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UPS Pilot Interview Profiles

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Date Interviewed: December 2016
Summary of Qualifications: Current Regional Captain, 5,000 TT, 2100 TT PART 121 JET PIC, 3500 TT JET PART 121, CFI/CFII/MEI/Gold Seal, and a 4 Year College Degree.
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Hogan Test

Was given the Hogan Test by Capt. Francis Perryman, and the phone call was almost a mini interview with my current qualifications and my hobbies and how I ended up at this point in my career. At the end of the call she told me I would receive the Hogan Test and too take when I had the time. This Hogan test is about the most difficult part of the process other then getting the initial phone screening call. I have heard that it has up to a 30-40 percent failure rate. Some of my friends have failed it, and you can only take it twice before being locked out for a lifetime. I took it cold turkey, and passed. I tried to keep my answers uniform and answered the questions at face value instead of pondering what each meant in relation to each other. Needless to say this exam shouldn't be taken lightly, and I suggest some preparation before. I know Adam Hughes an American Airlines Captain out of Cincinnati does some Hogan Prep, Adam has been doing UPS interview prep for the last 23 plus years I believe. I used him for both the Sim and face to face Prep, and it was some of the best money I have spent in aviation. Your interview and is scored based upon your performance in both the sim and HR portion. Always best to be prepared, and Adam will have you more then prepared.


Captain Mark Kurtzahn called me a couple of weeks later offering me a interview in Louisville at UPS's World Port training center. He said the interview would consist of Simulator check, and a HR interview with a HR rep and Captain. I had just about two weeks to prepare. You must also provide your own travel to and from the interview, as well as the hotel. There is a Holiday Inn which gives discounts to UPS's interviewee's which I used. I also would strongly suggest spending sometime reading "How to Ace Your UPS Pilot Interview" by John Steinbeck a current UPS 747 Captain, and "Big Brown: The Untold Story of UPS" by Greg Niemann. UPS is big on history of the company, they started in Seattle in 1907 and the airline officially started in 1988. Those books will have your historical knowledge covered for the interview. As stated above I would strongly suggest Adam Hughes for both the Sim and interview prep. It helped me immensely to get selected and get a immediate class date .

Simulator Check

My interview started about 6AM in the morning, UPS is running a bit tight on sim time. So a lot of the time you have an early interview time is because that's when the sim is available for the interview. I know in the past they used the MD-11 FTD, and it was tough to fly for most candidates. The sim of choice for today's interview is the 757/767 sim and sometimes the A300 sim if the 757/767 sim isn't available. I was meet by Mark Kurtzahn at 6 AM sharp at the training center, and he took me back and gathered all my paperwork that was asked of me to bring to the interview. Mark gave me the book of pitch and thrust setting for the simulator ride which took place in a 757 full motion simulator. We chatted for a bit as we talked about careers and backgrounds in flying. He asked if I did any prep, and I told him that I had and I used Adam Hughes, and Adam was more of a career and life coach who helped me remember my past experiences rather then canned answers. Also I told Mark that this was just about one of the biggest days of my aviation career, and I wanted to make sure that I was as prepared as possible. He appreciated my answer, and then we jumped into the sim. Sim check is flown with no Flight Director, No Autopilot, and no Auto-Throttles. It is all Raw data, and the sim is pretty stable as the 757 is fantastic aircraft. The sim was very relaxed as well too.

The profile is as follows:

1) Depart SDF 35L, climb to 5000'.
2) Left turn out of the pattern to heading 280.
3) Medium turns (180 degrees in each direction).
4) Steep Turns (180 degrees in each direction)
5) Descending turn at 250 kts, 1000' fpm, 30 degree bank (high grading event).
6) Slow to 180 kts and configure for the approach (high grading event)
7) ILS approach.
8) Missed approach, level at 3000'.
9) Fly heading 050, plan divert to CVG.
10) Fuel calculation to destination, and holding.
11) Simulated emergency (fire onboard or incapacitated crewmember.
12) Declare an emergency.
13) Re-position for an Visual approach to 35L.

Sim check last 30-40 minutes, and at the end Mark asked me to grade myself. He asked asked since I was a flight instructor what areas would I instruct myself on to improve so next time my performance would be perfect. He then showed me around the training center, and I went into the break room to wait to be called in for the HR portion.

HR Interview

The HR portion was conducted by Capt. Francis Perryman and Lorrienne White. I was told that the HR portion can last up too 3 hours in length, and that reputation lived to be true as mine was about 2:45 minutes. I have heard now that they interview multiple candidates a day, so the HR portion lasts anywhere between 45 to 1:30 minutes. I had met Francis before at a career fair, but this was my first time meeting Lorrienne White. They both started off with their respective backgrounds and what life is like working at UPS.
They were very friendly and welcoming. Lorrienne was a bit more standoffish and stoic, but still friendly. Here are some questions they asked in no particular order

-Tell us a time somebody challenged your integrity
-Tell us about yourself
-What are proud of most professionally
-Asked about my family, and if I was married or single
-Asked about personalities I don’t like, and how I handle them
-Asked if being the oldest brother has helped my leadership style in the cockpit
-Asked what was irritating about my job
-What will be the challenges of working at UPS
-Asked if I was planning to commute or live in base, and asked how my mother would feel about me living halfway across the country in SDF
-Asked me something I do that most other Captains at my airline don’t usually do
-Talked about my training and failures
-What do I know about UPS, and what do I find intriguing about UPS
-Asked if my customer service skills would change from being a passenger pilot to flying cargo
-Why fly cargo over passenger airlines
-Asked if given the chance to block out and leave early would I leave early
-Asked if I had any other apps out with any other airlines
-Why UPS
-Why hire you
-Asked what would I do if I wasn’t hired
-Asked about our current staffing model at my regional airline, and if regional airlines will survive long term
-Asked what my family thought of UPS since my father was a pilot at another legacy passenger carrier.
-Asked what my youngest brother would say about me
-Asked me one question my mother had about UPS
-Tell us a time somebody questioned your decision making process
-Then asked if I had any questions for them

All in all it was very laid back with open dialogue between both Lorrienne and Francis. Hard to believe I was in there for 2:45 minutes. Lorrienne and Francis talked quite a bit during the interview as well, and it was a very low stress interview in a very relaxed environment. UPS is also moving away from canned answers like the leadership style questions of democratic and autocratic leadership like the candidate below me experienced in 2014. It was extremely conversational and stress free.

I was given a ride by Mark to Edgewood security where I went to wait to catch my flight home. Usually someone will give you a ride to Edgewood or the terminal for your return flight home. I was done by 12:30 in the afternoon. A week and a half later I received the coveted phone call saying I had been hired and given a couple choices of class dates of which I took the first available class.

If they have called you in for the interview they have every intention of hiring you. I really didn't believe it from the prior gouge I had read, but they really wanna hire you. Everybody is friendly and very welcoming and put you at ease. The other interviewers include Warren Zoeller, Dan Sherlock, and Larry Parker who are all great people. UPS seems to be entering a period of growth, and pilot hiring is ramping up. Hope all this information helps, it is a blessing to be getting a call from UPS with the many thousands of applications they have on file. They are a world class operation, and I am beyond excited to be joining their team and helping to continue to synchronize the world of commerce.
Date Interviewed: July 2014
Summary of Qualifications: MD-11 FO, ATP, global Part 121 cargo and passenger operations
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
The interview started out nice. The first person I met was Angie Miller, she is part of HR. She takes you back to a room and reviews the credentials required of the first officer position and then she fingerprints you. Meanwhile, your logbooks and paperwork that you filled out prior to the interview are given to the flight ops guys that are on loan to the HR dept. She explained to me that since there are 2 flt ops guys, that my interview may include both of them as well as the HR interviewer.

After you are finished with Angie, you go to the lobby and wait. Eventually, a man in a suit coat came to talk to me for a while. He seemed friendly enough and we chatted for a short time. He explained that they were running behind. I quickly figured out that this is a one on one interview. You were invited because most likely of who you know that works there. You have no other competition. I believe there was an afternoon interview but the guy couldn't make it in on his jumpseat, so he either canceled or rescheduled.

The man that I was talking to earlier, came to retrieve me. I walked into the same room that I was in earlier and guess what I got the 3 on 1 interview session. The panel consisted of Warren Zoeller - HR, Dan Sherlock -Airbus guy, Dave Thurston - MD11 check airman. The interview started out pleasant by Warren starting with telling me about his self and then it continued with the 2 pilots. Then they wanted to hear about me and how I got involved with aviation and about myself. Then more questions came and came and came. This was the absolute hardest interview I have ever been through. Not really many questions about TMAT, but about qualities of good captains, leadership etc. These questions were very convoluted the way they were asked. No amount of prep could have prepared me for this.

One example of a convoluted question was asked by Dave Thurston and I will never forget this for the rest of my life. "Think back over the course of history, and tell me about someone who was a great leader (not related to you) and tell me why he was a great leader?" My answer, Gen. Macarther because he rallied his troops and won the war. His response was "Was he a democratic or autocratic leader?" I'm thinking to myself what kind of question is this? As I thought and responded he was an autocratic leader, this lead into what kind of leader I am. I responded democratic and then they wanted to know if I was ever an autocratic leader. I wasn't quite sure what they wanted but they wanted to see that you could make command decisions. The interview rapidly was approaching the stick shaker at this point as they continued to probe. They wanted to know what I know about the company, history, what kind of other things is UPS involved in. I made the mistake of saying that I was pleased with all the green alternatives they are stating to employ and then I had to name them. This torture went on for over an hour. They said they really want to make sure that this job is a good fit for both you and the company.

After that, they left the room and gave me an MD-11 book with instructions for the fixed based sim. I have many hours in the MD11 but as most of us know it is very easy to rely on automation. They wanted to see raw data, no AT, no AP, no FD flying skills. Take off 35L KSDF. Turn, get some freebie turns. Then they start grading you. 45 degree and 30 degree turns. Climbing and descending S turns, ILS 35L. Very sensitive and had to go around. I botched this up completely and after the torture previously, I left questioning if I was offered a job, would I take it. This by far was the most humiliating experience of my life.

They said I probably would know in a couple of days, which I was notified by email and a letter sent to my house.

They thanked me profusely for coming in because I was on my own dime for airfare and hotel. Warren, HR guy, said they had only one spot left in the class that was part of the 40 slots that they said they were hiring for and he said they don't know of any plans to do any more hiring in the near future.

All I can say to anyone that gets the interview - is good luck.
Date Interviewed: June 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 5900 hours total time including sim time and military conversion; C-130 instructor/evaluator, T-1, T-37
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
The interview was over before it began. I’d failed the personality tests a week before the interview (the interview had been scheduled before the personality tests), but they brought me in anyway and didn’t tell me there was a problem until the interview portion in the afternoon. That probably explains why in the morning they just took the paperwork without looking at it and didn’t take fingerprints. The gentleman who called to schedule the interview said the paperwork would take about a half an hour. For me it took less than five minutes.

The sim was in the morning, then I was released for a couple hours before the interview in the afternoon. I returned early, and they finally came to get me a half hour or so late. When they brought me in, they told me I‘d failed the personality test but that they’d still allowed me come in for the experience--as if they were doing me a favor. Then they proceeded to humiliate me. It was pretty obvious they hadn’t seriously looked at my application. They cut me off in one question and later asked a follow up question that showed they weren’t listening to my answer. 5000+ hours in a C-130 wasn’t any good: I needed a job with a regional to get jet time. They assumed I’d flown the T-6 and the Kingair in training when I’d flown the T-37 and T-1, which was shown in the application. They also didn’t like my technical background.

I was pretty flustered after they told me they wouldn’t have brought me in except that they’d already scheduled the interview. From what they said, I guess the number of good recommendations I had pulled a trigger of some sort, and someone screwed up by calling me early. In hindsight, I suppose it could have been some kind of game. I’d heard about the hostile interview and the disinterested interview, but I’d also heard UPS interviews were not like that anymore. This was both hostile and disinterested. Or maybe patronizing would be a better description. I have to admit I’d probably have had a hard time with this type of interview strategy even if I’d been expecting it; as it was, my performance was an unmitigated disaster.

My experience seems very odd in the context of everything I’d heard. It was clear that they had no intention of hiring me from the start, and it seems strange that a major company would waste its time like that. I don’t know why they’d do what they did except that I’m a member of an “under-represented” group; maybe they needed to make some quota for the types of people they interview.

The sim was exactly as described in the review below. I’d assess my performance similarly as well. Here are the questions I remember:

Who sent in recommendations for me?
Tell them what I knew about UPS (Emphasis on the air operations; they didn’t care about the history or the rest of the company.)
Tell them about myself.
Qualities of a good captain.
Three qualities that make me a good pilot.
Where have I applied; where will I apply?
Did I think I’d have a problem adapting to a jet?
Tell them about an emergency I had.
Something about decisions.
Tell them about a conflict I had.
Date Interviewed: June 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 6800 Total Time. Military IP and Examiner. KC-135, T-38, T37. 30 hours CRJ700, pt 121.
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Application done online. Follow-up screening resulted in an e-mail invitation to complete 2 assessments. Both were MMPI-type assessments, the first being 120 questions and the other 170 questions.

Invited to interview. Provided digital forms, PRIA, etc., to complete before interview. Be warned: 1 required notarization.

Interview Process:

Three stage:
1. Fingerprinting and collection of materials. You will be given a list of what to bring. The list explicitly said whether originals or copies were required.

2. Interview with an HR specialist and a senior Captain. Mine were Warren Z. and Tom B., respectively. Warren was very welcoming with Tom zeroing in on targets of opportunity presented during Q/A. My comments reflectthe substance, not the chronology of the interview. I was treated with respect by everyone. They were, as a company, enthusiastic about bringing new pilot on.

a. Warren asked what I knew about UPS. A friend of mine had ensured I took the time to know about the company. (Hint: UPS was around a long time before they started an airline. They are internally promoting. Your interviewer may have started with the company as a package car [van] driver. They take pride in their company and want you to, too.)

b. Warren then asked me to tell them about myself.

c. Tom then added particulars about the airline. What planes? Domiciles? What do you want to fly?

d. Leadership and flying experience questions followed. Both Warren and Tom were active participants in this.

1.) Tell me about the best leader you've encountered and why?
2.) I think I was asked about a mistake I made--either that or I brought it up. However, the emphasis was on how did you solve it, or how did you involve others?

e. Interview lasted about an hour.

3. Third stage: Flight simulator.

a. MD-11 No Visual, no motion.

b. T/O, Climbs, Headings, Vertical S A and B. (Radial outbound intercept?) ILS at SDF.

c. IP/Interviewer was Dave T. Very kind, very observant.

d. I do not want to scare you, but the simulator is very difficult to fly. What you want to do is develop your cross check and employ good techniques. The pitch axis is poorly harmonized, so set the pitch/throttles and be patient. At the end of the exercise, I thought I had performed poorly. I think it was apparent I knew the proper techniques; my execution was poor.

e. I was asked to critique my performance. I gave an honest assessment.

Total Time: 0830 to 1430.

I was offered a job--contingent upon passing a drug test. Drug test is complete and I am waiting for selection for a class date.
Date Interviewed: August 2007
Summary of Qualifications: ATP 10000hrs, 6000 Jet/Turbine PIC, Retired Military, Part 121 Captain, Late 40's, 4 year degree.
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:

All the old info is still good. Short sim profile in one of the several sims. No way to do any prep... and really no need. Then a hour with Management Captain and HR person. Low stress enviroment. They are looking for people who are willing to LIVE and work in Anchorage... as the lines are not good for comutting. They send you a letter in about four weeeks.

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