Interview Tips for Aviation Jobs
Interviewing can be nerve wracking! You don’t know the people conducting the interview; they don’t know you or your qualifications. You don’t know what they’re looking for in a potential new employee. You don’t know what questions they will ask or how they will ask them. Will they be if/then questions, open answer, true/false… But, with a little preparation and keeping a cool head, a lot of the angst can be removed so you can truly shine during the interviewing process.
If your interview is going to be successful, then you need to understand your own goals and needs, as well as understand those of prospective employers. They need qualified people to fill needed positions and do the job that they need done. Are you seeing a trend here? They’re talking to you because they have a need. So, you need to show them that you can do precisely that –satisfy their needs. Your needs are secondary to them. Remember that.
So, let’s say you get the phone interview and they have invited you to come in for a face-to-face. Great! Now the real work begins. Listed below are some details that employers will be looking for when conducting that interview:
|1. Communication Skills
6. Career Maturity
8. Marks in School
9. Listening Skills
|11. Overall Appearance
15. Knowledge about the Employer
16. Sense of Humor
17. Report Writing/Logkeeping Skills
19. Ability to resolve conflicts
20. Leisure Activities
You must understand that you are not just being evaluated on your experience and education alone, but also by these and other attributes that can help them decide whether or not you are right for the job. They’re looking to discover the person behind the resume. You may discover that some people get hired just because the interviewer “liked” them. Of course this is not always the case, but developing effective interviewing skills can help.
The most important part of the interview is to always remember that honesty is, without question, “a must” and they’re actually looking for two things: that you are a person who they’d like to work besides and that you’ll have no problems in initial training. You don’t need to be the best thing since speed sockets came along, as indicated by the list above. Just be a person who would be a pleasure to work with, get along with others, and do the best job possible.
A few other helpful items that, if you’ve ever held a job before, should be second nature to you by now.
Be patient. We all know the waiting for that phone call to come can be unbearable. But one must remember that the company is looking at other people aside from you. Yes, believe it or not, there are others just as qualified as yourself. And despite your charm and winning personality, it could take a couple of weeks or months before they get around to your application. Be patient, and don’t call the hiring manager every week, wanting an update. That would be counter-productive and a real irritant.
Prepare and practice. There are a number of websites that have sample interview questions as they relate to our industry (for example, AVJobs.com). You would be prudent to look over twenty or thirty of those questions and come up with solid answers in advance. Practice answering those questions in front of a mirror, so you can see what they will see. Once you feel comfortable with the answers to those questions, do it again. Remember what you mother always told you: “Practice makes perfect.”
Look professional. Having a suit available isn’t a bad idea. Going to off-the-rack shops like “Men’s Wearhouse” works just fine. Besides I don’t think the senior mechanics that are interviewing you would know what “Armani” is anyway. Most aviation companies could care less as long as you look professional. Perhaps khakis and a nice dress shirt is the way to go. When scheduling your interview, ask what the requested attire is, and go from there.
Proper documentation. It would be prudent to have a couple of copies of your licenses and certificates and put them into a briefcase so if the company would like a copy, you’ve already saved them some time. Also, just as a precaution, have a copy of your birth certificate, passport and applicable college degrees. If you don’t already have a passport, go ahead and invest in one because you never know. Trying to get one in a rush can get really expensive.
Get to know the company. Do some basic research on the company, learning about their history, the main players in management, their locations, etc. You might discover that the company isn’t for you after all (financial hardships, safety issues, etc.), thus saving yourself valuable time and energy. On the other hand, you may discover that the company is exactly what you’re looking for and motivate you to work even harder during the interview.
Network. LinkedIn.com and other social media channels are a great way to meet people in the aviation industry. Join discussion groups (LinkedIn has 130 different groups alone), offer your opinions and insights. You might actually strike up a relationship with someone who could give you some valuable information about the company with which you would like to interview, or might even know the person that will be interviewing you.
Ask questions. In most instances, you’ll be given the chance to ask any questions you might have that were raised during the interview. Ask questions that show you were paying attention during the interview.
All this a bit much for you? Granted, there are only so many hours in a day. Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) has a team of career development specialists on hand, ready to help its students secure employment in their field of study.
AIM’s Positive Employment Program (PEP) is an eight step process that utilizes a strong coaching model to highlight the student’s strengths with a focus toward getting students into the job they want. This includes helping them polish up that resume and cover letter, mock interviews to help students prepare for the real thing, and identifying potential employers in the student’s locale. While they cannot guarantee all students will be placed in a job, our specialists will continue to coach and train those students who want it. And once they do land a job, our specialists conduct a 30-day post-employment follow up on the student to check on their progress.