FlyDubai Pilot Interview Profiles
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|Date Interviewed: July 2013|
|Summary of Qualifications:||ATPL - 5000 TT - 2300 PIC|
|Were you offered the job?||No|
|Pilot Interview Profile:|
|I just want be short and concise. Pretty much as the explanation that was very detailed of the previous gouge and almost a year after it was the same except for a few things as follows:
A group of 8 divided in 2 teams of 4 each. Red and Blue. Almost all with similar qualifications, some with jet experience some without it. Some type rated and some none.
I was in the Red team. We did the group exercise while the blue team was doing the PILAPT test.
We lasted 10 min for the first exercise plus the 2 min each for explaining (Just as the previous comment)We discussed very friendly and respectful towards each other, we all had our opinions and we agreed on the points to expose. We nailed the timing for the discussion and each got their 2 minutes to expose.
After,we got the Lost on the Moon exercise. Same as before. Discussed the best options, agreed on some, disagreed on others but at the end we came to a conclusion.
Again, all the time very friendly, polite and professional. We managed timing very well at this one too.
When we finished the exercise we ALL felt good about it. We thought that we had a good performance as a group.
After that we did the PILAPT test. Only 3 tests of about 40 to 60 SECONDS each. (Cross hairs, Cross hairs with colored shapes and numbers and cross hairs with colored shapes and numbers plus a backward counting sound) With the option to practice for 20 to 30 SECONDS. It was very hard to control since the Joystick is very sensitive and in some cases it reverses and the inputs have to be switched (left to go Right, Down to go UP and Vice versa)
After talking to the other applicants we were pretty much on the same level on the PILAPT test. So the 8 of us were very anxious on having the results.
After lunch SURPRISE!!!! Sue asked 3 of the red Team (including me) and 1 of the Blue Team to follow her to the conference room where the bad news where given. The room fell with sadness and disappointment.
Now my insights of the process:
Apparently very friendly people and make you feel comfortable all the time.
First thing I smelled fishy :
During the "presentation" the 8 of us were sitting on a big conference round table. Not much to show at this time right? Except showing interest and paying attention to what Julianne (Name of the person doing the presentation) and sitting in straight and properly ( we all were doing that)BUT at the last corner behind us there was Terry sitting and writing like a machine.(hard to ignore that) and I remember Julianne saying that we shouldn't worry about her that she was there to "evaluate" her in the presentation. I remember as well Julianne talking about CTC background and history and she mentioned that she has being working there for 10 or 15 years (Don't remember the exact time)
Now, who's going to evaluate a person who's just doing a presentation and that has being working in the same place for so many years?
What kind of insight can they have of people just sitting down paying attention to a presentation?
This is one thing to think about!
Another situation, the PILAPT test:
Who can determine in a combined test of 3 minutes (where pretty much all of us got the same results) whether you are a good pilot or not? Specially when you are not familiar with the Joystick sensitivity and even worse making the controls reverse during the test.. Airplanes if you push you go down if you pull you go up!! As simple as that!!!
Another thing to think about!!!
And last but not least.. What are they looking for on the group exercises? I believe we did a decent job as group and that almost all of us got chopped at the first cut.
Another hint that make me thing that there's more behind CTC that meets the eye is that when Sue gave us the "bad" news she suggested us to look into a web page about CRM exercises and methods. So this make me think that no matter what the PILAPT test result is they know how many they will fail every day from I don't know what basis and based on their perception of the group exercise.
My sincere opinion and you can take it or leave it. But it will save you time, money and a very bitter moment.
DO NOT APPLY TO FLYDUBAI AS SOON AS CTC IS INVOLVED!!!!
I will love to try again but not to CTC. I flew 26 hours for this assessment and got well prepared with some interview questions and answers. Researched on leadership and CRM. Practiced some sample tests, etc.I got a nice suit and I was behaving very professional, friendly and adequate but it looks that none of these is good enough for CTC.
I believe we did a great job on the group exercise. None of this show how good or bad pilot am I but the "evaluation" of 3 Ladies of I don't know what!!!!
Maybe CTC rate is 2% from outside and 98% from their own school.. Think about it, they SELL pilot Licenses and Type ratings including a chance to apply to an airline.. Why the want to have more from outside if they can offer that to the ones who are paying for their type?? Just thinking on different possibilities and trying to find reasonable answers.
I hope it helps and that my experience will open the eyes of some out there who want as badly as I did to have the chance for flydubai but the odds are against the majority.
|Date Interviewed: June 2012|
|Summary of Qualifications:||ATP, CFII, airline instructor, 8000 hours total, 3300 jet PIC.|
|Were you offered the job?||Don't Know|
|Pilot Interview Profile:|
|CTC Pilot Assessment (flydubai) Day 1
I hope someone can take something away from my experience in preparing for the CTC assessment. I somehow exhibited qualities that disqualified me from the position and I can only hope you do better in cracking the CTC code.
I prepared as much as anyone could for this interview. The things I did to prepare: Read and study other gouges, prepare about 30 stories from different situations I experienced throughout my career, studied airline interview prep materials, researched and studied FlyDubai and the city of Dubai, utilized a PILAPT software training program, and took a B737-800 interview prep course designed around the CTC simulator profile. And, of course, I talked with people who had gone through the assessment and with people actually flying at FlyDubai. My background has no incidents or negative factors. I have a diverse background in aviation that includes a university degree, cargo ops, airline flying and airline instruction in the Dubai region. I have also flown into Dubai dozens of times and spent many nights in the city. I also brought several professional letters of recommendation, cover letter and resume, but no one else did and CTC didn't seem interested anyway. Any opinions expressed on what to do are my theories on what the people at CTC want to see in you. These are theories of mine and are not meant to be concrete guidelines. Maybe your CTC experience will be different. I base my theories on what I experienced and the reflections of what other people said about their experiences. These people included some who passed the CTC assessment and some who didn't.
I stayed in the Southampton city centre. Taxi cost 20-25 to Dibden Manor. Some drivers don't speak English so you should bring a printed map. I arrived in a taxi at 8am. Since the email said to not arrive before 8:15, I had the taxi drive around the local historic town of Hythe and back. We got back at exactly 8:15. The other candidates were just about to walk in.
There were 7 men. There were supposed to be 8, but one didn't show. Everyone was wearing a suit. I myself had a nice suit, polished shoes, nice shirt and stylish tie. I even had a spare set of shoe laces in my bag just in case I broke one. Even the color of my shirt and tie was consistent with what studies found to be best for Day 1 of an interview. I had another set ready for the second day, if needed. The works. We were told to take our badges and sign in. We could wait in the sitting area with coffee, water and juice until they were ready. I thought our reception was warm and friendly.
At 8:30 a woman took us in a room for a presentation about the airline and Dubai. She also discussed a little about why CTC was involved. She mentioned how she had been to Dubai once before during a previous interview session. She talked a lot about her impressions of Dubai and the shopping it offered. She also talked about the indoor ski resort and the impressive architecture. She talked a little about the pilot compensation package and a little about FlyDubai the company, but there was no mention of how or why it was started, or much in terms of corporate goals, structure or philosophy. We watched a video showing one of the aircraft being painted. I thought the presentation was lacking, but in the beginning she did give us a preamble of what she was going to present to us was supposed to supplement what we already should have researched about the company and city. There were almost no questions from the applicants and I cannot conclude anything from this. I didn't ask any questions, as I already performed a lot of research on Dubai and Fly Dubai. Based on what others told me, she doesn't like people who ask a bunch of questions anyway. This lasted about an hour.
We were then given a break. After, we were brought back into the conference room with the two primary interview women, Sue and Terry. Sue and Terry administered the group exercises and interviews. If I remember correctly, Sue used to be a flight attendant and wanted to stay home with family, so she started doing this. Terry used to recruit for British Airways (she didn't say for what position) and also taught CRM. I do know that neither of them mentioned anything about having ever flown an airplane before. They did make it a point to explain why CTC was conducting interviews. They said that CTC had performed interviews for Easy Jet. They said the main recruiter from Easy Jet liked using CTC and they had a good, long-term relationship with her (or him, can't remember). This recruiter, at some point, began working for FlyDubai and insisted on the using CTC. So now FlyDubai uses CTC.
The group exercises were paramount, in my opinion. I got the impression that they made their decision after the group tasks, regardless of your PILAPT or interview. I made it a point not to speak too much, but I did speak up when something seemed relevant. My mindset was that everyone should have a voice, but it would be bad to never say anything. I thought I accomplished that. They really didn't give much information on what they were looking for. The only specific thing I remember being mentioned was that they would be judging the candidates English speaking skills.
We were supposed to have 8 people come to the interview, but only 7 showed up. Because of this, the CTC people talked and decided to not split us up into two groups. We were to all act as a single group. Even though the group now had 7 instead of the planned 4, the time limits remained the same for the activities.
The first exercise had us talking about things within three categories concerning FlyDubai at this current point. We were given some time to discuss this and we had to come up with a presentation. I was expecting a different exercise at this point involving seven things FlyDubai should concentrate on to continue to grow and succeed. So, there are at least two different scenarios they use here.
1. Challenges faced right now. I made it a point not to be the first to begin talking. The other applicants pretty much said most problems emanated from rapid growth. Many people had ideas and this was the easiest category. There was a lot of input. I had prepared other factors to consider, but since everyone was talking, I hung back and didn't force my opinion on anyone. I agreed and spoke up a little, but not much here.
2. Opportunity right now. My impression was that they group fumbled around this and came up with things not exactly related to current opportunity. When I spoke up, I related to the comments during our initial presentation about how Dubai is a shopping centre (about 20% of the presentation was about shopping and tourist stuff). I was thinking about how FlyDubai could focus their branding and marketing (yes, I was prepared to discuss the difference) toward consumers and tourists. Maybe focus toward people coming to Dubai for specific reasons. Long term, Dubai announced they were to make an official bid for the 2024 Olympics and maybe we should construct our marketing for that. Or make an effort to brand our airline to bring shoppers and tourists to Dubai. Dubai is considered the shopping capital of the Middle East. Why not capitalize on that? Plus, LCCs can reach two billion people within 4 hours flight time of Dubai. Currently, according to the Chairman Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, LCCs have a market share of about 2% of those 2 billion people. I didn't state all these things! Just part of the research I performed and what was going through my head. I briefly talked about branding and shopping and maybe we could reach more customers by using this to our advantage. Many ideas were stated, but I thought many didn't really address the question. In the end, I volunteered to help present "Opportunity", but two other candidates wanted it and I wasn't going to argue. I thought I was rather subdued. I didn't want to overstep what the group said.
3. What could we do as flight crew to help the company now? During our discussion we came up with pretty standard answers. Everyone agreed that flight crews could be more flexible about working time. I suggested making an effort to increase fuel savings. That was about it and time was up.
During the discussion I was writing an organized set of notes, separated into categories. Toward the end of our discussion the person next to me suggested he write some notes for the presentation. I had already done this, but I agreed and said it was a good idea. I certainly wasn't going to tell him not to. I could already tell that I didn't understand his handwriting though and I continued with my notes. Perhaps the interviewers looked at this negatively. There were others writing notes as well though, so who knows. I was stuck into this category (what can crews do now) to present to the interviewers, as the others quickly volunteered for the other sections. We had 7 applicants all doing the same exercise. One did the introduction and the categories were presented by two people each.
Because there were 7 of us we had less time to hear everyone out. Plus, I was presenting a category in which far less input was given. The introduction began. I was sitting next to the guy who I was sharing the final category with. We whispered for about 15 seconds on what each of us was to say. Terry stopped everyone and instructed that everyone should put their pens down, because the presentation started and it would be unfair to discuss anything while the current presenters didn't have the same opportunity - to keep us on equal footing. I shut up and gave 100% of my attention to the presenters.
The other 5 applicants said mostly what was discussed. A couple of guys rambled on and took too much time. It got down to me and my partner. Of 10 minutes we had 1 minute 20 seconds left. He said most of everything discussed. I was left with crew flexibility. I was pressed for time. I quickly talked about flexibility and I mentioned that we could go out of our way to help passengers, in order to instill good feelings toward our company, so they would more likely return. Maybe I was deducted some points because I mentioned something that wasn't discussed in group. I just didn't want to sit down having only said a single sentence. I exhibited fairly good public speaking and presenting skills, but I was rushed. I thought I did about as good as possible with the 20 seconds I was given. After, Terry mentioned that we did go over time, but she felt it unfair to stop before I had a chance to talk. We all had equal footing on how much time was left because one of the applicants put his cell phone on the table with a timer displayed.
Then we started the second exercise where we had to decide what to take from a boat that crashed off an island near Ireland. We were to look at the list of things and decide by ourselves individually what to take. There were 5 people; each could either take one heavy thing or three light things. There was a clearly defined list. They gave us 5 minutes to do this by ourselves.
After 5 minutes we stopped and had to come to a group conclusion on what to take. I rarely spoke up at first (although the guys who progressed to the simulator never spoke up first). Some of the other guys started talking about what they thought. I explained that we had to navigate the reef and shark-infested waters. Perhaps a good medical kit would be good because if anyone was to be injured we would need it for survival. At this point 5 of the 6 other people in my class immediately agreed with me. I sat back and listened. Other people talked about a radio receiver (shot down by someone else, because out of reception). Some people argued that the flares were important. I asked the group if maybe something else, like the emergency blankets, could be used for a dual purpose, also being used for signaling, to save space. I got positive reception of this idea. There was talk of water purification and how we could start a fire. One guy was adamant about the lifeboat and oars (two large items). Another guy was adamant that we not take the lifeboat. They argued for a couple of minutes. The island was inhabited and we wouldn't really need to take 2 large items and sacrifice 6 small items. The majority decided that we could rely on the inhabitants for long-term survival and we should take things for short-term survival. The argument took a while and I reminded them of the time. Personally, when asked, I said I could go either way on the lifeboat. The lifeboat with oars, used with the fish hooks, could provide food. I leaned against the raft and oars though. I mentioned who we did have life vests and wouldn't necessarily need the 2-man boat to reach the shore. Mostly at this point we were running out of time and I was being assertive because we needed compromise before time ran out. My priority was completing the task, but looking back on it, it was not the priority of the interviewers.
We were initially given 20 minutes to complete this task, but at the 10 minute mark Terry interrupted and changed the scenario. I knew they would stop us at the 10 minute mark, but I didn't mention that. The captain had been moderately injured and two others had cuts. A storm was coming in. We now had 10 minutes to prioritize a list of things on what to do first, second, etc. It was based on what we decided to take with us, so if you didn't take a medical kit you couldn't choose to give medical treatment to the injured. I think I spoke up when we had 90 seconds left and 30 seconds left. Throughout the tasks, others also mentioned time and certain points, so I don't think this was a problem. Even though they gave specific guidelines to follow, they were not surprised when we didn't really agree on everything. They mentioned how we chose more items than some groups in the past, but less than others. Personally, I was well prepared for this exercise. I let everyone talk and only spoke up to instill ideas and logic to the situation. Things that were decided were agreed upon by the entire group. My advice here: Don't worry about accomplishing the task given. The interviewers don't seem to care about that. They are only observing your spoken words and reactions. Don't be the one to bring up a new idea. Maybe just comment on what someone else said. I made the mistake of thinking that finishing the task was important. I got the impression the interviewers didn't recognize that an increased level of assertiveness may be required in a CRM exercise when the situation becomes more critical, e.g. running out of time without finishing. In my opinion the three who made it to the sim spoke the least during these exercises. They may want mainly submissive applicants.
Now for my opinion on the group exercises. They are neat little tasks you can perform to help groups work together better. And sure, they can give you some insight into someone's personality and interpersonal communications. But an airline interview can be stressful enough and you can't put a whole lot of stock into these exercises. At the most, they should be used as a small supplement to other areas of a professional pilot selection process, not the primary selection indicator. There is so much more to consider when selecting a future airline captain. Based on my observations, they liked people who spoke very little. In my opinion, everyone in my group passed. Sure, some spoke up more than others, but people have different personalities and deal with stress differently. Everyone was respectful of what others were saying. If someone felt strongly about something, he spoke up. No one started yelling or ignoring the opinions of others. I would have looked negatively upon someone who never expressed their thoughts here. Let's say it's the Captain's leg, flying in IMC on an arrival and mountains are nearby. The FO notices the aircraft is off-course because the Captain is flying the wrong radial. Do you want a submissive FO then? But I'm not writing this to describe what qualities I think a pilot should have. Just observing how you may have to act to obtain approval from CTC.
We had a break and then proceeded to the PILAPT. It is a set of 6 computer tests. There were little workstations set up for everyone that included a monitor, small keypad, mouse and a Logitech Attack 3 joystick. You can find a decent amount of information about this online. You can even purchase trainers. Personally I was very familiar with all but one of the exercises. I had practiced for the PILAPT using the CockpitWeb Aptitude Software with a very similar Logitech joystick. I think there are only eight workstations. I'll do my best to remember all the details and get the order of the tests correct.
The first test has you use a joystick to keep randomly moving crosshairs centred. Moving the joystick left or right also moved the crosshairs left or right. Move the joystick back and the crosshairs go up, forward crosshairs down. I describe this because the training software has different movement choices. This command movement didn't change for any of the tests requiring a joystick. This test gave you 30 seconds to get used to the movement of the control. Then it gave you three scored attempts. I have heard some people say CTC only looks for improvement. The lady administering the test confirmed this by stating that they are looking for improvement after each attempt. So the fear is, if you do your best each time you may get a 10, 9, 10. Three great scores, but it doesn't follow their robot-like scoring mindset. I know some who have passed CTC's assessment intentionally performed poorly on the first attempt, a little better on the second and only really concentrated on the third. I actually did this also. This wasn't that challenging. The crosshairs don't move that abruptly, as in the CockpitWeb software. It shows you your score after each attempt so you can gauge yourself for the next attempt. It is out of a maximum of 10 points for each. I scored a 5, then a 6, then an 8 or 9..
The next test showed three images of a man's torso with his arms up. Each hand is holding a red circle or red square. The man could be facing you or away and could be upside-down. A female voice would say "positive" or "negative" then either "right" or "left" then either "circle" or "square". So, if she stated, "positive right circle" you had to press a number on the keypad corresponding to how many of the three images matched the verbal statement. Positive means that shaped exists; negative means that shape is not there. The choices were 0, 1, 2, or 3. I think you did 4 of these exercise, each time you had less time to select an answer. I think it started at 8 seconds and went down to 4 seconds. The CockpitWeb software included this task. I had no problem. I took my time on the first exercise, getting a feel of how they look. After that, I usually could determine the answer within a second or two. My advice: If you hear "negative", just immediately tell your brain to look for the other shape. So if you hear, "Negative left square", just start repeating in your head, "left circle" and determine how many of the three images are holding a circle in his left hand. There is always either a circle or a square in each hand.
The next was a test called Pattern. Again, it gives you a practice exercise before the scoring one begins. It provides a weird shape at the bottom of the screen. At the top of the screen are two larger square images. These images have a bunch of lines and patterns in them. They aren't detailed pictures. They are simply patterns of lines with a solid black background. You have 60 seconds to determine if the given shape exists in either of the images above. Both images and the shape are shown during the entire 60 seconds. The shape will be the same size and orientation in the images. A practice test for this does not exist in the CockpitWeb software. I think they give you 6 or 8 exercises, each 60 seconds. You must choose that you see the shape in only the left pattern, only right pattern, both or neither. I didn't find the shape in either image in the first exercise. I wasn't seeing it in the second either and thought that unlikely. I was trying to maximize my time for this and my time actually ran out here. I pressed the button as time expired, but it didn't count. I have no idea how that reflected on my score. There was some where I saw only left, only right and both as well. Some are hard. I would recommend using most of your 60 seconds as sometimes I found the shape with only 10 seconds left.
The next test had a grid. The left side of the grid had 5 shapes lined up vertically. Across the top of the grid it had colors. During the test colored shapes would randomly appear in the grid. If you looked across and it matched the shape in its row and the color in its column, you are to use the mouse and click on it. Done correctly, you scored a "hit". If you mistakenly clicked or not click when you should have, you score a "miss". Each colored shape stays on the screen for 4 or 5 seconds, but a new colored shape appears every second. I think about 5 shapes were in the grid at any given time. My advice on this one: Make sure you determine whether it matches or not within that first second. That way you can move on to the next shape appearing without getting behind. The reference shapes on the left and colors on the top randomly change their order throughout the exercise. You get two attempts. My technique was to quickly look to the left. If the shape didn't match, the color didn't matter so I just waited for the next shape to appear. If it did match, I quickly looked up for the color. I scored 100% on each attempt, having scored 11 hits and 0 misses each time. The CockpitWeb software includes a test almost exactly like this test.
The next test used the joystick and you are to fly through a bunch of squares in the sky. You get 3 attempts and you are shown your score after each attempt with a maximum of 10 points each. Again, they are looking for improvement, so don't concentrate too hard on the first attempt. Just get a feel for it. Don't over control. The little airplane in the center of the screen only turns when banked (like an airplane). Make small joystick movements. Left then center. Down then center. Small corrections. When the test started, each time the airplane started in the same spot. You have to fly down and to the left to enter the tunnel of squares. Once you are in there it takes little movements to stay within the squares. The scores for my three attempts were 5, 9, 10. The CockpitWeb software includes this one, but I found it more difficult than the PILAPT.
The final test has you do crosshairs, then backward counting numbers, then colour shapes, then, finally, combines all three into a single exercise. So you do a crosshair test exactly like your first test. Then you get a couple of exercise in which you listen to a woman stating numbers and counting down backward. She states these numbers like, �3-9-9� saying each digit separately. This is the number three hundred ninety-nine. Not three separate numbers. Before the task starts the voice tells you the beginning number and the initial interval. So, the voice states �3-9-9� then pauses and says �4�. You must then type in 399 and 4 into the screen to confirm you could hear it fine. Then the test begins. You must listen to the lady count backward. When the difference interval changes you must click the trigger on the joystick. Let�s say the interval changes to 3. So you hear 399, 395, 391, 388. So the interval changed from 4 to 3. That is the new interval and you must now click the trigger when it is different than 3. The intervals I remember it using were 2, 3, 4, and 5 (not in that order). By the way, only the trigger is ever used in the PILAPT. Ignore the rest of the buttons. If I remember correctly, you must perform the crosshairs exercise with the counting numbers right from the beginning. The CockpitWeb software had the counting exercise, but did not have an option to combine the crosshairs and counting. My advice: If you are using your right hand to hold the joystick, use the fingers on your left hand to keep track of what interval you are on. Now, I could be wrong, but I swear there may be a mistake in a couple of these. I was keeping track of the interval and a �miss� would register on the screen. I could be mistaken, but it happened two tests in a row at about the same time interval. Who knows? I�m not a machine and do make mistakes. Next it had you fly the crosshairs and perform a task in which you had to listen to a given colour and shape. Then you watch for it to appear on the left side of the screen. So, as you are flying the crosshairs, you hear �red triangle�. Shapes randomly appear vertically on the left side of the screen. When you see the matched colour and shape you must do two things: Press the correct colour key on the keypad and press the number which is displayed inside the shape. My advice: Let�s say she states �green cross�. Immediately put a finger from your non-joystick hand over the green coloured key. That way you don�t need to look for it when you see the green cross. When you see a green shape in your peripheral vision, quickly glance over and check the shape. If it matches, press your finger down (it�s already on the correct colour) and type in the number. Now go back to the crosshairs. You can mostly keep staring at the crosshairs because it is easy to use peripheral vision to see if the right colour appears. Then you can quickly glance over to check for shape. The final exercise combined the crosshairs, backward counting and coloured shapes. So the voice would be counting and, in between numbers, state a coloured shape. I did pretty well at first, but got a little messed up as the test went on. The CockpitWeb software didn�t include this test. I think I got 8 hits and 6 misses. Some of the others were taking about their scores after the test. They scored misses of 8, 10, 11, etc. One of these people did make it to the sim. So, just do your best and hope for the best.
Great scores here don�t mean you will progress to the interview or sim anyway. At this point I want to address what many people are thinking. Why do we have to do the PILAPT (or Compass test at some places for that matter)? If I had a company and I was hiring people with little or no flight time and I was to pay a lot of money for their training, then I would use the PILAPT to see if the candidate had some underlying motor control dysfunction or medical issue. Better to find out now rather than waste a lot of money on training. When it comes to well trained, experienced pilots this testing is absolutely unnecessary. So why do we have to do it? Simply because they don�t know any better. The computers are there, so why not make them look useful? Maybe it looks impressive to management or perspective clients. I suppose the reason doesn�t matter. If you want to work there you have to jump through CTC�s hoops. The lack of transparency is disturbing though. No one knows what it takes to actually pass the PILAPT in the eyes of CTC.
About the CockpitWeb software. It�s up to you whether or not to buy it. I thought it was extremely over-priced. I don�t think they look at a good score and think, �Wow! We have to take this candidate!� It is just an opportunity for you to fail. I think they are looking out for people with bad scores, not good scores. A good score doesn�t help you, but a bad score hurts you. I just don�t know the threshold they use. Do you need a certain score on each test? Are you simply compared to the rest of the interview group? Are you allowed to �fail� one or more of the tests? I really want to say not to buy the software. Reading my descriptions is probably enough. Plus I think most people who go through hadn�t bought it. If they lower the price to around �20, buy it. For now it is too overpriced.
After we each finished the testing we could go to the small caf� area and eat lunch. They had a small kitchen with a variety of prepared food. After lunch we broke into groups. Terry took a group that made it to the interview. Sue took the group who would not be progressing. I made it, with three other people.
So there were four of us for interviews. Terry was to take two and Sue was to take two. I interviewed with Sue. The interview was only with me and her. It was very relaxed. She started by telling me how she just reviewed my application and asked if I could discuss and talk about myself and my background a bit. At no point during the interview did she ask any questions relating specifically to my application or background. Questions seemed well scripted and usually stemmed from previous answers. Prepare to talk about your leadership, difficult situations, etc. It was different from any previous flying-job interview I�ve had. It was almost too relaxed. There were almost no specific questions about aviation. Yes, your stories had to do with aviation, but I got the impression she didn�t really understand the mentality of pilot problems, our thought process to solve problems or the significance of the decisions I chose to make. I�ve been through pilot interviews before. I came prepared with many stories of my past experience ready. One question that I was unprepared for was, �Tell me about a time when you and your crew were working well together.� For many pilots and crews this happens often (it�s supposed to right?) and I could think of no inspiring, great interview story for when everything was status quo. After thinking a bit she asked me to instead describe the routine of a normal day during my last flight assignment. Alright, but not too useful in determining what kind of crewmember I am. These questions progressed into asking me how I managed my crew and describe how I was a leader to them (or something like that). I talked about a flight during which we had an emergency and we all worked together well. She also asked me about what I know about FlyDubai. Now, I had researched this quite a bit. I talked about my thoughts on the start-up, growth, names of key players, changing of public relations companies (yes I mentioned their names too, Polaris to DABO & Co.) when they were having problems, etc. I also talked about things like the new company it contracted for RAIM prediction services. I talked about the aircraft and how they were the first in the world to have high definition entertainment displays run with fiber optics. I basically gave an abbreviated history of every event that happened with FlyDubai from its inception. Unfortunately this all seemed lost on my interviewer. By the look on her face she either didn�t know what I was talking about most of the time or didn�t care. In fact, at one point I ask her if she understood what I was talking about. She responded, �No I don�t. Why don�t to explain it to me?� My spirits dropped a bit as I realized the futility of my preparation. I explained everything in a positive and impressive tone and I was genuinely excited at the prospect of working for FlyDubai. My interviewer did spend a little time asking questions and moving the conversation into me describing how I dealt with disappointing situations. Weird. I�ll get to that later. She asked me about the references on my application. CTC doesn�t contact them and they tell you to make sure they are people you want Fly Dubai calling. So you have a chance to change it later. They had mentioned this earlier. I�m not sure why she asked me about my references at this point, but I answered �Absolutely [FlyDubai can contact them].� Finally she asked if there was anything else I wanted to tell her or ask before the interview concluded. As a rule I always prepare a couple of questions to ask about the company. This is the first interview in which I didn�t. My impression was that she knew so little about Dubai and FlyDubai (and aviation in general) that I would feel uncomfortable in even putting her in a position to try and answer my well-thought-out questions. So I didn�t. Before long the interview was over. I went out and waited for the other three to complete their interviews. I can�t give you much advice here. I thought I did a good job, but felt that the interviewer did a poor job of representing the needs of the FlyDubai flight department. If I were trying to determine who I wanted flying my airplanes, I would have conducted things differently. And I certainly would have had an experienced FlyDubai hiring Captain and an experienced human resources interviewer. I have spoken with many people who felt the same way after the CTC interview. I know how to prepare for a professional airline pilot interview, but I cannot honestly say how to prepare for the CTC interview.
During the interview time the woman who conducted the initial presentation will take your logbook and other documents. You will not need all your logbooks. Only the most recent one. After a few minutes she returned them to me. Something to note here. You don�t need stamps or some proof of your flight time for the CTC interview. They told us we would only need it if we made it to the interview in Dubai with actual FlyDubai people. They had also told us earlier that, if selected to interview in Dubai, we should arrive with at least three months left before our medical and license expired. I have no idea what she did with my logbook during that short time. Maybe she made copies of the last few pages. There was no way for her to really check for accuracy in this short time as the online application only listed my Captain and First Officer time. I left out all other time that didn�t exactly fit into these categories.
Once everyone was done we had a short break. After, Terry told the other three applicants to follower her and Sue told me to follow her. At this point everyone knew I was not progressing. The other three guys stopped. There was a look of shock on their faces as they stared at me. I have to say I was also shocked.
I went into a room with Sue. She told me that I did not have what FlyDubai is looking for in a pilot. She also reminded me that it was against their policy to provide any feedback on why I didn�t make it. I said very little. I was polite and basically just said things like, �I understand.� She then asked me to remember the interview questions about how I deal with disappointing situations. Then she told me to remember my answer and use it to reflect and move on from the events of the day. Nice. Quite a few minutes were wasted on this line of questioning in the interview. Looking back on it, I think they knew they were not taking me before the interview started. I think their top two choices are probably always interviewed by Terry.
They followed the same profile I have heard about in the past. They scheduled 8 candidates for the day. Although they kindly mention how they hope there will be 8 people going to the sim the next day, it is not true. They will always whittle it down to 4 after lunch and 2 or 3 to the sim. Regardless of the quality of all 8 candidates, only 2-3 will go to the second day. Maybe this isn�t set in stone. Just my observations combined with other experiences I�ve heard. Want more proof? The day ended at 1730 and it took until that time to complete only four interviews. Why do they do this? I honestly don�t know. I�ve heard theories. Maybe they simply want to preserve their contract with FlyDubai as long as possible. If they found many good candidates in a short time, they wouldn�t be needed as long. Personally I think CTC is providing a disservice to FlyDubai. FlyDubai is rapidly expanding and needs talented people to ensure it continues to be successful. This interview process isn�t designed to achieve that goal. I know how business works though. Someone who worked for Easy Jet went to work in FlyDubai�s recruitment department and they brought their CTC friends with them. Or maybe the recruiter was unqualified or unwilling to put together his or her own selection process.
So, what kind of advice or conclusions can I give you? I really like FlyDubai and I think it is a good place to work. I�ve actually been trying to go there since its inception, but had to wait until they dropped the B737 type requirement. Unfortunately, you need to go through CTC first. They just aren�t providing a quality professional pilot selection process. CTC also does evaluations for other airlines for different things, including interviewing candidates with little or no flight experience. As far as I can tell they are performing the same selection process for someone with no flight time as someone who has been flying for 20 years. This process doesn�t work well when dealing with experienced professionals who have thousands of hours. Plus, if you are only planning on passing 2 or 3 at the end of the day, regardless of the quality of everyone else, to me this is corruption. And it could have been predicted. There is a genuine conflict of interest here. CTC wants the business, but if they do their job well, they will potentially lose FlyDubai�s business faster. Or look at it this way. If you are an airline performing your own interviews, you only bring in people who you believe have a good chance at passing everything. It saves everyone time, money and doesn�t purposefully inconvenience 75% of your interviewees. Anything else means something fishy is going on. When trying to fill airline positions I believe most of the applicant cuts should occur before an interview is even scheduled. The point of the interview process is to confirm whether or not your initial positive thoughts based on an application and/or recommendations were correct. This is not happening here. Plus, you have to arrange your own travel to CTC and lodging. It is a complete gamble if you make it, so think long and hard about spending a lot of money for this. I really don�t want to turn good people away from FlyDubai, but what choice do I have? I know quite a few good pilots who are avoiding this place because of CTC and the substantial cost in just rolling the dice. I know it�s not unheard of to have pilot applicants have to spend money for the chance to work somewhere; Southwest Airlines, for instance. But Southwest Airlines would have been a much different place if CTC was providing their candidates. So, what is likely to be happening here? They are attracting more people who are desperate and can�t get hired at other places, i.e. lesser quality applicants. Not all of them, but more than other places. I know there is also another interview in Dubai if you pass CTC, but this is almost an afterthought. The vast majority of selection occurs through CTC. If I was a manager at FlyDubai I would be embarrassed for allowing CTC to represent my airline in this manner. I have been involved in candidate selection processes in both aviation and non-aviation organisations. You can learn just as much about people by listening to the questions they ask (interviewers asking, interviewees answering). In my opinion, CTC should have never been given this task in the first place. I have to wonder how many great candidates they�ve pushed into the cockpits of FlyDubai�s competitors. All I can say is good luck. Unfortunately, you can�t study for luck.