I used your previous gouge to prep for my interview with Skywest and it
was very helpful. To assist others, here is my version of events.
Please post as you see fit. Very informative site.
I had an interview with Skywest in 8-99. It was easily the most
enjoyable, and at the same time the most difficult, interview I've ever
The interview takes place at their SLC training center, which is located
at the airport. Most hotel shuttles can take you right to the door.
The big day consists of three formal stages with mounds of paperwork to
keep you busy during breaks: two written exams, a sim ride, and a
technical/HR interview. Fail any stage and you vanish, and they are
selective. Only 4 out of 7 guys in my group were still around after the
last stage and they make you wait 1-2 weeks for an answer. Typical
percentage is around 40% hired of all interviewed but I hear that
percentage is falling.
You need to get 70% on both tests individually to pass.
50 questions from the ATP test bank
Study your ATP workbook, that's the only advice I can give. Some topics
Type II de-ice fluid
RVR to sm conversion
Aerodynamics in a turn
Aoa controls what
Rules for going below MDA/DH - this knowledge will be VERY useful in
121 requal bounces
61 IFR currency rules
Engine failure in a 2 engine aircraft
DME failure means an immediate report
1 chase-around chart, bring a ruler
10 question mechanical aptitude test
Not too tough, just think about it for most of them. Bring a
Linked wheels turning
Shapes to tip over
2 story problems
This takes place in an ATC-810 sim. Do anything you can to get some
time in the same type sim. I did a few hours in a Frasca and it was
useless. The ATC-810 is very different. For one thing, the attitude
indicator was weird. The card is fixed and the miniature airplane moves
around! Very disconcerting if you've never seen it before. The sim
will hold altitude very well and hold heading somewhat. The evaluator
won't take the controls (there's only one set) but if you get it trimmed
it'll fly forever and never budge an inch while you brief. Watch the
power settings, though. If you get the MAP split between engines the
sim will roll very strongly. Don't touch the rudders.
Don't start studying Navaho speeds and such, they ignore most of that.
No mixtures or props to worry about, just MAP. No v-speeds to worry
about and flaps are either up or down. They give a great brief on what
you should do including exact power settings, attitudes, and such. A
cheat sheet is pasted up in the sim right in front of your face and the
evaluator acting as your FO will answer any questions about flying the
You depart from 24R at LAX, climb up and do a few turns. Next is direct
to a VOR for a hold. They'll grill you about the entry, get it right
and you won't even have to do it. Then a vector for a transition to the
LAX 24R NDB. Plenty of time to set up, they'll even ID VOR's for you,
but only if you set it right. Just fly the procedures you're used to,
they'll accommodate almost anything but you have to move all the
controls, you can't call for the gear and flaps. Shot the approach and
landed. Make sure to ask what the visibility is when you break out
before you go down, the wx report will go below mins after you cross the
They will ask you about mins for takeoff and landing, giving you RVR and
asking if you can go. Know this stuff really well, they ask you about
it every stage of the interview process. Don't worry if you do very
little in the sim. If you get it right they'll move on. In fact, the
less you do the better you did.
I've recently heard from others in my initial class that Skywest has
changed the sim ride. It now takes place at Teterborough(sp), NY. I
have no other details to offer but I expect their standards and
procedures will be much the same. Just practice your BAI.
I had 2 guys, but there can be as many as 5. They are very casual and
do everything they can to be friendly and make you relax right from the
start. There was a constant stream of jokes and they made fun of each
other and of my nervousness all the time. I made a few wisecracks, at
appropriate times, and they liked that. Remember, you're not hanging at
the bar with your friends, but they are trying to make you open up and
show your personality. Make sure to put your suit coat back on when
they take you away for the interview. Gotta look professional.
Be yourself, have fun, and relax. Some questions are just for fun and
some they ask are downright impossible. I finally figured out that they
want to see how you act when you really don't know. DON'T even attempt
to BS and certainty don't start crying. Admit it and take it like a
man, or woman, as appropriate. On some things I missed 1 out of every 3
questions and I got hired.
They mix HR and technical stuff. On the HR side there's literally a
list they have to ask you, then they ask some more. Standard stuff
about your work history, any firings, accidents, drugs, convictions.
Who was the person who influenced you most? Ever failed a checkride?
Have you had a poor/belligerent captain who did something
unsafe/illegal? What did/would you do? Why Skywest? Know bases and
company history. I practically memorized the Air, Inc. article about
Skywest and they knew it as soon as I got started about the history.
They stopped me and moved on almost immediately but that's a good
thing. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? What did you do to
prepare? What if you lost your medical? Lots about CRM. Define it,
have some examples. Make it personal, don't recite the FAA definition.
Don't forget to include the FA in your CRM loop. They do a deep logbook
check. If some dates or other things don't mesh up, be ready to
explain. And of course the big one: Why should we hire you?
What was also significant were the things that were not asked of any of
us who made it past the final stage. No worst flight story. No which
job did you like/hate most. No why are you leaving your current job, in
fact nothing about my current job. Another shock: No will you go to a
major! They know everybody wants to so they don't ask. However, every
one of us who were still around at the end volunteered by themselves
that they see Skywest as a place to have a career/long term commitment.
Don't lie about this. If you want to bounce around you'd best go
The technical stuff was very thorough. Each topic starts out with hard
but manageable questions and gets more in depth from there. Don't
expect the "standard" questions. These guys know their stuff scarily
well and they ask some real tough ones. They actually got miffed when I
got a lot right in a row and started asking more esoteric questions that
I had no idea how to answer just to knock me down a peg. Of course I
probably had it coming since I was grinning and making smartass remarks
about when the "real" questions were going to start. By this time
things had become very cordial and it was almost a game, them seeing if
they could stump me. Of course I had no delusions that they were just
playing around, but it made things much more relaxed.
Know your current aircraft like the back of your hand. They don't ask
anything as simple as V-speeds or box items. I got grilled on the
details of how a PT6 is put together, not ITT limits. For Jepp charts
they drag out the world's ugliest ILS approach with terrain everywhere
(which they fly to no less) and start asking. Approach segments, find
all the IAF's, how can we get on the approach from here, DME arcs,
obstacle clearances, where's the FAF on an ILS, more about going below
MDA/DH. Low enroute charts were next. Airspace dimensions, detailed
symbology, define MEA/MOCA/MORA/MRA/MCA, and the usual gotcha about VFR
above 18,000. Thunderstorms, wx radar, and even more on IFR regs. Fuel
requirements, MEL/CDL usage. If you have an OM, know it.
They will test your conviction and ask you a lot if you're sure. Stick
to your guns, even if you're wrong. They want to see how you react and
behave. After one particularly savage beating where I got 5 wrong in a
row I made a crack about sadistic check airmen (the interviewers were
all check airmen). They laughed and moved on to another topic. I think
they were fishing for it. Be yourself and be someone you'd like to fly
with on a long day when nothing's going right. Humor won't save you if
you really are deficient in your knowledge but nobody likes a whiner.
Remember the old HR maxim: We hire attitude, everything else we can
The paperwork starts out right from the beginning with a briefing at the
start of the day. Bring your spare hand, there's a lot of it to fill
out. Have your 10-year work history ready down to the day, with
addresses, phone numbers, and names to contact. They will answer piles
of questions and help you all they can but if you're not prepared it
reflects badly on you.
You will be filling out:
1 page for every employer/school/period of unemployment over 30 days for
the last 10 years, no gaps allowed
1 page for every flying job held on top of that
1 page for every flying job that included DOT drug testing
An NDR and a FAA record request