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Are you suitable?

What do airlines really look for when they are recruiting to their in-flight teams?

You may think that you would be perfect for a role in the sky because you like dealing with people and love to travel. But there’s more to it than that.

Trying to guess what airlines are looking for can seem difficult. In fact it’s not that much of a mystery, and when you know where to look it is quite straightforward to work out.

Most assessment days examine your competencies.

Competencies are the personal skills, qualities and aptitudes you possess.

The airlines will have a list of competencies they want their cabin crew to demonstrate. You just need to make sure your behaviour and personality match them.

How do I know what competencies they are looking for?

There are a few places you can look to help you figure this out:

  • The job description (which may be sent to you on application)- this will list essential and desirable criteria such as qualifications, work experience, personal details and characteristics.
  • The person specification (which may be sent to you on application)- this will list what sort of person you must be to be considered for the job.
  • Description of their organisational values- this lists what is important to the organisation, and from that you can work out what staff must demonstrate to support that.
  • Description of the airlines mission statement. For example, BA’s mission is “To Fly to Serve”. This aspirational statement may reference communication or customer service for example which will be a clue that this is highly important to the airline, and therefore likely to be a key competency they look for in staff.
  • The airline competency framework- sometimes this is included in staff booklets or on the website as it helps guide all personnel into what they need to aspire to.

What are the competencies likely to be?

Cabin crew perform a very varied role with a lot of responsibility. The competencies which airlines may measure you against include:

  • Effective communication
  • Team work
  • Flexibility
  • Conscientiousness
  • Planning and organising
  • Customer service
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Safety awareness
  • Problem solving
  • Commitment to high standards and excellence
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Business awareness
  • Motivation
  • Reliability
  • Assertiveness

Spotlight on: Organisational Culture

Different companies have their own distinct ‘personality’. It can be worth bearing this in mind when you are thinking about how to present yourself to your future employers. Virgin has a very different brand approach to British Airways or Emirates for example; Ryanair and different ethos to Monarch. If you aren’t sure what the airline you have applied for stands for then do some research into their values and identity. This will help you make sure you are a good fit.

 

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