I have met so many people that aspire to be cabin crew. In many parts of the world it is one of the best jobs a person can get. Many people want to do it for the glamour, the chance to travel or for the love of customer service and meeting new people. However it is also one of the most competitive jobs to get. So to help all those prospective cabin crew out there I have compiled some top tips to help you on your way!
Do your research!
For any job that you might apply for you need to make sure you have done your research. You should know what the job involves and what will be required of you should you be successful. Companies will often ask you some business-type questions so you should do a bit of research into the organisation you are applying to work for. You should know things such as who owns the company, have there been any major merges or take over recently, are they in any alliances (e.g. Star Alliance/One World Alliance).
2. Gain customer service experience
The bulk of the role of being cabin crew is customer service focussed, so it is essential that you have experience in this field. Your experience doesn’t need to be in the travel industry, although that would be an advantage. During the application stage airlines will often want to give examples of your customer service. They may for example ask things such as ‘tell me about a time when you had a disruptive customer and how you dealt with it’. Many cabin crew have histories of working in retail, so this is a good way to gain some relevant experience. For example, before my first flying job my experience was working in Sainsbury’s.
3. Be prepared
If you are fortunate enough to get to interview stage make sure you are well prepared. Many people choose to relocate if successful, so the area in which the job interview may not be familiar to you. Make sure you plan your route there and perhaps a back-up too to allow. For example, the sat nav post code I was given for the interview centre was incorrect and took me somewhere completely different so I had a pre-printed sheet of directions from AA Route Planner to help me get there. You also need to make sure you are prepared in terms of what you need to bring, make sure your passport is in date, you have any certificates, qualifications etc neatly organised and any other bits they have asked you to take with you ready.
4. Take notice of legal requirements
There are a lot of laws around working as cabin crew, two of the most well-known being weight and height. As much as you probably want the job, if you do not meet the minimum requirements there is no point in applying. I have seen many candidates travel miles for an interview, only to be sent home because they are too tall/too short/overweight. Make sure you check the regulations, each airline will be different (for example smaller aircraft don’t require the same height) so just because you don’t meet the requirements for one doesn’t mean you have to give up! But be warned-they will test you at interview and you will be sent home if necessary.
5. Be sociable
You are being watched and assessed from the minute you walk through the door so if there are other people at the interview sitting and waiting make sure you socialise while you wait! Most cabin crew are friendly, sociable and approachable people, so they assessors will be looking for these qualities in you. People who walk into a room full of people but choose to sit alone are not normally successful in the interview process.
6. Prepare relevant examples
Make sure that you have lots of examples to give during the interview. This should include customer service examples, examples of good teamwork, using initiative, dealing with unexpected situations etc. Think back to your past jobs and make a note of anything you could use.
7. Make sure you’re well presented
It is essential that all cabin crew are well presented and take pride in their appearance. They are working as the face of the airline and as such they need to present a professional, positive image. Choose your outfit, make-up and perfume wisely. Many girls will wear a smart dress or pencil skirt, with a shirt and suit jacket, and guys will normally have a suit. Most girls will also have high heels on, their hair in a bun (as required by many airlines) and neat and tidy make-up. Over-powering perfume is also a no go. A tip is generally to look smart, but in the style of the job you are applying for. For example, many people applying for jobs with Virgin will choose to wear red!
Most airlines want friendly, smiley people to work for them, so make sure that you smile as much as possible! Be friendly to everyone, make sure you are really approachable and you will definitely be on the right track!
9. Don’t give up!
Don’t be disheartened if you’re not successful first time round. Traditionally only 5-10% of applicants will get the job-so it is a tough industry to get into! Many people will try several times and eventually be successful. All interview experience is good, so if you do have an interview and don’t get through take it as experience to prepare you for the next one. Plus some airlines actually like people to keep applying as it shows their determination!
10. Don’t fall for ‘guaranteed job’ courses
It seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment that companies are setting up cabin crew courses, indicating that if you do their course you will get a job as a cabin crew. Although perhaps the courses may be helpful in learning about the job and what it requires, this will not necessarily help you to get a job or even an interview! Some of these courses cost hundreds of Pounds and to me seem a complete rip off-the only way to get a job as cabin crew is to actually apply for the job with the airline and be successful! Don’t be fooled by some of these companies that seem to be cropping up all over the internet at the moment.
For more top tips and all you need to know about becoming cabin crew check out my new book now available on Amazon!