By DebbieH 29 Jul 2019 7 min read

Airlines want to hire confidence…Not ego maniacs

This week Aviation Job Search is once again joined by our brand ambassador Kirsty Ferguson, who will be talking about how confidence will get you far when applying for jobs with an airline. Listen to her short summary below!

We in aviation recruitment and HR refer to a job seeker with the right level of self-confidence as having ‘Ego Maturity’. Sounds fancy, so what the heck is it?


One of the largest airlines in South East Asia describes  “Ego Maturity” as: A solid level of self-confidence with an overriding graciousness.


Not much help is it.


Simply put, be confident but nice!


Ego Maturity is part of a set of capabilities that we call ‘soft skills’ or ‘people skills’.


They are often the defining factor in selecting a successful candidate.


Ego mature employees are overall much better at self-management. They will be solution focused, responsible and empathetic rather than getting all caught up in the drama. ‘People skills’ as opposed to technical skills or qualifications are attributes or skills job seekers are assessed on during the airline recruitment process. 


If you have ever been placed in ‘group exercise’ or ‘scenario exercise’ then you have been tested on your people skills. Did you focus on getting it right? Or on cultivating the team?  It you answered yes to getting it right, then you have misinterpreted the exercise.


With that in mind, I recommend next time you are in an interview or group exercise, not telling the entire room loudly how smart you are, don’t take over, don’t criticise or gossip. Take custody of that ego my friend and use it for good: your own good, the good of the company and of your relationships with colleagues and customers.


This thinking applies to pretty much every industry role you can imagine. Pilots, Cabin Crew, Engineers, Airline Management, Operations and Customer Service.  Your level of Ego Maturity will either cement you as an effective member of the team with potential to lead or the opposite. 


Everyone has an Ego, you need one in order to back yourself and to function in the world. An immature ego is where the problem lies.  Think of a mature ego is a life skill, aspire to cultivating one.


Lets look at how those different ego types might be identified:


The Immature Ego might look like this:

  • Defensive when makes mistakes
  • A right-fighter; needs to right all the time
  • Does not take direction well
  • Sulks or becomes aggressive in communication style
  • Repeats mistakes or does not learn from the past easily
  • Does not listen
  • Blames others
  • Does not show empathy


The Mature Ego might look like this:

  • Likes to mentor and support others
  • Sees other peoples point of view
  • Seeks to learn and improve
  • Leads by setting a great example
  • Not afraid to do the little jobs as well as the big ones
  • Has a high degree of self knowledge
  • Admits faults and mistakes
  • Takes responsibility for their actions, successes and failures
  • Creates solid relationships
  • Focuses on solutions


I hope that helps. No matter your role in the aviation sector, employers seek out these Ego Mature qualities. It could be the difference between getting over the line or falling just short.  


Link to About Us Page:


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. |