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Airline selections are tough. 

Truthfully, the difficulty comes from the unknown…

Pilots study for exams knowing what to expect, give or take a few variables on each exercise, flight or sim session. This will be the case throughout one’s career, whether in the sim every 6 months, or for any other checking event.

One big problem? We have no idea what to really expect during selections. We just don’t know what the measuring stick is. Honestly, how stressful is that for a pilot ?. 

Is it fine to admit a mistake when asked for shortcomings by a recruiter and how to go about it ? Is it ok to resist a captain in line operations when safety is in question and CRM, jeopardized ? Is it ok to not follow SOP, provided we have good reason? 

The answer to all these questions is yes, but there’s a way to go about explaining this to a recruiter so that you appear sharp and remain in control for a straight hire. Good answers come from a place of centeredness in truth and knowledge.You may wonder whether the answer that works for one airline will work for another. The answer is, mostly, also yes.

While there are some variables true to each airline as fits their culture, most airlines are looking for the same key competencies in a pilot. 

Now, this shouldn’t come as a surprise when today’s grade simulator sessions follow the same ICAO 1-5 framework. Sure, some will be more strict on certain areas than others, but when it comes to selections, this can be broken down.

First, airlines WILL find ways to fit pilots into their desired cultures. So really, they’re looking for the piloting fundamentals that they can mold into said culture(s).

For instance: a pilot’s ability to show initiative, communicate, make decisions, manage workload, lead, influence and federate, understand and follow SOP, but only to a point… etc… Bring traits like these to your recruitment team and you’re up for a winner!

Wrapping Up

Proper airline selections will boil down to effective preparations, knowledge of recruitment processes, and a thorough understanding of yourself. From here, you’ll want to break down the core competencies (what they’d look for in any pilot) and present them in a way that fits best with their desired company culture.

This is a great start, but there’s more to learn. We’ll break down these key competencies in-depth, as well as how to apply them to your airline of choice. Come and see us for a course.

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