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Pinnacle Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: January 2011
Summary of Qualifications: 1,070 TT, 700 multi turbine, part 121
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
First off, they told us they're planning on hiring 260 pilots in 2011 and we were the first batch to be called. Class had 16 of us. I got 5 guys' phone numbers and 3 of them didn't get an offer I'm not sure about the rest.

Look for a (901) area code if you get a call. They call and make sure you have all the required documents and if you do they will offer you an interview. I had a 4 day notice to i had to get all my stuff in order. Honestly, it is so laid back they don't even need you to have your driving record at the interview but they check it so don't lie.

They gave us confirmed seats round trip and they paid for the hotel. The interview was at 8am the next morning in meeting room A at the same hotel. Showed up there and we got introduced to hr and the pilots that are going to conduct the interview. The chief pilot is an old school cool guy he's straight to the point no bs person. we watched a video on pinnacle then the chief pilot proceeded to inform us that were are getting interviewed for Pinnacle on the crj200 not mesaba or colgan so there was no confusion as to you thinking you might be on the turbo props. The interview times were posted on the door and they were half an hour slots. there were 2 interview teams consisting of HR and 2 pilots each. 11:00am - 12:00pm was lunch.

I interviewed at 12:30. Very nice people they escort you into a hotel room with a table in the middle. Hr goes first.

HR questions:
1) tell me about a time in your professional career you were stressed
2) why Pinnacle
3) how did you hear about pinnacle
4) how are you going to get through training
5) whats going to be that hardest thing for you in training

captain is super senior and is not using checklist..what do you do?
You tell him and the end of the day he still doesn't listen....what do you do now?

Technical: (he will try to question your answer and make you second guess yourself. Be confident and stick to your answer)
1) what is critical mach (he didn't ask but know what mach tuck, dutch roll and all of that as well)
2) advantages/disadvantages of swept wing
3) whats so bad about the tip stalling before the root?
4) tell me about the last airplane you flew. (what type, engines, hp, weights, flaps, gear..e.t.c)
5) where's class A
6) Where's RVSM altitude?
7) Speed in class B, Underlying class B, class D
8) holding speeds (all 3 of them, 0-6000, 6001-14000, 14001 and higher)
9) busted out a TAF read it till he tells you to stop
10) we are arriving at 1500z, do we need an alternate?
11) when do we need a take off alternate?
12) can we use our destination as a take off alternate?
13) Jepp chart, KMEM ils, brief it.
14) cleared for approach and wx goes below mins.can you still land? (only if you pass the FAF)

Other captain goes over your logbook and paperwork. He looks at me and says tell me about your speeding tickets...I chuckled and was completely honest.

Any questions for them and that was about it. Very easy Very friendly people. Crack jokes be funny. He told me he wants to see if he can survive on a 4 day trip with me i told him 4 days ok but 5.....i don't know. He laughed. So in other words don't go there as a brick....be yourself be funny be light on your feet.

Phone call = good
EMAIL = bad

interviewed on the 2nd The emails got sent out on the 3rd at 6pm et to the guys that got rejected and i didn't hear anything until the 4th at 10am et. I got a phone call (good) offering me the job.

Good luck to all. From what I can tell, great place to be and they seem to be growing and growing.
Date Interviewed: December 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 3000TT, 1300-121TurbinePIC
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
Thanks to everyone who posted the recent gouges as they were right on.

Started with HR/ Chief Pilot presentation. Along with the merger and supposedly integrating the Mesaba furloughs, the recruiters had been instructed to hire 68 pilots externally. Told to wait in conference room with everyone until interview time (times listed on door, assigned based on time of flight home, although most everyone's flight wasn't scheduled until the evening).

At 10:00 I was retrieved from the room by the HR lady (Laurie), had a nice talk while walking down the hall to a regular hotel room set up with a table for interviewing.

On the other side of the table from me was the CP, a line captain, and Laurie. Laurie went first with the HR questions.

1. Why Pinnacle?
2. TMAAT you were stressed
3. TMAAT you had to deal with change (a new one I think?..)
4. Is a Captain a leader or manager? Define each..
5. What would be one of the greatest challenges for you during training?

Pretty painless. Next the line captain with technical.

1. Advantages/ Disadvantages of swept wing.
2. What is Critical Mach?
3. Engine failure on T/O after V1. How would you fly (profile/ emergency procedure from last aircraft)?
4. Speed limit below Class B?
5. TAF printout with ETA... Read the TAF and alternate required?
6. Brief approach (ILS into MEM)

That did it. Finally the CP (who had only been reviewing the logbooks the entire time) asked about an entry that didn't look correct. Then asked what base I would try for, and if I had any questions for him.

Everyone who interviewed early stuck around to socialize for lunch. Then took off for the airport. Pinnacle was nice enough to give us confirmed seats both directions on Delta, only negative with that was that it cost $50 to change to an earlier flight home. Good luck to all!
Date Interviewed: November 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1050 TT, 670 ME
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Coming in I'd heard mostly negative things about Pinnacle. That being said I wanted to give this a shot as it's my only hope to being based in my hometown.

Anyway, it was my third interview with an airline and by far the easiest, most relaxed atmosphere I've encountered. I must have been offered a beverage at least 10 times before my interview. They went out of their way to welcome us and make us feel wanted.

Day started at 8 AM in a small banquet/conference center at the Courtyard Marriot. 14 of us I believe all were seated and given an introduction of Pinnacle staff and shown a short video. After that Kevin Wilson, aka 'Skeeter', got up and gave a talk. He is the Chief Pilot out of KMEM. Great guy, but you could tell he was no nonsense type of dude. Emphasized to us that lying on applications would not be tolerated, just told us to relax and be honest in the interview. He said we were all here for the basic reason that they liked what the saw with resumes andjust wanted to find out if they could stand to hang out with us on a 4 day trip. I appreciated his honesty and straightforwardness.

After that, a nice HR lady named Monica got up and said the interview sheet was on the back door, we were welcome to leave as long as we were back in the room 30 minutes prior to our slot. There would be two groups of interviewers so the day would move quickly.

I had a 10 A.M. slot so I found myself back in my hotel room (they let you check out as late as noon!) by about 9 A.M. Turned on SportsCenter and tried to relax.

After I went back down my name was called and Monica escorted me down the hall to a regular hotel room. There was a table and basically just four people: Monica, a nice line captain named Leah, the Chief Pilot, and another HR lady. All were very friendly and welcoming. After a quick review of the paperwork, Monica started off with a few basic HR ?s:

1)Tell me about a time you were stressed.
2)What are you doing to improve your pilot ability?
3)Why Pinnacle?
4)How do you handle criticism?

Nothing to fret over here. She said she was done, then Leah took over:
1)Pulled out a TAF for Tulsa and asked if we needed an alternate. If you botch this, I don't know what else to tell you.
2)ILS 18L for KMEM: Brief the approach.
3)What is critical mach
4)Advantage/disadvantage of sweptback wings.
5)What makes a good captain?
6)Is a good captain a leader or a manager? (This was the only question that tripped me up. I hesitated and then jus went with me gut, a leader. Not sure what they wanted me to say here, but they seemed pleased with how I answered.)
7)Airspeeds in a Class B. What about below a Class B.
8)Last was a scenario question: She wanted to know what I'd do if I found her in the hotel bar boozing it up 10 hours prior to a trip. Then she said what about 8 hours? She kept on getting the number down and eventually wanted to see how I'd handle it if she wouldn't take my advice to leave the bar. Would I rat her out? Would I still try to fly her trip? Basically what would I do. I told her and the panel that no matter what I wouldn't do anything to compromise our company, safety, or her career.

Last was a logbook review with Chief Pilot. Asked a few questions like How would I make it through training, if I'd ever flown hard IFR, what about this checkride, etc. Almost like an exit interview. At this point I felt pretty good.

Overal a great experience! They told us we'd hear good or bad within two days. Most got a call later that day or the next. It appears that out of 14, 10 of us got offers.

Good luck to all!
Date Interviewed: August 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 1800TT 1600ME Turbine, CFI, ATPw 135
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
A very warm welcome from the HR reps set the tone for the day. We all met in the hotel's conference room where they provided us a plethora of sodas, juices and water. The Chief pilot intorduced himself, and after watching the brief video on Pinnacle's culture, he proceeded to tell us about the merger with Colgan/Mesaba and the stability the company has in these very unstable times. He was very straight to the point, which I appreciated: we will be sharing a hotel room with our sim partner during training, we will be paid $400 p/w, one of the sims is down so if training gets too bottlenecked, we will be sent home, on a pass, with pay while we wait for our slot. Your base will be chosen for you, but you can bid out of it. You will not upgrade to captain anytime soon due to this merger. pinnacle will be classified as a major airline next year. DO NOT LIE about ANYTHING in your past. They will find you out eventually, one way or another. You will be on the CRJ200. You can fix gaps in knowledge but you can't fix a bad personality. An interview schedule is posted on the wall; you can hang out in your hotel room if youre not scheduled until later in the day but need to be in the room 30 miniutes prior to your interview.The panel is conducted 3:1- one HR rep, one captain asking tech questions and the other captain asking scenario based questions. They mix it up so it will be something like 3 HR questions, 1 tech, 2 scenario, 1 HR, 5 tech, etc. Gougue questions were spot on, save for a few new ones peppered in there. Why Pinnacle? What do you know about the company? Why did you leave your previous job? Would you rather fly with a bad stick who uses checklists or a good stick who ignores a checklist? TMAAT someone criticized you. TMAAT you had a disagreement with someone. Have you ever broken an FAR? Brief this approach, holding speeds, MSA, RVR, TAF, lost comms, appch plate symbology, basic FARs, then questions about your last multi a/c: weights, flaps, hydraulics, gear, engine, props.
Then time at the end for any questions you may have. The panel comes across as very non judgmental (I know I screwed up on something I should have known but they didnt make me feel like an idiot when I did), extremely professional and welcoming. I felt very at ease with them. Just a relaxed, but professional environment which enables candidates to perform better and be themselves. Yes, the pay is horrible, but it does, despite is suddenly very large size, feel like a family atmosphere with all the tools and support to help you succeed.
Date Interviewed: August 2010
Summary of Qualifications: 3200 TT, 121 mostly SIC multi engine.
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
First I must say this was my 3rd Airline Interview and it was hands down the most easy going and laid back interview I had ever done. They were very friendly and very professional. I could tell they tried quite a bit to make us feel all at home and welcome and to try to not be nervous considering itís always a time when you are nervous.
The interview itself was actually conducted at the Hotel. Not at Pinnacle Headquarters as was stated in the previous gauges.
They flew me in the day before (positive space ticket) and I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel about 7 minutes from the airport. (hotel was paid for by Pinnacle)
Interview process started at 8:00am. Started by showing us a video witch you can actually watch on their website which is about 10 minutes long and goes over whom and what they are and what they stand for. The video is actually a few years old with all the planes in the video still being Northwest colors. They explained that they were in the process of remaking a new video with all Delta colors.
After the presentation they told us how the day would go down. They explained that no matter what the results they would not share with us who did and did not get the job. Just out of respect for those who donít make it. (could be a embarrassing factor for some) As the beginning presentation was over they asked us to go outside and look on a sheet of paper that explained who would be going to interview at what times. The whole day was planned out.
I was 3rd in line to interview and my interview consisted of one woman from HR and one regular line Captain and I had the Chief Pilot all with me as well. All of these guys were great people who seemed to want to hire you, it was your job to screw it up. At least this is the feeling I got.

HR went first and was very typical,
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Tell me about a time that you were stressed.
Tell me why would you like to fly for Pinnacle?
Tell me about a time you could have handled something differently.
Asked me about the one ticket I had on my record in the last 7 years
What motivates you in life? And what motivates you to want to fly.
That was about it for HR questions. Very sweet girl that I got for HR as they all seemed.

Next was the Technical part. Started about basic questions about the aircraft I fly now. What operates the gear. (Hydraulic or electric etc) tell me about flaps in your plane how to they operate. Give me the following speeds on your plane, max takeoff weight, max landing weight, max zero fuel weight, VNE speed on your plane. Then moved on to classes of airspace, all dimensions and speeds within those airspaces. Pulled out a TAF and asked me to read two sentences that he pointed to (not a tricky TAF either very basic) then told me based off of the weather in the TAF arriving at such and such time would I need a alternate. In this case the ceiling was 800 feet broken at my ETA so I said yes.
Moved on to a Jeppens style approach plate and asked me to brief the approach as If I was in my aircraft what all would I go over. I went from top to bottom explaining everything I could, minimums, RVR requirements, MSA altitudes etc. Everything so he didnít asked me any more questions about it, which he never did.
Then asked me some aerodynamic questions.
What is critical Mach
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a swept wing
What is bad about the swept wing stalling at the wing tips first?
And that was all for the technical part of the interview. It was over within 10 minutes. Very painless and easy.
Last part if the interview was a quick talk with the Chief Pilot who was conducting almost a exit type interview and asked:
Tell me about your one failed checkride
Asked me some questions about my log book
What would be the hardest thing for you flying with us at Pinnacle, I told him the commute would be tough.
Tell us how you think you would get through our training here at Pinnacle and do you think you could foresee any problems with your training.
And that was it, Interview was over. The entire process was 28 minutes. I pretty much timed it. That was about the same length it took for everyone.
They told us they want to hire 65 people and need them quick, They are just finishing up classes filled with Mesaba furloughs and after that it will be the 65 street hires.
Since I interviewed early I was done at 10:40 am !
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