Preparing for a Cabin Crew assessment day can be a very challenging task. Competition for just a handful of jobs is very fierce and there can be hundreds of candidates. Sometimes, when you are new to the industry, it is also difficult to know what to expect and how to survive this open day/recruitment process.
First, you must pass the pre-selection process, and meet the basic requirements. If you are successful at this stage, you will be able to participate in the assessment day. They will tell you where the venue is and what things you need to bring with you - this could include a CV and photos, passport copies, education certificates and medical reports.
The assessment days usually start at 8 or 9 am, and it is important to get there early as late arrivals will not be allowed to attend. You may have to stay locally the night before if you are travelling some distance. Be prepared to stay for the whole day but eliminations are made throughout the day, so you may have to leave at any stage. Below is a general outline of what to expect during most assessment days, with specific protocols or processes of the most popular airlines.
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The General Format
What you will do in the Morning
8.00am You will register at reception and meet the recruiters and other candidates. There can be anything from 50 to 500 or more candidates, so you have to make a great first impression. Make sure you mix well with others as the recruiters are watching for this… You will hand in your CV, photos and paperwork and fill in some short forms requesting information about when you last applied with the airline and if you have any tattoos or scars. A name or number tag will be given to you for identification.
9.00am Time to line up for the reach test where you will be required to stand on tip toes and reach a height of 210 or 212cm with your fingertips. This is essential as you need to be able to reach the emergency equipment on the aircraft.
10.00am You may be required to pass a psychometric, English and Maths test before they take your application further, but this varies for each airline. Psychometric tests check you have to right personality to become Cabin Crew. The English test is to check that you have enough fluency as English is the language of aviation and what you will be speaking on board. The Maths test consists of a handful of questions that you might deal with in real life like number of passengers, sales, the number of meal trays and currency conversion.
11.30am The airline recruiters will give a film presentation on life as cabin crew and afterwards there will be a short question and answer session, if you have anything to ask.
What to Expect in the Afternoon
12.00noon Time for the group activity. In a small group, you may be asked to solve a scenario or build something and then present your case back to the recruiters. For example: You are shipwrecked on an island, there is a raft but who should leave? The recruiters are looking for effective teamwork and communication.
1.00pm There is a break and then the first elimination round starts. Many candidates leave at this stage if they were unsuccessful in the group task.
1.45pm Role play – this may be as an individual or a small group and is always customer service orientated, like dealing with a difficult passenger.
2.45pm More eliminations. Now, it is time for the final interview which is usually with 2 recruiters. They will want to know why you want to be cabin crew for their airline and ask questions about your customer service experience. You will be expected to answer using direct examples from your work life.
4.30pm At this point, you will fill in more forms for security and background checks, references, medicals and possible joining details.
5.00pm The end of the day and time to go home!
Ryanair Assessment Day
Most candidates apply online and are then invited to the assessment day. You will then have to:
- Provide identification
- Meet the educational, height and no visible tattoos requirements
- Take a short English evaluation test. It is relatively short and easy with a grammar and essay section
- Have a Traditional interview (if you pass the English test)
If the interview goes well, you will be allowed to go home and within three weeks (or thirty days maximum) if the company is interested they will contact you to begin your training. Unfortunately, you have to pay for your training; you can either pay up front or choose to have it deducted from your salary gradually.
Flydubai assessment day follows other company’s format for the most part, but it starts slightly earlier around 7.30am (of course this is probably subject to change depending on the location). Beyond the starting time, these are the other things you should expect:
- English and Maths test – Candidates are given 40 mins to complete a relatively simple English and Maths test.
- Group Discussion – This is likely an assessment of the candidates’ ability to react and interact on the fly in a social context. The recruiters will observe the people in their group while this exercise takes place.
- Role Play – This is an another unique component of FlyDubai’s assessment day, where the applicants are taken into a separate room and asked to respond to various scenarios. Of course, most scenarios revolve around customer/traveller interactions, where the recruiter poses as the client.
- Interview – The day ends with a traditional
You should be aware that candidates can be eliminated at every step of this process, so keep smiling and pleasant to increase your chances.
Monarch seems to be the most narcissistic of the major air carriers since the first section of their assessment day is dedicated to the history of the company (I am joking, of course, many companies expect their applicants to know the airline’s history). The test also includes Maths, English, Geography and General Knowledge. It is graded either pass or fail, obviously if you do not pass you are sent away. If you pass you go on to a group exercise and then to a one to one interview as most other assessments do.
If your application is accepted, you will be invited to participate in an assessment day which includes a behavioural/biographical interview:
- On the job experiences you’ve had and a general discussion about your CV and career
- A group discussion
- Maths and English test
- Presentation assessment
- One to one interview
The budget air carrier assessment procedure is similar to most other companies with a few differences:
- You can apply when you are 18
- The height requirements are between 160cm-190cm without shoes
- Must be able to swim 25 m and tread water for a minute
- You need to be able to work legally within the EU
- Have a European passport that allows you to travel to all Easy Jet destinations
If you satisfy these requirements then you can apply and once accepted go through a similar process as the other assessments with testing, group discussions and a one to one interview.
You should hear back from the company ten days after you apply if you’re successful. The assessment consists of:
- A one on one interview
- Short test
- Group discussion
- One on one interview (for candidates who pass all the previous sections)
Expect the interview questions to be largely experience based questions which you will have to respond to with real-life scenarios you have experienced in previous positions.
Thomson’s process follows the same format as others, apply, group activity, test and one to one interview.
Surprisingly British Airways also follows a similar format to other airlines:
- One to one experience based interview
- A British Airways history interview
- Multiple choice evaluation which concentrates on scenarios you might find on the job
- Group activity
- Roleplaying section
But, not all airlines follow the standard format some airlines including Emirates Group have invitation only assessments.
- You will need to turn in a full CV which will be evaluated and if you meet the minimal requirements set by each company, you will be invited to participate in the assessment.
- Minimum height of 160cm
- Minimum age of 21
- Reasonably good health
- Reach of up to 212cm (when on tiptoes to be able to reach the overhead compartments)
- No tattoos that are visible when wearing a uniform
- Fluency in both spoken and written in English
- At least a high school level education.
Etihad has a similar prescreening named a CV drop assessment. Just like Emirates Group, if you meet the same requirements they will invite you to participate in the Assessment day.
If you are unsuccessful at your first assessment day, it is important to reapply in 6 months and also apply to other airlines to increase your chances of becoming Cabin Crew.
Have you ever attended a cabin crew assessment day? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below…
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