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Avoiding Square Corners

Old 04-03-2013, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by USMCFLYR View Post
No - he can't really because they would be self-promotion and advertising which isn't allowed on the site; but I can

Emerald Coast Interview Consulting

I'm just passing on that I heard they did good work.
^^^^This x100000

If you haven't been to one of Albies prep sessions, you're doing yourself a huge disservice. I would put him in the required column of "suit/ATP/4 year degree/etc."
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for the info. This is exactly what I needed to hear.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:13 AM
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Here's another prep option: Cage Consulting- Pilot Career Services - Resume Development & Interview Prep for Pilots | Cage Consulting - Helping Pilots Reach Their Career Goals Since 1988

Cheryl Cage and Angie Marshall are solid and have prepped 1000's pilots over many cycles of hiring.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:55 AM
Joined APC: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by WiltChamberlain View Post
Here's another prep option: Cage Consulting- Pilot Career Services - Resume Development & Interview Prep for Pilots | Cage Consulting - Helping Pilots Reach Their Career Goals Since 1988

Cheryl Cage and Angie Marshall are solid and have prepped 1000's pilots over many cycles of hiring.
I know a couple guys that used them too, they're hired.

Albie, any chance you might be able to take a gander at the PM I sent you a while ago regarding something you posted here?

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Old 04-22-2013, 05:52 PM
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Great information!
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
Avoiding Square Corners…

In fighter aviation, a “square corner” is a position where you find yourself unable to make a required max performance turn, usually because you are out of airspeed and energy, grossly out of position, or at too high of an energy state to make a tight turn.
The way to avoid a square corner while flying a fighter is to always have good situational awareness on your overall position in the sky and be aware of your own relative energy state. If you can meet those requirements, you probably won’t find yourself spit out of fight or screaming at the ground watching the ground rush up as you attempt to pull out of your dive….

After helping over 3000 pilots prepare for the challenge of stepping up to the next level in their careers, I want to share one of my biggest frustrations. Lately, I’ve seen several pilots from various walks of life put themselves in a square corner when it comes to preparing for an interview. Some have pulled out of the dive in time, but were left shaken and stressed by the experience. A few others have ridden it in all the way into the dirt. Here are a few ideas about maintaining awareness on both your position in space (a snapshot of the state of the industry) and about maintaining awareness of your relative energy state (i.e. your own preparation) so that you can avoid a similarly negative outcome.

First, let’s look at the big picture. Where are we in the sky at the moment? How much altitude and airspeed do we have, and what is going on around us?

There are several major factors that will drive airline hiring for the next few years. The primary factor is demographics. There are many pilots who will be retiring in the coming years, as the effects of the age 60 to 65 retirement age start to fade. The five-year period of minimal to no retirements ended in December 2012. Additionally, although not out of the woods the national and global economy has rebounded considerably off the 2007-2009 lows. These factors have combined and major airlines have again begun to hire new pilots. While there are factors that will temper some of this hiring, like consolidation through mergers, more efficient use labor, preferential bidding programs, the trend for the next few years is positive and most legacy airlines and many nationals are currently hiring. These airlines will always have more applicants that jobs available, but the ratio of qualified and capable pilot to opportunities is about to slide back towards the pilots’ favor for the first time in the last decade. Our group is not here to parrot the infamous Kit Darby “Pilot Shortage”, but anyone who can read a graph knows that there are going to be more, not fewer, opportunities in the coming years. For military aviators with a reasonably solid record, or regional captains with a good training history and solid attendance record, opportunities are going to become available. You have been warned—airlines will need pilots, and they are reviewing resumes and applications. Hiring windows are opening. The market has “cried wolf” on hiring before, but this time they are really hiring. In 2013 you can no longer say you were “surprised” by getting an interview call from a Legacy carrier. This is our position in the air right now—airlines are calling pilots in for interviews. Some logjams have finally given way, and there is some positive movement for the first time in several years. Ignoring this is like diving at the ground at 450 knots, and then freezing up when you realize you see a face full of rocks. Your situational awareness should be cueing you—there IS some hiring going on.

Next, assess your relative energy state at this point in time. Can you make a tight corner if required? Typically airlines call potential interviewees two to three weeks out, sometimes offering a small smattering of available interview dates. Three weeks is often a luxury in time available. Some pilots were called for Virgin Interviews recently just one week out. Hawaiian Airlines is infamous for short notice interview invitations—sometimes as short as three days. Sometimes other candidates might cancel, pop up interviews are not that uncommon even at carriers that try to provide more notice. At my own airline several pilots were called on a Thursday and asked if they could make it to a following Monday interview due to an open slot. When you finally get that call—the one that should no longer be a surprise—what you do you need to do? A short list of some common tasks include:

• Coordinate to get off work or schedule work around the interview. Calling in sick at your current employer is not a recommended technique.
• Arrange travel arrangements to and from the interview
• Acquire any required documentation—driving records, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.
• Get the appropriate attire—suit, business casual, or uniform as dictated by the interviewing company
• Schedule a simulator if doing any kind of simulator preparation. This can be very difficult as most sims have very high utilization rates and off the street training slots can be hard to schedule

In many cases, there will be less than two weeks to accomplish these tasks. If scheduled for a 3 or 4-day trip in middle of the period, it’s going to be a hectic, stressful period. Keeping ones’ own energy up means having already done some of your preparation so there is enough potential and kinetic energy to make that tight turn.

So—what does a pilot need to do to keep his energy state high enough to make this tight turn happen? Here are a few recommendations:

• Expect to get called for an interview in 2013/2014. If you have taken the time to apply, you must believe there is a chance you will get called. Don’t let a call from a recruiter stun or shock you. Be prepared and ready to interview with as little as 5 days notice
• Get transcripts, driving records, and personal information ready now. There will be some specific information required for each particular interview, but there are also some standard things that are universally required. Get those ready now.
• Suits—get them ready. Shoes should be polished, but comfortable enough to spend a long stressful day on your feet. Break them in…
• Lose the weight now. If you are trying to drop 10 pounds, do not show be on a low-carb diet two days prior to your interview with a low energy state, a headache and a cranky disposition. Prepare physically for the interview as well as mentally.
• Have simulator profiles available and know the flow and callouts if required. Chair flying and preparation now will save time, money, and stress both during purchased practice sessions and the actual simulator evaluation.
• If planning on doing an interview prep course—with our firm or any of the other services out there—do it early.

In March several clients wanting help for their United Airlines Interviews were turned away because they could not make one our two seminars during the week and there were no remaining slots left for phone preparation. United was at the top of their list for years, and they have waited for this phone call for most of their professional lives. Yet they ignored the fact that hiring was looming, and delayed doing many of the tasks outlined above. When they were called, they faced a huge square corner as they faced trying to prepare for a major airline interview in ten days or less. A few other pilots and are now furiously trying to drop or trade a trip (or worse) to try to squeeze in a seminar or work in a late night phone prep course that will help them—but not nearly as much as it might have helped if done six months ago. If committed to doing a pre-interview prep course—why not go ahead and do it early? It costs the same to prepare six months in advance as it does three days prior to an interview, but the value of the training is exponentially higher if accomplished in a less stressed, more thorough training environment. At our firm, working early provides the benefits of having more time with the instructors, as well as the ability to come back for additional sessions at no charge. Getting help the week prior to an interview then becomes a confidence builder or a chance to polish a problem area instead of a building project from the ground up. A cram course at the last minute is better than no training, but doing things the right way add reduces a lot of stress and provides a tremendous amount of confidence and ability. If you train somewhere else, even if you pay to repeat the course, compared to one hour of dual of in a Seminole or a new suit and a pair of shoes, the investment you make in yourself is going to be amortized over a long career. Why go cheap now with the end goal so close?

The big picture should be clear. There IS hiring taking place, and you may be called for an interview soon. When that call comes, you will have limited time to do a lot of preparation. Everything done now to get ahead to prepare for that moment will mean less of “square corner” and a much greater chance of success. If the desire to reduce stress and improve your performance is not enough motivation, remember that most of the competition out there will in fact do everything it takes and have been preparing for these interviews for months in advance, if not years. The choice is ultimately up to each individual, but success in life usually follows a pattern of preparation, hard work, and vigilance. Getting the dream job at a major airline is no different. Don’t show up surprised or unprepared for that multi million-dollar moment…
You will be very glad if you follow this plan to the letter.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:54 AM
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I did the ECIC course 7 months prior to getting an interview with my current employer. You are not going to forget the material and you need to hear it. You already know most of it but you don't know that you know it. If you don't do this prep or one like it, there's a pretty good chance your competition already has. Thanks, Albie.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:03 PM
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Good Info. Thanks
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 AM
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I would like to personally, and publicly, recommend Emerald Coast to anyone who has an interview. I recently used a relatively new format from Emerald Coast, the webinar. I wish I had read his initial post on here a few months back. I found myself with an opportunity to interview with United Airlines on a relatively short timeframe. I was under the impression that from the time of initial contact the process would take three to six weeks, I was wrong just over two weeks from first call to being informed that I was hired. I know that there is NO WAY I could have prepared for all three phases of the interview without Emerald Coast. They definitely helped me to avoid the "squared corner". I am very thankful for your help and willingness to work around my current jobs schedule.

Thanks again,

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Old 08-05-2013, 04:03 PM
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I am bumping this.

After hosting over 40 seminars across the country and in Europe and a handful of additional online seminars thus far in 2013, this week I am still doing a last-minute cram session with 8-9 folks two days prior to their interviews.

This is in the middle of my first 8-9 day Asia trip in several years and a death in our Emerald Coast family. Mary--our HR lead--lost her mom to cancer last Saturday.

This is certainly better than no prep. I really, really appreciate the business. But I can promise you as hard as I will work to help these folks, those of you who can come early to a session are going to get much, much more out the experience than those trying to cram for finals.

You applied...so you must think you are going to get called eventually, right? If you do the course early--close to your hometown or on a TDY or layover, it is much easier to follow up with a top off phone call or online training session. Building from the ground up--two days prior to your big day--is an exercise in triage.

I don't mean to sound like I do not appreciate the business. I do. But the "dad" or "flight commander" comes out in me when I see these last minute flailing cases, and I always want to say "why weren't you here six months ago?" Dragon7 and a few others on here "strolled" into their jobs. Others flopped like a fish until the night prior. Who would you rather be?
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