Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.
Although u r right..dont under estimate the power of polished shoes!! One interviewer leant over to take a look at my shoes. Its the small details that are often over looked. Wouldnt bother with a high fashion suit, just simple and smart..dark colurs usually.
If like me you get sweaty palms when nervous, use one of those quick wet wipes before to freshen them up so your handshake dont feel all clammy!
Polished shoes are a must! Any interviewer worth his salt will check out that at first contact. The rest, well, 400 quid is way over what you need to spend, pilots are not fashion models after all, and most are very far removed from same...
Well its suprising the number of idiots who DO turn up for interview without polished shoes. When I was interviewing I noticed every time (non-aviation jobs) and one can't help thinking that if Candidate X cannot be bothered to spend 5 minutes with some Kiwi then how concientious is he likely to be if you hire him?
Darkish suit, new white shirt, polished shoes and a haircut would be my advice.
I wouldn't worry too much about clammy handshakes - most interviewers will understand that its beyond your control. Some people have sweaty palms others have vice like palms as arid as Arizona.
I think its also worthwhile to do a litttle research or buy a book about interview techniques and non-verbal communication.
I just finished my interview with a MAJOR national airline for sponsorship in Europe. I have been successful. Anyway, while I was there, no one wore a suit, not the management or even the hopefuls. The hopefuls all wore long sleeved shirts with a tie and yes shiny shoes. Please no loafers (you'd be surprised...). I was made to sit a few metres from the interviewers so they could see me from top to toe. This is standard at most airline interviews. Please please please dun figid. You will automatically lose the interview if you figid. It is THE thing that interviewers look for. I cannot stress this enough. You definately dun need $400. In fact any K-Mart shirt will do. So as long as it is NEW and PRESSED. It must must must be NEW. Wear a QUIET tie with small red patches/spots, though don't overdo it with the patches and spots.
FYI, the interviewers wore shirts. Some long sleeved some short. 90% of them did not wear a tie, which is the way I think it should be. Maintain an image of professionalism by not overdressing. Conducting an interview with a full 3 piece suit is overkill.
DoMePlease makes some interesting points about the Far East where I am sure it is the norm to not wear a jacket and possibly not even a tie due to the climate. It goes without saying that that is not the norm here in the UK.
Valid points have already been made. Yes, shiny shoes don't make a good pilot, but they do make a good impression, which let's face it, is what you are after. £400 for a suit is more than you actually need to spend, but do go out and try lots on with someone (preferably female) with a sense of taste who can critically eye you up and down in each to say if they are 'you' or not. Above all, keep it dark (grey or blue seem best), not black! If you must get one with pin stripes make sure they are very thin and very faint, you are not trying to be a City Trader! Do make sure it fits you nicely; if you are an odd size consider getting it tailored (mainly leg length) as you can look rediculous in an ill fitting suit no matter how much you've spent. I would say belt rather than braces and DARK socks that compliment your suit and shoes, no pictures on them.......non of this 1980's sports socks(I can't believe I used to do that!!!!) Buy your tie at the same time so you can get the female to match a tie/suit/shirt combination; keep it simple and you won't go far wrong. Daffy Duck really must be held back for your first day!
It's personal choice but I would say single breasted rather than double, sensibly sized lapels and no more than 4 buttons (depending how tall you are) on the front (it's a business suit you're after, not high fashion), which incedently you will be able to wear again and again whereas fashion suits suddenly look silly 2 years later. In fact I retract, as once you are successful at interview and land that airline job your waistline will never be the same again...............! Never do all the buttons up as it looks like a coat, undo them before sitting down if you keep it on and don't wear a 3 peice or you will look like a bank manager plus offices are always heated/ cooled to be suitable for shirt sleeve order, so once you are in the interview ask if they would mind if you removed your jacket. They won't, even if the interviewer keeps his/ hers on, and you look a lot better than if you sit there melting in your jacket! You will be hot anyway due to self imposed pressure so select your shirt carefully. White or pale blue look very good, but be careful of making the Tony Blair gaffe of a nice blue shirt with really dark bits all over it as the sweat seeps through!!! White has to be the better. On that note, 100% cotton shirts feel great but look crap after 20 mins of wearing, whereas a poly/cotton mix irons very easily and doesn't crease anywhere near as much (all my issued pilot shirts are poly cotton). Don't drive to the interview wearing your jacket, hang it up in the back to keep that 'just dry cleaned' look. Oh, and above all else.........don't leave the 'Aquascutum' label sewn on the bottom of the sleeve!!!!!!!!!
Hair cut 'above the collar' not too much gel etc if you use it, good clean shave with a fresh blade to avoid 'pizza piazza' and clean finger nails/ hands unless you are an engineer type who can explain it away!!!
Hope that was of some help, Granny and eggs come to mind, but if you haven't interviewed before those are my recommendations based on 3 successful airline interviews and no failures yet..........
ps. As soon as you arrive at the venue, find the wash rooms and straighten your tie in a mirror, if your top button is clearly in view it will become a magnet for those talking to you.
You could look at the problem from another angle too; what not to wear!The last thing you want is for the board to think "what kind of schmuck is this" or "look what the cat dragged in".
I don`t think that you`ll get a job based entirely upon what you wear, but looking sharp is never a disadvantage.It`s a way of giving the board the message that, yes, you understand that they are important people and show them their due respect.A haircut does wonders, and for shiny shoes... if you can shine them, then you`d better have a spitshine
That said, make a good first impression.Give a nice and firm handshake (nobody likes the receive a weak handshake - it gives the impression that you could care less).Take part in the interview as well, don`t just sit there and answer the questions. Remember you`re a pilot and therefore should be able to take some initiative.Be on time!Preferrably a bit early.
And last but not least, shower, scrub and shave.Cleanly boys don`t misbehave! (Stole that from NOFX)
Oh, fer Chrissakes, this is not difficult, nor is it a Black Art. Be clean, be smart. Wear a suit and tie. If you haven't got one, go and get one - as Pete says, do it with some feminine input so you don't make too much of a howler. Do NOT attempt a fashion statement, and do NOT attempt a pre-emptive strike for dressing-down in the workplace. Wear clean, polished, sober shoes. I don't care if they're loafers. I also don't care if your tie has red in it, but don't distract me with a cartoon strip on your tie - I want to read you, not your clothes. In fact, that is the whole point. Your clothes are not the centre of attention here; you are. So don't rock the boat. Let your brain do the talking via your mouth!
The same applies generally to the ladies. Pants or skirt (not too short) isn't really important, but the overall image should be sober and smart.
Also, don't put too much store on the comments of those with only one or two interviews behind them. Again, as WWW said, an interview preparation book may be a good investment.
Now funny you should mention a guide dog as I once watched a captain take a blind pax's guide dog for a 'comfort break' during a tech stop. He kept his sunglasses on and conducted the walkround check much to the amusement of the other pax..............I don't think he went as far as the 'surf dude' shirt during his command check though!!!
To be honest I cant actually believe that some people would go for an interview in anything but the smartest they could possibly possibly be!
Come on guys we've spent vast sums of money getting the covetted ATPL, sent out vast numbers of CVs, worked cr@ppy jobs to keep your head above water....you finally get the call for the interview that will make sense of all this sacrifice and should you be successful you will be living your dream and youre wondering whether you should wear a suit or not?????
Tell you what, you all go with scruffy shoes, bad taste ties and string for a belt, it will cut down the amount of people I'm up against for sure!
There can be no question, spend £400 on a suit if you need to, as a percentage of the thousands spent already getting here its a no brainer!
edited for poor spelling, but I'm still going to wear a suit!
Donít ever, ever underestimate the power of 1st impressions. When the door opens and you walk in, what does the person(s) on the other side of the desk want to see? Smart, sober, professional. Self Ė confident but not cocky, serious but with a sense of humour. Mature. Funnily enough, a bit like the sort of character the pax expect to see walking through airports dressed as pilots . . .
Donít ever be late - even by one minute. Firm (not wet) handshake, maintain eye contact, smile, donít let yourself appear nervous or intimidated. And as for shoes Ė well if you canít be trusted to polish them for a job interview, is anyone likely to trust you with an airliner? Would you?
Like Scroggs says, itís not exactly rocket science.