17 Crew Scheduler Interview Questions and Answers

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

A crew scheduler is responsible for ensuring that the right employees are working at the right time, in the right place. This position is critical to the smooth operation of a business or organization, as well as the safety and well-being of employees.

If you’re looking for a job as a crew scheduler, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve gathered some common interview questions and answers for this role.

Common Crew Scheduler Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations regarding flight crew rest?

The FAA has strict regulations regarding flight crew rest. The interviewer may ask you this question to see if you are familiar with these rules and how they apply to your scheduling process. In your answer, explain that you understand the importance of following these guidelines when creating a schedule for your team.

Example: “Yes, I am very familiar with the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations regarding flight crew rest. As someone who has worked in aviation for many years, I know how important it is to follow these guidelines. When creating my schedules, I always make sure to give my pilots enough time between flights so they can get adequate rest before their next shift.”

What are some of the most important factors you consider when creating a flight schedule?

Crew schedulers must consider many factors when creating a flight schedule. This question allows you to demonstrate your ability to prioritize and organize information effectively. When answering this question, list the most important factors that you would consider in your own scheduling process.

Example: “The first factor I consider is crew availability. If there are no available crew members for a specific shift, then I can’t create a schedule for it. The second factor I consider is the number of days off each crew member has remaining. For example, if a crew member only has one day left before they need another day off, then I may move them to a later shift so they don’t have to work as much. The third factor I consider is the type of aircraft we’re flying on each route. Some routes require larger planes than others, which means I may need more or less crew members.”

How would you handle a situation where a pilot requested to be scheduled for a flight even though they were well over the FAA’s flight time limit?

The FAA has strict regulations regarding flight time limits for pilots. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members on board a plane. An interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you would handle a situation like this if it ever arose at their company. In your answer, try to show that you value safety above all else when making scheduling decisions.

Example: “I have worked with many pilots who were close to reaching their maximum flight time limit. I always make sure they know about these limits so they can plan accordingly. If a pilot came to me requesting to fly even though they were over the limit, I would first explain the consequences of flying while well over the limit. Then, I would offer them an alternative flight that was within the FAA’s guidelines. If they still insisted on flying, I would allow them to do so but would also document the incident in case there is ever any issue later.

What is your process for ensuring that all of the passengers on a flight have the correct seat assignments?

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you use your organizational skills and attention to detail. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for completing this task, including the tools or software you use to help you complete it efficiently.

Example: “I first check that all of the passengers have their seat assignments in their online accounts. If they don’t, I send them an email with instructions on how to access their account and change their seats. Once everyone has their correct seat assignment, I double-check each passenger’s information one more time before sending out the final flight schedule.”

Provide an example of a time when you identified a scheduling error and corrected it before it impacted the flight schedule.

Interviewers ask this question to assess your ability to identify and fix errors in a crew scheduling system. Use past experience fixing errors in a scheduling program to highlight your problem-solving skills, attention to detail and critical thinking abilities.

Example: “In my last position as a crew scheduler, I noticed that one of the pilots scheduled for a flight was out sick on the day of the flight. I immediately contacted the pilot to confirm whether they were indeed ill or if there was an error in the schedule. The pilot confirmed that they were ill and would not be able to fly that day. I then used the company’s online scheduling software to reassign the pilot to another flight later that week.”

If a flight attendant called out sick at the last minute, how would you find a replacement?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you handle unexpected situations. Your answer should show that you have a plan for handling last-minute changes and are able to adapt quickly.

Example: “If a flight attendant called out sick at the last minute, I would first check with other crew members to see if they could cover the shift. If no one was available, I would call in another flight attendant from our reserve list. If we didn’t have anyone on our reserve list who could work the flight, I would contact local hotels and transportation companies to find someone who could fill in.”

What would you do if a pilot called in sick on the day of a flight?

This question can help an interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to make quick decisions. Your answer should show that you are able to think critically, communicate clearly and act quickly in a challenging situation.

Example: “If a pilot called in sick on the day of a flight, I would first try to find another pilot who could take their place. If this wasn’t possible, I would call all crew members to see if anyone was available to work the flight. If no one was available, I would contact customers to let them know there would be a delay or cancellation of the flight. In this situation, I would do everything I could to ensure that we found a replacement pilot as soon as possible.”

How well do you perform under pressure and meet tight deadlines?

Scheduling crew members for a variety of tasks can be challenging. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience with tight deadlines and pressure in the past. Use your answer to highlight how well you perform under pressure and meet deadlines.

Example: “In my previous role, I was responsible for scheduling crews for all shifts. This included weekends, holidays and late nights. It was important that we had enough staff on hand at all times. If there were any last-minute changes, it was up to me to make sure we had enough people to cover the shift. In these situations, I always made sure to prioritize safety first. For example, if someone called out sick, I would find a replacement before sending anyone home.”

Do you have experience using payroll software to process payments and track employee hours?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to gauge your experience with payroll software and how it can help you complete your job duties. If you have previous experience using payroll software, share what type of system you used and explain how it helped you perform your job responsibilities. If you don’t have any experience using payroll software, you can still answer the question by describing your general knowledge of how these systems work.

Example: “I’ve worked in my current position for five years now, and I’ve been responsible for managing our company’s payroll since then. We use an online payroll service that allows me to track employee hours and submit payments on time each month. This has allowed me to become familiar with the process of submitting payment information and tracking employees’ hours.”

When scheduling a flight, what is your process for determining the ideal departure and arrival times?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your scheduling process and how it relates to the overall flight schedule. Your answer should include steps for determining ideal departure and arrival times, as well as how these factors impact the rest of the crew’s schedule.

Example: “I start by looking at the weather conditions in each city we’re flying to and from. I want to make sure that our pilots have optimal visibility and wind conditions when they take off and land. Next, I look at the scheduled time of day for each flight. For example, if we’re flying during rush hour, I’ll adjust our departure or arrival time so that we can avoid traffic. Finally, I check with my team to see who is available to work which flights.”

We want to be known for having the friendliest flight attendants in the industry. How would you encourage a positive work environment among your team?

A friendly work environment is important for any company, but it’s especially vital in the hospitality industry. The interviewer wants to know how you can help your team members feel valued and appreciated. Showcase your interpersonal skills by describing a time when you helped resolve conflict or encouraged teamwork among your colleagues.

Example: “I believe that everyone has something unique to offer. I would start by asking my team what they enjoy about their job and what challenges they face. Then, I’d use this information to create an employee development plan where we could address our employees’ concerns while also encouraging them to develop new skills.”

Describe your experience with managing and updating employee records.

Crew schedulers often need to update employee records, such as vacation time and sick leave. This question helps the interviewer assess your experience with managing these types of tasks. Use examples from previous work experiences to highlight your skills in this area.

Example: “In my last role, I was responsible for updating all crew members’ schedules each week. In addition, I also had to manage their vacation time and sick leave. Each month, I would send out an email asking employees if they needed any additional days off or if they wanted to change their scheduled days off. If someone requested a day off, I would make sure that it didn’t conflict with another person’s schedule.

I also communicated with employees about their upcoming sick leave. For example, if someone called in sick, I would mark them as absent on our scheduling software. Then, I would check with other employees to see who could cover their shift.”

What makes you the best candidate for this crew scheduler position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this role. Consider including any certifications or training you have completed in crew scheduling.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others, which is why I became a nurse. In my current position as a nurse scheduler, I work with many different departments to ensure our hospital has enough staff members on hand to meet patient needs. This experience has taught me how to communicate effectively with other team members and helped me develop strong organizational skills. These skills are essential when working as a crew scheduler.”

Which scheduling software programs have you used in the past?

Crew scheduling software programs are often used by employers to schedule their employees. The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience with crew scheduling software and determine if you have any specific skills or preferences when using these types of programs. In your answer, try to describe the program you’ve used in the past and what you liked or disliked about it. You can also mention that you’re open to learning new systems if necessary.

Example: “I’ve worked for several companies where we used CrewPro as our crew scheduling software. I like how easy it is to use and find its features helpful for creating a variety of schedules. However, I would be willing to learn a new system if needed.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a successful crew scheduler?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your understanding of the role and what skills are most important for success. Use your answer to highlight a skill that you feel is vital to being successful in this position, such as communication or organization.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for a crew scheduler is strong communication skills. Crew schedulers need to be able to communicate effectively with their team members, managers and other staff members who work on the production schedule. I also believe it’s essential to have excellent organizational skills when working as a crew scheduler. It’s important to keep track of all relevant information about each shoot, including details like location, time and equipment needed.”

How often do you update your knowledge of FAA regulations?

The FAA is the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates air travel in the United States. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your commitment to following regulations and ensure you’re aware of any recent changes. To answer this question, explain that you regularly review FAA regulations and update your knowledge when necessary.

Example: “I am committed to keeping up with all FAA regulations because they are important for ensuring safety on flights. I subscribe to an email newsletter from the FAA so I can receive updates whenever there’s a change or new regulation. In my last role, I also attended monthly meetings where we discussed current regulations.”

There is a high volume of pilots calling in sick on a particular day. How would you adjust the flight schedule to ensure it remains operational?

This question is an opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and ability to make quick decisions. Your answer should include a specific example of how you would adjust the schedule in this situation, as well as what steps you would take to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “In my last position, there was a day when three pilots called in sick at the same time. I immediately contacted all available pilots to see if they were able to fly that day. If not, I asked them to call me back if their plans changed. After speaking with each pilot, I determined which flights could be rescheduled without disrupting the rest of the day’s operations. The remaining flights had to be canceled for the day, but we were able to rebook those passengers on other flights.”


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