job interviewing do's and don'ts - man sitting in room

In this competitive aviation job market, a great resume can work to get you noticed. But it won’t guarantee that you’ll end up landing the job.

There’s a lot more that goes into job interviewing these days.

At API, what we find that what really set our candidates apart are their “soft skills.” There are some great resume templates online that allow you to include your skills—not just your technical know-how.

Today’s hiring managers want to know what differentiates you from the rest of the pack. They want to see that you’re prepared ahead of the interview and that you’ll be a cultural fit with their organization.

That’s why we’re sharing a handful of interview “do’s” that will help you stand out. And, on the flip side, we’ve also identified a few behaviors that will have the opposite effect!


The “Do’s” of Job Interviewing

First up, here’s what hiring managers are looking for:

Be prepared

Make sure you put in the time to understand the company you’re interested in. That means doing your research well ahead of your screening interview.

Learn as much as you can about the culture and the business of the company. Where do they have offices, service centers, manufacturing plants, business partners and customers?

You definitely need to be familiar with some of the major players in the company. Find out the names of the chairman, CEO and president, as well as the names of some of the high-level executives.

Figuring out who the flight department reports up to is also a must. Checking out the company’s website is almost a no-brainer. Use it to try and learn what’s important to the company’s leadership team. Find out if they’re thought leaders in their industry. And determine the nature of their business and their customer base.


Showcase interpersonal skills

Some refer to them as “wooing skills.” Remember, we are in a people business—not a plane business. So work on the fundamentals.

Interviewers like candidates with great eye contact and a great handshake. They also want to evaluate your excellent verbal communication skills. And you need to be able to show a level of confidence that tells a hiring manager you can handle the job.


Articulate business and leadership skills

It may be great that you have some solid educational degrees and a CAM certificate under your belt. But how do those achievements translate into your everyday business acumen? Can you think on your feet?

How have you changed a process, improved a culture or a solved a problem? The hiring manager is looking to hear if and how you made an impact.


Ask great questions

Keep in mind that interviews are a two-way street. But you do want to show up as a listener and let a hiring manager guide the interview. So pick and choose what you ask him or her. Don’t talk too much and be sure you’re answering their questions. And definitely be cognizant of not talking over the interviewer or interrupting them.


The “Don’ts” of Job Interviewing

The preceding are some great, surefire ways to get noticed during an interview. Now here are things you SHOULDN’T do in an interview.

Interviewers don’t particularly care for:

Name droppers

You may be on a first-name basis with several heavy hitters, but you should never overdo it in your interview. Yes, you want to prove that you have a solid network of industry leaders, but don’t be a name dropper.


“Aloof” candidates

During your interview, don’t play hard-to-get or come across as too cocky. Self-confidence is a virtue. But it has its limits: taking it too far may cause an interviewer to think you’re arrogant. And never make them think that you feel they’d be lucky to get you.

Remember, this is a wooing game. You need to convince them to want you as much as you’ve convinced yourself you want them.



As you know, we’re in a private industry. We often travel to undisclosed locations and overhear business discussions. This means that we need to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and self-awareness during the interview process—and the ultimately in the role itself. Show your hiring manager that you’ll be the kind of employee who doesn’t play fast and loose with confidential information. And that you can follow the rules, earn and maintain trust, never cut corners, and always keep safety top-of-mind.


Direct questions

Interviewing the interviewer is an art form that you need to give some serious thought to. Asking questions in the wrong way will send the wrong signal. Examples of what not to ask include “What is the work schedule like? Or, “how much time would I need to be in the office?” Or “What’s the salary?”

Instead, turn the questions around to make them focus on the interviewers and their companies. For example: “Help me to understand your process of scheduling—how does it work exactly?” Or, “What are your expectations of how much time pilots spend working in the hangar?” Or, “Help me to understand your work environment.”


Stay Informed!

The important thing to remember is that the process of preparing and interviewing for a job is in constant flux.

The key is to keep yourself up-to-date on what’s working out there, and, as well, what’s not working. The difference you can make for yourself may be a life-changer!


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