What does it take?

Passing a Pilot Interview is not always an easy thing. There are many factors that go into choosing the best applicant for the operation in question, and sometimes you just may not be the ideal person. It can be for so many reasons, so it is best not to take it personally and just move onto the next.

Please take this info with a pinch of salt and remember this is an opinion of mine and not law;)

Lets look at some of the most important things:


– Know the plane you currently fly
– Learn as much as you can about the plane the company operates
– Get to know the company you are applying for
– Study the basic IFR/VFR rules
– Be current with basic Met Principles
– If you need to do a Simulator flight, try get some practice. (especially if they use a different avionics system)
– Study up on basic Principles of Flight and general aviation principles


– Dress for the position. Long Pants, collared shirt and polished shoes
– If you are a guy, shave or trim your beard if you have one.
(You would be surprised at how quickly people will make up their mind about you just from your appearance. Even though I may not like to admit it, I have not looked at CV’s because of how they presented themselves when dropping off their CV’s at my office)

Extras to Think About

– Be on time
– Try and be yourself
– Be honest
– Be confident, but not overly confident and cocky 

Let’s have a deeper look into passing a pilot interview.

Generally interview panels are made up of more than one person. The Chief Pilot, Operations Manager and Human Resources Manager (not always the case, but generally a representative from these departments). Each of these people will have questions that they will ask you and depending on the answer you have given have a follow up question.

The Chief Pilot will normally focus on the planes and technical side of things. The Operations Manager will focus on operations side, including law etc and the HR Manager more the personality and personal questions. Remember this is just a guide and anyone can ask you anything.

How much time should you take to study?

If you have been given notice about the interview it is advisable to start studying and brushing up on your knowledge straight away. The more you know the better. (You should never stop studying in aviation anyway, so if you have better get back to it. You never know when your dream job might come around) If you can draw the systems of the aircraft it will make it easier to understand and explain. I would suggest taking at least a month to go through everything, obviously this depends on how much time you have. If you need to prioritize certain things, try work out what is more important.

Remember to be careful on how you answer the questions. Try not to dig yourself into a hole by talking about or mentioning something that you do not know anything about. For example if they as you about the fuel system only talk about the things you know 100%. Don’t mention the small pump in the resivoir if you don’t know anything more about it, out of experience they will ask you follow up questions about it.

They should send you a schedule of the interview process, if you are doing a Sim session in the interview I highly recommend getting some practice. I have done quite a few interviews and have failed many people because they can’t fly basic sim scenarios and they admit to not doing any practice before hand. IT SHOWS!


Make a good impression from the start. Like I said earlier I have not had a second look at some pilots because of their appearance. There are plenty of pilots that have similar qualifications, if one takes the time to look presentable, I will take him or her over the person that has put in no effort to look smart. Remember we are in an industry that serves clients, and appearance is important. (maybe not if you flying in the bush, but for the interview it is)

Extras to think about

One thing I have learnt over the years is to be myself during interviews. It is far easier than trying to be someone that you are not just to impress the panel interviewing you. 

Be honest as well, the truth has a way of coming out. The people interviewing you have generally done their research and followed up on your references. (I have had one person lie about why they had left their previous company After doing a bit of research we found they had not passed the training at their previos job and was told by the company that they wouldn’t have recommened the person)

Be confident and ask questions if you get given the opportunity. Confidence will come from preperation, so I suggest you prepare.

I hope you found a little use in my experience of being on both sides of the interview. Feel free to share Passing a pilot interview with your friends.

Remember you need to secure the inteerview first, I have linked a CV and Cover Letter template below. (you will need to sign up to the news letter to get access)


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