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ExpressJet Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: March 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 1490 TT, CFII, CFMEI, CFI, CSEL and CMEL with INST privileges.
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
I had an 8 am interview. Jim, the recruiter and a former pilot, introduced himself. He gathered the candidates and we went to a room to get a quick powerpoint on XJ. Then, we were broken into two groups.

The first group started testing early, and the other did the essay. I was in the testing group. We started with cognitive testing. I hear lumosity is a good prep for this, though I can’t confirm. The test seems to be testing memory and multi-tasking skills. One exercise gives you six symbols, each assigned a number. Then, a string of symbols are shown, and you are asked to enter the numbers as quickly as possible by selecting them on the screen with a stylus. While the “legend” with the assigned numbers is on the side of the screen, it’s much faster to memorize them and plug them in. Then, you’ll have tests that show you a square comprised of multicolored boxes. It disappears, and then two new ones show up…select the one that matches what you just saw. At one point, 2 sets of tones are played, and you listen for if they match or not. The directions always stress that you should be fast but accurate. Simple math questions are presented, ones like you’d see on the SAT (Cindy has 5 cars and Jane has 3, they each sell for $2000, how much more money will Cindy have in the bank then Jane?). Another test has a dot that moves up and down the screen, and you have to click it every time it goes out of margins (reflex exercise). Then there’s a test where two alphanumerical sequences are presented, and you have to determine if they match or not. Then, the reflex and alphanumerical tests are combined, which tests multi-tasking. Remember the string of symbols with associated numbers? You’ll be asked around this time to input the number for each symbol, to the best of your memory. Another exercise where a slider runs right and left and you have to balance it on the center. Then another alphanumerical exercise, then these two are combined. There’s a memory test where they show you a number, then it disappears and another number shows up, and you have to input the number that was previously shown. It sounds easy, but it goes fast, and if you mess up, then you have to skip a cycle and wait for next one and it’s very confusing. Once you miss one, things fall apart fast! Have you guys ever seen the chart in a classroom that has colors spelled out, but in a different color (like the word brown would be written in green), and your job is to recite the actual color you see, instead of the word that’s written? This following test reminds me of that kind of exercise: it starts with a picture of an arrow facing a certain direction with a certain type of border. Below are four different images, one has a thin border, one a thick border, one a solid arrow, and one a thin arrow. Each arrows point in different directions. A direction pops up on the screen, and it’ll say one of three things: arrow direction, border color, or arrow color. Whatever pops up must be matched. So if you have a magenta arrow up on top, and the words arrow color appear, then you have to pick the magenta arrow below. The next test is even better! They show a picture, like the ones from the last test, and present the four options below. You have to guess which rule is in use, by selecting various choices until you hear the correct audio tone. Once you hear that sweet tone, it’s smooth sailing, because you select the option that meets the criteria as new boxes pop up. Eventually, the system will change the parameters (let’s say it was arrow direction that was correct option for the last 4 sequences, now it’ll randomly switch to border color), and you have to guess again. That’s all I can remember from the cognitive test. I’d recommend playing some video games and working on reflex for this.

Then, the personality test. They are testing for neuroticism, so don’t be neurotic! Don’t lie on the questions. They will catch you in a lie, because they ask the same question 5 different ways. So if you lie it’s hard to remember I imagine. I’m somewhat OCD (neurotic) and still passed  They ask questions like “does poetry move you,” “do you get easily angered,” “have you EVER manipulated anyone?” etc. Lots of questions trying to determine if you are an orderly person, but can deal with things being out of order. “Is everything you own in a specific place?” “Do you spend a lot of time looking for things that you’ve misplaced?” “Do you get excited for new situations?”

The delta knowledge test was last. Follow the gouge from Sheppard air, and any other recommended reviews. I found that the Turbine Pilot’s Handbook was quite helpful. Many questions on inverters, TRUs, descent planning, compressor stalls, relationships between Mach/TAS/IAS/AOA, DME arc situational awareness questions (on this radial, go to this radial, how long will it take), etc. Study the gouges!!! No one’s expected to be an expert on turbine systems and flying at a regional interview, but knowing what to study makes all the difference.

After that, took a quick recess for lunch. Then, I wrote the essay. I was assigned hydroplaning. I wrote about the three types, how to calculate, and factors that exacerbate it. Then, I was given a sheet with HR questions on it: What made you pick flying as a career, biggest mistake in flying, least favorite part of your job, most favorite part, how would employer rate your performance, would you use sick time to skip work for a function that you needed to be at (testing ethics I imagine), and some other questions like that. Other interviewees had different set of questions to answer; we all talked about them.

After that, quick HR interview. Brief a Jeppesen approach (ILS 34 Asheville I think). Calculate descent problem. They’re looking for you to do the 3-1 calculation. You’re at 30000 feet and need to descend to 5000 feet, how long will it take? By their logic, you lose 25000 feet, so multiply that by 3 = 75 miles, and add 10 for slowing down. They don’t give you a speed but that’s the rule they use…10 miles to slow down for good measure. He asked me what max speed was at 10000 feet (not limited), and that’s why ATC often clears you to descend to 10000 feet.
Next, he said he would recommend me for job. I asked him some questions. Then downstairs for finger printing, and off to airport for drug test. Best of luck!
Date Interviewed: January 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 7000TT, 3500 Turbine PIC, 3 biz jet types
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
All in all a pretty good experience.

Just like all the prior gouges describe, there were 3 computer based tests, a small written essay and then the oral interview.

I arrived early and hung out in the lobby until about 0800 when Dale came down and brought us up the testing room. There was 3 of us. He spent an hour talking about their package and then opened the floor for questions. At this time they are not enforcing a training contract. Dale is a great guy. Honest, straightforward and made e feel very comfortable about the process.

Test One: Aptitude test. No way to really study fro it really. Just get some rest and give it your full attention and effort. READ THE DIRECTIONS and you'll do fine.

Test TWO: Personality test. Typical type test you see for any major airline. 240 questions. Goes by quick.

Test Three: Knowledge test. ATP type questions. Really heavy on high altitude turbine knowledge. Nothing earth shattering though.

The written portion was about a paragraph. Took me 10-15 minutes. Asked me my responsibility as a pro pilot to be rested prior to duty.

I did my oral with Mike. He also was a top notch guy. We talked about various aviation subjects. ILS approach, and then asked me a few questions about the equipment on a CRJ cockpit layout.

The process was challenging and thorough but very comfortable. They really need guys. Attrition is at about 45-50 month and they are having trouble filling that many in class dates. Must be the pay.

Just come prepared, do the ALL paperwork as they request, be humble, honest, have a good attitude and there is no way they will not offer you a spot.

Good Luck!
Date Interviewed: January 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 1375TT Military about half of that time helos
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Overall relaxed processes the gouge holds true. I don't think you need to study as much as the guy that posted before me did if you have solid back ground knowlege.

Cognative; I didn't do luminosity and don't really play video games and I passed. Its long and you are engaged the whole time but I wouldn't waste time preparing for this.

Neo personality; nothing you can do to prep for this, just be honest and consistant. Talked to the recruiters about this and he said there's always someone that thinks they can out smart it by telling it what it wants to hear and they usually fail it.

Job Knowlege; This is the harder one but they want you to pass so the best resources are the ones they recomend. Buy the Turbine pilots manual, more questions came from this book then any other. I would read the study guide they send you and then read the gouge questions on sheppard air. As you read the Turbine pilots manual try to pickup were the questions came from and take a closer look at those subjects. I also got Everything explained for the professional pilot which is a good book too but I only read about half of it. If you are pressed for study time the best thing you can study is rules of thumb (some in both books). Remeber you only have 60 min for a 60 question test so if you find yourself doing trigonometry or an entire flight plan your probably missing an easy rule of thumb. Things like, to calculate the point to decend on a 3 degree glide slope (feet to lose in thosands times 3 = distance in miles), or calculating a lead radial(each radial is a mile apart at 60 DME so divide 60 by your DME = number of radials to equal a mile 60/15DME = 4 degrees for a mile).

Essay; subjects that were given were icing, honesty, and wind shear avoidance. Not hard just have a basic idea of these and other subjects you see on this site. Its not really an essay more like a pharagraphy I wrote about 5 sentences.

Interview; Your interview will depend on your experince there was a military guy with over 4,000 hours and they asked him basicly nothing. There was also a 24 year old CFI with just over 1,000TT and he had to briefed an approach and was asked everything there was to know about a Jeppsen approach plate plus more. I was asked if I was familure with Jep plates and I told him I could probably get what I needed to shoot an appoach out of it but I had never used them. This was all I was asked about plates or an approach (if you were not military this answer will probably not work for you). The rest was stuff like why Exjet, why should we hire you, what do you see your role as a FO when flying civilian, and how would you handle flying with someone you don't get along with on the ground.

They are currently trying to hire 88 FOs a month so they have reduced the time you must wait to re-apply if you failed to get hired from 6 months to 2. If you are really close and they like you they will ask you to come back for a sim.

If you are close to the min requirements and want to work at exjet I would apply and they may offer you an interview and put you in a new hire pool after the interview until you finish what ever you need. If they call you for an interview they want you to work for them so relaxe and be yourself and you will probably get offered a job out of our group of 8 only one got asked to leave (because he failed the knowlege test).

Currently you still get a choice of CRJ or ERJ most of the hiring is on the ERJ side so if you pick CRJ you may have to wait longer to start a class and will build senority slower. Also, they are losing some of the 200s for more 900s but it is not a one for one swap closer to 2 for one so this means less pilots needed therfore slower upgrades but better pay. Currently no planned loss of planes on the ERJ side. The pay and benifits are different between the two but if the TA is passed it will all change anyway.

Best of luck
Date Interviewed: December 2013
Summary of Qualifications: 1200+TT, 1000 dual given, 50ME, Basically right above all Restricted ATP mins. ATP Written
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
The recent gouges have been accurate. In summary: One full day. Start at 8:00am. I went to the Houston training center instead of Atlanta due to travel issues. Basic rundown on the company and future plans. ERJ and CRJ sides, bases, benefits, etc. Three computer tests. Cognitive brain test, Personality test, Knowledge test. Lunch break, bring cash. One paragraph essay question and a worksheet of written answers. Two on one interview with pilots. If they give you their blessing you move on to fingerprinting and then to the drug testing. Good chance if you make it to the drug testing. You've been recommended. Still has to be a board decision and pending ultimately on background and drug test (If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about...).

-You cannot use a calculator during any test, and you are provided with a paper and pencil during the knowledge test only
-GET SLEEP! Now that you haven't because it's a big interview, have caffeine ready, and use it. The tests will wear you out! And they will require your complete focus if you really want to do well.

Cognitive test: Similar to Lumosity. Do a little work with that if you are not competent in video games and thinking fast. Ultimately, there's not much you can do to prepare. There are number sequence games and pattern recollection. I have no idea what the threshold is for passing that test. I am very good at that stuff, so I found it quite easy. Read the directions... TWICE! Don't start until you know. You can't go back. There's some mental math stuff. Only a few questions. Stuff like... For every amount Molly puts in her savings, her mom will triple that. If she has X amount in her account, how much did she put in. I'm quite sure I bombed those, but I still did well overall. These tests are a combination of speed and accuracy. You will be scored between both and it's your job to do as well as you can at both parameters.

Personality Test: 240 questions in 50 minutes. Really not that bad unless you are a tragically slow reader. Basic stuff like, "I sometimes feel sad, Strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, etc." Be honest. You are scored on consistency as well as what you actually answer.

Knowledge test: 60 questions in 60 minutes. I finished at about 40 minutes with several marked to review. I went back through those questions and skimmed the rest and finished with 10 minutes left. They will tell you to reference "Turbine Pilot's Flight Manual", "Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot", and "Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators." They do give you a study guide outline. That includes weather, however, they told us at the interview that there was no weather on it (there was not, but I cannot vouch for everyone else). The turbine manual, get it now and read it cover to cover, and then re-read everything that pertains to jets, systems, and high altitude/high speed again. Lots of questions pulled directly from that book! The "Eep" as I like to call it (Everything Explained...). This book is expensive, but if you do not have it, suck it up and buy it. Well worth your money and time to read every inch of it. Even without the interview. I bought it a year ago and it proved amazing. Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators. That can be downloaded actually. It's a free document through the FAA. Or... you can buy an ASA paperback copy. You've already spent your money on the Eep. I honestly did not read that one very much. I referenced certain specific sections that I couldn't find a lot of detail on in the others. Another very good book I read through and through was Fly the Wing. Another very awesome read and actually covered a lot of what the Naval Aviator book might have.

Look up the delta questions on sheppard air. Don't try to find it on their website. It's not a training program. Just Google the above. A significant number of the questions I had were exact, or similar to that resource. There were a few descent planning questions. Be careful of fix relative to the station. Your crossing restriction may not be the VORTAC or whatever. There are also ones that involve an airspeed reduction prior to descent. Review your rules of thumb...

Essay and written: Essay, I had the popular coffin corner. There are others. Look at other gouges. Other stuff, "Describe your duty to show up for work well rested." "Explain 121 currency requirements." etc. There's nothing too crazy on there.

Interview: They want to get to know you. If you've made it this far, just relax. They will ask you basic stuff like how you got into aviation, why ExpressJet, why do you want to be an airline pilot. They asked me to brief an ILS approach. Just brief it how you do it. You do know how, right? They may ask some other details on it, like finger fly me from this feeder inbound to the approach. Okay, how is it different from here? Anyway, they recommended me.

I went to get my fingerprints taken, after signing the conditional offer of employment of course. I knew it was still pending a board decision, but I felt pretty solid. Then I went to go do the drug test.

I was told it could be a day, or two days, or a week or two before they could let me know for sure. I got insanely lucky and got called as I was meandering the airport looking for my gate immediately after leaving the airport medical center. Don't count on that.

I didn't put any specific questions on here because they're already floating around this gouge and that Delta question bank. Make sure you can solve any math questions, and practice them without a calculator. If you have no actual 121 experience, this could be hard. I did not, and I studied for two months prior to my interview. I prepared that hard for this. If I had waited till two weeks prior when I actually got the interview stuff, not sure how I would have fared. If you're looking through this and the Delta questions and studying the above materials, you should do fine. They need pilots, but they need to make sure you have what it takes to pass training. Make sure your paperwork is good. Do it as soon as you get an interview scheduled, then go through it again and again. READ AND FOLLOW the directions. Don't date where they tell you not to. Start on the right foot with showing them you can follow simple instructions.

Overall, they seem like a great company to work for. Their training pay is not all that great. It is not 75 hr guarantee or anything. Settle your bills now and save what you can. It's two months in Houston or Atlanta for ERJ or CRJ respectively. They're hiring both it seems, but there is a longer wait to get into the CRJ classes. They said many times that the ERJ lifestyle at this point is better. It's going to be a hard life for a while. I start at the end of January, and I'm a little nervous. But having said all that, if you're like me, you're skipping turbo props altogether and going from instructing in Skyhawks to flying jets which is more than I could ask for. Their facilities are nice, the people are friendly, and they seem to have a good culture. Good luck.
Date Interviewed: December 2013
Summary of Qualifications: Prior military, Part 135, 4015 TT, 3150 PIC, 903 Instrument, 1963 Turbine
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Great day, 10 of us there. Same routine as prior posts except they split us into 2 groups. 1/2 did the tests first, the other half interviewed and did HR first. They were very cool and helpful. The cognitive test can't be studied for, but if you play video games you'll be fine. Personality test was standard. The knowledge test covered standard stuff, things like what is Optimum fuel altitude for a jet, what temp does fuel start to freeze, what type of anti ice systems do most commercial jets use, what kind of electricity do most big aircraft use, planning descents, what are these airport signs, and the written question we got was what is DA?  They are trying to hire 90 pilots by the end of Dec, another 90 in Jan and so on. Get your applications in ASAP at airlineapps.com or directly on their website and they will normally call you within the week if you meet the standard mins :) Class dates so far are 16 Dec, 6 Jan, 20 Jan mostly for the ERJ, training in Houston. Lower seniority bases are IAD, DEN, ORD, but could be anywhere in the system. I know 7 of our group got job offers the next day!!
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