Rachel tells you how to become an Air Hostess

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"How do I become an Air hostess" – the million dollar question!!!! There are so many things that you can do in order to increase your chances of getting an interview with an airline however there are a few basic neccesities that you must have before applying for a job as an air hostess. Most airlines in New Zealand have a web site for recruitment and will give you the relevant information on how to apply. But in any case I have listed some of the requirements below.

1. Most New Zealand companies will only employ New Zealand residents due to visa restriction in some foreign countries. So presuming you have a NZ passport you would have passed the first step.

2. You must be at least 18 years old before you apply due to the Sale of Liquor Act.

3. You must be in good health. Flying can be quite stressful on your body so the airline needs to make sure that you will be up to it. Airlines will usually give you a full medical after the assessment period.

4. You need to be between 160 cm-185 cm. This is not because they want tall and beautiful crew, it is simply a safety issue as there is usually emergency equipment in the overhead bins and you would need to be able to grab them fast in an emergency (without running to find a ladder first).

5. Having good eyesight is also a necessity. Once again this is for safety reasons. One must be able to see in an emergency. Most airlines will allow you to wear contact lenses (and some allow glasses too).

6. Before applying for the job you must obtain a First Aid certificate (usually within the last 6 months). These courses normally last for a couple of days and can be quite fun. Contact your local Red Cross or St Johns for information on this.

7. There will be strict security check done on you and your history. This is to ensure that you are a decent citizen, which I’m sure you are!!

8. You must be able to swim (minimum requirement is at least about 25 metres depending on the company) unaided. This is also tested during the selection period. If you can’t then drop down to your local pool and take some lessons. Learning to swim may take a bit of time but it certainly isn’t impossible.

9. Most airlines require you to have completed at least 3 years of secondary schooling, however they do prefer it if you have continued your education further.

10. A second language is also a bonus however it’s not essential. I would advise you to enrol in a Japanese (or language of your preference) course before applying. Even if you only attend a few lessons it will look great on your CV.

11. You must have travelled as a passenger on at least one flight. This is to ensure that you won’t freak out on your first day “on the job”.

12. You also must gain some customer service experience. Even if this means working in your local restaurant on the weekends or something similar. Airlines usually go for people who have had a lot of contact with the public especially in the service industry. But it’s not too late if you have never done anything like this before. Have a browse through your newspaper and take a part-time service industry job. Even if you only do it for a little while, at least you can add that to your CV too.

13. Obviously you need to be a friendly, approachable, reliable, and flexible person. Having initiative, maturity and being able to think fast on your feet are also important aspects. If you are an all round “people person” then you would be perfect for the job.

So those are the basic requirements needed for most companies (although they may differ depending on the company). Obviously there is a lot more to it when applying for the job though. Airline interviews are quite particular and can be quite scary at first. There are usually several different stages that you must pass. The first being the CV and application form screening. I suggest logging onto the Internet to the airline of your choice to see how they prefer to do the initial screening. Sometimes you have to send an application form first. So write off to them and request one, fill it out carefully and make sure you put your best foot forward when sending in e.g., highlight all the basic requirements by going into detail about them. Record any courses you have done whether or not you think they are important or not. Write in detail about your customer service experience listing exactly your duties and responsibilities.

When you send your CV remember to enclose a full-length phonograph (preferably taken by a professional instead of you sitting on the beach). Don’t make your CV too long as the person doing the screening will lose interest. Once again highlight your customer service experience and motivation for the job.

Furthermore, DON’T wait for the airline to advertise its vacancies. Contact them yourself whenever you feel ready and enquire how to actually apply for the job. Prepare your CV and application form and send it in. If you wait for a vacancy in the newspaper, you will have to compete with the thousands of other CVs being sent in at that time. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive (my little motto).

Once you have received your interview date, show up with heaps of time to spare. Take an extra CV with you and wear a suit (or smart jacket and skirt). Don’t show up in a sleeveless shirt and hot pants!!!!! Be super duper friendly the second you arrive, as you will be monitored the second you walk in the door. Smile a lot and be friendly and positive. However, having said that, don’t be over the top-avoid any extremes.

The next step is usually a group selection where you will have to sit in a group and discuss a topic or solve a problem. My advice is to make sure you are up to date on all current events at that time. Also make sure you have researched the company so you can slip in a few good phrases about the President of the airline if it’s appropriate. Once again, avoid extremes. Talk and listen, but don’t be outspoken or sit there like a little mouse. Try to think about what you are going to say before you say it. At all costs-SMILE.

This may also be followed by a psychometric test. You can check out a few examples of such tests on the Internet.

Either on the same day or in the near future you may be invited for a personal interview. This is usually done with one or two interviews and yourself. In my experience they normally ask the same type of questions at every interview. Once again, make sure you have done some research on the company in case they ask you “what you know” about the airline. Following that, they will usually ask you about your experience in the customer service industry. These answers should really be prepared beforehand as you will be expected to give real examples. Don’t make something up-you will need to follow up the situation with facts therefor you will be caught out if you are telling a wee fib. Examples of questions they may ask are:
1. “Give us an example of a time you gave excellent customer service”.
Think hard about this cause your example will show what you consider excellent customer service to be. Be exact in your answer. Tell them exactly what you did, how the customer responded and (of course) that the situation ended perfectly with your help.
2. “Tell us about a time when you were faced with an angry customer”.
Once again, think of a real situation. Explain in detail and tell them how you solved the problem quickly without assistance of your colleagues’ etc…..

There are hundreds of questions they could ask but just be prepared to give exact answers to any kind of customer service questions. They will definitely ask you why you want the job. DON’T SAY it’s because you want heaps of money and to travel the world-this answer is wrong!!!! Think of the real reason as to why you want to do this job. Perhaps its because everyday at work you would have the opportunity of meeting interesting and exciting people. Perhaps its because you love to work in a team environment and feel that you would have a lot of positive attributes to bring to a team. Or perhaps its been your dream since you were a child and you have always been fascinated by the airline industry and feel that your amazing customer service skills would benefit the company. Having said all this, just be yourself, relax and try to enjoy the experience because at the end of the day, if you get the job or not, it is all good interview experience which will be of great use to you in the future.

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