Fifteen years ago, I encountered my first flight attendant interview question. I wish I could remember what I was asked because I think it would be fun to share now, but alas, I do not. (I do know that when I was asked the question, I was in a high-floor office in a building on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, DC!)
Although I don’t remember that first interview question, I do remember being asked dozens of interview questions over the next six months as I attended interview after interview. (And thankfully received CJO after CJO!)
When I started coaching aspiring flight attendants, I began to research and study flight attendant interviews. As I compiled the questions, I noticed there were really only four types of interview questions. And each type of question has a different success strategy:
Tell me what you think Questions
STAR Format Questions
Onboard Situational Questions
STAR Format questions are the most famous, or maybe infamous, type of interview question and because they come up so often, I wanted to send you a quick strategy overview for STAR Format Questions. Whether you’ve just begun to dust off your old memories, or are months into interview prep, I hope you find these tips helpful.
Remember, not all interview questions should be answered using the STAR format as a guide. You’ll know you’re being asked a STAR format question because the question will begin with: “Tell me about a time when…” Other questions like: Why do you want to be a flight attendant? and Why do you want to work for our airline? are not the type of question that needs to be answered using the STAR acronym. So, please don’t cause yourself any extra grief trying to twist that answer into STAR!
The theory behind STAR Format Questions (called Behavioral Questions) is if the company can find out what you’ve done in the past, they will be able to predict what you will do in the future. Knowing this can help you choose the best story for your answer. When you are trying to decide between two stories, ask yourself which type of situation would you be more likely to face on the plane? For example, you have a higher chance of working with a coworker that is not pulling her weight because she forgets or is a little lazy (like not doing side work, washing towels, clocking in from breaks on time) than a coworker that is drunk and not working hard. You don’t have to use a story that you can easily see happening on the plane, but if you’re stuck, this strategy can help.
I hope you find these tips helpful and empowering! And remember, you already have all the experience you need. Taking the time now to dust off and remember those stories will pay off during your next interview!
P.S. STAR Format Questions have been such a “thing” for aspiring flight attendants that I created and taught a training just on the STAR Format. This class has been taken by 100s of aspiring flight attendants and the feedback I have received is so encouraging. This class is all about strategy, plus I give A LOT of example answers from A LOT of different industries (not just my own experience) to help jog your memories and get your story juices flowing. You can purchase the Workbook, the Focus On: STAR Format, and more bonuses by clicking here.