Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
I don’t think I have ever been in a Cabin Crew interview where the recruiter hasn’t asked this question. Unlike competency and behavioural based questions this one looks at three other (but very important) aspects:
- Your knowledge of the role.
- Your desire for wanting the job as Cabin Crew.
- What makes Cabin Crew at your airline different from their competitors.
Now, we all know that Cabin Crew are portrayed as having glamorous lifestyles, travelling the world and staying in luxury Five Star hotels. The truth, of course, is that they have an incredibly important role that can be hard work and very tiring.
It’s vital that you demonstrate to the recruiter that you understand exactly what you are getting into. That you are willing and able to take on the challenge. And that you will thrive in the role.
Safety and Security
First and foremost, the role of Cabin Crew is for ensuring safety and security. This not only means keeping passengers safe but also your colleagues and yourself – after all, you’re no good to anybody if you get injured.
Cabin Crew follow strict procedures and set rules to maintain the safety of the aircraft and everybody in it. They have to remain calm under pressure and willing to respond appropriately to any challenge that’s thrown at them. In an emergency, Cabin Crew are trained to deal with the situation – including First Aid, violent or disruptive passengers, on-board fires, severe turbulence, emergency evacuations – and more.
Cabin Crew need to be willing to listen to instructions and take orders from the aircraft commander and their supervisors. They work as a team to resolve problems but take personal responsibility where necessary. You’ll also be mucking in with unsavoury tasks like keeping the aircraft clean, collecting used blankets, cleaning toilets and clearing up other mess.
You’ll be the public face of the airline. An ambassador who presents the airline in the very best light at all times – on-board and at the end of a long-haul flight. Even in the crew hotel. No matter what time of day it is or how long the flight has been, you’ll be willing and able to respond.
Exceeding Customers Expectations
The role of Cabin Crew is also to provide an excellent service to customers. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Cabin Crew drive passenger satisfaction more than any other factor.
“The airline with a great seat and a bad crew will get a bad score no matter how fancy the seat is,” – Tim-Jasper Schaaf, director of marketing and sales at IATA.
Cabin Crew provide an excellent service by:
- Showing empathy and understanding,
- Treating passengers as individuals with specific needs,
- Going above and beyond to help passengers,
- Looking for opportunities to exceed expectations,
- Maintaining a positive mind-set and good humour no matter the circumstances,
- Being open, honest and always available to attend to the needs of passengers.
What Makes Cabin Crew at Your Airline Special
Airlines know that Cabin Crew are an important factor in how passengers judge them. They invest a lot into the selection and training of their crew to help them stand out from competitors. Use this opportunity to show the recruiter that you know what makes their Cabin Crew so special.
For example, Indonesian flag-carrier, Garuda Indonesia, has won the Skytrax award for The World’s Best Cabin Crew for three consecutive years. The other airlines that made the Top Ten in 2016 were ANA All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, EVA Air, Qatar Airways, Qatar Airways, Hainan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Asiana Airlines and Emirates.
At Emirates, the airline looks for Cabin Crew who are cosmopolitan ‘globalistas’ who enjoy travelling and immersing themselves in different cultures. At an airline such as British Airways or Qantas, you can show that you understand that their crew represent the national airline and its unique style of service and hospitality.
Airline Specific Needs
For full-service airlines its okay to focus on the points above. But if you’re looking to join a low-cost airline you’ll need to show that you understand their specific needs. This can include meeting on-board sales targets, cleaning the aircraft between trips and performing the functions of a gate agent.
What Do You Think the Role of Cabin Crew is?
- Safety and security
- Team work
- Following instructions and strict protocols
- An ambassador of the airline
- Providing an excellent service to passengers
- Going above and beyond to help passengers (and colleagues)
- Specifics about your chosen airlines Cabin Crew
This is normally asked as an introductory question. You don’t need any prior experience and you don’t need to go into heaps of detail. Simply prove to the recruiter that you’ve done your homework and you’re going into this with your eyes wide open.
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.