Cabin Crew Interview Questions for 2023

Airlines · 10 min read · Oct 21, 2022
cabin crew interview questions

The cliché that you’ll often get from a family member, a friend, or an online resource when preparing to battle it out with other candidates during an interview is to “remain calm.”

Actually, you’ve probably told yourself to remain calm in order to manage stress and anxiety in different situations but you’ll agree with the school of thought that nothing beats the anxiety of interviewing for your dream job.

Why? Arguably because you are just not sure if your readiness for the role and the timing are right. In case you are amongst those who feel that your past experiences have groomed you to take up the challenge, then the stress and anxiety of being the second choice, at best, during the interview could be overwhelming. Either way, adequate preparation for an interview is the first step in the right direction to getting the job.

Cabin crew position: flight attendants

Let’s focus on the cabin crew members, specifically, the flight attendants because they are integral to good customer service. Since “good” might just be enough or basic, pushing customer experience to greater heights through excellent customer service should be the minimum target for cabin crew members who want a great business for their airlines.

Such high-performance requirements make the flight attendants and flight crew work long hours and hence the reason why the interviewing process for the cabin crew member roles is quite thorough.

In addition to long hours, flight attendants’ schedules are also quite rigid, so the flying experience might be a deal-breaker for a cabin crew member who wants to spend more time with family! Unless you are a cabin manager or your job description is close to one, the passengers, your clients, would be expecting excellent customer service for extended periods.

We will be discussing the top flight attendant interview questions, the tips for answering them, and the best possible answers that make successful candidates the best suitors for the roles.

Whether you are interviewing for American Airlines, British Airways, Fly Emirates, Southwest Airlines, Easyjet, Qatar Airways, or your local airline, this guide is relevant and suitable. So, if you’ve got a cabin crew interview coming, keep reading and get some amazing insights!

Cabin crew giving safety instructions for passengers on board.

Why do you want to be a flight attendant?

Ensure that you answer this question passionately and while exhibiting sincerity because that is what the interviewers are looking for – a response that stands out from the rest. Even though you could be providing an honest answer, you probably don’t want your scores to drop by telling the panelists what they have heard a thousand times and over.

For instance, if possible, avoid mentioning that you enjoy exploring the world for free or simply love to travel. So, rather focus on self development and eagerness to learn.

Example answer

I appreciate cultural diversity and serving as a flight attendant allows me to meet new people with different cultures, which enables me to acquire new useful information and skills. Even more, I love serving people and with my passion for flying, I believe that the best role where I can offer excellent customer service is that of a flight attendant.

What is the role of a flight attendant?

You need to go through the job description in detail – you cannot afford to interview for a role that you don’t understand the responsibilities of. Ensure to mention a few key responsibilities and how you will perform them.

Example answer

My role as a flight attendant will be to ensure the safety of passengers and give them the best experience while flying with our airline. I will also work with other cabin crew members in warrant a safe flight and in case of an emergency, be ready to lead.

Which are some of the top skills that you need to be a successful flight attendant?

Most, if not all roles in the airline industry require diverse soft and hard skills to enable you to perform multiple tasks. Some of these skills include:

  • Conflict management
  • Communication skills
  • Calmness in stressful situations in order to handle stress
  • Teamwork
  • Safety awareness
  • Compassion and understanding
  • Safety awareness
  • Excellent customer service

Because the list is not exhaustive and the skills that you can think of yourself are quite many, in your response, state the skills in ways that demonstrate your strengths for the role.

Example answer

Some of the skills that I already have and that will enable me to perform my role efficiently include excellent customer service, teamwork, and security awareness. Teamwork because as a team you collaborate and break down tasks into small workable units, which you then assign to yourselves for efficiency; Excellent customer service because that is the best route to retain the customer; Safety awareness because guaranteeing passenger safety has always been a top priority in the aviation industry.

What do you know about our airline?

You will need to do background research about the hiring company to understand the company culture. The best place to refer to is the company website and social media pages such as Twitter and LinkedIn, which are common social media platforms for most airlines. Some of the important information to source include the management team, the fleet, operations, and history.

Basically, the interviewers are looking for a cabin crew member who will best represent the company’s position, and he or she should know the firm better, and not just be interviewing for a role because there is an opening.

Example answer

I know that Southwest Airlines is the world’s largest low-cost carrier and you definitely want to keep it that way to the indefinite end. I believe that my previous experience in similar roles would enable me to continue offering excellent customer service.

I also know that one of the main reasons for your business’s success over other airlines is the people-driven approach – You appreciate and focus on customers, employees, and communities and this is in line with my beliefs of diversity, team-based, and community service.

What constitutes excellent customer service?

The best response should be focused on demonstrating going beyond the customers’ expectations so that they have a memorable experience. As such, just being a friendly person is not enough for client retention. Remember, returning customers are valuable assets to any business.

Example answer

I believe that excellent customer service means valuing the customer and making them feel the same. In my previous job as a receptionist, I always ensured to be courteous to clients by offering them a seat as I asked them which service they wished to receive.

I never told a customer to wait for me to finish doing something else before helping them. At the very least, I first listened to their requests and then delegated the tasks to someone else in the office to continue helping them in case I was already overwhelmed with other urgent company matters.

This way, my interpersonal skills helped me build strong relationships with clients and made them feel valued.

Cabin crew providing on board services for passengers.

Which biggest challenge can you foresee arising in this role?

This question needs you to think of a hypothetical situation that is likely to arise while conducting your daily activities and importantly, how you could deal with the situation. Do not try to overthink a situation. Instead, just focus on a simple problem but have a resounding remedial action to it to demonstrate a grasp of your responsibilities.

Example answer

The biggest challenge that a flight attendant can face is ensuring passenger safety in an uncomfortable situation. Whenever a passenger is anxious and panicking, it would be important to keep them calm as much as possible so that the problem does not escalate to the other passengers until a suitable solution is achieved.

Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?

Remember, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Flight attendants will mostly work as a team together with the flight crew. Therefore, in your response, ensure to demonstrate that you are comfortable in a team setup.

In addition, keep in mind that your cabin crew colleagues will likely change on every flight, ideally, you can include your adaptability and ability to work with a variety of different people.

Working with new teammates every day can be daunting to many, but you as a flight attendant will likely go through crew resource management training to understand how to handle various situations on board with people you know very little about.

Example answer

I believe that you need a strong team to succeed as a flight attendant. For instance, in an aircraft with over 120 passengers on board, I would undoubtedly be overwhelmed when working alone to meet the expectations of the passengers and still ensure flight safety. Therefore, as a team, we would be able to share roles and perform optimally in each of them, something that cannot be achieved when working alone.

What would you do in an emergency situation while airborne?

In-flight emergencies need calmness, great leadership skills, and quick decision-making. Again, a medical emergency such as the case of an injured passenger would definitely be handled differently from an emergency landing situation.

In other words, different situations call for different approaches but one must demonstrate that they are skilled to handle many different emergency situations – you will be trained to do this in case you are worried.

Further, you will be required to respond to situational questions that are specific to the role of a flight attendant. However, if you do not know the answer yet, you could relate the situation with a similar ground situation and provide an informed guess.

Example answer

In my previous role as a receptionist, a customer once suffered a heart attack. Straight away, I dialed the emergency number, 911, and began giving CPR to the patient who at the time wasn’t breathing.

I am certified to give CPR. Once the patient resumed breathing and the emergency team arrived, I gave a detailed report to the authorities and my manager. Therefore, in a similar medical emergency while airborne, I would do the same but now delegate the task of contacting the ground medical and emergency team to the flight crew or other flight attendants as I stabilize the passenger.

In case the patient was seated next to the emergency exit door, I would proceed to suitably relocate him or her while providing medical care.

How would you handle a situation where a passenger is being uncooperative?

Your response to this question helps the interviewers to assess your problem-solving skills. Interpersonal skills as necessary in managing difficult passengers so try and demonstrate that in your response.

Example answer

Example: In my current job as a flight attendant with one of the local airlines, I came across a situation where a passenger was not willing to follow the safety procedures. He did not buckle up his seat belt while the aircraft was about to take off.

I calmly described to the customer the importance of having the seat belt on, which was to ensure his safety and security. Understandably, even though he was initially a difficult customer, he put his seat belt on and even apologized for the misconduct.

How would you cope with being away from family for long periods?

You should demonstrate an understanding that while taking up a role, you also subscribe to the working environment that comes with it. As such, considering that the flight attendant’s job is one of the most demanding jobs in the airline industry, then despite the difficult working environment, you should confirm your professional commitment to perform.

Example answer

I understand that as a flight attendant, I am expected to be a reliable employee of this firm. Previously, I have worked in other roles that denied me the luxury to be with my family for a long period. However, my family remained supportive and I expect them to do the same should I take up this role.

They understand that I have a professional commitment, and even though I value their company, I must still be a reliable employee of this company, just as I have been previously. We can always be in regular contact via mobile communication.

How would you handle a passenger who is afraid of flying begins to panic?

Just as in most other difficult situations, properly using your interpersonal skills when handling a situation would help to quickly and effectively arrive at an amicable situation.

Some passengers who are flying for the first time might be anxious about the whole experience because they still don’t know what to expect. Unsurprisingly, one or two could begin to panic and it is your role as a cabin crew member to reassure them of their safety.

Example answer

Because I understand that first-time flyers may be nervous and anxious about the whole travel experience, I would do all that I can to ensure they feel safe and comfortable as long as they follow all the safety guidelines issued during the briefings. I could also suggest to them what to do to restore calm such as listening to music if the aircraft is fitted with in-flight entertainment or using their phones. Generally, I will be compassionate in helping them manage anxiety.

What is air turbulence?

During the interview, some technical questions posed will require simple but sufficient explanations.

Example answer

Air turbulences are minor bumps that are part of the flying experience. They are caused by jet streams and happen when two air masses, one moving at a continuous speed and another at a different speed, collide. This leads to minor jerks that one experiences aboard an aircraft. However, most of the time turbulence is harmless and the pilots will do their best to avoid turbulent conditions if possible.

List some of the items that shouldn’t be carried onboard an aircraft

As mentioned earlier, some questions will just need simple responses. So, do not over reason with a question because it only makes the interview experience complex and difficult.

The IATA’s Dangerous Goods and Regulations contain a list of items that should not be carried on a commercial aircraft.

Example answer

The prohibition of certain items on board the aircraft is to eliminate or minimize the chances of safety or security breaches while airborne. Some of these items include:

  • Firearms
  • Explosive devices
  • Blunt and sharp objects such as knives
  • Harmful chemicals such as acid
  • Flammables
  • Certain medical items such as insect bite swabs    

Explain what clear ice is

Clear ice refers to the solid precipitation that forms on the aircraft when air temperature ranges between 0 and -3 degrees. When this forms on aircraft control surfaces and pitot static ports, the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft may be affected and the aircraft could stall.

Luckily, most modern aircraft have deicing capabilities, for example, through deicer boots. Further, anti-icing agents can be applied on aircraft surfaces to prevent the adhesion of ice onto those surfaces.

Cabin crew serving a passenger drinks and food.

What languages can you speak?

Because flight attendants deal with diverse passengers from different countries, the more languages they speak the easier it will be for them to communicate with the passengers. However, the standard language in aviation is English with Arabic, French, Spanish, and German as good bonuses.

Therefore, the answer to this question should be straightforward, and the listing should be in the order of language proficiency.

Closing thoughts

Whereas the shared list of interview questions and answers, including tips, for flight attendant interviews is not exhaustive, the bottom line of having a successful interview is through adequate preparation.

There is also no “the” cabin crew interview question as the panel might ask you about anything from your hobbies to airplane safety. So, if you haven’t had the chance to participate in many job interviews, additionally you can also refer to other generic interview questions to help in the preparation.

On the contrary to what many people think, a cabin crew position is a challenging job to take on that requires excellent people skill and some technical knowledge. But if you are ready to get started in the aviation world as a flight attendant, we hope this guide has been helpful and we wish you all the best as you interview for your dream job.

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Jaap Brian profile picture
Jaap Brian
A highly passionate aviator, with a solid background in aeronautical engineering. His journey to writing about aviation topics is founded on sharing insights into aviation safety and technical aircraft performance – a journey that is 6+ years and counting.

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