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Delta Air Lines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: September 1999
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Northwest Interview Debrief Phase I 14 July 99 Phase II 12 Aug 99 Job Offer 20 Aug 99 Physical 1 Sep 99

I attended phase I in MSP and had to pay my own way. It had recently changed and was only a psych evaluation. I tried to answer all the questions with a “very much like me” or “not at all like me” answer when I could. I chose the next closest if I was unable and didn’t pick one middle of the road answer. I have heard that the technique is to stay away from the middle response.

I received my phase I result 4 days latter on a Sunday. I called on Monday and scheduled my phase II far enough in the future to have time to prepare. I was offered a date the very next week.

The sim was scheduled for 0730 and was a DC9. NW has recently changed the process to put the two candidates in the seats together. My partner was a Marine F-18 pilot. Our sim instructor was a retired AF guy who has been with NW for 5 years. His name was Gary Vechik. The prebrief was very straightforward with a 5-page book as a reference. We were briefed on the profile and given plenty of opportunity to ask questions. I was asked if I wanted to go first and I gladly responded yes and took the left seat.

My profile was at LAX with takeoff from 25R. We took off and climbed to 3000 feet. Given some turns and then a climb to 5000 ft. Once at 5000 ft I was asked to track inbound to the 250R from Seal Beach (SLI). On that radial I was given holding instructions to hold on the 150R right hand turns. I slowed to 220kts (210 min clean) and told my partner to request 220kts for the holding. I gave him the AC and then figured out the hold. It was a direct entry. While in the initial turn I was given a descent to 2500ft and a 350 heading to depart SLI once reaching. I configured to app flaps and slowed to 180kts (170 min) and gave the plane to my partner. After a quick brief I took the plane and flew an ILS to a landing. Overall, very easy profile. The DC9 flies much like the B-707 sim. It was very stable and the power settings were easy to figure out.

My partner chose to stay in the right seat for his profile and he flew at SFO. He was given a similar setup with a teardrop holding at OAK and then told to fly the feeder fix routing and cleared for the approach. It was a HILO approach at the outer marker. It came fast and took both of us to execute the approach in time. He flew a very rough approach with big over corrections all the way down final. He would not have landed out of it at minimums. Our instructor seemed to be happy and gave us our paper work for the afternoon interviews. (I think my partners excellent CRM and great attitude made up for his difficulty in the sim.)

My interview was at 2pm and I stayed in the building for most of the day. My interviewers were: Marlene Berman, Capt. Chuck Hannebeth (DC-10), and a A320 FO??. Marlene gave me a lot of instruction about what to expect on the walk back to the room. Once we got in the room there was a short introduction and she asked for my paperwork and then I gave one pilot my logbooks and form 5 and the other the originals of everything I was asked to bring. The next 5 minutes were silent as they all looked at my stuff. Then Marlene looked up and said, “Are you ready to get started?” to which I responded, “yes ma’am”.

The questions were as follows with each taking turns asking questions: I see you have a clean driving record? Is there anything in your background that you haven’t told us about that we will find? What 3 factors would you recommend to a friend considering selecting an airline? How do you apply those factors to NW? Have you applied to other airlines? Why do you want to work for NW? How far away can a T/O alternate be for a 747 taking off below landing mins? When do you not have to do a procedure turn? What fuel is required to fly from MSP to England? When can you continue below DH or MDA? Lost Comm procedures? What are the 5 required calls to ATC? Describe your leadership style? What was the most difficult leadership position you have been in? How did you get the people to do what you needed done? Have you ever had a difficult passenger? What would you do if you were deadheading and sitting next to a passenger who was really complaining about NW and unhappy? How do you handle emergencies or abnormalities in flight? You are on the MSP 090R. Hold on the 150R left hand turns…what’s the entry? What is your pet peeve in the cockpit?

That was it. I was in and out of the room in 30 minutes. Good luck!

Date Interviewed: July 1999
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Just did the NWA interview under the new system. Lots easier than the old way. First, testing in Phase 1 is only a personality test, 2 hrs total. Sim check in the DC-9 is now a team affair with another candidate, about 20 mins flying a piece. Interview lasted only 35 mins, but questions have not changed from the old gouge. There was not a single question I hadn't seen. The key overall--cal Dr. Linda Myers at 1-800-NWA-0747. She is in Anchorage and it will cost a bit, about $200 total for phases 1 and 2, but you will know everything and not be surprised at all. She's a godsend for anyone going to MSP for an interview! Best of luck

Date Interviewed: April 1998
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

I interviewed a little less than a year ago. I called a prep service, but didn't find the information to be to accurate. There is a good prep available from a person located in ANC. I don't know the number, but I hear it's worth it.

The phase I is nothing but testing. They flew me out the day before, and they recommend a hotel that offers an NWA rate. I rode the van to testing at 8:00 the next morning. Even though nobody gets "looked" at everyone dressed in their interview suit. About 75 people fill the room waiting for the test to begin. A Capt gave a little speach about NWA and their plans.

The morning test is a type of personality test. The Capt. says that you cannot beat the test and just be honest. I think that's good advice. I've spoken to some people who didn't get called back, and they admit that they didn't totally answer how they "felt." I've also heard people say avoid the middle numbers (1 for stongly agree to 5 for strongly disagree) i.e. have an opinion. I don't know if this is true. I tried to avoid too many middle answers, but there were some questions that I didn't feel strongly one way or the other. I've spoken to others who got called back also using a few middle ground answers.

After the test (no time limit) you take a break and come back for the afternoon aptitude test. It was ten tests that you’re allotted seven minutes for each test. The test has everything from general knowledge to putting shapes together to vocab. I know I got very few of the vocab words right. I’m not sure of the point of this portion. The words were very obscure. The other sections were such that you couldn’t finish in the time, so there is some rush and pressure mixed in. You’re told that you will hear back in a week or two if called back for phase II. I heard a full two weeks later.

Phase II- I got a sim prep at Pan Am sims in MIA. When I scheduled my phase II I was told that my ride would be in a 727. I’ve heard most people get the 747, which I think is easier. Pan Am had the profile, but it was wrong. I haven’t spoken to anyone who got my profile. 30 min sim brief with how NWA sets bugs and flap settings. Area dept to intercepting a radial to a hold. Then fly to the LOM and hold. Then cleared for the ILS. Had to know holding speeds, VOR hold, NDB hold for LOM (but transitioned to holding on the LOC), and I got a missed. He said that part was his mistake with setting the vis. Straight forward, but I was glad I flew the 727 sim in MIA. Call for checklists and brief the approach.

After the sim you wait 20 min for an HR person to tell you if you go on or not. I had the 5 am sim, finished and waited for he HR person too come out and say "good news, come back at 1pm" so I had some time to kill. They’re VERY nice. Said to look around, and make yourself at home.

The afternoon interview was with 2 capts and 1 HR person. In a small room… All very nice. I think they really want everyone to do well. Non-confrontational interview with straight forward ques. One pilot goes through your logbook and the others ask questions from a script. Some tech ques from the AIM and FAR. Know those two books and you’re good to go. No tech ques. on the plane I was currently flying. Some CRM ques., a person saying they saw the capt drinking- what do you do?, and leadership questions. What would your former CP say about your flying skills? How do you organize a task. What planes do we have? How many? Bases? MVA, SCMGS, etc.

Date Interviewed: April 1998
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Phase I

The only thing I did to prepare for the testing phase was to read two books--Officer Candidate Test Prep and AirIncs book on airline testing. It was hard to prepare for. Northwest will fly you in the night before, and I stayed at one of the motels recommended in the letter-----be sure to mention you are coming in for a NW interview (or ask for the NATCO discount) since it saves you about 40$ over the airline rate. When checking into the motels also be sure to sign up for the shuttle to the interview (never wait for the last bus).

You all meet in the lobby at NATCO (Northwest's training center) and are taken upstairs by Human Resource reps (my group was about 60 applicants). The first person to speak will tell you a little about the company, hiring plans, class schedules, and answer any questions.

The first test is the dreaded psych test. It comes in four parts totalling 226 questions. There will be a statement like: I 'like my job' or 'if I won the lottery I would still work my job' or 'I would rather work through a problem with a group than alone'. The choices are assigned 1 to 5 most like me to least like me (the order changes between sections). There is about 2 hours allowed, but it only takes around an hour. The two suggestions I heard are <1> try to express a strong opinion--1 or 5 as often as possible, and <2> be consistent (by being yourself).

Then there are 13 timed tests (7 minutes each). They range from vocabulary to arithmetic to spatial orientation (rotating objects) to picture assembly.

It takes about 2-3 weeks to get a phone call for phase two or a letter saying you didn't make it. There really isn't too much you can do to prepare. Try to go through books on tests to increase your speed with math etc. NW Phase II:

You will be contacted about 7-10 days after phase I with Phase II dates and times.

First you have a sim eval. Show up at least 30 minutes prior (an hour is good). The sim profile is very VERY simple. There is an hour allotted for briefing (it usually only takes about 15-20 minutes so you may get in early). My eval was in a 727-200 sim. No tricks. Depart, fly a heading, intercept a radial, enter a hold, shoot an ILS. The sim eval was about 20 minutes long. The trick is using the NFP. If there are questions, you need to write them on the board (it shows how well you follow instructions).

The board interview was also very relaxed (almost fun). There really were no 'trick' questions. THere were several human factors type questions, 'how do you handle disagreements in the cockpit' 'tell us about....'. There were some Northwest knowledge questions (financial info, employees, bases, etc.) and a few technical questions (121 regs, oxygen requirements, alternate requirements).

The physical was the next morning--thorough eye exam, hearing test, chest x-ray, blood draw, drug test, treadmill (stress) test. You are done by noon.

All in all they want to hire almost everyone who makes it to phase II. You will get a conditional letter of employment after the board interview (based on background check and physical).

Date Interviewed: January 1998
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Delta Air Lines Interview: Jan '98 1 HR person and 1 Captain. Approx. 45 minutes. Extremely relaxed - more than I would have ever expected. Your jacket comes off, so a tailored shirt pays good dividends. HR person seems to get buddy-buddy with you - sort of awkward. HR person went over UPAS app line by line (literally!), and asked some questions to check that your answers are the same as the app’s. I was asked questions about availability date, speeding tickets, location preferences (I didn’t have the NE or NW checked off, duh. Just mark NO PREFERENCE on the UPAS app!), flight experience in particular aircraft, and flight time checks. The UPAS flight time information is compared to the Delta Supplemental App that you receive and complete on testing day. HR person was making sure the hours matched on both. Quickly went over Employment History and Educational Background. Asked several questions on the Accomplishments/Achievements/Awards/etc. section. I was asked about the military medals and what they were for. HR person somewhat interested in the References and Recommendations section. During the UPAS app review, some questions were asked several times over, and occasionally I was not able to finish my responses since they keyed in on something I said and fired off another quick question. Seemed that the HR person was trying to intentionally irritate you by asking stupid questions over and over. For example: asked what my availability date was 5 times in a row - played stupid about military separation date and the affects of terminal leave; and asked what a T-1 was, then what a Beech 400 was, and so on - came across as an idiot. I gathered that the HR person was playing a pax and checking to see if you can explain something simple (to you) several times without getting frustrated. After the UPAS app review, the HR and Capt tag-teamed on situational questions. The questions asked were: 1) when did you decide to get out of the military; 2) why commercial aviation; 3) have you had any interviews thus far; 4) are you flying for the Guard or Reserve; 5) FA says that a pax has carried on too many bags, wwyd; 6) you’re in cruise flight, first time flying with this Capt, you have a serious personal problem at home, and the Capt is asking deep personal questions that bother you, how would you handle the situation; 7) company policy is to be stabilized on approach at 1000 feet AGL, but Capt configures late, flies fast on final, and greases the landing. The Capt says he/she does that to save fuel, how would you handle the situation (hint: company policy supersedes efficiency); 8) how do you handle stress in the cockpit; 9) why do you like Delta; and 10) if you were Chief Pilot and see a “new hire” , what would you tell the new hire the 3 things that make Delta what it is today? (I later heard that the key words are: safety, customer service, and efficiency). Interview was basically over, and the HR person asked if I had any questions for them. You are escorted back into the lobby and asked to wait 10 minutes. At that time, you are asked to come back in. Two outcomes in the hallway: we like to set you up for a physical, or you are done for the day and should hear from Delta in 2-4 weeks. The HR person was definitely running the interview. Remember, the HR person is a professional in their job, and knows how to get you off your feet, frustrate you, appear stupid, see through BS, and to check to see if you have programmed yourself for specific interview questions. The Capt, like all pilots , has his/her stuff together. Good luck!!!

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