Becoming an Airline Pilot is not easy….

  • Updated
  • 3 mins read
You are currently viewing Becoming an Airline Pilot is not easy….

Becoming an Airline Pilot is not easy….

Alongside the multiple exams, flight tests, medical assessments and high costs, landing a job with an excellent airline is not assured. Part of your lived experience, for many pilots, is being rejected by an airline, for a position, you felt you were perfect for. Dealing with this will draw on your resilience and your dedication to your profession.

But practically speaking what do you do, when the initial pain and disappointment abates?

✅ Send a Thank You email… This may sound counterintuitive, but view it as the first stage of your next application. Try and ensure it is addressed to the people involved in the Flt Ops department, as opposed to any third-party recruitment agencies. Be sure to thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed and assessed, and how you are looking forward to applying at the next recruiting occasion.

✅ Feedback…Some airlines can provide feedback on your performance, but very few do.
So consider your own personal feedback on the experiences. How was the overall experience for you, what you did well at, and what you would change? Also what areas did you find challenging, and what areas did you fall short in? Did you prepare well enough and in a timely manner? If you know others who were successful, you might ask them what worked for them

✅ What would you different next time…?
Luckily, we are in a busy pilot recruitment period, as pilots transfer among airlines, and captains are promoted, leaving opportunities for others.

✅ So next time how can we make it different?
– Do I need to prepare earlier, rather than wait till I am assured of an assessment and rush my prep?
– Do I need to improve my tech knowledge, on my own aircraft and future types?
– Do I need to improve my interview technique and confidence, rather than winging it on the day?
– Do I need I need to create a better CV and Plan of Action, so my prep is professional and measured?

✅ How was my performance with the dreaded Competency-based Questions and how familiar was I with the STAR technique?
Building your storyline repertoire, for examples of Leadership, Conflict, Communications and Resilience is crucial to being able to perform confidently in interview settings.

So, the time is now… waiting is not an action… lick your wounds and prepare smartly to be sure you aren’t disappointed next time…

Author Captain Conor Keeling

Conor is an Airbus A330 Commander with many years of experience in the aviation world. His primary focus is working with the next generation of Airline Pilots, providing professional coaching and pilot experience to enhance their skills and boost their confidence during Airline assessments. He is a fully accredited member of the Association of Coaching and European Coaching and Mentoring Council and operates strictly under their Global Code of Ethics. You can find out more about his services here: