Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
Landing a job as cabin crew with Emirates is no easy feat – thousands of candidates from around the world submit their resumes to the Dubai-based airline every month. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of those aspiring cabin crew will ever receive the so-called ‘Golden Call’ inviting them to join the airline.
If you’re desperate for your application to stand the very best chance of success, you probably don’t want to encounter any nasty surprises in the recruitment process. Luckily, with our vast experience, insider source information and through real-world testing, we can tell you exactly what happens and what to expect.
Check out the following step-by-step guide to find out more about the updated Emirates Cabin Crew recruitment process. We’ll keep this post updated with all the latest developments.
A little history
There used to be two ways to submit a Cabin Crew application for Emirates. Either by completing an online application or by turning up at an Open Day. But in December 2016, Emirates suddenly stopped accepting new applications and halted any further Open Day’s.
The airline had been forced to suspend recruitment as it dealt with a pretty serious financial situation, and while the recruitment team couldn’t say when they would start hiring again, they did announce changes that would be made to the recruitment process.
Instead of holding Open Day’s, Emirates said it would only accept online applications and would then use on-demand video interviews to shortlist candidates. Those shortlisted candidates would, in turn, be invited to attend invite-only Assessment Day’s.
The current situation
Emirates experimented with the system in November 2016 and rolled out the new-look recruitment process in early 2018 when airline management gave the green light to start hiring new cabin crew.
Unfortunately, we very quickly heard of technical issues with the new system and while recruiters did manage to hold some invite-only Assessment Day’s, they very soon moved back to an Open Day style recruitment approach.
Going into 2020, Emirates continues to hold Open Day’s in cities around the world. However, in some locations, candidates have to submit their application in advance – either via the official Emirates recruitment website or with a third-party recruitment agency in order to considered for an invitation-only event.
Make your choice – Open Day or online application
You now have three ways to submit your initial application to become Emirates cabin crew:
- You can either attend an Open Day
- Or submit an application on the Emirates Group Careers website.
- Or submit an application via OSM Aviation.
In some countries, (such as Ukraine, Russia and Japan for example) you may have to apply via an appointed third party agency. More details can be found here.
Due to the volume of applications that have been submitted online, it may take some time before you hear back from the recruitment team. In the past, Emirates said any application older than 6-weeks should be automatically regarded as unsuccessful.
- At least 21-years old (at the time of joining the airline*)
- Minimum height of 160 cm / 5’3″ (no maximum height limit)
- Able to reach at least 212cm / 6’9″ – You are allowed to achieve this while stood on tiptoes (there is no minimum or maximum height requirement)
- Fluent in both spoken and written English (Although fluency in other languages will be a definite advantage)
- Educated to at least High School level
- Physically fit and a confident swimmer
- No visible tattoos or piercings while in Emirates uniform (Neck, arms, wrists, hands and legs from knee to foot)
*You must be at least 21 years old when you join Emirates but recruiters will normally accept and progress candidates who will turn the minimum age within 3-6 months.
As well as these minimum requirements, Emirates also says it looks for recruits who are “positive, confident, flexible, friendly and very keen to help others.” We also know that recruiters place a lot of importance on empathy, anticipating the needs of passengers and going the extra mile.
You should prove that you are a responsible and professional team player, who takes safety and security seriously.
We’re often asked whether Emirates has other requirements that aren’t necessarily advertised, such as:
- Maximum age
- Language skills
While we’ve reached out to Emirates and asked them to clarify these points, they’ve refused to provide additional information. However, our sources say that in fact there are some minimum requirements which are never spoken of – which includes a maximum age limit (currently believed to be 31) and nationality restrictions.
However, it’s really important to note that Emirates does not provide a definitive answer on these points and therefore, the very best we can do is speculate using intelligence from trusted sources.
You can either apply for the role online via the official Emirates Group Careers website or by attending an Open Day in any available location. The full list of current recruitment events can be found here.
Any costs incurred to travel to an Open Day are at the expense of the candidate and will not be reimbursed by Emirates.
Photo and Document Necessities
What you need
You’ll need the following items for your online application:
- A copy of your updated resume in Microsoft Word or PDF document format.
- One full-length photograph in full business attire
- One passport size photograph in full business attire
- One full-length casual photograph
- One half-length casual photograph
For an Open Day, you’ll need the following:
- A copy of your updated resume
- One photograph in professional business attire – either passport copy or full-length
- You should be wearing professional business attire (including a jacket and tie for men).
- Stand facing straight on towards the camera, hands down by your side (not held together).
- You should be smiling with a large but natural smile (ideally showing teeth).
- To be taken against a white backdrop.
- For the casual photos, you should wear a plain t-shirt or blouse that shows your arms and casual but smart trousers such as well-fitting jeans or chinos.
The full-length photograph should be sized: 6×4 inches (15×10 cm). The passport-sized photograph should be sized: 45×35 mm (1.77×1.37 inches). You can view the official Emirates photograph standards here:
Depending on where you live or other personal circumstances, there is an option to submit an online application via Emirates’ official recruitment website. If you choose this option, you might receive one of three possible responses:
- You are shortlisted to attend an Assessment Day
- A generic email is sent asking you to attend an Open Day
- You are asked to take part in a pre-recorded video interview as part of the initial selection process
Emirates has experimented with fully-automated video interviews on several occasions and not all candidates are asked to complete this stage. Further information about video interviews can be found here:
The Open Day
An Open Day is a way for you to find out more about the role of cabin crew and what working for Emirates is like. Recruiters will introduce you to the company, explain what life is like in Dubai and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.
If you are still interested, you can then submit your resume and within the space of an hour or so, the recruiters will post a list of all the lucky candidates who have been shortlisted to take part in an Assessment Day.
Open Day or CV Drop Off Event?
There are two types of Open Day currently been run by Emirates. The first is a CV Drop Off Event where you can attend the Open Day venue at any time between 9am – 4pm to submit your resume and photograph.
Depending on how busy the event is, you might be asked a few questions by the recruiter. For example:
- Why do you want to be cabin crew?
- What do you know of Emirates?
- What do you think the role of cabin crew is?
- Tell me about yourself?
If successfully shortlisted, a recruiter will contact you – either by phone or email to inform you about when and where the Assessment Day will be held.
The second is a traditional Open Day where you must attend the venue at the time shown. These events typically start at 8am or 9am. The results will be posted the same day and the Assessment Day will typically take place on either the same day or the day after.
OSM Aviation Open Day’s
Emirates recently announced a partnership with OSM Aviation – a large cabin crew recruitment agency. In some locations, OSM Aviation will be holding Open Day’s, CV Drop Off events and Assessment Day’s on behalf of the Emirates recruitment team.
These have all been clearly marked in the ‘Current Opportunities’ table above.
Think twice before travelling overseas
We’ve already said that you can attend an Open Day in whatever location is available but for the time being at least, you should carefully think about this option before committing yourself. In some cases, we have seen Open Day’s cancelled without notice – although these situations have become less common over the last 12-months.
Generally speaking, if the venue of the Open Day has been announced (ie. it doesn’t show as “to be confirmed”) there is a very good chance the recruitment event will go ahead as planned.
In some cases, Emirates uses an Online Video Interview for its Final Interview. Instead of attending an in-person Final Interview, you may be invited to schedule an Online Video Interview which will take place several days or weeks after the Assessment Day at a time that is convenient for you. More details on this are below.
The Assessment Day
Choose a date and location
Emirates organises Assessment Day’s in locations where they have identified a need for a particular type of crew member – such as nationality or language skills. If you need to travel overseas to attend an Assessment Day, then Emirates will not be able to reimburse you for any expenses incurred.
Remember, that Assessment Day’s are ‘invite only’ events – these are not advertised widely and you shouldn’t travel to one unless you’ve been specifically told to attend.
What happens at an assessment day?
Assessment Day’s are a popular recruitment method that are used to screen a large number of candidates. The day will be made up of a number of elements used to test your suitability for the role of cabin crew. In the past, Emirates recruiters have cut candidates at several points of the day – this is likely to continue in the future.
Although daunting, there are some very good ways to prepare for an Assessment Day and maximise your chances of success.
To find out more about Assessment Days, we would invite you to read this in-depth article. We’ve included lots of details about what to expect, the different elements involved and what the recruiters are looking for: How to Ace the Cabin Crew Assessment Day 2017 – Tips and Advice.
The Final Interview
Unfortunately, the majority of candidates who attend an Assessment Day won’t be invited to Final Interview. The competition is extremely tough so making it to this stage is a really big achievement.
The interview will normally last between 25-40 minutes. We expect, future Final Interview’s to be held on the same day as the Assessment Day. However, in the past, the interview has sometimes been scheduled for the next day or a mutually agreed later date.
We are also aware of a new Online Video Interview which is being trialled in some locations. This will be especially helpful for candidates who have travelled overseas to attend an Open Day.
You’ll receive an email with a link to schedule an interview at a time that is most convenient for you. The interview can be accessed on Windows and Apple operating systems, as well as on most mobile and tablet devices. All you need is a webcam and a good internet connection.
You’ll need to treat the Online Video Interview as you would an in-person Final Interview. Dress in full business attire and find an appropriate location that is quiet, well-lit and free of clutter.
The interview will be made up of competency and behavioural based questions. You’ll need to have examples from your previous work experience that prove you possess the skills, qualities and competencies that the Emirates recruiter is looking for.
It can take time to gather the evidence and become comfortable with your answers. You should, therefore, prepare for the Final Interview at the earliest opportunity. Our best interview technique is the SOAR method – We’ve included lots of details here to help you best prepare: SOAR to Success at Your Cabin Crew Final Interview
Emirates uses a special online personality test for candidates who have reached the Final Interview. The test should take about fifteen minutes to complete. It’s designed to filter out unsuitable applicants and predict which candidates will perform best in the role
How to prepare
The system used by Emirates isn’t like a traditional personality test such as the Predictive Index or Myers-Brigg assessment. It’s specifically tailored to what Emirates is looking for in its future Cabin Crew.
Although you should be yourself and answer the questions truthfully, there are effective ways to best prepare for the test. We developed an article, alongside input from cut-e, the company that supplies the Emirates personality test that will help you through this stage: How to Ace the Cabin Crew Online Personality Test
The Golden Call
What deciding factors are used?
The methods that the recruitment team use after the Final Interview are a closely guarded secret. However, we know that they’ll assess your performance throughout the whole recruitment journey to make their decision.
This includes the original resume you submitted, your performance at the Assessment Day and how you performed in the Final Interview. Recruiters will also assess the photographs you submitted – as well as two ‘casual’ photographs that you’ll be asked to submit at this stage.
The recruiters will also use a number of other criteria such as language skills, nationality, gender and age.
These decisions are based on the needs of the airline at the time your file is submitted. There are lots of rumours about this stage but we’ve cleared up the top myths in this helpful article: True or False? The Cabin Crew Recruitment Rumours that Won’t Go Away
If the central recruitment team approve your selection you’ll receive a telephone call from a recruiter – known as the ‘Golden Call’. If you’ve been unsuccessful, an autoresponder ‘regret’ email will be sent to you.
Submit medical report
You’ll need to submit a medical report from your doctor based on a questionnaire supplied by Emirates. You only need to do this once you’ve received the ‘Golden Call’.
Cabin Crew medical standards are governed by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in the UAE. However, the minimum medical requirements required for Emirates Cabin Crew surpass that of the GCAA.
If you have any concerns you should discuss this with your recruiter at the Final Interview. We’re currently working on an article about GCAA medical Requirements.
Joining formalities in progress
If your medical results are satisfactory you’ll receive final confirmation from the Emirates recruitment team. Access will be granted to a special section of the Emirates Group Careers website. In this section, you’ll find details about your course start dates, travel arrangements and allocated accommodation.
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Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.