Down Arrow

Preparing for your Pilot Interview

Caroline Creane and Emma Akhurst

It is inevitable that at various stages in your pilot career, you will be faced with a selection interview; the interview forms a staple part of the majority of selection processes and allows the airline or operator you are applying for to ensure you are a good fit for the role. Effective preparation is essential for ensuring you perform to the best of your ability in the interview.

The organisation you are applying to may have sent you information ahead of the interview, so take some time to read through and understand anything you have been sent. During the interview, you will likely experience questions designed to gain a greater understanding of your motivation for applying to your chosen airline or operator, your understanding of the position and the organisation, and competency questions surrounding the core pilot competencies and your experiences to date. The interview may also involve technical questions designed to assess your level of knowledge and ability to apply this. The process and structure can vary between different operators as to what areas are most important for them so be sure to research their culture, values and priorities.

Remote Interview?

In current times, interviews may not be taking place at the academy you are applying to, and you may have to complete this in another setting of your choice via video conferencing technology, known as a remote interview. These types of interviews have become more and more common, and it may well be that you have been invited to a remote interview. It is very important that these types of interviews are approached with the same care as an in-person interview, and there may even be some things it is important for you to consider that you wouldn't have needed to with an in-person interview.


  • Make sure the environment is suitable for completing the interview and is as free from distractions as possible.
  • Check your technology beforehand – ensure that you have a good strong internet connection. If you are using a mobile phone or tablet, try and place the device in a stable location so you can focus on the interview itself.


  • It is important to remember that interviews might not be exactly the same for each individual going through the process so don't assume you'll get the same questions as someone else if a colleague has recently completed an interview.
  • Although you may have experienced the interview process many times before, each airline or operator may have slightly different requirements so it is always wise to prepare accordingly; be sure to gain as much insight as possible into the specific position you are applying for and the organisation you want to work for, so you can ensure your motivation in applying aligns with what they have to offer.
  • You may also find general preparation to develop your interview technique helpful: practicing interview questions with a friend or family member or completing a mock interview may also be beneficial for ensuring you can put your best foot forward with confidence and communicate as effectively as possible on the day.
  • There is only a finite amount of time, so try to focus on communicating concisely with a focus on key relevant details in order to support your potential to present yourself to the best of your ability.

Ahead of the interview

  • Spend some time reflecting on your experiences to date – what have you learnt from these and how have your skills developed across your career? The interviewer can only assess what they see during the interview so, whilst you may be a great potential asset to the airline, if you are not able to provide the interviewer with evidence of your skills through your examples then they may not be able to see your best qualities on the day; think of situations you have experienced and how these demonstrate your skill set, considering the core pilot competencies.

What are our 5 top cadet interview tips?

  1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. Take the time ahead of the interview to ensure you have a full understanding of the nuances around the role you are applying for; though you may have a wealth of similar experience, there will likely be some differences in the organisation, or operation.
  2. Look back to look forward. Take some time to reflect on your past experiences on the flight deck and the skills you have developed here.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Practice your interview technique, whether this be with friends, family, practicing on your own or through mock interview sessions.
  4. Put your best foot forward. Consider your self-presentation and how you can demonstrate a professional approach towards the process. Remember to treat a remote interview with the same professionalism as a face-to-face interview, and make sure the environment you choose t is suitable for completing the interview and as free from distractions as possible. If you're using a mobile phone, try and place the device in a stable location so you can focus on the interview itself.
  5. Complete your last-minute checks. Double check what is required of you, and make sure you have everything ready beforehand – this could include any documentation you need to bring to the interview or checking your technology beforehand if it is a remote interview, to ensure that you have a good strong internet connection.