Flight Attending – The Beginning

So for a little while now, I’ve been working away in the background trying to kind of decide what I want to do with my life.

I currently work at a large Media Company as their wonderful Receptionist. I basically spend my days answering the phone, mailing out prizes, greeting on-air visitors and organizing meeting rooms and all the mail.
It’s a little bit of everything, and it keeps me occupied but I defiantly have times where I kind of sit around and wish I had a treadmill or something at my desk so I don’t feel so lazy sitting here all the time.
It’s true what they say – you gain weight working in an office!
I still work out after work and I try and go to Pilates at lunch time once a week but it’s just not enough.
Anyways, basically I’m saying I don’t feel very stimulated. I don’t feel I’m progressing anywhere in life and I sit here dreaming of travel or earning more money so I can actually travel.

My Mum mentioned to me a few years ago “Sarah you should be a Flight Attendant”
“What, no way! How boring” was my reply.

Fast forward to 2015 and I started reading Cabin Crew blogs. Then I started visiting Flight Attendant websites, downloading Kindle Books about ‘The Life of a Flight Attendant’ (believe me I’ve read them all) and even started doing my hair in a bun. (The hair thing takes forever by the way) if anyone can do a perfect hair donut bun than please let me know!!
13gm9fwkdlkuaoI decided to be a Flight Attendant.
Or at least try to become one.
And you know what the funny thing is? With all these air disasters and bad things happening I became a pretty nervous flier!
My heart would race when we were up in the air and I even started weeping to my boyfriend on a flight home from the Gold Coast a few years ago because it was pretty turbulent-y.

My anxiety pretty much got to me.
I think it was more the fact that we were flying Jetstar (Such a peasant I know) and I’d convinced myself that they hired Pilots with 24 hours flying experience so something was bound to go wrong.
It didn’t help that I wasn’t feeling well that morning so my emotions were all over the place!

How did I survive like 15 flights around the world then you ask?
I went and got hypnotherapy done!
I’m not sure it worked 100%, however for $100 you’d think it would.
It did help quite a bit though. I think it really got me to understand why I tensed up every time I flew.
When I went in to my session and sat down on the chair, he said that Fear of Flying is pretty easy to fix. (By the way. I hate it when people say I have a ‘Fear of flying’ I imagine someone being forced onto a plane and screaming every time they go over some turbulence which is defiantly not me)
Anyways, I basically had to delve deep into the reason I get so anxious. For me, it wasn’t the flying I was scared of it. It was the “If I’m not a little bit scared or nervous than God will look down on me and be like ‘Well you look pretty calm! I’m going to make one of your engines blow!'” Kind of thing.

It sounds so stupid but I honestly felt that if I was calm or I made myself relax than something bad was going to happen.
According to the hypnotherapist, it all stemmed from when I was a little 4 year old girl.
I was very attached to my mother and every single day at Kindergarten I would wave good bye to her at the window. And I’m not even meaning just a quick wave, like I literally had to stand at the window and watch her walk all the way to her car and drive off then I’d run off and go and play with the other kids or my play-dough.
One day there was a new teacher and she saw me standing at the window watching my Mum go and decided to pull me away from the window!!
Crazy bitch I know. I can still hear her voice saying “Mummy’s gone now, lets go play”xlnd8swgnbbja
You can guess what happened then. I cried and cried and surprisingly my Mum actually came back because she realized I wasn’t at the window and thought something was wrong!
She had to explain to the teacher that it’s a routine I always do, but little 4 year old me actually thought my Mum wouldn’t come back and get me. Like she’d ‘forget me’ after Kindergarten or something because I didn’t wave goodbye to her.

My hypnotist made me realize that I’ve convinced myself over time that if I don’t do something in particular (like tensing up and getting anxious) than something bad would happen.
I didn’t even see it like that and it all completely made sense.

The more I flew, the better I got.
When I fly into Wellington (which is one of the windiest places to fly into) it’s actually one of my favorite flights, because of all the bumpiness. Take off and landing are my favorite parts in flying, and I’ve become slightly obsessed with aviation.

After talking to a guy who I used to go to school with who works for Air NZ (the leading airline of New Zealand) my mind was made up!
I was expecting the ole “Yeah it’s an alright job, but I probably won’t be here much longer” but I got the exact opposite.
He said you get the obvious travel perks of duty free discounts and discounted flights, but the people were great to work with, the company treats you really well and you even get a little pay for your make-up and dry cleaning.
After spending ages on my CV and then my friend editing it to make it perfect, I applied for a role as a Flight Attendant as they were hiring for 2016.
6nqp4ydivqjueI heard back a couple of weeks later, and unfortunately they weren’t hiring any more in my home-town of Wellington (That’s the capital of NZ for all you over-seas readers)
They’re only hiring for Flight Attendants based in Auckland – an hours flight away. But also where NZ’s main international airport is.

I used to live in Auckland actually when I was 19 years old for a few years and I loved it. I made some great friends and became pretty independent I like to think.
However I was single back then, and now I have a lovely boyfriend who I really don’t want to leave!
After much discussion, and support from him, I decided to apply to be based in Auckland and surprisingly got e-mailed and asked to do a Video Interview for them.
I practiced questions for 2 days after that e-mail, just googling “Interview questions for Flight Attendants” to prepare myself.
I think I probably over-prepared myself because I had so much information running through my head I couldn’t really think straight.

Eventually I set up my webcam, clicked the link I got sent and went through 4 questions. (I know, I thought there’d be more)
The questions appeared on my screen and I had 2 minutes to record my answer.
First off they asked me why I wanted to be a Flight Attendant…
xtk9zdzbruqclcyolcWhich is the simplest question which I then proceeded to became a bit lost for words.
I said something along the words of “Because….out of all the airlines I’ve flown with, Air New Zealand has always been the best and I want to work in a team that’s so well known in New Zealand blah blah”
That’s actually true though. There’s no one else I want to work for. They’re such a well-respected airline and their marketing is bloody fantastic. I enjoy being around people and working as a team. Plus it’s an interesting job where I don’t have to sit behind a desk all day while my tights get caught on the fabric of my chair (Does anyone else hate that feeling?)
The next question, I was asked How I’ve gone above and beyond with my customer experience? How I’ve dealt with conflict with a co-worker? and What’s something in my life that hasn’t gone to plan and how did I deal with it?
That last one was pretty easy and I think I rambled on a bit that the recording cut me off.
I was a bit 50/50 with how the recording went, but I got a call the next afternoon and I got an invite to a recruitment day!
Basically I had to fly to Auckland a couple of weeks later and attend a Recruitment afternoon with a group of 59 other girls and guys.

When I arrived, I immediately started talking to the applicants around me as I knew the recruiters were watching how I interacted with everyone. If you’re going in for one of these events, always plaster a smile on your face, stand up tall and be the friendliest person you can possibly be! You never know who is watching…
12mwtdpnzvfbsuOnce we’d handed in our deceleration forms and gotten our photo’s taken, we mingled for a bit and had the opportunity to talk to other staff who were already Cabin Crew. This was a great opportunity to ask any general questions I had about the company and get a feel for the type of company they are. Everyone I met seemed to love their job so it made me excited to possibly work for them!

They then had a short video which I’d seen before about ‘Applying to be a Flight Attendant’ and a short presentation from one of the girls who is a Flight Attendant.

Once we’d watched that, all 60 of us were then split off into groups of 8 people and put in to a room with 3 interviewers per group.
This was my chance to stand out from the 7 other people in my group and show the real me. Not the ‘I love staying in bed until 1pm on Saturdays and watching the latest episode of Teen Mom until I need another nap’ me, but the out-going, friendly and caring me that would absolutely love to be a Flight Attendant!

Because it’s me bitch

Everyone in my group was pretty great to be honest! Everyone had customer service experience and was good at communicating and seemed really friendly.
The interviewers asked us all a few questions and we each had turns answering them, then the interviewers left the room for about half an hour. Basically to ‘decide’ who got through to the one-on-one interviews.
While they were discussing in another room, we got to talk to two Flight Attendants (One which was one of the guys in the above video) and pretty much asked them whatever we wanted.
They said obviously it’s not all glamorous. They’re only hiring for short-haul and mid-haul at the moment so if I did get through I wouldn’t be doing the long flights to Los Angeles or Texas any time soon. The short-haul flights can be very long in terms of doing heaps of flights every day that it can get quite tiring.
You also have to get used to jet-lag and early mornings or late nights. You miss out on lots of events like your friends getting married, Christmas’s and family gatherings which I knew from the beginning.
I’d rather be a Flight Attendant now – compared to when I eventually have my own family and felt guilty for missing Christmas’s and Birthdays.

Eventually, the 3 interviewers came back into the room and called 4 names out. I was one of those names!
I actually had a slight feeling i’d gotten through to the one-on-one interviews as one of the girls they picked before me could speak 2 other languages so when they picked her and then me I knew I was in!
We got taken to another room out of respect towards the others and were told we’d gotten through and our one-on-one interviews were to happen next.

I got lucky with the guy that was interviewing me. We went for our interview and he was just really easy to get along with and super friendly!
The whole thing was actually pretty easy because I was just myself. They kept saying throughout the afternoon to ‘Just be yourself!!’ and it’s so true.
I was so much more relaxed when I was joking around like I usually am and we seemed to get along well.
Also – it helped that all the questions he asked me I’d already answered in my previous Video Interview!
Apparently not everyone does a video interview so he didn’t know I’d already heard all his questions before. That defiantly made the interview easier for me.

The interview finished about 8pm and I was feeling pretty confident about how it all went.
Luckily for me, I got a call the next day from one of the lovely girls at Air NZ recruitment who said I was through to the Behavioral Interview! (Pretty much the final interview I think) It feels like I’m on American Idol or something with all these stages haha.

A behavioral interview is when they ask you questions basically based on the premise that your past behavior is the best predictor of your future behavior.
I waited a few days for someone to call me which ended up turning into over a month for someone to call me. Turns out the person that was dealing with me was away and I guess no one was told that I was waiting for an interview.
Eventually I got a call and they were very apologetic about not getting back to me for ages. They only knew about me because another girl had called up waiting for an interview as well.
The lady I talked to was really nice on the phone and she said to expect a call from someone in the next week for a Skype interview.
Well that week turned into 2 weeks. Here I was slowly thinking that they didn’t even want me anymore and they were hoping I’d just forget about the job 😦pwfhc8ogzpwce
It ended up being over a month later before I had my final interview.
I think I ended up contacting them two more times before someone finally organised one for me.
I went to the Airport for the interview instead of doing the Skype Call where I met with two lovely ladies.
I’ll be honest, after this interview I was sure I didn’t get the job.
First of all I turned up LATE to my interview (massive massive no-no in my books) because there was so much traffic that day. There was a big down-pour where I lived so everyone was driving slowly on the motorway. When I eventually got to the airport I couldn’t find a car park because they were doing renovations. I then proceeded to get stuck behind a lady who drove at 5km’s looking for a parking spot too.

As I’d already spent over 5 minutes looking for a park I parked in a handicapped space – I know I know!! I think it’s appalling how people do that!! In my defense I was frantic and they had about 10 others available with no one cars in them.
I was expecting to get towed or fined but I was lucky I didn’t. After my failed interview, I called my boyfriend and then proceeded to cry because I was sure I screwed it up.3erklalt3yeiw

Low and behold, a few days later I got a call at work from someone at the Recruitment Department. They wanted me to do an online psychometric test and then if I passed that I had to get my First Aid and Swim Certificate completed!!
She said the ladies had thought I was great and didn’t mention me being late at all (so I pretty much dobbed myself in when I told her)
It looked like I’d gotten through!

I did the test the next day. It looked pretty serious but I assumed it’d just be questions about me rating myself on a scale of 1 – 10 with how competent I was in certain areas. What my personality was like etc…
It ended up being a timed test where I had to answer questions in 3 minutes covering everything from Maths and problem solving to literature. Ahh!!

It wasn’t simple either. It was really really hard. I ran out of time in 2 of the sections and guessed some of the answers because I literally had no idea what the answer was.
At the end of the test, it said they’d let me know if I passed or not. Here I was thinking I’d gotten through but I still had to wait on these results!

I didn’t get these results for awhile either. I ended up having to contact them again to see if they’d gotten it because no one had called me.
From what I’ve heard, it’s not a big deal if they make you wait. They’re just waiting for the right time to put you into training groups or decide if you’re going to do Short Haul or Long Haul.

Eventually they checked my references and contacted me again to tell me to go and get my Swim Certificate & First Aid Certificate so I could start my training. Woo-hoo!

I haven’t gotten my First Aid or Swim Certificate yet and as this blog post is becoming quite long I might make a part 2 and explain how it went once I’ve done it.
I hope you look forward to joining me on my progress!

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Note: This is just the beginning of my process – I don’t have a 100% confirmed job waiting for me yet. They could decide not to proceed with me anymore or I could not pass my training so I was a bit hesitant to post this just in case I jinxed my chances.

But this may be helpful for anyone who’s applying for an airline with what to expect 🙂

One thought on “Flight Attending – The Beginning

  1. the down route diaries July 6, 2016 / 11:13 am

    I look forward to reading about your journey! It can be a really tiring job at times, but it is amazing 🙂


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