Long Haul or Short Haul?

That was the main question that played around in my mind when I went for my interview with Qantas.

Yes you heard that right, I was invited to their recruitment day in Auckland! My Flight Attendant dreams have not disappeared quite yet.

I got a phone call a few weeks ago from JetConnect (the New Zealand company that deals with Flight Attendants for Qantas in NZ) and was told that they wanted to meet me 🙂
I assumed the Recruitment Day was in my home town of Wellington (as that was originally one of the jobs I applied for) but it was actually in Auckland!

Before I booked my flights (and paid for a hotel for the night), I contacted JetConnect and asked about their regulations on eyesight. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll see that I applied at another airline and got to all the final stages before I was told that my eyesight wasn’t strong enough to be a Flight Attendant 😦
Thankfully, JetConnect contacted me back straight away and got one of their people from their Medical Team to call me. Luckily, my eyesight shouldn’t be a problem! As long as I wear my contact lenses or my glasses then I should be fine to fly.
Once I knew that, I went online and booked my flights.

I wrote this post last Monday (2 days after the Recruitment event) so I’ll do a quick re-cap with what happened and what to expect if you’re ever applying to become an Air Hostess.

AIRBUS-A320-JETSTAR-HBA-AUG13-RF-IMG_9971

On that Friday after work, I had dinner with my Mum and then hopped on a plane for the 1-hour flight to Auckland. As it was quite a rainy night, there was lots of turbulence flying out of Wellington so there were quite a few screams on the way up.

When I arrived in Auckland, I walked to my hotel (a 10 minute walk away) because I couldn’t be bothered waiting for the Hotel Shuttle Bus. Plus you had to pay $6 just to get down the road which meant I’d have to take money out of the machine and it became too much of a hassle haha.

ibis budget Auckland Airport
I stayed at Ibis Budget Hotel which was perfect as it was situated literally right across the road from the JetConnect Headquarters (where the recruitment event took place)
The hotel rooms were small (as you would expect in a budget airport hotel) but the place was clean, the rooms had a TV, they had a big breakfast area, parking outside and a restaurant adjacent to the hotel. I only needed a place to sleep so I wasn’t really too bothered with how fancy the place was.

I thought I had checked everything off my list in terms of what to bring to Auckland. I had gone out and bought a new top the night before, I brought my hair straighter and hair spray. I packed my make-up, 2 pairs of stockings in case one of them ripped and all my documentation that I needed for the day. However, as I was walking to the Countdown Supermarket across the road I looked down at my feet and realized I’d completely forgotten to pack heels!! All I had on was my white converse sneakers.

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I was suddenly rushing past Countdown and on my way to The Warehouse (smaller version of Walmart for all you Americans reading) to try and find a pair of shoes. At this stage, it was 9.30pm and thankfully it was open until Midnight.
After trying on a few pairs and finally finding some heels in my size, I bought a simple black pair for $10 – Bargain!

I didn’t do too much ‘study’ that night. I had printed out some facts about Qantas and some interview questions to go over but I ended up just watching an episode of Family Guy and reading my Kindle instead.

I set my alarm for 6am as the Recruitment Event started at 8am. I kept waking up during the night because I was scared I would sleep in. I have a terrible habit of turning off my alarm and going back to sleep. :/
When I eventually got up, I had a shower, made sure my make-up was perfect (well tried to at least) and pulled my hair back into a tidy ponytail.
I could see people starting to arrive at the headquarters from my window at the hotel so I headed over just before 8am

I think there ended up being around 50 people at the event. When I arrived, we all got given name tags and directed upstairs to hand in all our forms.
We had to provide:

  • 4x Copies of our Passport
  • 4x Copies of our Drivers License
  • 2x Copies of our Birthday Certificate
  • 2x Full Length Photo’s
  • First Aid Certificate (If we had one)
  • 2 Copies of our CV
  • 2 Workplace References

After also getting our height checked, we were told to sit at a certain table with a number on it. I was at table 4 with four other girls and three guys.
An assessor was sat at each of the 6 tables with us where we then watched an ‘intro’ video of Qantas (not that exciting to be honest) and then all the assessors stood up and introduced themselves. All of them had been Flight Attendants at some stage so it was nice to know that they’d all been through this before.
The guy who was ‘hosting’ the event, gave us a group discussion where we had to argue about a situation (Should children be allowed in First Class). It was more so the assessors could see how well you communicated with others.
If you’re in this situation, always let other people have their say but don’t ever sit there and say nothing. I slightly took charge of the group conversation by writing down everyone’s points and repeating it back to them so they knew I was listening. We had a really quiet girl in our group so I made sure to include her as well by asking for her opinion. Assessors notice everything so make sure you stand out but not in a way that makes you really bossy and over-powering.

When we finished our discussion, our presenter Mike got us all to put up our hands with whether we wanted to do short-haul flying (Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane) or Long-Haul flying (Sydney, LA, Dallas, Honolulu, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai, London, Johannesburg)
Originally when I handed in all my documents, I put down Short Haul – mainly because I wanted to stay in Wellington and I was a bit nervous about the whole thing (Which I still am!)
When people put up their hands, it seemed basically all of us just wanted to be put with whichever haul. However, Mike said that by the end of the day we had to be 100% certain with either short haul or long haul.
After watching a presentation where he outlined the differences in SH and LH, my mind suddenly changed to long haul. I won’t go too much into the perks but you get paid a little more in Long Haul and the allowances are better. But it means you’re away from home up to 14 days at a time – even 21 days unplanned in some cases.
He was very firm that if you wanted to do long haul, you had to make sure no one depended on you back home. No kids that would miss you, no animals, no parents that needed looking after etc etc. He said it gets very lonely some times so you really gotta be comfortable in your own company. You’ll miss Christmases and New Years with friends. You’ll miss important birthdays and baby’s being born but it all comes with part of the job. However, on the bright side, you could spend a Christmas in New York with your new Qantas Cabin Crew or New Years in Dubai watching the fireworks. Guess you gotta take the good with the bad.

After one more group building exercise, we were sent away with the promise of a phone call in the next hour. Myself an another girl went across the road and bought a smoothie as we were too nervous to eat. The phone call was to let us know whether we made it through to the next interview or not. It honestly feels like American Idol with this type of process.
Suddenly an hour later, Halecia (the girl I was with) got a phone call to say she’d gotten through so she had to head back to the offices. A few other girls I started to talk to didn’t get through so they headed off home. Thankfully, I got the golden call too! I’d gotten through!! 😀
I walked back to the Headquarters and joined a room with about 18 other people who’d also gotten through. We had to fill out paperwork (Name, addresses, Aviation Security forms, Criminal Check forms) then were called into another room with one of the assessors for a one-on-one interview.
I was the first person to go through and I felt pretty confident I went well.

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However, even feeling confident doesn’t get you the job it seems.
I was notified 2 days later with an e-mail that said:

“Dear Sarah

Thank you for attending the recent Assessment Day and interview for the position of Flight Attendant with Jetconnect Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas Airways.

We regret to advise that on this occasion we will not be further progressing your application. Please note that a period of six (6) months from the date of this email must lapse before your application will be reconsidered for future positions.  

Due to the high volume of applications we have reviewed, we are unable to offer any personal feedback on your application at this time.

Once again, thank you for the time and effort you invested in your application. We encourage you to keep all your details up to date on Staff CV.   We wish you every success in your career and thank you for your interest in Jetconnect.

Kind regards,

The Jetconnect Recruitment Team

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL – THIS IS AN UNATTENDED ADDRESS”

I was actually like, what the hell…I thought my interview went great. I didn’t understand what went wrong? And I actually still don’t understand what I did wrong.
Maybe my answers to the interview questions weren’t good enough…or they just didn’t like me 😦

It’s funny though, because an hour before I received that e-mail, Air New Zealand called me and told me I was still in their ‘vetting process’. They wanted to know what was happening with my eyesight and if I had decided to get laser eye surgery or what.

I’ve now booked in at the Laser Eye Surgery for a consultation for this up-coming Friday…Eek! I’m actually still not sure if I’m going to get it done. The whole process kind of freaks me out. The last time I got an MRI done, I had to be sedated! So I hardly think someone cutting my eyeballs is going to be a calming time for me. But there’s no harm in going for the consultation to see if I’m even suitable.

However, if I’m not I guess I can always wait 6 months and apply at Qantas again… it sucks being rejected.
😦

 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. jtbosko says:

    Keep your head up! If this is what you really want, you just have to show them that you’re determined to be a part of the aviation family and next thing you know you’ll be in a training class in no time!

    Liked by 1 person

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