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Old 02-08-2007, 02:37 PM   #1  
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Default Interview Advice From Interview Committee Member

During our last round of hiring, I was on the interview committee. We would take the candidates to a simple sim and check their basic flying skills, then back to HQ for the personal interview. After that we took the candidates to lunch to see how they interacted with others. This doesn't mean squat, except I was interviewing for a national 121 air carrier flying B-727's and DC-10's around the world. So with that perspective, here is some advice.

I was shot down at DHL, ATA and United before I landed my next gig (I'm glad that I did in hindsight). My problem was that I was too close to the edge. I wanted it SO badly, that I was a nervous wreck!

That was the symptom. The cause was that I was "faking it."

I was pretending to be the person that I wanted to be instead of being the person that I wanted to be. I didn't do my absolute best each time that I flew. I talked poorly about other people behind their back, I didn't make each gate agent and ramper feel important, and totally disregarded the fueler. I just did what it took to get by...until the interview. Then I was Mr. Wonderful! But I knew that I wasn't. I was faking it. Kind of like when the FAA route checks you, that same worry about what I'm forgetting (since I didn't follow SOPA routinely).

When I changed all of that I felt so much better about myself. I didn't do or say anything in real life that I wouldn't say in an interview. I was going to be the most respected pilot around. Not because I was faking it, but because I was genuinely interested in others and was determined to know my airplane better than anyone else (humbley, of course). I gave the fueler cookies, I was sweet as molasses to the ramper who screwed up the bags, and I made every flight a check ride; no matter how late it was.

My view of myself changed. I was the ideal candidate. I knew that I was. I wasn't the best pilot, but I knew that no one was trying harder, or had more commitment to doing it right. I was such a different person in the subsequent interview!

Don't act like the person that you want to be, BE the person that you want to be!!! It will show!!! Everything else will fall into place.

PS Whenever you post something to this board, ask yourself if you would want it printed and brought to an interview. Be rest assured, if you ask another member on this board for advice or a recommendation to their company, they will read every post that you've submitted to see how you talk.

I did.

Last edited by Fox 1; 02-08-2007 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:42 PM   #2  
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PS Whenever you post something to this board, ask yourself if you would want it printed and brought to an interview. Be rest assured, if you ask another member for advice or a recommendation to their company, they will read every post that you've submitted to see how you talk.

I did.
I'm screwed...

-LAFF
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:46 PM   #3  
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Good post, Fox 1. Maybe some more people will take that kind of professionalism to heart out there.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:48 PM   #4  
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During our last round of hiring, I was on the interview committee. We would take the candidates to a simple sim and check their basic flying skills, then back to HQ for the personal interview. After that we took the candidates to lunch to see how they interacted with others. This doesn't mean squat, except I was interviewing for a national 121 air carrier flying B-727's and DC-10's around the world. So with that perspective, here is some advice.

I was shot down at DHL, ATA and United before I landed my next gig (I'm glad that I did in hindsight). My problem was that I was too close to the edge. I wanted it SO badly, that I was a nervous wreck!

That was the symptom. The cause was that I was "faking it."

I was pretending to be the person that I wanted to be instead of being the person that I wanted to be. I didn't do my absolute best each time that I flew. I talked poorly about other people behind their back, I didn't make each gate agent and ramper feel important, and totally disregarded the fueler. I just did what it took to get by...until the interview. Then I was Mr. Wonderful! But I knew that I wasn't. I was faking it. Kind of like when the FAA route checks you, that same worry about what I'm forgetting (since I didn't follow SOPA routinely).

When I changed all of that I felt so much better about myself. I didn't do or say anything in real life that I wouldn't say in an interview. I was going to be the most respected pilot around. Not because I was faking it, but because I was genuinely interested in others and was determined to know my airplane better than anyone else (humbley, of course). I gave the fueler cookies, I was sweet as molasses to the ramper who screwed up the bags, and I made every flight a check ride; no matter how late it was.

My view of myself changed. I was the ideal candidate. I knew that I was. I wasn't the best pilot, but I knew that no one was trying harder, or had more commitment to doing it right. I was such a different person in the subsequent interview!

Don't act the like the person that you want to be, BE the person that you want to be!!! It will show!!! Everything else will fall into place.

PS Whenever you post something to this board, ask yourself if you would want it printed and brought to an interview. Be rest assured, if you ask another member for advice or a recommendation to their company, they will read every post that you've submitted to see how you talk.

I did.
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Good post, Fox 1. Maybe some more people will take that kind of professionalism to heart out there.
Yes..Its very sound advice.

-LAFF
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:27 AM   #5  
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bump bump. Great post
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:21 PM   #6  
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Kudos on the bump Rook - I agree wholeheartedly....GREAT post.
This is how you achieve "being yourself."
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:11 AM   #7  
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Lets say you're the captain of a flight, and you have just learned the plane is 10 pounds over max gross weight? What do you do? Every single captain I've flown with would just fudge the numbers and continue on with the flight, knowing that 10 pounds will not hurt anyone. At the same time, I do not know of a single captain that would admit doing anything other than canceling the flight when presented with this scenario during an interview.

It is a great idea to be honest and all that, but a lot of times you just can't be. Would you say its best to keep it real by honestly fessing up to doing illegal-yet-hardly-unsafe stuff during an interview, or telling them what they want to hear?

The problem is you just can't always be that perfect example of the aviation cherub. There are many times when you have to fudge it, or else screw over a lot of people over what amounts to nothing. Its absolutely impossible to go through your career without doing some dirt along the way. Furthermore, since there are so many regulations, it's very easy to get caught up in "dirt" without ever even approaching "unsafe"

This is what I hate about interviews so much. There are so many situations where it's basically lose/lose. Your Boeing 737 is 10 pounds over max gross. Do be the perfect aviator and cancel the flight, screwing over all those passengers over nothing, or do you be the perfect aviator and get it done safely, yet still break the law?
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:12 PM   #8  
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Can't I stay on the ground for two more minutes and burn off that extra 10 pounds of fuel?

Of course I'm *trying* to be funny here but the point is well taken. I still say that you try to do the right thing every time - but I guarantee that you won't be able too - everytime. The other day I broke my SOP crew day by about 15 minutes; but the command already knew that was a possibility and had given their consent to get the mission completed.

It is a tough situation but this post brings up what I've heard from so many people about the interview process - BE YOURSELF. I've heard that if you are at the interview that they want to hire you. I've heard that it is more about personality at that point than flying skills or test results. Does the company want YOU representing them on a day to day basis? Do other aircrew want to spend 5 days on the road with you or are they ditching you the second out to dinner?

Thanks for the post Fox1.

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Old 08-28-2008, 03:34 PM   #9  
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Can't I stay on the ground for two more minutes and burn off that extra 10 pounds of fuel?

Of course I'm *trying* to be funny here but the point is well taken. I still say that you try to do the right thing every time - but I guarantee that you won't be able too - everytime. The other day I broke my SOP crew day by about 15 minutes; but the command already knew that was a possibility and had given their consent to get the mission completed.
Unless an actual law was broken, the chain of command can legitimately authorize/direct almost any deviation from military policy.

Both military and airlines have strict zero-tolerance drug abuse policies...

If an airline directed it's pilots to take amphetamines to allow them to work longer days during a weather crisis, we would all be astounded, congress would investigate, the FBI would arrest people, and the FAA would ground the airline.

The military, despite THEIR zero-tolerance, will turn around and do exactly that.


One of the unique things about civilian piloting is that the pilot is sort an independent contractor. He is paid to fly by the company, but he also has a duty to comply with/enforce FAA regs...even if the company says otherwise. This can frequently put you between a rock and hard place in 91, 135, and low-end 121. It's a fine line sometimes.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:37 PM   #10  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Unless an actual law was broken, the chain of command can legitimately authorize/direct almost any deviation from military policy.

Both military and airlines have strict zero-tolerance drug abuse policies...

If an airline directed it's pilots to take amphetamines to allow them to work longer days during a weather crisis, we would all be astounded, congress would investigate, the FBI would arrest people, and the FAA would ground the airline.

The military, despite THEIR zero-tolerance, will turn around and do exactly that.


One of the unique things about civilian piloting is that the pilot is sort an independent contractor. He is paid to fly by the company, but he also has a duty to comply with/enforce FAA regs...even if the company says otherwise. This can frequently put you between a rock and hard place in 91, 135, and low-end 121. It's a fine line sometimes.


I can certainly see where this might happen. Yes - the military will make certain *things* available to you if you feel the need to take them and the command has endorsed such products - but you aren't forced to take them. I never felt the need and did just fine. Of course the *zero-tolerence* is for illegal drugs too.

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