Jeff - Working in the airline industry, from my experience has always been held in very high regard and has also been very competitive to get those coveted positions. Where did your interest in becoming a Flight Attendant come from?
George - My interest in becoming a Flight Attendant sparked at a young age. I remember my mom taking me to the airport overlook, a place where you can watch airplanes take off and land. I always found airplanes to be fascinating and loved every time I got to see them. I used to have a toy collection of airplanes that I would play with when I was a kid. I always had a fear of heights and flying on an airplane. This made me put being a Flight Attendant on hold until I signed up for a study abroad class in College. My first plane ride was taken on May 9th, 2016 from Charlotte North Carolina to Toronto Canada on a CRJ 200. I remember feeling overwhelmed and scared to fly. I cried during takeoff but once airborne that’s when the passion to be a Flight Attendant sparked. I loved every second of the flight and watched the Flight Attendant do service and all from my seat. After that moment and flying four times I knew I wanted to pursue becoming a Flight Attendant. I have kept track of every flight I have flown on since and the total is now at 571 flights taken. To be someone that was once afraid to fly, I find it to be amazing. My passion for aviation has grown so much, I look to Flight Attendants as my heroes every day. They mean a lot to me and to carry that title myself means the world to me. I also would like to say, after my first training with my first regional airline in the fall of 2017 I got to fly over my house I used to live in 10 years ago. I remember looking up while outside and thinking someday I will fly over this very same spot. I did that, I flew over that same spot and looked out the window and said, “I did it! I made a dream and vision come alive.”
Jeff - When you did decide to pursue a career as a Flight Attendant, what were the first steps you took?
George - The first steps I took when I pursued the Flight Attendant position was research and find what airlines were hiring at the time. After I completed my research I was so motivated I decided to apply to all of them. I didn’t care at the time about the pay. I just wanted to fly and make a dream come alive. I applied to over 9 Airlines and only got accepted to one in the Fall of 2017. It was a regional airline that flew for United Express and American Eagle.
George - The recruitment process will vary from airline to airline. I’ve been through about 13 of them entirely and offered a Conditional Job Offer (CJO) several times. The process goes a little like this:
- Apply – Complete the application online and upload your resume.
- Online Assessment Invite - The assessment is a series of questions and scenarios you will answer. Some airlines require it and some don’t. Just be ready for it.
- Video Interview Invite (VI) – This is a recorded video interview done from your phone or computer. Dress the part as if you are interviewing in person with recruiters. There will be a series of questions you will answer. Remember to smile and be yourself. Note: This is an actual interview so make sure you stay professional the entire time. Be clear and concise and always show your beautiful smile and personality. The question you have to answer may have time limits so be concise and clear.
- Face-to-face Interview – Once you complete and successfully pass the VI. You will then be invited to the face-to-face interview. This is where you get the chance to shine. Some Airlines may cover your travel expenses and some don’t. So prepare for it. You are responsible for all expenses such as food, hotel, clothing, etc. Be sure to arrive early and have extra copies of your resumes. Also, pay close attention to your email. The emails will guide you. Expect to spend most of the day with the recruiters. There may be group activities and individual questions asked. Not everyone will get a one-on-one with a recruiter. It is ok if you don’t, you are always encouraged to reapply. Some airlines offer you CJOs on the spot and some will tell you 5-10 Business days (or later). Be sure you check your email throughout the entire process and remember that it may take one to several times to get a CJO. Be patient and always trust the process. Enjoy the journey to becoming a Flight Attendant!
- Conditional Job Offer (CJO) – Once you pass all the interviews. You will receive a Conditional Job Offer and scheduled training. You are not hired until you have successfully completed the required on-boarding documents and successfully pass training.
Jeff - Was it easy to land a flying job with an airline?
George - It was not easy landing a flying job with an airline. I remember feeling defeated each time I didn’t get the job. I would say those moments of not getting hired with the airlines only made me more motivated to keep trying.
Jeff - What surprised you most about the process?
George - The biggest thing that surprised me about the process would have to be how long the process takes. I’ve had some airline applications take between two to eight months to get an actual email on whether you would be invited to an in person interview. Those in person interviews can take a whole day to complete. Within 2 years time, I’ve completed twelve of them. I completely went broke two times trying to get hotels and plane tickets for the interviews.
Jeff - What do you wish you knew before the process that you know now?
George - I wished I would have known that sometimes the process can be costly. You have to make sure you have the funds to get to interviews that require travel and also hotel expenses. Some airlines may fly you for free to the in person interview and some won’t. Save up between $1500-$2000 for training. This is important as some airlines only provide you lodging and transportation to and from training facility. All other expenses are your responsibility.
Jeff - If you could go back and give yourself or perhaps those considering a career as a Flight Attendant advice on the process, what would that be?
George - The best advice I could give is relax and trust the entire process. It is ok if it takes several times to land the job. Do not allow yourself to feel defeated if one airline application doesn’t work out. Through time and patience you will land the job and be flying. Be willing to move anywhere the job takes you and start saving up for what I call the best adventure of a lifetime.
Jeff - Once you land “the job” you are basically still in the interview phase as you have to complete some pretty serious mandatory safety and emergency procedures training. What was your experience like with initial and recurrent training and what advice would you share to set others up for success?
George - Wow, yeah training is no joke. I’ve completed 3 full trainings within 2 years. I can best describe the trainings as the show Survivor. It is like you are on an island and the token to winning the show is to survive and earn your wings. There are times if you allow it, can become overwhelming. The tests and drills really challenge you. I know there were a few times I cried and wasn’t sure I would make it. Like the reality show, the sad reality is that not everyone makes it through training and if you fail to meet the high standards required you will be asked to leave, losing out on the job. I learned to study and take the training process step by step. At the end of training, you feel a sense of accomplishment. It is a special feeling that you will feel earning your wings and starting a career that is rewarding. Be sure to pack lightly and bring some school supplies with you. Lots of flashcards, pens, and paper, etc.
Jeff - Any other thoughts you would like to share?
George - Becoming a Flight Attendant is not an easy process. I went through many airline interviews and learned a lot. I am happy with the airline I am currently with. I found the process to be very rewarding. If you want to be a Flight Attendant and this is a dream of yours. Don’t give up. I hope for those considering on applying to find this information to be helpful. Coming from someone that has interviewed many times. I will always say enjoy the process and make sure to be yourself. Research and study the airline you want to work for. Get ready for an exciting journey ahead. I look forward to flying with you all and seeing you in the lovely skies!
George is in his second year of flying as a Flight Attendant and currently resides the Carolina’s, United States. In his free time he enjoys spending time with family, being active in his local community and of course, planning his next travel adventure. We hope you enjoyed this interview and for further assistance in resume or curriculum vitae writing found on this site please click on the links below.