top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr Wired Techies

Top Interview Questions and Insights for Aspiring Pilots: Ace Your Aviation Interview

Airplane soaring in the sky symbolizing aviation career growth
ace your pilot interview

Navigating a pilot interview can be as challenging as navigating through turbulent skies. But with the right preparation and perspective, you can land your dream job. This comprehensive guide lists 25 essential interview questions for pilots, offering insights into what interviewers seek with each question. By understanding the purpose behind these questions and preparing thoughtful responses, you can confidently showcase your skills, passion, and readiness for the aviation world.

  1. What has been your most memorable experience as a pilot? Answer: "I once had the opportunity to fly a group of doctors and medical supplies to a remote area that was cut off due to flooding. Seeing the relief on their faces as we touched down was a strong reminder of the power of aviation beyond just transportation."

  2. How would you handle a situation where a passenger becomes panicked or anxious during turbulence? Answer: "In a calm and reassuring voice, I'd explain the nature of turbulence - that it's a common, safe part of air travel - much like bumps on a road. If permitted, I would also try to involve the cabin crew to provide additional reassurance."

  3. What's your method of dealing with fear or anxiety before a flight? Answer: "I follow a routine which includes a detailed check of the aircraft, weather and flight plan. This routine brings familiarity and reduces any anxious feelings. I also practice mindfulness exercises to keep my mind focused and calm."

  4. How do you maintain balance between your professional and personal life, considering the demands of being a pilot? Answer: "I have a strict personal rule to keep work at work, and I try to make the most of my time at home. I enjoy outdoor activities that help me de-stress and I ensure that I spend quality time with family and friends."

  5. If there were no restrictions, where would you fly and why? Answer: "I would love to fly over Antarctica. It's a mostly untouched and mysterious part of the world with spectacular scenery. Flying over that icy landscape must be an incredible experience."

  6. How would you react if a child was scared to fly? Answer: "I'd explain the safety procedures in a fun and engaging way, perhaps even give them a 'role' as my assistant, making them feel included and excited about the journey. We all need a co-pilot, right?"

  7. What aviation books or authors have influenced you? Answer: "Ernest K. Gann's 'Fate is the Hunter' had a profound impact on me. It really put into perspective the importance of respect for the craft of flying, weather, and safety procedures."

  8. If you could add one feature to an airplane to make it more efficient or comfortable, what would it be and why? Answer: "I would enhance the soundproofing in the cabin. Reducing the engine noise could significantly improve the comfort of the passengers."

  9. In an era of automated flight, what's the importance of a human pilot? Answer: "Automation has certainly revolutionized aviation, but it doesn't eliminate the need for human pilots. Pilots bring judgment, decision-making skills, and the ability to respond to unpredictable situations – qualities that automation has yet to match."

  10. What's one piece of advice you would give to a new pilot just starting out in their career? Answer: "Never stop learning. Whether you're a seasoned pilot or a novice, there is always something new to learn in aviation. Your commitment to learning is what will keep you and your passengers safe.

  11. How would you handle a situation where you disagree with the decision of Air Traffic Control? Answer: "Firstly, it's important to understand that ATC is there to ensure our safety. If I disagree with a decision, I'd communicate my concerns and request clarification or an alternative solution, while respecting their final call."

  12. How have you demonstrated leadership in a flying situation? Answer: "During a particularly difficult landing in poor weather conditions, I had to reassure my co-pilot and cabin crew. I communicated clearly, made decisive choices, and demonstrated calm under pressure, leading by example."

  13. Can you tell us about a time you made a proactive decision to ensure the safety of your passengers? Answer: "During one flight, I noticed a potential issue with our fuel levels. Though it was likely we had enough to complete the journey, I chose to land at a nearby airport for refuelling to eliminate any risk."

  14. Describe a time when your situational awareness was put to the test. Answer: "Once, during a night flight, our aircraft's radar failed. I relied on my training, communicated with ATC, and used my understanding of our position, speed, and the local terrain to navigate safely."

  15. How do you keep up with the rapidly evolving technology in aviation? Answer: "I'm always reading up on the latest developments and attending relevant seminars. Additionally, simulator training sessions often include new technology, which allows me to stay hands-on."

  16. How do you deal with the isolation and loneliness that can come with being a pilot? Answer: "I've found that having hobbies and keeping in touch with friends and family during layovers helps. Plus, I use downtime to rest and recharge, which I believe is important for maintaining peak performance."

  17. How would you deal with a major disruption to a planned flight, such as an unexpected storm? Answer: "I'd communicate with ATC and dispatch to formulate a new plan, considering alternative routes or stops as necessary. The key is to stay calm, think clearly, and prioritize safety."

  18. What kind of role do you tend to take in a team or group dynamic? Answer: "In my experience, teams work best when roles are flexible. Sometimes, I step into a leadership role, while at other times, I contribute as an active team member, depending on what the situation requires."

  19. Tell us about a time you had to manage fatigue during a long flight. Answer: "During long-haul flights, I ensure I take rest breaks and stay hydrated. In one instance, I felt more fatigued than usual, so I communicated this to my co-pilot and we adjusted our rest periods to ensure we were both always at our best."

  20. How would you handle a system failure or malfunction during a flight? Answer: "I would follow the established procedures for the specific malfunction. For example, if it was an engine failure, I'd apply the necessary engine-out procedures, communicate with ATC, and prepare for an alternative landing, if necessary."

  21. What is your process for planning and preparing for a flight? Answer: "I start by checking the weather forecast and NOTAMs. Next, I study the route and alternative airports, followed by aircraft inspection and ensuring all navigation systems are functioning properly. Preparation is key to a successful flight."

  22. Describe a time when you had to handle an in-flight emergency. Answer: "During a flight, we received an indication of a possible fire in the cargo hold. I followed the emergency checklist procedures, declared an emergency with ATC, and prepared the aircraft and passengers for an immediate landing."

  23. What qualities do you think are essential in a pilot? Answer: "In my opinion, a pilot should possess a strong sense of responsibility, excellent decision-making skills, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and a commitment to continuous learning."

  24. How do you prepare for the possibility of an engine failure? Answer: "Consistent training and simulator sessions are crucial for preparing for such events. It's also important to review emergency procedures and checklist regularly to ensure a rapid and correct response if such a situation arises."

  25. Tell us about a time you had to adapt to a new type of aircraft or technology. Answer: "When my airline introduced a new flight management system, it was a challenge initially. However, I took extra simulator sessions and attended a course specifically designed to understand the new technology. Adaptability is a key part of being a pilot.

Being prepared is a pilot's mantra, and it holds true for your interview as well. These 25 questions cover a broad range of topics, from technical knowledge and situational judgement to interpersonal skills and personal motivation. Remember, an interview is a two-way conversation, so use these questions not only to prepare your responses, but also to understand what the airline values in its pilots. Take the time to self-reflect, practice, and align your skills and experiences with the airline's needs. By doing so, you'll enter the interview with confidence, ready to soar to new career heights. Good luck with your pilot interview – clear skies and tailwinds ahead!


bottom of page