25 Captain Pilot Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a captain pilot, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Aircraft pilots transport people and cargo on planes, helicopters, and other aircraft. They are responsible for the safety and security of their passengers and must follow all aviation regulations.

Pilots typically need a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which requires completing specific training and passing written, oral, and practical exams. Some pilots also have a college degree in aviation or a related field.

If you’re interested in becoming a pilot, you may be wondering what kind of questions you’ll be asked in an interview. This guide will give you an overview of the most common questions asked in a pilot interview, as well as tips on how to answer them.

Common Captain Pilot Interview Questions

1. Are you comfortable working with a team of other pilots?

Captains and pilots often work together to ensure the safety of their passengers. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re willing to collaborate with others on your team. Use your answer to explain that you enjoy working as part of a group. Share an example of how you’ve worked well with others in the past.

Example: “I have been flying for five years now, and I’ve always enjoyed working alongside other pilots. In my last position, we had a small team of three pilots who all worked together to get our passengers where they needed to go. We each took turns taking breaks or covering for one another when someone was sick or out of town. It’s important to me that everyone gets their fair share of time off.”

2. What are some of the most important skills for a pilot to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and qualifications they’re looking for in a pilot. Use your answer to highlight any specific skills that are important to you, but also include some of the most common ones pilots need.

Example: “The two most important skills I think a pilot needs are communication and problem-solving skills. Communication is so important because it’s how we relay information to our crew members and other people on board the plane. It’s also crucial when communicating with air traffic control or other planes. Problem-solving skills are essential because there are always going to be challenges while flying. You need to be able to assess situations quickly and come up with solutions.”

3. How do you handle stress while flying?

Flying can be a stressful job, especially when you’re responsible for the safety of your passengers. Employers ask this question to make sure you have strategies for handling stress and remaining calm while flying. In your answer, share two or three ways that you manage stress in high-pressure situations. Explain how these methods help you remain focused on your work and keep passengers safe.

Example: “I find that exercising regularly helps me relieve stress. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I take a short break from my work to go for a run or do some stretches. This gives me time to clear my head and refocus on the task at hand. Another thing I do is write down all of my thoughts and feelings about the situation. By writing things out, I am able to identify what’s causing me stress and come up with solutions.”

4. What is your experience with different types of aircrafts?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with different types of aircrafts. This can help them determine if you have the skills and knowledge needed for the position. Use your answer to highlight any specific aircrafts that you’ve worked with in the past.

Example: “In my last role, I was responsible for a fleet of small private planes. These planes were used by executives who wanted to fly from one state to another without having to take a commercial flight. I also had some experience working with larger commercial jets. In fact, I helped train new pilots on how to operate these large aircrafts.”

5. Provide an example of a time when you had to make a quick decision while flying.

When an interviewer asks you a question like this, they are trying to understand how you make decisions under pressure. This is especially important for pilots because they often have to make quick decisions that can impact the safety of their passengers and crew members. In your answer, try to explain what factors you considered when making the decision and why you made it.

Example: “When I was flying over the Atlantic Ocean one time, we encountered some unexpected turbulence. The pilot in command asked me if I could take control of the plane while he checked on our passengers. I agreed, but as soon as I took control of the plane, I noticed that we were losing altitude. I immediately contacted air traffic control and informed them of our situation. They told me to prepare for an emergency landing, so I did everything I could to get us back into position.”

6. If you saw something unusual while flying, how would you report it to your superiors?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a unique situation while working as a pilot. You can answer this question by describing the steps you would take to report an unusual sighting or other event that occurred during your flight.

Example: “If I saw something unusual while flying, I would first document it in my logbook and then call my superiors immediately after landing. My superiors would likely want me to file a written report about what I saw, so I would do that within 24 hours of seeing the unusual occurrence. They may also ask me to provide more details about the sighting, so I would be prepared to describe everything I remember.”

7. What would you do if you saw one of your fellow pilots engaging in reckless behavior?

This question can help interviewers assess your leadership skills and ability to manage a team. In your answer, try to describe how you would handle the situation while also emphasizing your commitment to safety.

Example: “If I saw one of my fellow pilots engaging in reckless behavior, I would first speak with them privately about it. If they continued their unsafe actions after our conversation, I would report them to my superiors. As a pilot, I understand that safety is paramount, so I would take any steps necessary to ensure that we are all acting responsibly.”

8. How well do you perform under pressure?

Captains and pilots often have to make important decisions under pressure. Employers ask this question to learn more about your ability to perform well in stressful situations. When you answer, try to show that you can think clearly when faced with a challenge. Explain how you use your skills to solve problems quickly.

Example: “I am someone who thrives on pressure. I find that it motivates me to work harder and do my best. In my last position as a pilot, we had to fly through some bad weather. The plane was shaking quite a bit, but I remained calm and focused. I used my training to help the passengers feel safe. We made it through the storm without any issues.”

9. Do you have any experience with emergency procedures?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with handling emergency situations. If you have any experience, describe it in detail and explain how you handled the situation. If you don’t have any experience, you can talk about what you would do if faced with an emergency situation.

Example: “In my last position as a pilot, I was responsible for ensuring that all of our planes were equipped with first aid kits. In this role, I also had to train flight attendants on how to handle emergencies. One time, we encountered turbulence during a flight, which caused one of the passengers to get injured. The flight attendant called me over to assist them with the injury. We used the first aid kit to treat the passenger until they could be transported to the hospital.”

10. When was the last time you updated your certifications?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are committed to continuing your education and training. They want to know that you will continue to learn new things about your job, which can help you perform it more effectively. You should answer honestly and explain what certification you earned and when you earned it.

Example: “I just completed my commercial pilot certification last year. I have also been working on getting my instrument rating, which I hope to complete by the end of this year.”

11. We want to attract more experienced pilots to our company. How many years of experience do you have?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience level and how it compares to the other pilots they’re interviewing. If you have more experience than the other candidates, emphasize that you can help mentor them as they gain more experience. If you have less experience than the other candidates, explain what steps you’ve taken to increase your knowledge and skills in aviation.

Example: “I have 10 years of flying experience. I started my career at a small regional airport where I learned all aspects of piloting from takeoffs to landings. After five years there, I moved to a larger commercial airline where I gained valuable experience working with larger planes and managing a team of pilots. Throughout my career, I’ve also volunteered for several organizations that promote aviation education.”

12. Describe your process for preparing for a flight.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your attention to detail and how you plan for important flights. Use examples from past experiences where you prepared for a flight, including the steps you took to ensure everything was in order before takeoff.

Example: “I always make sure I have all of my paperwork ready to go before each flight. This includes checking that I have all necessary documents like cargo manifests and passenger lists. I also double-check that I have enough fuel for the trip and that all systems are functioning properly on the plane. Finally, I check with my crew members to see if they need anything.”

13. What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you would be a good fit for the job. When answering, it can be helpful to highlight some of your most relevant skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate. You may also want to mention any personal traits or characteristics that help you succeed in this role.

Example: “I am an excellent communicator who is always looking for ways to improve my team’s communication. I have experience working with other pilots to develop new strategies for communicating during emergencies. I also think I would be an ideal candidate because of my ability to remain calm under pressure. In fact, I was once praised by a passenger for remaining calm when there was a problem with their flight.”

14. Which flying techniques do you prefer to use?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your flying experience and preferences. You may have a favorite type of flying, such as using autopilot or manually controlling the plane. If you are unsure which technique is best for certain situations, consider mentioning that you prefer to use different techniques depending on what’s most efficient.

Example: “I enjoy using autopilot when I’m navigating through airspace because it allows me to focus on other important tasks. However, I also like to fly manually so I can get a better feel for how the plane handles in various conditions. For example, if there’s turbulence, I find it helpful to take control of the plane so I can adjust its altitude and speed to avoid any issues.”

15. What do you think is the most important aspect of piloting?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your passion for flying. Your answer should reflect what you find most enjoyable and rewarding about piloting aircraft.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of piloting is safety. I take pride in my ability to keep passengers safe while still performing at an exceptional level. I also enjoy the challenge of finding creative solutions to unexpected problems that arise during flight. For example, when we encountered turbulence on one of our flights, I was able to use my knowledge of the plane’s systems to help calm some of the nervous passengers.”

16. How often do you practice landing aircrafts?

Landing aircrafts is one of the most important skills a captain pilot can have. Employers ask this question to make sure you are qualified for the job and that you practice landing often enough to be safe. In your answer, explain how much time you spend practicing landing aircrafts. Share what you do during these practices so employers know you are prepared for the job.

Example: “I practice landing aircrafts every day at work. I am responsible for all aspects of my flight crew’s safety, including our landings. I also practice landing on my own in my spare time. I find it helpful to review different types of landings and emergency situations. This helps me feel more confident when performing these tasks.”

17. There is a glitch in the aircraft’s navigation system and it’s not sure where it is. How do you handle it?

This question is designed to test your problem-solving skills. It also shows the interviewer how you handle uncertainty and make decisions under pressure. Your answer should show that you are confident in your ability to solve problems, think critically and act decisively.

Example: “I would first check if there was a glitch in the navigation system by checking other systems like the GPS or radio signals. If it’s confirmed that there is a glitch in the navigation system, I will try to fix it as soon as possible. However, if I can’t do so immediately, I will use my knowledge of the flight plan to navigate the aircraft until we reach our destination.”

18. How would you handle a difficult passenger on board?

As a captain, you may need to handle difficult passengers from time to time. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and experience needed to manage challenging situations on board their flights. In your answer, share an example of how you handled a similar situation in the past. Explain what steps you took to resolve the conflict with the passenger.

Example: “In my previous role as a pilot, I had a passenger who was very upset about our flight delay. The passenger started yelling at me and other crew members. I calmly approached the passenger and asked them if we could speak privately. We went into the cockpit where I explained that delays are out of the pilots’ control. I apologized for the inconvenience and offered the passenger a free round-trip ticket voucher.”

19. What do you think is the most important safety measure for pilots to take?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your knowledge of safety measures and how they apply to pilots. Use examples from your experience that show you understand the importance of following procedures and regulations.

Example: “I think it’s important for pilots to always follow FAA guidelines, as well as those set by their own company. In my last position, I was responsible for ensuring all crew members followed these rules at all times. For example, we had to make sure our seatbelts were fastened when we were in flight and that we didn’t use cell phones while operating the plane. These are just two of many safety measures that I feel are essential.”

20. If you had an emergency situation, what steps would you take to ensure everyone’s safety?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of safety procedures and how you would react in a crisis. You can use examples from previous experiences or describe what you would do if faced with this situation for the first time.

Example: “If I had an emergency, my first priority would be to ensure everyone’s safety. If we were on the ground, I would make sure that all passengers got off the plane as quickly as possible. Then, I would assess the damage to the aircraft and call for help if needed. In the air, I would try to land the plane as soon as possible. I would communicate with air traffic control and other pilots to find the safest place to land.”

21. Describe any recent changes in aviation regulations that you are aware of.

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are up-to-date on aviation regulations. This is because captains and pilots often need to know about changes in the industry, especially those that affect their job duties. In your answer, try to list any recent changes you have heard of and explain why they were made.

Example: “The FAA recently changed its rules regarding pilot fatigue. The new rule states that pilots can only fly for nine hours at a time before taking a break. Previously, pilots could fly for as long as 12 hours without a rest period. I think this change was necessary due to safety concerns.”

22. Explain how you stay up-to-date with industry trends and technology related to piloting.

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your passion for the industry and how you use new information to improve your piloting skills. Use examples from your experience of researching, attending conferences or participating in other activities that help you learn about trends and technology in the aviation industry.

Example: “I have a private pilot’s license and I’m currently working toward my commercial pilot’s license. In my free time, I enjoy reading blogs and forums where pilots discuss their experiences and offer advice on different topics. I also attend conferences hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration every year to learn more about changes in regulations and safety procedures.”

23. Have you ever encountered challenging weather conditions while flying?

Weather conditions can be unpredictable, and the interviewer wants to know how you handle challenging situations. Your answer should show that you have experience with weather-related incidents and how you handled them.

Example: “I once encountered a thunderstorm while flying at night. The storm was unexpected, so I had to make some quick decisions about whether to fly through it or turn back. After assessing the situation, I decided to continue on my flight path because there were no other planes in the area. We flew through the storm for about 20 minutes before we reached our destination. It was an intense experience, but I’m glad we made it safely.”

24. Do you have experience with international flights?

If the company you’re interviewing with has international flights, they may ask this question to see if you have experience working with customs and immigration. If you don’t have any experience with international flights, explain that you are willing to learn about them.

Example: “I haven’t had the opportunity to work on an international flight yet, but I am very open to learning more about it. I understand that there are different rules for flying internationally than domestically, so I would be happy to take a class or read up on how to do it.”

25. What strategies do you use to manage fatigue while flying?

Fatigue is a common concern for pilots, especially those who work long shifts. Employers ask this question to make sure you have strategies in place to stay alert and focused while flying. In your answer, explain how you plan to manage fatigue during your shift. Share two or three ways that help you stay energized throughout the day.

Example: “I always try to get enough sleep before my shift. I find that if I’m well-rested, it’s easier for me to stay awake and alert when I’m on duty. Another strategy I use to avoid fatigue is taking short breaks every few hours. These breaks give me an opportunity to stretch my legs and refresh myself with some food. Finally, I always communicate any concerns I have about fatigue to my supervisor. They can usually provide me with additional support to ensure I don’t become too tired.”


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