Guest post- Dorrotya, Emirates Cabin Crew.
Being cabin crew is a once in a life time, amazing experience. Many girls and boys are dreaming about traveling the world and living the fantastic lifestyle. Getting hired by an international airline is not so easy and once it happens you still need to complete the cabin crew training. I’ve been working for Emirates for almost eight months so let me share my experience with you.
The open day/assessment day
Most candidates are successful the first time they apply to be cabin crew but many of us (myself as well) have to try more than once to achieve our goal. You have to own certain competences (refer to the job advertisement of the airline) and there is something else you need; luck! You have to be at the right place at the right time, where possibly not too many people show up. I would say that not more 100-120 people is the ideal number, but the less is the better.
Prepare yourself the best way possible way – take pride in your appearance, be neat, presentable and professional. You are going to need a very good, clear CV which should not be longer than 1-2 pages. Only include relevant information, preferably your customer service experience. You can enhance your chances of being successful if you do some volunteering activities. Work together with people, show your empathy. This is one of the most important skills of a good cabin crew member. You also need photos in business attire, I would highly recommend you to have them done with professional help. Don’t forget, you want to increase your chances, so you have to show something special to the recruiter.
Your smile is one of the most important things! When you hand over your CV to the recruiter, don’t forget to smile, be genuine and natural. Talk clearly, but not too loudly, be polite and don’t reject eye contact. Keep your smile and be friendly with an open attitude during the whole day.
Something I realised during my assessment days; the cooler you are, the less you stress and this will give you a calmer attitude, it will let you enjoy the whole day and the recruitment team will definitely see it! I know this day is very important for you, but don’t take it too seriously. It is important to have other goals in your life other than only being a cabin crew. So if you are unsuccessful, you can carry on with your life and other goals until you try again and again. Go to the open/assessment day like someone who has nothing to lose. Don’t be in rush, if you don’t give up you will eventually make it. But having said that, still don’t let this one dream occupy your whole life.
The tasks of the assessment day have probably changed since I’ve done mine, so I cannot really help with it. I am pretty sure you find all the information on cabin crew forum or in Facebook groups. There are no wrong or right answers; all is a matter of how you present yourself and your team. Don’t forget that you work in a team, say things like “our idea” and not “my idea” for example. When you are talking try to look at everyone and avoid staring at the recruiter and looking for her reaction. You can use open body language and gestures but only if it is natural for you. Don’t act! They will know it.
If you pass the assessment day you get an invitation for the final interview. That’s the point when quality photos are really matter. You will get bunch of questions, some of them might be sudden, but don’t panic. Answer sincerely, think before you start talking and you will be fine.
The training college
Once you complete everything you get a date of joining (DOJ) and you will find yourself in Dubai very soon! I joined in November. Most newbies come on a Friday, and we all have Saturday as a day off. The party starts on Sunday, which is the first working day of the week. The first week is the so called “Induction week” when you first meet the fellow 120 people who joined on the same week as you from different corners of the world. You will listen to never ending sessions about all the rules and duties but at least you are going to have long breaks.
There are lots of interactive activates which help us to get to know each other better. We spend half a day in the Emirates clinic, but there is nothing to worry about. They are going to measure your height, weight, there is a blood test which is not painful at all, and they are going to check your eyesight as well. The riskiest part can be the urine test, which is a drug test basically. Certain medications (actually agents) are prohibited in the UAE and referred as drugs. If they find it in your urine, then your journey has come to an end before it actually started. But don’t worry, you are going to get the list of all this prohibited ingredients, so just make sure you don’t take any of it few weeks before your joining. These medical examinations are essentials for your resident visa.
During the induction week you will learn more about the culture and the customs which is very interesting. You will get the access to the crew portal which is a kind of “bible” of the company and also you are going to get your national and staff ID done.
The first 2,5 weeks of the actual training is the SEP (Safety and Emergency Procedures) which is the toughest but also the most interesting and fun part of the training. You will have lots of practical assessment in life-like, state of art simulators. Turbulence, decompression, fire, emergency landing, ditching, just to mention few cases.
We celebrate the end of the SEP with a “pizza lunch” which is a tradition here. The next part is the GMT (Group Medical Training) which takes only a week. Not as much fun as SEP but it gives you very useful and essential knowledge. Not as hard as the first 2,5 weeks either but you need to take it seriously. There is a lot could happen on board and you need to know what to do. The most difficult part for me was the CPR because it is very demanding for the body, I got very exhausted after 30 seconds.
There is a special name, which is the Nujoum day. It means “star” in Arabic and it is a very different day than the others, kind of mysterious. The aim is that you have to prove and show that “you are a star of Emirates”, but I cannot tell you more – the rest is a surprise!
The image and uniform day when we wear the uniform for the first time. We get lots of ideas and tips how to conduct good hair and nail care, how to keep ourselves healthy and happy. We are all ambassadors of Emirates, this is what we have to represent when wearing the beautiful and unique uniform.
The Safety and security training takes only two days. I found it very interesting and fun – just like SEP. We learnt how to conduct safety and security searches before passengers boarding the aircraft, how to deal with hijackers, bomb threats and unruly customers who endanger the safety of the crew, the other passengers or the aircraft itself. We even had a practical session where we learnt how to restrain others. We had to do it in our brand new uniform, which made it much funnier!
The last two weeks is the service training. We got daily written feedback, and we also had 3-4 computer based assessments and many practical ones. We had 4-5 of these in a simulator and we served real, heated airplane food for each other. We also had to take care of the “special customers” on board. Who are the special ones? Mothers with infants, visually impaired people, deportees, high valued customers, etc. They taught us how to approach and treat these kind of people, how to solve different kind of problems and how to talk generally with others in the polite, “Emirates” way.
After we completed all parts of the training we got our wings during a ceremony. The company even organised an “after party” for us and we all had 2-3 days off before our very first flights.
I hope you all enjoyed my article, you can find a lot more information and stories about everything on my own blog: www.dailycupofdubai.wordpress.com