6 Frequently Underestimated Questions During Pilot Interviews

6 Frequently Underestimated Questions During Pilot Interviews

As a result of airline interview preparation courses with ACS – Aviation Consulting Services and Learn to Fly, we have had many successful candidates who are now flying large turboprop and jet airliners with airlines around the world. We have assisted candidates through the interview process and successfully improve techniques and methods to do so. A number of key aspects have become apparent relating to properly preparing for questions during pilot interviews.


As always, the key to any interview is preparation and the earlier the better.

Although aspects of the practical and theoretical side of flying is always being considered, the interview side pondering aspects about HR repeatedly gets left as one of the lowest priorities.

A typical trend leading towards an interview date is the lead up time. If the interview date is within 1 month, then a lot of preparation is essential. It is essential to go away from either individual or group preparation sessions and to have time to think about your responses, then develop or evolve them when compared to your previously considered thoughts and ideas.

Over the previous 2 years with more than 75 airline job offers from 8 major airlines, the typical successful candidate has started their HR Preparation with at least 6 weeks notice; typically at least 2 months. This allows time to develop a strong, well thought out and prepared candidate.


A number of areas and questions have become apparent that candidates consistently need to develop further. At times the focus is so strong on standard yet obvious questions, such as “Why should we employ you?”, and “What are you going to get from working for our organisation?” That others remain underestimated and therefor require more consideration.

The top 6 obvious questions during pilot interviews that consistently require more consideration are as follows:

  1. Discuss your role in this upcoming position.
  2. Where do you see yourself in the long term ie 5, 10 and 20 years from now?
  3. What has been the most satisfying part of your career?
  4. Discuss a time when you have been under pressure, and how did you overcome this?
  5. What is your PLAN B if you are unsuccessful today?
  6. How can your role as a Pilot be used to improve the customer experience, and our product?

Overall candidates need to review these above areas with more detail and develop a more intelligible trend of these obvious yet lacking areas. Therefore, presenting you the candidate as a more thought out, and ultimately better person for the job.

Contributed by Darren McPherson, our Airline Interview and Workshop coach and A350 senior captain at a major international airline with over 30 years’ experience.

For more information on common questions during pilot interviews, or about the airline interview preparation courses we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.