Working for an airline means getting reduced or free flights and the chance to travel the world. However, the day's work of an airline customer service representative is filled with challenges: working long, unexpected shifts on the holidays or weekends, rerouting angry customers and tracking lost luggage are just a few of the job requirements. Despite the difficulty of the job, few applicants get hired for the position. Lou Adler, author of "Hire With Your Head" states that of the 90,000 people who apply each year to work for Southwest Airlines, only 4 percent are hired. The odds of getting chosen are boosted with a solid job interview.
Keep a Positive, Professional Demeanor
Airlines want employees who energize fellow coworkers and customers in an otherwise mundane and stressful setting. Human Resources desire employees who exude professionalism, charisma and a willingness to go beyond protocol to help its customers. Such traits can be exemplified before the first question is asked: Show the hiring team you are the prime candidate by maintaining good posture, keeping a relaxed smile on your face and showing attentive, expressive eye contact.
During group interviews commonly conducted by Southwest Airlines and US Airways, maintain this positive, relaxed body language while others are answering questions as well: HR takes note of how candidates conduct themselves even when the spotlight is not on them.
Due to the pressure-filled nature of working for an airline, human resources want to know how you react under stress. Explain your willingness to diffuse problems by working with the customer instead of angering them further by regurgitating rules at them. Before the interview, write and commit to memory at leave five examples of how you calmly handled an angry customer and ideally, how the customer walked away satisfied.
Ideally, go to the airport a week before the interview and from a distance, watch how the customer service representatives handle customers. Notice their body language and take note of what they say to customers during cancellations or delays. When asked how you would handle stressed customers in an airport setting, provide them with the answers given by the airline staff.
Research the Company's Rules and History
The job of human resources is to determine if you fit in with the company. Instead of leaving the guesswork to them, explain in clear terms why you are the best fit by citing what you appreciate most about the company culture. If you are applying for a position with Delta, read their customer service policy. When asked why you are a good fit, explain that you want to be a part of a team dedicated to proactively solving problems, like contacting customers two hours before a flight due to cancellations.
Use the job description as a study guide for potential interview questions: next to each bullet point on the job requirements and skills, write an example of how your previous job experience relates.
- Photo Credit plane image by Vlaad T from Fotolia.com
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