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Skywest Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: April 2017
Summary of Qualifications: Military pilot (Cargo & Tankers) Total Time: 3000+ majority MEL Heavy Time, Military IP and Examiner
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Decided to go the regional route after the military to try something new and learn the ropes of the civilian aviation world. Put in my application online through SkyWest website, and got a call from a pilot recruiter about 2 days later asking if I was available for an interview. A word of caution...they will offer you interview opportunities as soon as possible, but give yourself some time to get yourself ready and study. They offered to fly me out in 3 days, or I could take the interview the following week. I chose the following week. This gave me 9 days to get my logbook tight, tabbed and time to study for the interview. The gouge on this sight is on target. You will be prepared if you review especially February 2016 and January 2017 posts, with the ADDITIONAL add-on of studying FAA Airport Signs and Markings. This seems to be an emphasis item. Below are the details of my interview experience.

LOCATION: Denver (new Flight Safety International training building, but operated by SkyWest -- building doesn't even show up on Google Earth yet).

HOTEL: I chose to stay at the SpringHill Suites which is right across the street from the interview. Decent rooms, breakfast, high-speed internet, bar with nightly service and light bar menu from 5pm to about 11pm. There are other hotel options as well, and they are all walking distance or short UBER ride away.

INTERVIEW CLASS: There were 6 of us total in the interview group, with a mixed background of military, corporate and CFI/CFII backgrounds. It was a really good group of folks, and I wouldn't be surprised if all of us end up receiving training spots. We all hit it off and enjoyed each other. NOTE: Remember that you are not competing against the people that are there, SkyWest could hire every one of you at an interview due to the pilot demand...and attrition at the regional level -- so get to know the people in your group. Be friendly and enjoy meeting them--it will only help you look better to the company. Also don't forget to let other people talk if you are an extrovert. I ended up connecting with 2 of the people on my LinkedIn, and have stayed in touch.

ARRIVAL: Arrived at around 0735 and the interview started at 0800 promptly. Don't be late. When you go in the front doors, go to the counter, and the receptionist will have you sign in and hand you a badge. Just have a seat and talk with the other pilots interviewing, and someone will come grab the group at around 0800.

0800-0900: Company introduction and video presentation. At the opening we did introductions, watched a short presentation and video and covered the basic history, culture and core principles of the company.

After that was done we started the actual interview process.
They passed out black sheets of paper and asked us to draw a jet engine and an electrical system that we knew (I drew the ones from my last aircraft). Don't worry, it doesn't have to be artistically correct or to scale. Just make sure you get the basics and can talk through it when your done.

My interview process went: CRM / TECHNICAL / LUNCH / HR but others went in different order...but we all started off with the CRM exercise.

CRM INTERVIEW: They split us into groups of three, and positioned us in a paper cockpit trainer. If you are the least experienced you can expect to be Captain. The key with the CRM exercise is to communicate and decide on an option using CRM. Don't forget Fly the airplane FIRST, Navigate, then communicate. Then it is a matter of working together to come up with a solution. You only have 7 minutes, so they aren't looking for perfect. Our "problem" was WX went below mins inside the FAF (can you continue), after going missed, we had to decide whether to divert or hold and wait. Of course your divert options aren't great either (that's part of the problem). Work together and you should be fine.

TECH INTERVIEW: This was the longest part of the interview for me, and felt like the hardest because I came from a military background the FAA regulations aren't as solid as I'd like them to be. It was just me and the interviewer who was a Captain who has been with the company for about 15 years. He liked to conduct the technical interview as you would experience it during preflight through takeoff, landing and post-flight. It made sense.


1. WEATHER: You will be handed or shown a METAR and TAF and asked to read it...just tell them what it says (know all TAF/METAR abbreviations). "TAF TEMPO" meaning and what does it mean to us? How many times/day does the TAF come out? What is the weather going to be at the time of our arrival? Do we need an alternate at this time? Do you have takeoff minimums? If not, is a departure alternate required? How far away does it need to be?

What are the stages of a thunderstorm? What can you associate with Virga (he was looking to talk about windshear)?

Asked me different types of fog?

The weather discussion led into talking about FAA Part 91.175(c) -- know this cold (just part C).

Know your weather minimums for departure, when you require an alternate and what qualifies as an alternate. We skipped the Exception 3585, but I know some of the others got asked about it.

2. AIRPORT SIGNAGE: after weather and Part 91/175(c), we spent a good amount of time going through a powerpoint with different airport signage. The only issue with this, is that the signs are on a PowerPoint slide with a white background...what I mean by that is that the sign, apart from the airport environment, can sometimes be hard to name. I missed the runway distance remaining sign...because it wasn't beside a runway, but just on a white slide. AOPA has a great review https://www.aopa.org/-/media/files/aopa/home/online-education/flash-cards/rwcards_lo.pdf

3. JEPP CHART REVIEW:
Had me brief an ILS approach to Reno as I would normally do in my current airplane. Discussed the different minimums listed at the bottom and how to know what category we fell into. It is impossible to know EVERY symbol, but you should know obstacle references, terrain, MSA, missed approach routing, and make sure you look for all the notes and warnings on the chart. UNDERSTAND AIRSPACE RULES. He showed me a chart with Class C and D airspace on it and asked me to define the limits of each, and speed limits associated with them. Then we discussed the DENVER CLASS B -- talked airspeeds in the airspace and below the airspace, and cloud clearances for all the different types of airspace (Just like most annual checkrides). Then we discussed identifying in the FAF on an ILS vs a Non-Precision approach. What if you were assigned a higher altitude to intercept the GS? Then he pointed at different parts of the approach side-view and asked if I could continue the approach if the weather went below minimums. Then we re-visited 91.175(c)-- asked me what I needed to continue the approach below minimums? When can I continue below 100 feet? Is that 100 feet Radar Altitude or 100 feet above TDZE? Then we discussed airport lighting. I told him I always study the exact lighting before I make the approach, but that didn't seem like the answer he was looking for. After discussing it later during lunch, he was looking for me to describe the different types of approach lighting. I thanked head I was thinking this was an in the weeds question. If you are interested, here is a great link to airport lighting https://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/inst_reports2.cfm?article=135 and http://code7700.com/approach_lighting_system.htm

4. SQUAWK CODES: Hijack/Lost Comm/Emer

5. AERO QUIZ: What are the pros/cons of swept wing design?
What is mach? Critical Mach? Mach tuck( mach buffet/tuck)? Where does the wing first stall? (Swept = Tips). What does an impending stall do to aircraft control? What effect does airspeed have on a swept wing (low vs. high speeds) What is dutch roll? What do we have to counter Dutch roll? How does a Yaw Damper system work? How many ailerons do swept wing aircraft typically have? When do the outboard ailerons work?

6. SYSTEMS QUIZ -- this is based off he drawings you made.
JET ENGINE QUESTIONS:
Be able to explain your drawing -- I walked through the engine as a particle of air (the way an instructor had with me a long time ago). What is the bypass ratio and what does that mean? My engine was a 5:1 bypass. What does the compressor section do? What section is the N1 and N2 sections and what powers them? Where does bleed air come from and what is bleed air used for? What are some typical malfunctions during start (remember, you are still discussing the engine you drew and know). For my previous aircraft the big three were HOT/HUNG/NO -- Hot Start, Hung Start and No Start or failure to light-off. Be able to discuss the cockpit indications. Then we discussed the accessory gear section, what equipment is in the accessory section, how is it powered?

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM QUESTIONS:
Again, be able to explain the drawing you made. The big things they are looking for are where do your primary, ground and emergency sources of power come from. What is the difference between AC and DC power, and how does AC become DC and DC become AC? What types of equipment can you run off the Battery Bus? What type of battery is in your airplane (looking for NiCad or Lithium) and what are the dangers associated with this type of battery? This question got me, I don't know what type exactly our battery was, and when I looked it up in the Dash-1 (Military Tech Manual) -- it didn't even say what type other than it was a "24V emergency battery capable of providing UP TO 30 minutes of emergency power." So, in my previous life what type of battery it was wasn't a required piece of knowledge, but be prepared for the question. He was looking to talk about battery thermal runaway and the dangers associated with that. What is a volt? What is a amp?

And that wrapped up the Technical Interview. Just know there will be questions you are unable to answer. If you don't know don't try and make it up. They are trying to find the limits of your knowledge.

LUNCH:
After the Technical Interview we had about an hour lunch provided by the company. THIS IS PART OF THE INTERVIEW...stay engaged and be polite. We ate together with the other interviewees and the interviewers (including HR).

HR INTERVIEW:
I was one of the last to go in for the HR / LOGBOOK interview...and it was just me and the HR rep.
-Started off with the Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into aviation. Don't tell your life story, but the abbreviated high-points version.
-So, what makes you interested in SkyWest?
-Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years?
-Tell me about your checkride failures (I had a phase check failure in pilot training) -- what did you learn from them?
-Tell me about an emergency you had, would you have done anything different?
It was rather short, and then he asked me if I had any questions for him. Since I was the last, I just started small talk. I asked him how he got into the company and what his background was...we spent about 15 minutes talking about similar military experiences and life, and then shook hands and ended the interview.

By the time I was finished, everyone else was gone, so I didn't get to follow up with most of them...but the two that I got connected with on LinkedIn.

Enjoy the experience, and pass on your knowledge. This website really helped me out...so thanks to all those who took the time to write down your experiences.
Date Interviewed: January 2017
Summary of Qualifications: Commercial multi/single, 900TT, 500 multi Turbine - SIC
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
Interviewed in Chicago instead of Salt Late / Denver:

Did not have to do the CRM scenario as mentioned in early gouges.
Be able to recite 91.175(c), and be able to draw a turbine engine of your choice.

HR portion consisted of:
TMATW questions, what does professionalism mean to you? How do you display professionalism in the workplace? Tell me about yourself, how did you start flying? Why SkyWest? Tell me about any checkride failures. Have you ever had to declare an emergency?

We read over logbooks, endorsements, etc. Be sure to have your logbook tagged properly.


Technical portion consisted of:
Describe the turbine engine you drew
what systems feed off of the engine?
what are stator / rotor vanes/blades?
why do we have a diffuser?
how does a turbine engine start?
what is ITT used for? EGT? EPR?

Describe your aircrafts electrical system
whats the difference between AC/DC
what are inverters?
what are TRUs?
what is powered by AC on your aircraft and why?
advantages between AC/DC

High Altitude Aero:
advantages / disadvantages of a swept wing
what is a dutch roll and how to recover
what is a yaw damper?
what is mach tuck?
what is a high alt buffet?
what is critical mach?
what is a relative mach number?
describe the coffin corner

What is v1? v2?
What are the different squak codes
Speed restrictions
Holding pattern speeds

*Review Exception 3585*
Determining a valid alternate
When do you need a take off alternate
Alternate minimums

Reading a METAR ( & remarks section)
Reading a TAF - determining if you need an alternate from a TAF

Jepp Charts:

Briefed a STAR. Be sure to read the notes prior to briefing.
Briefed an approach plate. Brief just like how you would in the aircraft. Was asked about the highest obstacle on the chart, how far the MSA extends. What is the lowest alt you cause intercept the glideslope?


Overall it was a very stress-free day once the interviews got going. I am excited to start training on the ERJ 175 in a couple of months!
Date Interviewed: November 2016
Summary of Qualifications: 1500 TT, 40 Multi, CFI.
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
The gouges on this site really helped me out! Overall I had a great experience and really enjoyed the process.

HR Portion:
− Tell me a little bit about you – how you got into flying?
− Told me all about SkyWest – history, route map, domiciles, plans for the future, flight benefits, pay structure, work rules, etc.
− Training – CTP, indoc, ground, sims and IOE information. About a one month IOE wait time currently.
− Did not do the logbook review since it was over Skype.
− Tell me about your recent flying experience.
− Spoke about PRIA and background check information.
− Tell me about your check ride failures.
− Have you ever scarred yourself in an airplane?
− Have you ever been in a situation when you were flying and had a conflict with another pilot (student, instructor, captain, etc.).
− If there is one thing that you could change about your current organization (leadership, way it’s run, etc.) what would you change?
− What do you anticipate being your biggest challenge during training?
− Why do you want to work for SkyWest?
− What do you think that you would bring to SkyWest?

Technical:
− This was her very first Skype interview, so she was not sure with exactly how to handle the technical portion – so it may have been slightly different than future Skype interviews.
− Flight release – read the METAR, TAF and described the items.
− How often does a TAF come out?
− How long is a TAF valid for?
− When do we need an alternate? What information do you use to decide you need an alternate?
− When do we need a takeoff alternate?
− KJAC ILS Y or LOC Rwy 19
o Brief the approach
o What is the highest obstacle in the vicinity?
o Cleared to DNW VOR, can you accept that clearance? IAF/Feeder route? Do you need to do a procedure turn?
o What is the FAF on the ILS approach?
o At 11,000’ and tower calls weather goes to 1sm vis, can you continue the approach?
o Inside FAF and tower calls with weather goes down to 1sm vis, can you continue?
o Can you descend below DA?
o What do you need to land?
− Aerodynamics
o Yawing and rolling motion – what aerodynamic condition are you in?
o What aerodynamic condition is causing the aircraft to Dutch Roll?
− Systems
o What is the most recent aircraft you have flown?
o Tell me about the constant speed prop?
− Weather
o What are the stages of a thunderstorm?
o As a pilot how can you visually tell which stage the thunderstorm is in?
o Which stage would you most likely encounter a downdraft?
o What stage would you most likely encounter the anvil top?
o Why does the thunderstorm flatten at the top?
− When do you need to hold short of an ILS critical area?

Skipped the CRM scenario since it was on Skype.
I was prepared to draw a turbine engine and electrical system, but I guess because it was over Skype they decided to skip it.

At the end of the Skype call I received an offer and we had a virtual handshake. The following day I received a call from hr with my aircraft choice and class start date. I am excited to start in January!
Date Interviewed: November 2016
Summary of Qualifications: 1330 TT, CFI, CFII, MEI
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
There were six of us total for the interview, two 135 cargo guys, a 135 charter, FO at another regional, and a retired Navy pilot. Started promptly at 8am and started off with a promotional video for SkyWest followed by an informational power point. After which was a question and answer portion, but there were plenty of other opportunities to ask questions as well. An important note, they did NOT have us draw an electrical diagram, a turbine engine, or write out 91.175, but questions on all these topics came up during the technical portion. All of the portions with the interviewer only one was present.

CRM scenario was next with three of us total and the interviewer acting as ATC/Company/Flight Attendant etc. We were cleared for an approach and shortly after there was a disabled aircraft on the only runway available, winds at the closest alternate were outside of minimums and only 45 minutes of fuel was left. Nothing too crazy, just seeing how you work together as a team, that you work well with others.

Following the CRM we went into the HR portion, they went over logbooks, certificates, and documents and asked about checkride failures as well as any incidents or accidents. Then they asked questions like “What professionalism mean to you” and “How would you exhibit professionalism as you just explained”, as well as a few TMAAT questions. It sounds like most everyone had different questions and it just depends on your interviewer

Technical portion was last and contained questions that have already been listed in previous gouges. Asked me to talk about how a turbine engine works, if any other systems are powered by the engine (environmental, pressurization, etc) then asked me to explain how the environmental system works. I couldn’t for the life of me think of the term for “Heat Exchanger” and just kept saying that it essentially works like a radiator (standard interview brain fart) but he got the idea. He gave me a TAF to read and asked if we would be required to file an alternate, the TAF also had a PROB30 associated at the specific time and gave a scenario that would be below the 123 rule, and asked if we could depart legally, I had only briefly glanced over exemption 3585, but he was looking for some basic knowledge on this, and how that would affect our alternate selection. Then we got into approaches, he gave me a scenario that I was 200NM from Mustang VOR at 32,000 feet at 300-something kts with a GS of 450. First gave me a clearance for KRNO ILS DME 16L and asked if I could accept it, it was a standard clearance from and approach controller so I said yes, which was correct. He then asked when I would need to begin a descent to reach FMG at the prescribed altitude and when you would need to slow down (250 below 10,000), if FMG is a IAF, when I could start the procedure turn after the IAF and speed limit. He gave a scenario that we have intercepted the GS just before a fix (TAKLE) and ATC gives weather that drops below minimums, and was looking to see if we can continue the approach.

We had boxed lunches from Honey Baked Ham somewhere in the mix and then just hang out and wait. Our interviews were being done at the same time as a large SkyWest Cadet orientation and our interviewers were bouncing between our group and the cadets so there was quite a bit of waiting and although I finished my interview first, I was the last to go in for the debrief in which they extended the job offer, asked what aircraft I would prefer (no preference) and when I would like to start my class date. Overall not nearly as nerve racking as I made it up in my mind.
Date Interviewed: September 2016
Summary of Qualifications: 3000+ Total hrs 2400+ TT Recently Retired Military (DC10 IP, B707)
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Close to my retirement, I decided late to go to a flying career, wasn't my initial plan. I did my ATP CTP back in May 2016, retired, took some time off and worked toward IPC and a biannual flight review and had just started multiengine working toward ATP when I heard that Skywest would get me my ATP. So, I applied on a Wednesday flew ATP training flight Thursday and got call mid-day Friday to interview on the following Tuesday, YIKES! The gouge in here is perfect, especially the February one. Everything there came up in the interview. With such short notice that gouge saved my bacon. I did ok, I would not say great on the interview but was offered the job. Thanks again to the Feb gouge person.
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