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Surf Air Pilot Interview Profiles

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Date Interviewed: January 2017
Summary of Qualifications: CPL (SEL & MEL), High Performance Endorsement, with
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
For the phone interview, know the limiting factor on an ILS approach, when you may continue an approach when weather drops below minimums, when you can descend below MDA/DA. They will probably ask "Why Surf Air?" and a couple other HR questions like that. You will speak to both the recruiter and a pilot about technical questions. They will let you know very quickly after your interview if they want to invite you in person.

The in-person interview is very similar to the one already posted. Know how to fully read a fairly complex Metar, how to brief an approach plate, how to do quick and simple descent calculations.
HR questions are pretty basic - Why Surf Air, what makes you a good match, TMAAT when you went out of your way to make customer happy, etc.
Date Interviewed: December 2015
Summary of Qualifications: ATP, 4500 TT, 3000 ME, 2800 Turbine, 91/135 experience
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Your path to the in-person interview may vary depending if someone walked in a resume, sent it to a chief pilot or sent it to HR. I applied and updated a few times. Eventually, I had a 15-20 minute phone screening with one of the assistant chief pilots. First question, why Surf Air? What do you know about us? The majority of the phone screen was going into my background. There was only one technical question. When is an alternate airport required? The ACP forwarded my stuff to Santa Monica recruiting. I was contacted by a recruiter and it was a similar screening. Why Surf Air? What is your greatest accomplishment, professionally or personally? We had a nice conversation about my background and how I could contribute to Surf Air. He then offered an interview date. FYI, you will be required to get to their Santa Monica HQ on your own dime including hotel if needed. In the past, they’ve done Skype or Facetime interviews, but I think that is no longer going on. Could be case by case.

In-person interview at their Santa Monica HQ… You will be sent an email with a list of items to bring such as logbooks, extra resumes, pilot certificates, etc... I met the group of candidates in the morning before the interview process started. The Director of Ops gave us a company overview which lasted about 10-15 minutes. Then we began to fill out PRIA / DOT paperwork. We all took turns either doing the Ops/tech interview and Culture/HR interview. Between interviews, you can finish your paperwork, relax, chat with the other candidates and possibly the Surf Air employees as they come and go throughout the office.

My Ops/Tech interview was with Director of Ops and 2 line pilots. Started out by going over my resume and asking various questions: How you got into aviation/flying. Why Surf Air? What are your long term goals? They asked about each of my jobs and what I do/did. What will your current employer say about you? TMAAT you did something while flying that you look back and think, I’ll never do that again or what was I thinking? What did you learn? (No one is perfect, be upfront.) TMAAT you disagreed with a supervisor and the outcome. TMAAT you had a conflict with a captain or first officer? You show up at 0530 and smell alcohol on your first officer. What will you do? Any failed checkrides? Incidents, accidents? Do you learn more from a great captain or a shitty captain? Yes, he said ‘shitty’. Explain your answer. As a street captain, how do you set the tone during your first week on the job with a relatively experienced FO that has more time in the aircraft than you? You will be given an approach to brief. I got the ILS or LOC 7 at SBA (Jeppesen layout). One of the interviewers will give you a METAR. They will have the NOS government layout if you prefer it. 2 other candidates in my group were given the ILS 28R or 30 at OAK. You will get a few minutes to look it over and then brief them. They will ask questions about the chart as you brief it. Standard stuff. No tricks, but they asked a lot of questions. Check visibility requirements- RVR vs. flight vis. Are you allowed convert Visibility to RVR and vice versa? Read the notes affecting the DH. What is the MSA? How would you enter the published hold? What other factors should we be concerned about the approach (hint: high terrain to the north in the case of SBA). When can you descend below the DH/MDA? 91.175c How far can you go? I was asked about 135.223. I recited it verbatim. I was given a top of descent calculation scenario. Starting at FL250, descend to 7,000. How much distance will it take to get down? Use the “rule of 3”. Google it if you don’t know. Then I was given a groundspeed of 320 knots. What is your target descent rate? Divide groundspeed by 2 and multiply by 10 or simply multiply the GS by 5. That’s your target VSI. They want to see that you can do quick, general calculations for planning purposes without using a calculator or writing it down. No need to go into vectors, algorithms and trigonometry. I would say this interview is thorough, but not difficult. Lots of questions especially if you’re going for a Captain slot. Last question is your availability. How much notice do you need. Any questions for them.

Culture/HR interview with 2 HR reps. Similar setting to ops/tech. You give them your resume and you start out having a friendly conversation about yourself. Tell us how you got into aviation. Briefly discussed my current and previous jobs. The dialogue shifted to the Surf Air culture and customer service. This is the meat and potatoes of this interview. TMAAT you went above and beyond your normal job role. TMAAT you had to deal with an angry customer and how you resolved the situation. TMAAT you stepped into a situation because someone else did not perform their job duties. Any questions for them.

After you complete your interviews, Surf Air will cater lunch. If you have an afternoon interview session, you will be invited to show up early to eat lunch. You’ll have an opportunity to meet other employees. A few employees will speak about the company and answer questions while you stuff your face. It’s a great atmosphere. You can definitely feel the good vibes around the office. I was called the next day with a job offer! Hope this helps!
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