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Interview question: Why do you want to be a pilot?

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Interview question: Why do you want to be a pilot?

Old 3rd Oct 2013, 01:06
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Interview question: Why do you want to be a pilot?

I have answered this question but i am not confident that it is a good answer. Looking on other websites most people say the same thing e.g. "waking up and looking at the horizon bla bla bla" and my answer is totally different. I know that there isnt really a 'right' answer because everybody has different reasons but is it ok if i can get some confirmation on my answer to see if it will sound good to the interviewer.

The key points i focussed on was the Travelling, the physics behind flying and the fact that being pilot is a never ending learning experience.

I can private message you my full answers for these if needed, but if you were the interviewer are these the sort of points that would be good to listen to.

thanks in advance
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 02:48
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Your answer is a million times better than that cheesy BS.

Remember all interview answers should be your own. If you copy one or give a 'perfect answer' you won't come across genuinely.

Keep answers short and to the point. Elaborate only when asked.

Last edited by pudoc; 3rd Oct 2013 at 02:58.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 07:12
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"I have dreamed about flying since I was a kid" is cheesy and unlikely to catch the eye of the person sifting through the thousands of CVs.

If you're willing to invest up to a 100 grand in a career, one hopes you've seriously thought about your motivation.

What is it about the lifestyle and day-to-day job of an airline pilot that you find attractive? Rearrange those thoughts a few times into something un-cheesy and it will come across as genuine and unique.

Oh, and please ensure your application is grammatically correct, with no spelling mistakes.

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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 08:40
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Well I think the above are good replies, but wanted to give a word of caution. Sometimes the answers that crop up the most do so because they are the best ones. It might be cheesey to say something like you've dreamt of becoming a pilot since you were a kid, but it's certainly quite a safe answer. If you try to be too different then you might stand out - but maybe for the wrong reasons. So while it's probably a good idea to avoid the typical cliche' where possible, I wouldn't necessarily recommend trying to be entirely radical. A good philosophy is to be honest. If you are facinated by the Physics that underpin flying then say that. But whatever you do your answer should convey your passion for flying. That's often more about how you say something than merely what you say.

Hope it helps.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 09:05
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Why do you want to be a pilot?
"I became a pilot because I went on a trial flight and I loved it. I want to fly for your airline because x,y and z."
Where X, Y and Z relate to that specific airline and what you love about flying.
This not only shows that you love to fly, but that you've researched the company and know a bit about them, and that you believe you will fit in with their culture.

They're not asking you why you want to be a pilot, they're asking why they should hire you.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 09:47
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They're not asking you why you want to be a pilot, they're asking why they should hire you.
I think the two are inextricably linked. What motivations a person to become a pilot are usually also reasons why an airline would want to hire them (or certainly they should be). However, on the whole I otherwise agree with what you're saying.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 11:45
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For a start, I don't think it is a great interview question. The whole interview should be a guage on your motavation and if you're just after the cash and a few gold bars, it will soon show.

Having said that, I don't think your answer would impress me. The only time I've been asked something similar was at OASC in the early 90's. Once they got me talking about aeroplanes in general and the air force in particular, it was pretty much '...OK, we get the message, you can stop now.' If you're motivated to fly, it will soon come across.

Last edited by Parson; 3rd Oct 2013 at 11:46.
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Old 5th Oct 2013, 16:15
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I think for this kind of question, do not think to much, just say the truth, of course if reason was to make lot's of money, travel the world with hot FA's etc., maybe you should re-consider your answer.
And here is the problem. The reason to have a career is to be able to provide a good standard of living for your families future. This industry is going to st because too many morons just want to fly that visual approach in an A320 or some other BS even if they get paid less than the person who cleans the plane after their awesome greaser onto that short runway. Not saying don't enjoy your job but for gods sake it is a job that should pay well.
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Old 5th Oct 2013, 19:55
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Rather than being too focused on yourself, why not give a moments thought to why the interviewer is asking the question.

Unless you are really going to say something that is likely to shock the interviewer it may well be that the answer doesn't matter at all. This is an interview and having made it this far, the interviewer wants to pose a limited range of questions that both keep you within your own comfort zone, and also perhaps take you outside of it in order to see how you respond rather than with any great focus on the content of your reply.

For example. A constituent part of this job is communicating with your passengers. Somebody who can provide a relaxed confident reply to a question about themselves, should have little difficulty in adapting to a communication task that also requires a confident relaxed style. The interviewer is likely to note how you respond to a question that you really should be able to answer. There is no particular right or wrong answer, but there is often a very definite character, manner and style that comes through when somebody is giving an honest answer about their own aspirations, achievements or life.

Again with communication at the forefront, how does somebody deal with a difficult question or one that is likely to take them outside of their comfort zone. Does the reply seem thoughtful, honest, considered, and in keeping with the general characteristics of that individual candidate. Does it sound rehearsed, is there a shift or change in the temperament of the responses.
An example of this might be, "why should we offer you the vacancy in preference to the other candidates in the waiting room?" Of course the strong temptation here is to become instantly competitive and proffer every thing you can think of that might project your keenness for the job. However this is very much a "teamwork" profession, and your answer to this question can quickly reveal potential flaws in that particular quality.

Any interviewer is looking for the best candidates to fill the vacancy. That "best" is a combination of perceptions and presentation. Two candidates can give totally dissimilar answers to non-technical questions, and both be successful at interview.

You will often see interviewers making notes and ticking boxes. This is quite difficult to do whilst listening to a reply. Very often it isn't the content of the reply being given that is being marked, but the general manner, demeanor, and attitude of the candidate. Although the situation doesn't really lend itself to being relaxed, the interviewers are well aware of that. Be yourself, be honest, be prepared and be confident. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. The buyer is looking for a reliable and honest product.
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 21:12
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The interview

pls send me your answers to the interview questions 'why do you want to be a pilot' I would be very much grateful if you grant my request. Thanks
emmat is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2014, 22:05
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Why is there a thread about this subject? WHY don't you just tell why you want be a pilot, instead of saying what you think they'd like to hear.
When I've got that question I've looked into my heart, why am I at that interview? it's a privilege to be at an interview for a job you love.

Come on people, don't anyone else about a question such this, they want to hear your story, not someone else story you've got from a forum.
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Old 26th Jan 2014, 16:03
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I said that i came out of the womb with a flying hat on, and i love the smell of airports. And yes, it worked. or at least didn't put them off.

Disclaimer; only do this if you have already established a good rapport and the interviewer seems friendly/fun.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 16:10
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The key points i focussed on was the Travelling, the physics behind flying and the fact that being pilot is a never ending learning experience.
...makes it sound like you'd rather be a holiday rep or a scientist.

Honestly, if anyone needs to ask what to say to this question, I worry that they won't be very happy with a lifetime career as a pilot.

Travelling - really? That used to be one of the replies to avoid, same as 'the glamour' or 'I like the uniform'. There are easier ways to go travelling than the effort and expense of becoming a professional pilot.

It's simple - you should love flying. And you want to be a professional pilot because you have a need to do it at the highest level. Lots of people love flying for a hobby but they aren't suited to doing it as a career.

In other words, you don't want to spend your life doing anything else.

Those who know, know.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 13:35
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I like the smell of airports
...in the morning. Smells like... victory.

Awesome. Chris49 - was that your response to 'why do you want to be a pilot'? or was it that other interview favourite 'tell us about your favourite smells'


Having applied to numerous airlines, and been to several airline related interviews, I have asked myself the same question (the pilot one, not the smell one) :

1. I love travel, but then if I took the job you are offering I couldnt really travel. I'd get paid to take people to places Pilots can't afford to go.

2. I love flying, but then your SOPs won't let me do that. I dont want to sit for hours watching a computer fly a plane. If someone/something else is going to fly the thing I might as well be down the back drinking champagne.

3. I love my family, but as you won't guarantee my base, or my roster, I probably won't see them much will I?


I've stopped applying to airlines/corporate now.


...Oh, in case anyone's interested in Chris49s 'smell' question (which I think is far more interesting and revealing), mine would probably be the faint scent of wood fire from a remote chalet somewhere in the French Alps in winter. Anyone else care to share theirs?
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 12:49
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hello!

Originally Posted by Dilan12345 View Post
I have answered this question but i am not confident that it is a good answer. Looking on other websites most people say the same thing e.g. "waking up and looking at the horizon bla bla bla" and my answer is totally different. I know that there isnt really a 'right' answer because everybody has different reasons but is it ok if i can get some confirmation on my answer to see if it will sound good to the interviewer.

The key points i focussed on was the Travelling, the physics behind flying and the fact that being pilot is a never ending learning experience.

I can private message you my full answers for these if needed, but if you were the interviewer are these the sort of points that would be good to listen to.

thanks in advance
I think I need your help rightnow . Can u send me ur full answer?
kbt1995 is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2016, 11:17
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Personally, the feeling of the plane touching down smoothly, and knowing that was me and I have done a great job, that's why I want to fly commercially. It's a feeling like nothing I have ever experienced anywhere else.
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Old 6th Sep 2016, 13:28
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Every single question from the interviewer, is a launch platform for you to tell a story. Every single one.

Doesn't have to be a long or a complicated story but every single story should have a factual basis, should be specific, detailed, and should paint you in a positive light. Above all else, it should make the interviewer feel like they've gained some insight into you and what makes you tick.

I.E a bad answer to "why do you want to be a pilot" would be "well I really like flying". No shit Sherlock.

A better answer would be "The first time I really knew I wanted to fly was back in the summer of 1996, when I went to visit Uncle Jim down in Southampton, and he took me for a quick joyride in his microlight. I really enjoyed it and felt that it was something I would like to pursue further, so the following year I signed up for the Air Cadets and started working part time in the local aero club in exchange for discounted flying lessons". You've answered the question, you've expanded on it, you've slipped in a bit of extra detail.

As an interviewer, which answer gives you a better feeling about the guy sitting in front of you?

Every person will have a different answer, make yours factual and honest and relevant to YOU. But just remember, story story story. Every single question, even a simple one like that, is a story trigger.

You can prepare all your stories months in advance. You know you're going to get asked about your early career and history. You know you're going to get a version of "why should we hire you". You should always have a couple of stories ready that demonstrate your CRM and interpersonal skills. You should always have a story ready about performing under pressure. You should be prepared for the "negative" question, about what is the worst thing you've ever done or what are your weaknesses or something like that, and have a story ready to go for that one, obviously it needs to have a happy or positive ending. Have one or two non-aviation related stories ready as well.

The best workbook by far for interview prep, is "Checklist for Success" by Cheryl Cage. Read that and it will help you answer just about every question you could possibly face, without memorizing other guy's answers.
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Old 6th Sep 2016, 15:50
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Get interview training. Most airlines use behavioural/competency based questions, and if you don't mention the specific keywords/activities they are looking for, they will not pass you, however impressive your stories. A shame really, but it is what it is.
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Old 6th Sep 2016, 16:16
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Bealzebub; I think that is a another great post and I commend you
This about the candidate's personality was moving.
but there is often a very definite character, manner and style that comes through when somebody is giving an honest answer about their own aspirations, achievements or life.
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 19:30
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Request

Originally Posted by Dilan12345 View Post
I have answered this question but i am not confident that it is a good answer. Looking on other websites most people say the same thing e.g. "waking up and looking at the horizon bla bla bla" and my answer is totally different. I know that there isnt really a 'right' answer because everybody has different reasons but is it ok if i can get some confirmation on my answer to see if it will sound good to the interviewer.

The key points i focussed on was the Travelling, the physics behind flying and the fact that being pilot is a never ending learning experience.

I can private message you my full answers for these if needed, but if you were the interviewer are these the sort of points that would be good to listen to.

thanks in advance

Can you please send me your answer.
Thanks in advance

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