidelines during all of the following:

  • application letter,
  • video or on-line interview,
  • telephone interview,
  • assessment day panel interview,
  • cadet program interview.

So what is the STAR, or SAR technique?

The STAR or SAR method is part of the ‘Behavioural Interview Technique’.

To put it simply, the airline needs you to provide:

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  1. Facts and
  2. Examples

That illustrate your past behaviour every time you answer a question.

The biggest indication of what you can do for us is what you have done in the past.

They will not take your word for it. Airlines require specific examples that factually represent how you have behaved in the past in a particular situation. That, in all likelihood is exactly what you are going to do when aboard their aircraft and a similar event occurs.

The panel need proof and this is the most tried and true method of gaining that proof.

So how do you learn this method?

I know preparing for airline recruitment processes is expensive. So, if you cannot find the time to have one on one coaching or you don’t have the resources then I suggest this.

Get hold of The Aviation Interview Success Workbook’. Ten years ago I wrote this Workbook and it does exactly that. It cuts through the complexity of this entire method and steps you through understanding the SOP’s and finding great examples.

We are a business so just click here or click the workbook image below and it will take you to the product page and price. But we are also there to support and help you. If you have an issue or a concern get in touch, we will see if we can help or at the very least point you in the right direction:

However you decide to do it, learn this technique thoroughly, you will need it for every part of your airline career.

In this era of fake news and selective truths we attempt each and every day to offer the opposite: transparency, facts, reliable content and care.

Here’s to facts and to your success!


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