By DebbieH 25 Feb 2021 7 min read

Why ‘just be yourself’ is the wrong advice for Cabin Crew interviews


For this blog, we’re joined by Kirsty Ferguson from Pinstripe Solutions, who will be discussing why it’s important to not ‘wing’ your cabin crew interview. This is what she said:


“I can’t tell you how many times I see this advice on social media across cabin crew forums in particular.  When an aspiring flight attendant asks: “What do I need to do to prepare for the airline assessment?” The reply is almost always “just be yourself and show them how much you want it.”

Now that, is winging it. This exciting role is not something to step into with little or no preparation. You might remember this phrase, ‘Prior preparation prevents poor performance’ and it could not be a truer statement. You are walking into a test situation, where the airline are testing or assessing your ability and your potential to perform this role. Winging it and ‘just being yourself’ is a high-risk strategy.

The assessment team might say ‘we are looking for that x-factor’ and that means they do want to see the real you, but you need to know how to articulate and illustrate that effectively across the variety of tests you will be asked to complete.



5 Things You Must Do Prior To Your Assessment


Practice Answering Questions Using the Behavioural Interview Technique

 Don’t know what that is? It means you have to provide evidence and examples from your experience to answer questions, not just make general statements.

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioural based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.



Know Your Strengths

You should clearly understand your strengths; they should practical and not just fluffy feel good statements. Your strengths are not what you think about yourself, and this is exactly how most people answer this questions.  Instead of providing general opinions about yourself try to provide factual statements.

 Here is an example: Instead of saying “I am great with people”  or “I am a people person” consider using facts and saying  “I have 7 years of customer service experience in 5-star hospitality roles and person to person sales in telecommunications”.  Now that’s a strength!


Understand What the Assessors Are Looking For in Group Exercises

Just being outgoing is not enough. How you participate in their exercises is the best way the airline will find out how you work within a team. I have been told many times by airline assessors, that if candidates don’t find a way to participate, they cannot mark them.

You are going to part of a group with diverse personalities; it is up to you to find ways to connect with those personalities. You will need to show empathy and support for others and sometimes even interject to interact. Participation is key.


Flex Your Knowledge About the Role

Illustrate that you understand the actual day-to-day role of a flight attendant; the career path and the challenges. Have a plan for your career.  Nobody wants to invest in an employee who is just there for the joy of travel.

You will have a serious job to do that includes safety, conflict management, medical care and logistics. Be able to talk through a typical day in the life of a Flight Attendant from sign on to sign off.




Display Confidence and Maturity

So yes, be yourself, but be prepared. Being prepared will help you take on all of the test exercises with confidence.  Illustrating maturity is not about age it is about attitude and how you deal with the variety of challenges you will face in this role.

Exercise: Try answering the question “Tell me about yourself?” and record your answer. Then, play it back. Would you hire you? Did you hear facts and evidence or a lot of generalisations and platitudes? Did you hear a person who knows who they are and what they have to offer? Or a person who had not taken the time to think about it and decide?


So the next time someone says, just be yourself, say thanks, but I’m going to prepare as well.”



Author, speaker, career coach and entrepreneur, Kirsty thrives on the diversity and innovation of business in the coaching space. Founding Pinstripe Solutions in 2000 in response to the collapse of Ansett Airlines her Executive Coaching business has grown to specialize in Pilot, Cabin Crew, Aircraft Engineering, and Aviation Corporate Interview Preparation. Her team of off-site coaches works worldwide in 15+ countries via a unique online business model. Amassing an incredible social media following through relentless blogging and career hub contributions, Kirsty uses her platform to advocate for aviation as a career, to mentor and encourage self-knowledge, change and innovation. Kirsty has recently joined the Advisory Board for ‘Inflighto’ ( a groundbreaking industry app Kirsty has presented at Griffith and Sydney Universities, industry forums and drives airline careers through her Secondary School talks and Mentoring programs.

Kirsty is a monthly contributor to Australian Aviation Magazine, and Aviation Job Search. She has been interviewed for: Reuters,, Marie Claire Magazine and Coaching Life. Listen to her interviews as a guest on iTunes leading podcast ‘Go All In’ and Australian Aviation Radio. | 


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