- American Airlines
- United Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Air Canada
This includes behavioral and situational interview questions, as well as other types of questions that you need to be ready for. Then, we’ll look at some “hidden” factors the interviewer is looking for, as well as some general flight attendant interview tips, and what to wear to the interview.
Common Flight Attendant / Cabin Crew Interview Questions
1. What can you tell me about yourself?
This is one of the first questions most interviewers ask. Keep your answer professional and talk about what you’ve done in your recent work. If you just graduated, talk about what you studied and why, and what you’re looking for now that you graduated.
“I’ve been passionate about hospitality since I first waited tables at 16. I decided to study Hospitality and Tourism at college and, after three years, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree.
In the two years since then, I’ve been employed as a front-of-house attendant and assistant manager in a busy international hotel, liaising with tourists and business travelers on a daily basis.”
Watch: Top 18 Flight Attendant Interview Questions
2. Why do you want to be a flight attendant?
You should have researched the job and company as a part of your interview preparation. Then, make sure you’re ready to name specific reasons this job is exciting to you and fits with your career goals. If you don’t seem like you know what the job involves and/or can’t explain why this position is attractive to you, then you’re very unlikely to get hired for a job as competitive as a flight attendant.
“I’ve never watched a plane flying overhead without wishing I was on it, but in my role as FOH attendant, I started to see my dream of being a flight attendant as more than just a dream. I know that my calling is to deliver customer service in a high-pressure environment, where my empathic nature, professionalism and aptitude for problem-solving can really shine.
I also deeply value diversity and love to surround myself with diverse cultures and people, but I certainly don’t want to stay in one place while doing it.”
3. Why would you be a good flight attendant?
When they ask why you would succeed in this position, it’s a chance to show confidence and brag about yourself a bit. This isn’t a spot where you want to be timid. So think about your professional strengths and what you saw on the job description that seems like you’d be good at, and mention that. This can be your customer service ability, interpersonal skills, ability to work as part of a team, etc. (We’ll talk more about all of these topics and questions later in this article because they’re all VITAL to what flight attendants do).
“Throughout my years working and learning hospitality, I’ve realized that my passion and talent is to make people feel at ease. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than to turn a frown into a smile, and it turns out I’m really good at it.
Even when the customer is feeling anxious, I’m great at discovering their concerns and thinking creatively to meet their needs. I’m empathic and have an instinct about what makes people comfortable, but I’m also fiercely professional and love to keep things running according to plan.”
4. Tell me about a situation where you had to deal with a difficult customer. How did you handle it?
Next, you can expect a behavioral question or two about how you deliver good customer service, how you deal with difficult customers, etc. This question above is very common, so be ready with a specific example, the approach you took, and why. Finally, describe the result and what you learned from the experience, too!
“In the food and beverage service, I often dealt with customers who found fault with how their meals were prepared. Unfortunately, management was lacking and the chef tended to take offense to any complaints that were addressed to him. It fell to me to take the brunt of customer complaints and think creatively to fix the problem.
I did this by remaining calm but showing concern, recording the details of the complaint in full, outlining more than one possible solution, and then implementing the option that was best for the customer.”
5. Tell me about a disagreement you’ve had with a coworker. How did you resolve the situation?
The airline also wants to make sure you can get along well with different types of coworkers (along with different types of customers). So this is the next type of behavioral question you can expect in a flight attendant job interview.
Your goal should be to demonstrate that you stay calm and professional even when disagreements occur and that you realize you’re on the same side as your coworkers… working toward a common goal. Show that you set aside your ego, stayed calm, and solved the issue. The customer always comes first, so the airline wants to make sure their flight attendants aren’t letting internal disputes get in the way of giving customers an outstanding experience.
“At the hotel, it took me only 9 months to be promoted to assistant FOH manager, which made one of my more seasoned co-workers feel overlooked. To ease her mind, I made an effort to befriend her and show that we’re on the same side. I had the opportunity as an assistant manager to delegate and supervise tasks undertaken for VIPs.
I actively delegated tasks to her and made a point of showing her how needed her skills were. I set her in charge of key aspects of VIP interaction that matched her experience. After a while, she warmed up to me and, if I get this job, she’ll be next in line for my post at the hotel.”
6. What do you know about our airline?
They may ask a question like this to see if you’ve done your research. Go to the airline website and read about their history. How big are they? Where are they headquartered? Where are their main hubs? Make sure you know how many employees they have, when they were founded, and their company history (if they’ve gone through mergers, etc.) Learn this basic info so you can recite this back to the interviewer if they ask this question.
“I know you were founded almost a hundred years ago and now boast the world’s largest fleet, with nearly 1000 active aircrafts and more in the making. I know you’re headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and have hubs in Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Washington.
You currently have over 100.000 employees and were officially formed following the merger of two fleets in the 1930s, Robertson Aircraft Corporation and Colonial Air Transport.”
7. Why do you want to work for our airline?
Along with asking, “Why do you want to be a flight attendant?” (mentioned earlier), they’ll also want to hear a specific reason why you applied to their company. So make sure you know some facts about their individual airline, and mention what you admire or like about their company.
“Along with my appreciation of diverse people and cultures, I have a great fondness for history and legacy companies that serve as symbols for different parts of the world. I think AA is one of those symbols for the US, but it’s also a symbol of innovation, progress, globalization and cutting-edge technology.
I feel that AA is the best of both the old and the new, and it enables people to connect and get around in a way that is priceless. I’d be proud to be a part of it.”
8. What does excellent customer service mean to you?
This is asked for a variety of customer service interviews, including flight attendant interviews. It’s a very common question, and I’ve been asked this myself early in my career. I’d recommend talking about how you believe great customer service means going above and beyond what the customer expects and over-delivering on the promises your brand makes.
“I believe excellent customer service should be personalized but respectful, quick but thorough, discerning and empathic, and easy but not easily forgotten.
I believe it means not only discerning, discovering and meeting a customer’s needs but also meeting needs and wants they didn’t know they had, providing a level of comfort and convenience that’s almost surprising, because this is what makes an experience memorable–in a good way!”
9. What do you think makes our airline different from its competitors?
Along with knowing some basics about their company and its history, try to know one or two things that set it apart from competitors. This can be its reputation, the places it flies to and serves, the excellent customer service or reviews, etc. Just make sure you’re saying something that’s true!
“In terms of customer service, the brand is fiercely competitive, and I really value its perfect 7/7 safety rating, generous loyalty program, and attention to comfort, even on economy flights. AA is also ranked as the world’s largest airline, which is pretty impressive, and it flies to over 350 destinations–which is mind-blowing!
Finally, AA’s charity efforts inspire me, when compared to other airlines, as you’ve sponsored 20 000 miles, over 155 000 volunteer hours, and so many powerful initiatives with the Red Cross, Unicef and Make a Wish Foundation over the years.”
10. How would you respond to a customer who was refusing to follow rules and regulations on a flight? (Like unbuckling the seat belt during takeoff)
Your goal here is to show that you can stay calm, avoid confrontation, but stand your ground and explain to the passenger what needs to be done and why (for safety reasons, etc.) Show that you follow procedures and would stick to the steps recommended by the airline, too (in terms of “escalating” this to a more senior member of the cabin crew if the situation begins to get out of control). You can also ask them a question about this, like, “By the way – what type of training does your airline provide to help prepare flight attendants for this type of situation?”
“It’s important to set an example of good demeanor for passengers. I would remain calm and cordial throughout the exchange, but I would also speak clearly and firmly. I’d ask questions to discover the extent of the passenger’s concerns and use my conflict management training to try to put them at ease.
I would explain the rules, the reason for them being in place, and the consequences of not following them. If the passenger continued to agitate or escalate the problem, I would call in a co-worker for support before, if necessary, reporting the issue to the purser.”
(We’ll talk more about what questions to ask in a flight attendant interview soon).
11. What type of work environment do you prefer?
You should answer this by mentioning that you enjoy a fast-paced, collaborative work environment. If you tell the interviewer that you like to work alone, or that you typically like a very slow environment, it could cost you the job. You can read a full article on how to answer “What type of work environments do you prefer?” here.
“I love to work under pressure, so anything time-sensitive really appeals to me. I like to work in a setting where professionalism and excellence are non-negotiable, where the pace is fast but attention to detail is also imperative.
While I’m an independent thinker and creative problem solver, I work best in a collaborative team setting and use my people skills to assist my colleagues, streamline teamwork and help team members connect in the service of shared goals.”
12. What are your greatest strengths?
Ideally, pick strengths that are related to the job, or will help you in this job. You should be thinking, “What will convince the interviewer that I’m likely to succeed in this position?” That’s how they’re thinking in the interview. For more help, here’s a full article on how to answer “what are your strengths?”
“In all of my experience at home, at school, at college, at work and with friends, I’ve always been the go-to conflict resolver. My passion for peace and collaboration, combined with my empathetic nature, mean I’m always asked to assist others in finding a compromise, settling disputes and putting angry or distressed people at ease.
It’s an ability that’s always defined me as a person, it’s shaped my goals and choices in life and it’s undoubtedly my greatest strength.”
13. What languages do you speak?
This is a straightforward question, and you should reply by stating all of the languages you speak at an intermediate level or above. Explain which languages you’re fluent or native in, and which you’re still learning.
“I only speak English fluently at this point, but I can read, write and speak very basic French, and I’m actively learning Mandarin via online classes. My goal is to be conversational in Mandarin.”
14. Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
You should always say you enjoy a team environment because that’s how you’ll be working most of the time as a flight attendant. It’s okay to say you like both situations, but make sure you show them that you have the skills needed to handle situations where teamwork is required.
“I thrive in a team setting as I have excellent people skills and love collaborating toward a common goal. I find helping others, in the spirit of teamwork, to be highly rewarding, but I also savor the opportunity to make my teammates feel needed, and I’m not afraid to see other people shine.”
15. Tell me about a time you had to juggle multiple high-priority tasks. How did you handle it?
Prepare to talk about a situation where you had to prioritize and handle multiple tasks. And would you handle this in future situations? Multi-tasking and staying calm when many things need your attention is one of the essential skills, so don’t take this question lightly.
“Working as a FOH assistant manager required a high level of multitasking, but waiting tables demanded even more. It was common to begin a shift with several tables from the previous shift and new tables waiting for service. During busy periods, the service window was a hub of activity with tasks being handed out by managers, chefs, and other waiters. One moment, I could be inputting orders from multiple tables, fetching drinks, requesting modifications to dishes, clearing tables, checking glasses, and greeting new customers. Success relied on prioritizing and thinking strategically, such as taking a moment to check on a table’s drinks while passing by.”
16. Have you flown as a passenger before? How did you feel about the service delivered by the cabin crew on that flight?
They may ask about your experience as an airline passenger, just to see what you noticed during your experience, and how you observe others. Talk about what stood out to you as a passenger, and ideally, how you’d use that experience to provide a great customer experience to your passengers as a flight attendant.
“I’ve had mixed experiences, even on AA. I had a recent experience that left me quite conflicted as to how to review the flight and cabin crew.
There was one member of the crew who diligently delivered snacks and beverages, checked customer comfort and regularly made eye contact with me, smiling warmly. On the other hand, there was very little attention paid to tidiness in the cabin, I had to ask that used food packaging be removed from the space next to me, and fresh drinks and snacks were consistently laid down without empty packets, plates, bottles and cups being removed.”
The atmosphere was great, but the place was a mess!”
17. Describe yourself in 3 words
Choose three positive words and be ready to explain why (in case they ask).
Here are some examples/ideas:
18. What are your thoughts on X?
>> This question is important and comes directly from a flight attendant colleague of mine.
According to her, you’re likely to hear random, opinion-based questions (like “what are your thoughts on religion?”), which are designed to see if you can be polite and avoid being offensive when answering. Try to give a politically-correct answer without taking a hard stand or sounding too opinionated.
They may also ask, “Have you seen the news about X? What are your thoughts?”
You should approach this in the same way. Imagine you’re talking to a passenger as you answer these questions. Since you’re not sure of their beliefs, you don’t want to take a strong stance and offend them.
“I wasn’t raised in a religious setting and don’t subscribe to any specific belief system. However, I see and respect the immense value that belief systems have to the people who subscribe to them, and I feel that any belief system that inspires people to do good is a benefit to society. Because we are all unique and diverse, I don’t believe that any religion is inherently true or false.”
Prepare for Group Assessments
Airlines also conduct group assessments in which they make you solve problems/scenarios as a part of a group. Here’s the most important thing to know about this situation (and again, this is directly from my colleague who worked as a flight attendant): They don’t evaluate the outcome or solution you came up with as a whole; they mostly evaluate how you interact with the team during that resolution process.
So make sure you’re demonstrating patience, strong listening skills, communication skills, professionalism, and teamwork. The situation and the problem you’re solving aren’t as important as showing that you can work well with others!
Questions to Ask in a Flight Attendant Interview
In your flight attendant interviews, you can ask questions about the biggest challenges new people face, how you’d interact with coworkers, the day-to-day duties and expectations, and how your performance will be measured. Keep your questions focused on the job and work, and save questions about benefits, pay, vacation time, and other perks for a second or third interview (or ideally, once you know they want to offer you the job). Also, make sure to avoid questions that could easily be answered by viewing the airline’s website or by reading the job description. For example, you don’t want to ask, “how long has this airline been in business?” A quick Google search could reveal this info, so asking the hiring manager isn’t going to impress them.
If you want ideas for specific questions, here are 26 unique questions to ask an employer.
Flight Attendant Interview Attire: What to Wear
You should wear business attire for your cabin crew interview. For men, this means a suit and tie. Women should wear a blazer, dress shirt, and skirt. For more information on what to wear to your cabin crew interview, we recommend this article. It goes into much more detail about accessories, hairstyle, and much more (for example, they recommend that if a woman’s hair is longer than shoulder-length, then they should style it in a French twist or bun). The article also includes great images/examples.
Since our article is mostly about interview questions and answers, not what to wear, that link above will take you to a more comprehensive resource focused entirely on interview clothing and styling.
Conclusion: Putting it All Together
If you follow the tips above, you’ll be ready for a variety of questions, from how you would approach a certain situation, to why you want this job. Remember to ask questions of your own, too (mentioned earlier), because this is a big part of how the interviewer evaluates candidates. Cabin crew positions are competitive, so you could lose out on the job to someone who spent more time preparing questions to ask if you’re not careful. Don’t neglect this step.
Finally, practice your answers at home. Nothing comes out perfect the first time, so you should feel more confident if you practice ahead of time with a friend or family member.