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Dragonair DE FO Interview Experiences/Feedback

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Dragonair DE FO Interview Experiences/Feedback

Old 20th Nov 2014, 08:31
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: earth
Age: 40
Posts: 19

Just wondering if anybody has been to Hong Kong for the initial interview?
PM me if any info if you like, just wondering what is involved. Expecting HR but not sure.
Thanks in advance
canthelpit is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2014, 02:27
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: CDA
Posts: 6
Round One - The HR Round

My experience in the first round was as expected. I had the unique experience of being the only pilot in the room, two HR specialists giving me the third degree. For a solid hour.

They basically went through everything on my application then started in on my logbook to round out the time.

They wanted to know all about my previous jobs (all of them), how I come to have so many passports, how I would feel if one of my former students was captain on a flight where I was the FO (very proud, actually), where do my family and friends live, who do I know at KA and what do they say about it, would I accept an offer from HKA (probably not), why not Cathay (I prefer short haul), what will I do if I miss out (stay put and upgrade in a year), where else have I tried (everywhere), what was I doing in 2012 (same as now, trying everywhere), how do I like living in Tung Chung, do we rent or own, how does my family feel about all this and what to they want for me, where do I live, where was I born, with additions for the classic questions:why leave your present company, what is your current roster like, what are your prospects where you are, ok so why Dragonair then, can you manage the workload (80 + on a short haul roster is punishing. Are you aware of how hard you will work and how will you manage it?) how do you feel about integrated patterns and overnights, can you live in Hong Kong, variations on do I know what I am going to be in for basically.

Was a hell of a grilling. They were thorough, there was no chance of skating lightly over any of it. I nailed a few big ones, and they did invite me back.

I am expecting an even tougher time next round. If they are that thorough on HR, then I am thinking hardball in the tech round. ATPL fun (i.e. obscure) facts, classic Aerody and some Post Graduate Airbus. Probably with some diabolical personal questions that they have thought up in the meantime.

Anyone got any more to add? Good gouge is the only defence against such an onslaught.....

And they want to hear 900kts if the airplane is flying along the equator. I know a guy who asks that question in interviews.....

Happy Landings!

Other_Flying_Object is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2014, 21:31
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 2
They waste your time

Went through the interview process in October and November. Basically it's a local bitch called Doris and her office buddy asking stupid questions on the first interview.
Second interview was was some miserable Canadian guy with huge chips on his shoulder, an English guy and again Doris the local bitch. Ask more ATPL style questions than any thing sensible. 10 minute in A330 sim with them all inside the box watching. Then a crocodile smile drinks in Dakota bar at CX city where they pretend to like you and be friendly. Overall they are not recruiting anything but locals, not ex pats any longer.
Waste weeks of your life waiting and build up false hopes.
uk-pilot25 is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2014, 22:36
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: hongkers
Posts: 77
You didn't get the job?? With your style and grace and positive attitude I would have thought you'd be a shoe in.
giggerty is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2014, 00:39
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: at home
Posts: 90
Gee, all the other xpats walking through the recruitment door must have done ok.
JY9024 is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2014, 02:04
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: DSOTM
Posts: 198
I don't know but all the guys that I know that have got the offer are expats, myself included. A bit of self-reflection might be useful before dropping derogatory terms like that.
drfaust is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2014, 04:00
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: DoggPound
Posts: 42
UK Pilot 25.... That post made my day. Hilarious. I wish you the best in your career wherever you end up.
Skindogg is offline  
Old 30th Nov 2014, 04:17
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: HK- A little bit of industrial China in every breath you take.
Posts: 515
The system hasn't changed for about a decade then, trawl through some old posts. The info is out there.

Uk-pilot, they are recruiting expats, but on local terms. Its a good job search allowance if nothing else.

Prepare yourself in the obvious areas.

You and your attitude towards Hong Kong, show you have an idea of living in HK, as this is not a commuting contract, and there is no sign of that ever changing. It is a SHORT HAUL CHINA JOB with a smattering of destinations outside of China. Once your training is over, you will rarely get a trip outside of China as they are typically training routes for various reasons, but the main ones being sector length and roster stability.

What do things cost in HK, where do you think you might want and be able to afford to live? Know some basics about Dragon, a little bit of history, what do we fly where do we go, who is the boss? We have a weekly update to tell us who the CEO is this week, they come over and do bit of work experience, accept a few self appointed awards, and then they are off to another Swires post. The goal for them is to do nothing, don't upset cathay, and spend nothing, keep your head down and wait for the next promotion.

2nd interview, expect a few pilots on the panel, and more of a tech quiz. They don't care what the answer is, they want to know how you answer it. If you don't know, they want to see how you approach not knowing the answer. They have their BS radar on, they honestly don't care how many hydraulic systems the Embraer has. Possibly some good cop bad cop going on here, and some selective targeting type questions. "Tell us about I time when..."

The aircraft you fly, if you are already airbus rated expect a grilling. If you fly something else, expect generic questions on your type. Know your companies current fuel policy and be able to apply it.

Have your log book up to date, and not 100 pages all written on the same day with the same pen.

UK pilot offered some suggestions on how to win friends and influence people. My personal opinion after many years in the company, is that Doris is an integral part of the interview and selection process, and a professional. Her BS radar of who will fit in and who wont is as developed as any of the pilots. She has seen thousands of applicants, and almost as many interviews. She has earnt the respect of the pilot managers through effectively reducing their work level at the second stage interview. Enough said.

There isn't a Canadian guy in the company I wouldn't happily share a beer with on an overnight, (not that there is much opportunity to do that, most overnights are minimum rest in good to less than good hotels). Not a single chipped shoulder amongst them, I would dispute that "one off" observation made earlier.
Lowkoon is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2014, 07:36
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: hongkers
Posts: 77
There used to be a test for each candidate that the interviewers used. That was " at the end of a long days flying would I want to have a beer with this person".
It had pretty good results for a long time. There was the occasional lapse ( a well known German who was moved on springs to mind) but generally the guys and girls at KA are a good bunch.
I have a feeling Uk pilot 25 might not have made the grade in the "being sociable" area
giggerty is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2014, 21:15
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Above and Beyond
Posts: 240
It would be Nice if you guys who apply and got invited for the interview tell us your nationalities if you don't mind.


Last edited by KRUGERFLAP; 5th Dec 2014 at 21:26.
KRUGERFLAP is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2014, 05:35
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: HK- A little bit of industrial China in every breath you take.
Posts: 515
Kruger, there isn't a preferred nationality. They are taking from where ever they can get experience, it is just hard to attract experienced guys on the T&Cs on offer. They need to upgrade more guys than they have on the books now. Anyone with 4000+ hours, preferably a jet command, and one head is getting a look in. This is their priority currently to fill a hole caused by hiring all zero time pilots for years, 'suddenly' left with no one to upgrade.

Good luck, its not a bad stepping stone, they don't bond you, and you don't pay for the rating, just do your homework on Hong Kong. If breathing is something you consider to be a necessary part of your day to day routine, think carefully.
Lowkoon is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2014, 10:27
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: at home
Posts: 90
Was told 12-14 months to command if suitably qualified.
JY9024 is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2014, 10:23
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 77
Thumbs up


Thanks so much for that information. Something I've been trying to figure out for a long time. Simply meeting the minimum requirements for DEFO at Dragon is no where near enough to spike some sort of interest. Can finally put this option to rest. Cheers
skysook is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2014, 14:10
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Eden Valley
Posts: 1,816
Was told 12-14 months to command if suitably qualified.
That's unlikely! It doesn't factor in failures now ( quite high sadly ) who will come back through the system in 12 months and it seems overly ambitious on training capacity and ability.

I'd say three years which is dependent upon a healthy economy and a healthy plan for KA from its owners.

KA used to be big on hand flying in the sim at stage two. Easy on an Airbus even in raw data. Since CX took over there has been an unfortunate move away from these competencies so perhaps you now go into sim and fly around on auto-pilot making long winded and inane briefs identifying stuff like night time, KA coffee and your home port as threats.
Gnadenburg is offline  
Old 12th Dec 2014, 11:17
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 521
Who would have ever thought that people would be queuing up to work for any HKG based airline on local terms - especially with jet time.
AQIS Boigu is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2014, 03:33
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Singas
Posts: 2
Hi! New to PPRuNe, Just done my Initial HR Interview been invited back for the Final interview with Sim check in Jan 2015.

Anyone done it yet? would appreciate some infos! would be a massive help!

Blue_Skies_ is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2015, 12:54
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: europe
Posts: 3

Can you tell me Blue_Skies_ how was your first day? Any technical questions? Was it how other_flying_object said it was? Good luck for the 2nd session!
arudee is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2015, 14:16
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Home soon
Posts: 0
Blue_skies trying to get a job in HKG..
de facto is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2015, 05:01
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: HK- A little bit of industrial China in every breath you take.
Posts: 515
Good point, he has time to change his name to brown skies, or airborne toxic filth, something more appropriate to the region. The user name 'shitosphere' may still be available?!
Lowkoon is offline  
Old 9th Jan 2015, 18:24
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 655
Many moons ago I did an initial interview with a little short guy and Chinese lady who were all perfectly nice until the little guy started with the needle type questions. It was all very comedic, classic good cop/bad cop, or the KA version.
When Mr bad cop asked me when I would be available for a sim assessment, I asked him a question in return "is everyone at KA aware of your personal short comings?" Madam Chinese gave a short snort, bad cop short bald guy turned a peculiar shade of purple and I noted that his cateroid artery began to pulse. At that point I terminated the interview and skipped out the door having had a lucky escape I've often wondered if the little short [email protected] died prematurely due to one of the chips on his shoulders falling off and causing him to topple over and bang his bald head.
Monarch Man is offline  

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