25 Pilot Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a pilot, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a pilot, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Commercial pilots are responsible for the safe transport of goods and passengers by air. They must be able to handle a wide variety of situations, from bad weather to emergencies, in order to ensure a smooth flight. Pilots must also be able to navigate their way to their destination, following the correct flight paths.
If you want to become a commercial pilot, you’ll need to ace your interview. One way to prepare is to anticipate the questions you’ll be asked. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a list of questions commonly asked during a commercial pilot interview, along with sample answers.
Public speaking is a skill that many pilots need to have. Employers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable with public speaking and can do it well. If you have experience giving presentations or speeches, share your past experiences in your answer. If you don’t have any public speaking experience, explain why you feel confident doing so.
Example: “Yes, I am comfortable with public speaking. In my current role as a Pilot, I have had the opportunity to give presentations and briefings in front of large groups. I understand that communication is an important part of being a successful Pilot and I take pride in my ability to communicate effectively and confidently.
I also enjoy teaching and mentoring others, which often requires me to speak publicly. I am very passionate about aviation and I love sharing my knowledge and experience with those who are eager to learn. My enthusiasm for the subject matter helps me to engage audiences and keep them interested.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. They want pilots who are friendly, hardworking and dedicated to safety. When answering this question, think of a few specific examples that show these traits.
Example: “My greatest strengths as a pilot are my attention to detail, safety-first mentality, and adaptability. I am very thorough in my pre-flight checks and always make sure that all systems are functioning properly before taking off. My priority is always the safety of those on board and I take every precaution necessary to ensure that they reach their destination safely.
I also have an excellent ability to adapt to different situations. During my years of experience, I’ve had to adjust to changing weather conditions, airspace regulations, and other unexpected occurrences. I remain calm under pressure and can quickly assess any situation and come up with the best course of action.”
Pilot error is the most common cause of aviation accidents, so interviewers want to make sure you have a plan for handling mechanical errors. Use examples from your experience or explain how you would handle this situation if it were to occur.
Example: “If a mechanical error occurred during a flight, I would handle the situation with professionalism and composure. First, I would assess the situation to determine if it is an emergency or not. If it is an emergency, I would follow all safety protocols and take immediate action to ensure the safety of my passengers and crew. This includes communicating with air traffic control, following any instructions they provide, and ensuring that the aircraft is stabilized.
If the mechanical issue is not an emergency, I would still take appropriate steps to address the issue. I would use my experience and knowledge as a pilot to troubleshoot the problem and come up with a solution. I would also communicate with the maintenance team on the ground to get their input and advice. Finally, I would make sure that all necessary repairs are completed before continuing the flight.”
Flight simulators are a common training tool for pilots. They allow trainees to practice flying in a safe environment and learn how to handle different situations without risking the safety of passengers or crew members. Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience with flight simulators and whether you feel they’re an effective training method. In your answer, try to show that you understand the value of using these tools and can explain why they’re beneficial.
Example: “I have extensive experience with flight simulators. I’ve been using them for the past five years, both in my professional and personal life. In my current role as a pilot, I use flight simulators to practice maneuvers and stay up-to-date on new procedures. I also use them to review aircraft systems and troubleshoot any potential issues that may arise during a flight.
On a personal level, I enjoy using flight simulators to explore different scenarios and hone my skills. I’m comfortable with all of the popular simulator programs and can quickly adapt to new ones. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my performance and stay ahead of the curve.”
Teamwork is an important skill for pilots to have. Pilots must work together with their crew members to ensure the safety of passengers and flight attendants. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight your communication skills and ability to collaborate with others.
Example: “Teamwork is an essential part of any successful job, and I have had plenty of experience working in a team environment. For example, when I was a pilot for my previous employer, I worked with a group of other pilots to ensure that our flights were completed safely and on time. We all took turns flying the plane, but we also communicated constantly throughout the flight to make sure everything went smoothly. By working together, we were able to complete our flights efficiently and without incident. This teamwork helped us meet our goals as well as provide a safe and comfortable experience for our passengers.”
An interviewer may ask this question to assess your conflict resolution skills and how you interact with passengers. Use examples from past experiences where you helped resolve a situation or diffused tension between passengers.
Example: “If a passenger was acting in a way that made me uncomfortable, I would first assess the situation and determine if it is something that can be handled without involving other personnel. If the behavior is not threatening or disruptive to the safety of the flight, I would politely ask the passenger to refrain from their actions. If they do not comply, I would then involve my crew members and notify the captain of the situation. We could then decide on an appropriate course of action, such as asking the passenger to leave the aircraft or speaking with them further about their behavior. My goal would always be to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers while still providing excellent customer service.”
This question can give the interviewer insight into your leadership skills and ability to work with others. Your answer should show that you value safety above all else, even if it means confronting a colleague about their mistakes.
Example: “If I noticed another pilot making safety-related mistakes while flying with me, my first priority would be to ensure the safety of everyone on board. I would immediately take control of the aircraft and communicate with air traffic control to make sure that we are in a safe position. Then, I would calmly explain to the other pilot what they did wrong and how it could have caused an unsafe situation. Finally, I would work with them to find solutions for avoiding similar situations in the future.
I understand the importance of safety when it comes to aviation and take it very seriously. My experience as a professional pilot has taught me the value of communication and collaboration in order to maintain a safe flight environment. I am confident that I can handle any situation that may arise in the cockpit, and I am committed to ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew members.”
Pilots often face stressful situations, such as weather conditions that make flying difficult. Employers ask this question to see if you can handle stress well and remain calm in these situations. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and provide an example of a time when you did so successfully.
Example: “I have a great ability to handle stress in the cockpit. I understand that flying can be a stressful job and I’m prepared to take on any challenge that comes my way. My experience as a pilot has taught me how to remain calm and composed under pressure, while also being able to make quick decisions when necessary. I am confident in my abilities to stay focused and alert during times of high stress.
Additionally, I have developed an effective system for managing workloads and prioritizing tasks. This ensures that I don’t become overwhelmed by the demands of the job and allows me to stay organized and efficient. I also have a strong support network of family and friends who are always available to help if needed.”
The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with aviation laws and regulations. This can help them determine whether or not you are familiar with the rules of flying in their state. You should answer honestly, but also try to show that you understand how important it is to follow these rules.
Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience with aviation laws and regulations. During my time as a pilot, I have kept up to date on all the latest laws and regulations in the industry. I am familiar with FAA requirements, international flight rules, and safety protocols. I also understand the importance of staying compliant with these laws and regulations while flying.
I make sure to stay informed about any changes or updates to existing laws and regulations, so that I can ensure the safety of myself and my passengers. I always strive to be proactive when it comes to keeping up with the latest developments in the field. My commitment to safety and compliance is something I take very seriously.”
Employers ask this question to make sure you are committed to your career and that you stay up-to-date on industry standards. They want pilots who are passionate about their work, so they may be looking for someone who has recently taken a class or completed an online training program.
Example: “I am committed to staying up-to-date with the latest certifications and licenses in order to remain a safe, competent pilot. Recently, I completed my biennial flight review, which is required for all pilots every two years. In addition, I have taken several courses on aviation safety and regulations over the past year to ensure that I am knowledgeable of the most current standards. Finally, I renewed my FAA license last month, so it is completely up-to-date.”
This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to adapt. You can describe a time when you had to change the flight plan due to weather, mechanical issues or other factors that required you to make adjustments on the fly.
Example: “I have had to adapt my flight plans on numerous occasions. One example that stands out was a recent trip I took from Los Angeles to San Francisco. When I arrived at the airport, I realized there were thunderstorms in the forecast for the entire route. After consulting with air traffic control and meteorologists, I decided it would be best to alter my original plan and fly around the storm instead of directly through it.
To do this, I had to adjust my speed and altitude accordingly. I also had to monitor weather conditions along the way to ensure I stayed clear of any other storms or turbulence. In the end, I successfully avoided the storm and made it to my destination safely. This experience showed me how important it is to remain flexible when flying and to always be prepared to make changes if necessary.”
Pilots use navigation software to help them get from one place to another. This question helps the interviewer determine your experience with using this type of technology and how you might handle it in their company. Use examples from previous jobs or describe what kind of training you’ve had with navigation software.
Example: “I have extensive experience with using navigation software. I am familiar with the most popular programs, such as Garmin Pilot and ForeFlight. Over the past few years, I have become very proficient in utilizing these tools to plan flights and navigate airspace. I understand how to use the various features of each program, including route planning, weather forecasting, filing flight plans, and more.
In addition, I have a good understanding of aviation regulations and their application when using navigation software. I can quickly assess which rules apply for any given situation and adjust my route accordingly. I also have experience troubleshooting technical issues that may arise while using navigation software. Finally, I’m comfortable teaching others how to use this type of software, should the need arise.”
This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your unique skills and abilities. You can answer this question by describing a skill or experience that you have that makes you an excellent candidate for the position.
Example: “I believe my experience and qualifications make me stand out from other pilots. I have over 10 years of flying experience, including 5 years as a commercial pilot. During this time, I’ve developed strong technical skills in aircraft operations and safety protocols. In addition to my flight hours, I also hold an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and have completed advanced training courses in aviation management and navigation.
My commitment to excellence is another factor that sets me apart from other pilots. I take great pride in my work and strive to ensure the highest level of safety for passengers and crew. I am always up-to-date on the latest regulations and procedures and stay informed about industry trends. Finally, I have excellent communication skills which allow me to effectively collaborate with colleagues and provide clear instructions to air traffic controllers.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience flying a specific type of aircraft. It can also show them what types of aircraft you are comfortable with and which ones you may not be as familiar with. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention one or two types of aircraft that you feel confident flying and another type that you would like to learn how to fly.
Example: “I am comfortable flying a variety of aircraft, from single engine piston planes to multi-engine jets. I have experience in both commercial and private aviation, so I understand the differences between these types of aircraft and how to operate them safely and efficiently.
My primary focus is on safety and efficiency when it comes to operating an aircraft. I make sure that all pre-flight checks are completed thoroughly and that I’m familiar with the aircraft’s systems before taking off. I also stay up to date on any new regulations or procedures related to the type of aircraft I’m flying.”
This question is a great way for an interviewer to learn more about your background and what you think makes a good pilot. Your answer should be based on your own personal experience, so make sure to include any skills that you have developed in your career as a pilot.
Example: “The most important skill for a pilot to have is the ability to remain calm under pressure. As a pilot, I understand that there are many potential risks and hazards associated with flying an aircraft. It is essential to be able to stay focused and make sound decisions in order to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
I also believe that communication is key when it comes to being a successful pilot. Being able to effectively communicate with air traffic control, other pilots, and ground personnel is critical for ensuring a safe flight. Furthermore, having good interpersonal skills can help build trust between the pilot and their passengers, which can lead to better customer service.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with aircraft maintenance. Your answer should include a specific example of when you performed maintenance on an aircraft and what type of maintenance it was.
Example: “As a professional pilot, I understand the importance of performing regular maintenance on my aircraft. I always ensure that all safety checks and inspections are carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. This includes conducting daily pre-flight inspections as well as more comprehensive annual inspections. In addition to this, I also take part in additional training sessions throughout the year which help me stay up to date with any changes or updates to the aircraft’s systems. By doing so, I can guarantee that the aircraft is always safe for flight and that it meets all regulatory requirements.”
This question is a test of your decision-making skills as a pilot. It also tests your ability to make quick decisions in high-pressure situations. Your answer should show that you can think quickly and act decisively when necessary.
Example: “When faced with a situation like this, safety is always my top priority. I would first assess the situation and determine if there are any other options available to me. If the cloud is blocking my view of the runway but visibility is still good enough for me to land safely, then I would proceed with caution. I would use the instruments in the cockpit to guide me as I approach the runway and make sure that all necessary precautions were taken.
If the cloud was too thick or visibility was poor, then I would abort the landing. I understand the importance of making sound decisions when it comes to flying and I am confident that I can handle difficult situations such as this one. I have extensive experience in piloting aircraft and I know how to respond quickly and appropriately when presented with challenging scenarios.”
Pilots must be able to handle a variety of situations, including turbulence. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and experience needed to safely fly their planes. In your answer, explain how you would respond to turbulence during a flight. Share what actions you would take to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.
Example: “I understand that turbulence can be a stressful experience for passengers and crew alike. As an experienced pilot, I have the knowledge and skills to handle any situation during a flight. When encountering turbulence, my first priority is always safety. I will adjust the speed of the aircraft to ensure we are flying at the safest possible altitude and speed. I also make sure to communicate with air traffic control to alert them of our current position and the level of turbulence we are experiencing. Finally, I take extra care to keep passengers informed throughout the duration of the flight. By providing clear instructions on how to use their seatbelts or other safety equipment, I help reduce anxiety and create a sense of security in the cabin.”
This question is a great way to learn more about your potential employer’s safety standards. It can also be an opportunity for you to share a story that highlights your piloting skills and ability to remain calm under pressure.
Example: “Yes, I have had to land an aircraft in an emergency situation. It was a very stressful and intense experience that required me to stay calm and focused throughout the process.
I was flying a commercial airliner from Los Angeles to New York when one of our engines malfunctioned mid-flight. As soon as we realized what was happening, I immediately began preparing for an emergency landing. I notified air traffic control, adjusted our flight path accordingly, and briefed my passengers on the situation.
Once we were close enough to land safely, I took over manual control of the plane and guided it down to the runway. Throughout the entire process, I kept my composure and communicated with the crew and passengers clearly and concisely. We landed without any further incident and everyone onboard was safe.”
The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your knowledge of airspace management and radio communication protocols. These are two important skills for pilots, as they help them navigate the skies safely and communicate with air traffic control towers. In your answer, try to explain how you use these skills in your daily work.
Example: “I have extensive experience with airspace management and radio communication protocols. I have been a pilot for over 10 years, during which time I have flown in various types of airspace, from Class A to G. During this time, I have become well-versed in the rules and regulations governing each type of airspace, as well as the appropriate radio communication protocols that must be followed when flying in them.
In addition, I have also completed multiple courses on air traffic control procedures and communications, ensuring that I am up to date on all the latest developments in the field. This has enabled me to stay ahead of any changes or updates to airspace management and radio communication protocols. Furthermore, I have also served as an instructor for other pilots, teaching them about these topics and helping them understand how to best navigate different types of airspace.”
This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your ability to handle unexpected situations. Your answer should show that you have experience with medical emergencies and how you would respond in this situation.
Example: “If there was a medical emergency on board, I would take immediate action to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew. First, I would assess the situation and determine if it is necessary to divert the plane to the nearest airport or continue the flight with medical assistance onboard. If a diversion is required, I would contact air traffic control for permission to land at the closest suitable airport. Once permission has been granted, I would follow standard operating procedures to safely land the aircraft.
I would also coordinate with the cabin crew to provide any necessary first aid to the affected passenger and keep them comfortable until we can reach our destination. In addition, I would communicate with the ground staff to arrange for an ambulance to be waiting upon arrival. Finally, I would make sure that all other passengers are informed about the situation and kept updated throughout the flight.
My experience as a pilot has taught me how to handle difficult situations in a calm and professional manner. I am confident that I have the skills and knowledge needed to manage a medical emergency on board effectively.”
Instrument flying is a skill that pilots use to fly in low visibility conditions. This question can help an interviewer determine your experience with this type of flying and how you might handle it if needed during your work as a pilot. If you have experience with instrument flying, share what types of instruments you used and the circumstances under which you flew using them. If you don’t have any experience with instrument flying, you can still answer by describing your general experience with flying in low visibility conditions.
Example: “Yes, I do have experience with instrument flying. I am an experienced pilot who has been trained in instrument flight rules (IFR) and I hold a valid Instrument Rating. During my time as a pilot, I have flown many aircraft both domestically and internationally, often under challenging weather conditions. In addition to my formal training, I have also had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with instrument flying by participating in simulator sessions and completing various check rides. This has given me the confidence to handle any situation that may arise while flying in instrument meteorological conditions. My background and experience make me an ideal candidate for this position.”
Pilots need to stay up-to-date with the latest aviation technology. This question helps employers determine how you keep your skills current and whether you have a passion for learning new things. In your answer, share what resources you use to learn about new developments in the industry. You can also mention any certifications or training courses you’ve completed recently.
Example: “Staying up-to-date with aviation technology is essential for any pilot. I make sure to stay informed of the latest developments in the industry by attending conferences and seminars, reading trade publications, and keeping an eye on new regulations. I also take advantage of online resources such as webinars and podcasts that provide valuable information about the newest advancements in aviation. Finally, I am a member of several professional organizations related to aviation, which allow me to network with other pilots and learn from their experiences. By staying abreast of the latest trends in the field, I can ensure that my skills are always current and that I’m prepared to handle whatever comes my way.”
Interviewers ask this question to see if you have experience with the safety protocols of a particular airline. They want to know that you understand and follow their company’s policies, which can include everything from how you prepare for takeoff to what you do in case of an emergency. In your answer, explain the steps you take when preparing for a flight and why these are important.
Example: “Safety is of the utmost importance when preparing for a flight. I always make sure to thoroughly review all safety protocols and procedures prior to takeoff. This includes checking weather conditions, reviewing aircraft maintenance records, and ensuring that all necessary documents are in order. I also ensure that all passengers have been properly briefed on safety measures such as seatbelt use and emergency exits. Finally, I conduct a preflight inspection of the aircraft to check for any potential issues or malfunctions. By following these steps, I am able to ensure that each flight is conducted safely and efficiently.”
This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have the ability to make quick decisions and think on your feet. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide a specific example of how you used your critical thinking skills to solve a problem or challenge in your previous role as a pilot.
Example: “I have extensive experience in making quick decisions under pressure. For example, during my time as a pilot for an international airline, I was faced with a situation where the aircraft had to be diverted due to inclement weather. We were running low on fuel and needed to find a suitable airport quickly. After assessing our options, I made the decision to divert to a nearby airport that had the necessary facilities. This decision allowed us to land safely and avoid any potential risks associated with continuing our flight.”