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Open Day – Tips for Airline´s Recruitment Process

Middle-Eastern Airlines – Qatar, Etihad, Emirates – have been recruiting all over the world, offering unique career opportunities. Travel the world, accommodation, discounts and an above average salary.

Middle-East Cabin Crew
Portuguese Flight Attendants in the Middle-East (credits rhs photo: Faab Oc | HypeDubai)

First, it´s required to attend an Open Day and drop the CV. Do I have what it takes to be a flight attendant? Is my English good? Here are some tips to guide you out.

My English is not that good, how to prepare myself?

Doing a job interview in English, can be quite challenging, if English is not your first language. Believe me, all it takes is a bit of practice.

I highly advise you to WRITE. Do a career path biography including where and what you studied, where you worked, roles and challenges faced on your previous job experiences. Also, mention hobbies, what are you passionate about and why you want to become a cabin crew. This will help you regaining grammar and vocabulary – do re-establish some kind of relationship with that old English dictionary forgotten on the shelves.

Ask for help on amending any mistakes while writing your piece. Don´t you worry, the main goal here is to learn! Read it aloud for friends, family, the cat, for you in the mirror. You will improve your pronunciation and speech flow, which will reflect more confidence on posture and body language – aspects recruiters take a lot in consideration.

Preparar Recrutamento Preparar recrutamento writing-cycle

Introduce English on your day-life: in thoughts, at home with the family, on the phone with your sweetheart, at the café with friends or giving tourists directions.

Watching movies or TV series without subtitles or reading books and magazines in English is also very helpful – don´t forget the English dictionary for any doubts or new words you may find.

What should I wear?

The Open Day is a job interview. You should look elegant and professional and not as if you were going out at night, excluding any informal pieces of clothing, such as jeans.

A suit, combining a blazer and a skirt, trousers or shorts are ideal. White, beige, grey or the usual black fit perfectly the occasion. Add a nice shirt or blouse, high heels, an elegant handbag, and include simple accessories – a necklace, a watch. Jumpsuits are also an appropriate outfit choice.

The images on the board are not from the blogger´s authorship

I suggest a colorful piece of clothing. I´m not referring fluorescent or flashy colors that result in a negative focus. An orange shirt, yellow trousers, pieces in blue, red, green emerald or a cute pattern – simple details which will discretely call attention on you in the midst of so many candidates.

What about makeup?

Simple, in soft tones. Shades and contours that emphasize and make your eyes stand out, since it´s a very important communication tool. Comfortable and easy to replenish – you might be standing for a long time.

The images on the board are not from the blogger´s authorship

What recruiters are looking for in a candidate?

Genuineness above all, but there´s some aspects recruiters look for in a candidate.


As a Cabin Crew, you are required to be approachable to customers and co-workers. Same deal at the Open Day. Smile, talk and share experiences with your colleagues. It´s a good start to get the recruiter´s attention towards you.

Customer Service Experience and Knowledge about the Company

At least once in your life, you´ve worked with Customer Service – in a bar, café, hotel, call center. Some of the queries on the assessment are related with that experience, with the purpose of unveiling your ability to solve Customer Service related issues – if customer´s were heard, if you provided a satisfying experience and if they were happy with your service. If you don´t have experience don´t panic. Make a research or ask someone who works in the field. Also, get information about the company you´re applying for: which aircrafts operate, location, culture and lifestyle from the country where it´s based.


Embracing a career as a Cabin Crew can be quite challenging. Weekly routine is basically over and you are never assured to spend Christmas or birthday at home. Sleeping hours are most of the times switched due to night flights and different time zones. Rosters can suffer sudden changes and there are, at least, two reserve periods where you never know, at an early stage, the final destination. Ready to board this lifestyle?

Team Work and Multicultural Sensibility

Apart from the diverse background of customers on board, you´ll be working with colleagues from different nationalities. Never, or very rarely, you´ll fly with the same crew members. It can be interesting and overwhelming, but challenging at the same time. Some cultures and ideals may be strange for you. It´s important to be receptive and enthusiast about the idea of working with different cultures, religions and races.


Fight Attendants are the Airline´s image. Keeping an image up to standards and a gracious posture are crucial. Be aware of the CV´s presentationit´s your business card. It should be impeccable to make a good impression and increase curiosity towards you. It must be objective, organizedno longer than two pages. Add a professional picture on business attire. Hair should be on a ponytail, French role or donut – most common hairstyles used within airlines.

What to expect from the recruitment process?

 The Open Day involves several phases. After introduction and CV delivery here are the following:

  • In my case, first, recruiters approached height. I was asked to touch a mark on the wall, equivalent to the hat-racks height on an aircraft
  • I was also asked about tattoos and scars. Tattoos can influence your assessment´s success, especially if in hands, arms, wrists, neck, ankle, legs and feet – areas that are not covered by the uniform. Scars can go a bit more unnoticed, depending on the size. I have two small ones in each side of my left knee, which did not raise any problem.

Group Activities

Group Activities put at stake one´s team spirit, leadership skills and the ability to improvise, think or act outside the box.

Candidates are divided into groups to execute the following:

Activity 1. Introduce the colleague next to you, after a 5 min conversation
Activity 2. English text with three parts: interpretation of an article with queries, grammar exercises, essay.
Activity 3. Group Dynamic: from a list of celebrities chose one to take to a charity ball and explain why
Activity 4. Group Dynamic: the scenario is a hotel in which you are the receptionist. There´s only one room vacant and from a list of reservations, which includes celebrities, people with special needs, CEO´s, etc, chose one to occupy the room and explain why.

Competition is not the main purpose of these tasks. Instead, recruiter´s aim to spot your team building capacity and ability to maintain balance within a group. On board, that can be a challenge: you´ll be working with different crew members every single flight, from all corners of the world. These activities reflect how your team player posture matches this context. It´s important to give an opinion, but also have others in consideration by asking suggestions or simply respecting each other´s timing to speak.

In the end of each activity, there´s a break where candidates from each group are eliminated until there´s a smaller one. The remaining candidates will go for the Final Interview.

Final Interview

My final interview was done the day after. It was the toughest part, I admit. It´s an individual interview based on your career path. Recruiters ask very specific and vivid situations of previous job experiences. Here are some of the situations I was asked:

  • Give an example of a situation you were objective with your boss
  • Give an example of a situation in which you disagree from your supervisor and how you reached an agreement
  • Give an example of a difficult customer situation and how you dealt with it
  • Do you think customers are always right?
  • Give an example of a situation where you worked in a team
  • Give an example of a situation when you had to improvise to reach a goal

What I just described above was my whole assessment experience. Be aware that your Open Day might not be the same: activities may be different and obey a different order. But the main goal with this article is to give you an idea of what you may find.

It´s highly important to prepare for your Open Day – it avoids anxieties, blockages and builds up confidence on your skills. From here, not even the sky is the limit.

Good Luck!

If you want to know when airlines are recruiting in your country, please visit the following links:

Having other queries about the recruitment? Send a message. For other suggestions related with this article, don´t forget to comment below.


Maria Bonifácio Lopes


  1. E quanto à politica de cicatrizes?? Eles aceitam?

    • Maria Bonifácio Lopes Maria Bonifácio Lopes

      Obrigada desde já pelo comentário. Pode igualmente encontrar informação relativamente às cicatrizes no mesmo artigo.

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