Finding an Airline Job
The number of available positions for Flight Attendant, Cabin Crew, and Air Hostess is usually far less than the number of candidates seeking jobs, and this is certainly true in South Africa. This makes the search for a Cabin Crew (Flight Attendant) position very difficult, and only those with high passion for the career will be selected. In this article we will provide some useful tips on airline crew recruitment.
The basic requirements for Cabin Crew are that you will need matric and the ability to swim (or willingness to learn to swim very quickly). Some airlines apply age limits, and some would require some work experience, particularly in customer service. Possession of a CAA cabin crew licence could provide you with an advantage. You should have a neat appearance and a reasonable body mass index.
Airlines usually recruit Flight Attendants in batches or intakes, forming classes for their internal training programmes.This would tend to be 4-6 times per year. They advertise these positions in newspapers, on their own websites, and on websites such as pnet.co.za. Airlines do not often make use of recruitment agencies, so you should be very careful of working through agencies that promise to get you a cabin crew job.
In order to prepare yourself for job applications and interviews you would need to do the following:
- Clarify exactly why you want to become an air hostess. Try to avoid "travelling" and "meeting people", as these do not impress recruiters.
- Do some basic reading on the airline industry, and at least know the different airline company names.
- Go to the airline facebook pages and like and follow them.
- Prepare a clear concise CV with excellent photographs (EPT Aviation will do this for all its students).
- Set Cabin Crew job alerts on as many job websites as you can.
- Talk to anyone that you know from the airline industry.
- If you have the time and money, consider taking a Cabin Crew licencing course to give yourself a head start.
Interviews and Assessment
The selection process can be long, on average 3 interviews will be required. The most important factor in our opinion is to be honest and to be yourself. The interviewers go through the interview and assessment process on a regular basis and they have seen hundreds of prospective cabin crew candidates. You will rarely be able to "fool" them.
The recruiters will be looking for evidence of your passion, commitment, life skills, and energy. Your willingness to serve others will be tested, as well as your ability to function effectively in a team. This will be done in interview panels, team exercises, and role plays. They will also assess your ability to comprehend and comply with the legal and safety requirements of the position of flight attendant.
Your personality and basic appearance will be the main determining factors, so remember to look your best and behave in a polite manner.
If you are fortunate enough to be selected, you will immediately embark on the airline training programme. If you fail any of the modules you could be asked to leave the course.
Many candidates will also attend an external training course, such as the EPT Cabin Crew Licencing course, prior to selection. This will make the odds of success in the airline training so much higher.
Once you are cleared to fly, the fun will begin, but remember that you have to do recurrent training throughout your career, in order to stay up-to-date and fresh.
Please take a look at some of our other articles for more career information.
Note that the terms Air Hostess, Flight Attendant, Cabin Attendant, Steward, Stewardess, and Cabin Crew all are the same thing and the job names are used interchangeably.