How to Prepare for the Pilot Interview

The interview to become a commercial pilot is a crucial step in the career of any aspiring aviator. It’s not just about demonstrating technical skills and flight experience but also showcasing a professional attitude, knowledge about the airline, and the ability to handle high-pressure situations. Properly preparing for this interview can make the difference between landing your dream job or missing out on a valuable opportunity. This article provides a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for your commercial pilot interview, based on the expertise and knowledge of EAS Barcelona’s experts.

EAS Barcelona is a leading institution in commercial pilot training, renowned for its commitment to excellence and quality education. With years of experience in preparing future aviators, EAS Barcelona takes pride in having trained pilots now working in airlines worldwide. Our programs combine robust theoretical training with advanced flight practices, utilizing state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge simulators. The tips and strategies shared in this article are backed by the accumulated experience of our instructors and alumni.

The Importance of Preparation

Preparing effectively is crucial for success in any interview, especially for commercial pilot interviews. Meticulous preparation not only helps you confidently and accurately respond to interview questions but also demonstrates your commitment and seriousness towards the position. Being well-prepared allows you to effectively highlight your skills and experiences and enables you to handle any unexpected questions or situations calmly and professionally.

Statistics on Pilot Job Market Competition

The pilot job market is highly competitive. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the demand for pilots is steadily increasing due to global air traffic growth. However, this growing demand has also attracted many qualified applicants, making interviews increasingly rigorous and demanding. For instance, Boeing estimates that over 600,000 new pilots will be needed worldwide by 2039. This competitive landscape underscores the importance of standing out at every stage of the selection process.

Impact of Good Preparation on Interviewer Perception

Good preparation not only enhances your responses but also influences how interviewers perceive you. Arriving prepared for an interview shows that you are serious, diligent, and capable of handling significant responsibilities. Interviewers value candidates who demonstrate a deep understanding of the role and the airline, as well as the ability to think critically and solve problems. Furthermore, being well-prepared helps you project confidence and security, essential qualities for any commercial pilot.

Getting to Know the Airline

Prior research on the airline (history, fleet, routes, corporate culture)

Thoroughly researching the airline you are applying to is essential. Explore its history from inception to recent developments and achievements. Familiarize yourself with its fleet of aircraft, understanding the types of planes they operate and any future expansion plans. Study the primary routes they cover and their operational bases. Additionally, research the corporate culture of the airline, its values, mission, and vision. This information will not only help you answer specific questions during the interview but also demonstrate your genuine interest in the company.

Tips on How to Use This Information During the Interview

  1. Integrate information into your answers: Use your knowledge about the airline to respond to specific questions. For example, if asked why you want to work there, mention aspects of the corporate culture or fleet that attract you.
  2. Informed questions: At the end of the interview, when given the opportunity to ask questions, pose inquiries that demonstrate your research. Questions about future expansion plans, new routes, or changes in the fleet can impress interviewers.
  3. Contextualize your experiences: Relate your past experiences to the airline’s operations. If you have flown aircraft models similar to theirs or have experience on routes they cover, make sure to highlight it.
  4. Demonstrate alignment with company values: Show how your personal and professional values align with those of the airline. This not only reinforces your suitability for the position but also shows that you have taken the time to truly understand the company.

Thorough and strategic preparation will position you as an informed and enthusiastic candidate, significantly increasing your chances of success in the interview.

Personal and Professional Presentation

How to Dress Appropriately for the Interview: Opt for a professional and understated outfit that reflects your seriousness and respect for the opportunity. Generally, a dark suit with a white or blue shirt is a safe choice.

Importance of Punctuality and Professional Attitude: Punctuality is crucial. Arriving early shows responsibility and respect. Maintain a professional attitude throughout, from arrival to departure.

Tips on Body Language and Non-verbal Communication:

  • Posture: Sit upright and maintain an open posture.
  • Eye contact: Maintain eye contact to demonstrate confidence and sincerity.
  • Smile: A genuine smile can help establish a positive connection.
  • Gestures: Use natural and moderate gestures to emphasize your points without exaggeration.

Common Questions in Pilot Interviews

List of frequently asked questions and how to approach them:

  1. Flight experience: “Describe a situation where you had to handle an emergency during a flight.”
  2. Technical knowledge: “Can you explain how the flight control system of an Airbus A320 works?”
  3. Handling emergency situations: “What procedures do you follow in case of an engine failure during takeoff?”
  4. Teamwork: “Describe an occasion when you had to collaborate with other crew members to solve a problem.”

Tips for Structuring Effective Answers: Use the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers. This will help you be clear and concise, demonstrating your skills and experiences effectively.

Technical Competencies and Knowledge

Review of key technical concepts and operational procedures: Review essential technical concepts and relevant operational procedures for the specific aircraft operated by the airline. This includes avionics systems, emergency procedures, and aviation regulations.

Importance of Familiarity with the Airline’s Specific Aircraft: Becoming familiar with the specific aircraft operated by the airline demonstrates your preparedness and ability to adapt quickly. Know the systems, procedures, and unique features of these aircraft.

Examples of Technical Questions and How to Respond to Them:

  1. “How would you handle a hydraulic system failure in a Boeing 737?” Explain standard procedures and how you would apply your knowledge to ensure a safe landing.
  2. “Describe the operation of the Flight Management System (FMS) in an Airbus A320.” Detail the functions of the FMS and how it contributes to navigation and efficient aircraft operation.

Psychometric Evaluations and Tests

Description of common psychometric tests in pilot interviews: In pilot interviews, psychometric tests are an essential part of the selection process. These assessments are designed to measure a variety of cognitive and psychological skills, including:

  • Cognitive ability: Assessments of spatial, numerical, and verbal reasoning.
  • Attention and concentration: Tests of sustained attention and ability to concentrate under pressure.
  • Memory: Evaluations of short-term and long-term memory.
  • Coordination and reaction time: Tests that simulate flight situations to assess response capability and hand-eye coordination.
  • Personality assessments: Questionnaires designed to measure personality traits such as emotional stability, stress resistance, and teamwork ability.

Tips for Preparing and Facing These Assessments:

  1. Practice in advance: Use online resources and preparation books to familiarize yourself with the types of tests you may face.
  2. Get enough sleep: Ensure you are well-rested before the test day, as fatigue can affect your performance.
  3. Stay calm: Anxiety can lower your performance. Practice breathing and relaxation techniques to stay calm during the tests.
  4. Manage your time: Some tests are timed. Practice completing the tests within time limits to improve your speed and accuracy.

Recommended Resources and Practices:

  • Books and preparation guides: There are numerous specialized books on psychometric tests for pilots.
  • Mobile applications: There are apps offering exercises and psychometric test simulations.
  • Online courses: Consider enrolling in specific courses for aviation psychometric test preparation.

Simulations and Flight Assessments

What to expect in simulator assessments and flight tests: Simulator assessments and flight tests are critical components of the selection process. In these assessments, candidates must demonstrate their piloting skills and decision-making abilities in a controlled yet realistic environment.

  • Flight simulators: Candidates can expect to fly in simulators that replicate the cockpit of a specific aircraft. Assessments may include basic flight maneuvers, handling emergency situations, and navigation.
  • Real flight tests: Some selection processes may include real flights, where the candidate’s ability to safely and efficiently operate the aircraft is evaluated.

Tips for Successfully Completing a Simulation:

  1. Familiarize yourself with procedures: Review Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the specific aircraft you will use in the simulator.
  2. Practice Crew Resource Management (CRM): Work on your communication skills and decision-making in a team setting.
  3. Maintain calm and concentration: The ability to handle stress and focus on the task is crucial. Practice stress management techniques.
  4. Review emergency scenarios: Ensure you are prepared to handle a variety of emergency situations.

Importance of Mental and Physical Preparation:

  • Mental preparation: Maintain a positive and confident attitude. Visualize success and practice meditation or mindfulness techniques to stay calm.
  • Physical preparation: Ensure you are in good physical condition. Good physical fitness can enhance your concentration and endurance during the assessment.


In conclusion, preparing for a pilot interview is a rigorous and multifaceted process that requires dedication, knowledge, and practical skills. We have explored essential aspects to achieve success, from researching the airline and personal presentation to handling technical questions and succeeding in psychometric assessments and flight simulations.

If you are ready to take the next step in your career as a commercial pilot, EAS Barcelona is here to assist you. Our experience in pilot training and our commitment to educational excellence position us as one of the best choices for those aspire to succeed in aviation.

Our team of experts is available to provide you with the guidance and support you need to prepare for your interviews and assessments. We invite you to contact us for more information about our programs and how we can help you achieve your professional goals.