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  • Writer's pictureDr Wired Techies

Guiding Your Career Skyward: 19 Essential Pilot Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Pilot diligently studying flight routes and maps.

Navigating the world of aviation can seem as complex as piloting an aircraft itself. Aspiring pilots are required to master a myriad of skills, from understanding complex machinery to managing stress in high-pressure situations. And when it comes to job interviews, applicants are put through the wringer to ensure they can truly fly high. To help you prepare for your upcoming pilot interview, we've compiled a comprehensive list of 19 potential interview questions. We've also included insight into what the interviewer may be seeking with each question, to help you craft your responses strategically

  1. Question: Suppose a passenger on board is verbally abusive to a flight attendant. What do you do? Answer: As the pilot, I am ultimately responsible for all passengers and crew. I would instruct the flight attendant to remove themselves from the situation and send another crew member to talk with the passenger, if safe to do so. If the passenger continues to be disruptive, I would consider involving law enforcement upon landing.

  2. Question: Your flight is caught in an unexpected severe thunderstorm. How do you ensure the safety of the passengers? Answer: My first priority would be to keep the aircraft under control. I would inform Air Traffic Control of the situation and request a route change or altitude change to escape the storm. I would reassure the passengers and keep them updated about the situation.

  3. Question: You have a fast-approaching deadline for a routine flight report, but you're scheduled for a long-haul flight. How do you manage your time? Answer: I would utilize any available time before the flight to start on the report, ensuring that it doesn't compromise my pre-flight preparations. If the report isn't finished, I'd communicate with my superior about the situation and request a reasonable extension, making sure it is completed as soon as possible after the flight.

  4. Question: During a flight, you notice an irregularity in fuel consumption. What would be your course of action? Answer: I would first cross-verify the fuel readings and consult with my co-pilot. If we confirm there's a higher than normal fuel burn or a leak, I would inform Air Traffic Control, calculate the remaining fuel endurance, and consider diverting to the nearest suitable airport.

  5. Question: You are scheduled to pilot a flight route that you're unfamiliar with. How do you prepare? Answer: Preparation is key. I would study the route, including waypoints, altitude restrictions, and frequencies. I would also research the departure and arrival airports, focusing on their layout, procedures, and any special considerations. Using flight simulators for practice could also be beneficial.

  6. Question: A flight attendant reports to you that a passenger refuses to switch off their electronic device for takeoff. What would you do? Answer: I would make a general announcement reiterating the importance of switching off electronic devices for takeoff for the safety of all passengers. If non-compliance continues, I'd have a flight attendant handle it directly or, in extreme cases, consider involving airport security.

  7. Question: You detect a minor technical issue mid-flight that doesn't affect the plane's ability to fly safely. How do you handle this? Answer: If it doesn't affect the safety of the flight, I would not alarm the passengers. I'd note the issue and inform the maintenance crew upon landing so they can address it before the next flight.

  8. Question: You've completed a flight, and after landing, you learn that a major incident has taken place at your destination airport while you were airborne. How do you manage the passengers and the situation? Answer: I would gather as much information as possible about the incident to inform passengers accurately. I would reassure them about their safety, keep them updated, and coordinate with ground services to facilitate support, such as arranging alternate transport or accommodations, if needed.

  9. Question: You're flying in congested airspace and lose communication with Air Traffic Control. How would you handle this situation? Answer: I would follow the standard lost communication procedures, which include squawking the appropriate code on the transponder, attempting to establish contact on the emergency frequency, and if all else fails, following the filed flight plan and the 'clearance limit' rules.

  10. Question: You're about to begin descent when a flight attendant informs you a passenger has just gone into labor. What do you do? Answer: My first priority is to ensure the well-being of the mother and child. I would request for any medical professionals on board to assist. I would inform Air Traffic Control about the situation and consider an emergency landing if the situation requires immediate medical attention. If time allows, I'd try to reach a hospital-equipped destination.

  11. Question: During a flight, one of the engines fails. What would be your immediate course of action? Answer: The first step is to maintain composure, ensure the plane is under control and safe to continue the flight. I would then follow the engine failure procedures, consult with my co-pilot, and inform air traffic control about the situation. Safety and communication are key.

  12. Question: A crew member informs you that a passenger is feeling unwell and displaying symptoms of a heart attack. What do you do? Answer: I'd ask the crew to provide immediate first aid to the passenger, according to their training. At the same time, I'd request Air Traffic Control to provide the location of the nearest suitable airport for an emergency landing. The final decision would be made based on the seriousness of the passenger's condition and the distance to the nearest airport.

  13. Question: Suppose you detect ice forming on the wings during a flight. What steps do you take? Answer: I would immediately activate the aircraft's anti-ice or de-icing systems. If icing continues, I would change altitude or course, if possible, to get out of the icing conditions. Informing air traffic control and following company procedures for such situations would also be a priority.

  14. Question: You suspect your co-pilot is under the influence of alcohol. How do you handle this situation? Answer: Safety is the absolute priority. I'd confront the co-pilot and if my suspicions were confirmed, I would not allow them to operate the flight. I would then report the issue to the relevant authority within the airline and follow the company's policies and procedures for this type of situation.

  15. Question: How would you handle a situation where a passenger refuses to comply with safety instructions? Answer: I'd ask the cabin crew to handle the situation initially, as they are trained in de-escalation techniques. If the passenger continues to refuse to comply, I would communicate with them directly via the cabin's communication system, explaining the importance of their cooperation for the safety of all on board.

  16. Question: During a long-haul flight, a passenger becomes disruptive and starts to cause distress to other passengers. What actions do you take? Answer: I would initially rely on the cabin crew and their training to de-escalate the situation. If the passenger remains disruptive, I would consider diverting the flight, taking into account the distress caused to other passengers, the remaining flight time, and the nearest suitable airports.

  17. Question: You notice a technical issue with the aircraft during pre-flight checks that could delay the flight. How do you communicate this to the passengers? Answer: It's crucial to be honest yet reassuring with passengers. I'd inform them about the delay, explain that it's due to a technical check to ensure their safety, and provide updates as more information becomes available. The goal is to maintain trust and minimize their inconvenience.

  18. Question: During landing, you encounter severe turbulence. What steps do you take to ensure the safety of all on board? Answer: I would ensure the seat belt sign is on, request cabin crew and passengers to be seated, and focus on keeping the plane under control. I would communicate with air traffic control to request a different altitude or route, if possible, and keep passengers informed without causing unnecessary alarm.

  19. Question: Your flight is overbooked and you're facing an angry crowd at the gate. How do you handle this situation? Answer: Though this situation is usually handled by gate agents, if needed, I'd emphasize the airline's commitment to customer service, apologize for the inconvenience, and assure passengers that the airline is doing its best to resolve the situation. I'd also explain the compensation policy for such situations.

With these 19 pilot interview questions in hand, you should now feel more prepared for your big day. Remember, each question provides an opportunity for you to showcase your skills, knowledge, and passion for aviation. Be honest, confident, and remember to relate your answers back to the values and needs of the company you're interviewing with. Safe flights and happy landings on your journey to becoming a pilot!


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