Cabin crew, also known as flight attendants, are the staff on board commercial and business flights responsible for ensuring the comfort and safety of the plane’s passengers. It’s like a career in customer service meets a career in public transportation, with a twist of hospitality.
If you’re pursuing a career as a flight attendant, you’ll need to be prepared to answer questions that cover a broad range of topics. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most commonly asked cabin crew interview questions and answers for you to review. You can check out this course on preparing for an interview, or read up on other tourism-type careers in this post.
What are Flight Attendants?
Shortly after its introduction as a career, and up until the 1970s, being a flight attendant was a popular career choice among women. While women still dominate the industry, more men have chosen to become stewards in the last couple decades. The only things that make you a qualified flight attendant are good people skills, an affinity for hospitality, and a dedication to your work.
Flight attendants are responsible for knowing where the safety equipment on board is located, how to use it, and in which scenarios to use what. They help accommodate passengers as they board the plane, and must report any dangerous materials they spot, or unusual smells. Flight attendants instruct passengers on safety and emergency protocols, including how to use their seat belts, oxygen masks, and which exist are designated for evacuation. Before the plane takes off, they ensure that trays, baggage, and other items are secured. While the plane is in flight, attendants are responsible for maintaining a safe and peaceful environment on board, serving food and drink to the passengers, and addressing any concerns they might have. This is why good customer service and hospitality skills are encouraged for those looking to join an airline’s cabin crew.
You can learn more about the hospitality business in this course, or research good customer service skills in this course. Or, continue on to the sample cabin crew interview questions and review the sample answers in preparation. Before you do, though, remember that scoring a job in the airline industry is hard work. Besides the interview, you’ll need to fill out loads of applications and pass a number of tests and exams. While you can learn some helpful test-taking tips in this course, nothing will better prepare you than actually studying hard, and being acutely aware of what kinds of skills the knowledge the questions below are testing for, and how you can best demonstrate your ability with your answer.
Cabin Crew Interview Questions and Answers
1. What kinds of skills should a member of an airline cabin crew be expected to have?
An airline attendant should be intelligent and quick, with critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze situations and remain calm during stressful scenarios. They should be able to multitask, and manage the needs of various parties at once. Above all, they should be friendly, welcoming, hospitable, helpful, and easy-to-approach individuals, who exhibit an air of confidence, knowledge, and eagerness to assist. Passengers want to know that the people onboard the plane with them know what’s what, and can address their needs or concerns with efficiency and friendliness.
Airline attendants should also be able to work well in teams, as they must cooperate with others in the cabin crew to keep the passengers on the plane feeling safe and satisfied. As such, stewards and stewardesses must demonstrate fantastic verbal communication skills; not only to aid in their cooperative endeavors, but also in case they need to deal with rowdy or otherwise difficult passengers. In cases like this, it’s important to remain calm and cheerful, but still firm and poised to assure the other passengers that things are under control.
2. What do you think are your strongest attributes?
Your interviewer will want to know what you, specifically, can bring to the table – or rather, the airplane – as a member of their airline’s cabin crew. There is no real right or wrong answer to this question, so long as your response is sincere, well-spoken, and – most importantly – accurate. If you have difficulty speaking about yourself, it’s best to anticipate this question ahead of time and prepare your answer now.
Below are some good personality traits that someone searching for a new cabin crew attendant will be on the lookout for. Pick the ones that best suit you, and personalize your answer.
- Good communication and listening skills
- Confident and firm while still remaining friendly
- Outgoing and charming with an eagerness to help others
- Independent, fast-learner who works well without supervision
- Alert, observant individual with great attention to detail
- Strong, fearless leader with good teamwork skills
- Empathetic person who will go the distance for others
- Critical thinker who works well under pressure
3. Do you work better in a team, or alone?
For this question, you absolutely do not want to tell the interviewer that it depends on the specific situation. Even if it does, and even if you are an adaptable individual, answer according to the position you’re applying for. You can still bend it a little to show you’re adaptable, but answer either way. It will demonstrate an amount of confidence and ability to follow instruction. For example, you could say: I prefer working with others as part of a group effort, working towards a similar goal or objective, but I do enjoy when each teammate has a share of work that they are responsible for completing independently. Even when working independently, though, it’s important and enjoyable to know the way your efforts fit into the collective efforts of the group, and how you are all working together to achieve success, no matter what the form.
4. Recall a time when a co-worker was not doing their job. Did you step in, and if so, how?
This question is not an opportunity for you to vent your frustrations about past co-workers. Questions like this are extremely important in interviews, because they let your interviewer delve deeper into your personality, beyond mere traits and into your own, applicable experiences, which speak loads more than what you think you know about yourself.
For this particular question, focus not on the ways your co-worker was being lazy, but the ways in which you intervened and what the outcome of your actions were – hopefully positive, otherwise you should opt for another story.
For example: One day, I noticed my co-worker John was avoiding a task that he had specifically been assigned that morning by our boss. Our boss said she wanted it done by 3 o’clock, and that time was fast approaching. Worried about what the consequences of missing this assignment would be, I asked John why he had not started on it yet, and if there was anything I could do to help. It turns out, nobody had explained to him how to get started on this assignment, and which piece of software to use for it, and he was too embarrassed to ask. I was able to help him out, boost his confidence in the process, and make a new friend at work!
5. Recall a time when you had to handle an unruly customer. How did you resolve the ensuing conflict?
Again, this question isn’t an opportunity for you to discuss previous personal conflicts, or express your opinions about certain people. Your interviewer simply wants you to choose a time when a conflict arose in a professional environment, and it was your job to deflate the situation.
For your story, you’ll want to focus on the ways in which you were empathetic towards the customer, non-judgmental of their ailment, demonstrated a sincere desire to assist them, analyze their concerns from all angles to identify the root cause of their problem, and finally present your solution.
6. What are your hobbies?
This is mostly a trick question, testing again for your general people skills and enjoyment of team-based activities. While you shouldn’t lie for this question – or any – you should consider placing a larger emphasis on the hobbies you enjoy in the company of others. Sports, for instance, will give you a chance to hint at your leadership and cooperative abilities. If you say something like cooking, and hosting dinner parties, it will let you show off your hospitality skills, and ability to manage many people at once. This activity also isn’t presumably done alone.
What you don’t want to do with this question is ramble about things you like to do. Your employer doesn’t care about that as much as they care about how you demonstrate strong people skills in and out of the work place, and whether or not you’ll bring those skills to this work place in particular.
Before they even consider calling you in for an interview, your employers will want to see a strong resume. Learn how to master your resume with this training tutorial, or this resume writing workshop. You might also consider studying strong communication skills and honing your own for the specific job you’re applying for.