Before I get into this just a couple of notes: 1. I never gave a follow up post for my IRT. Looking back now there isn’t much point – the description of the 170A pretty much covers it. 2. I didn’t write about MCC/JOC. That’s because it was a really really busy couple of weeks. Now, months later, I probably couldn’t write a great description. I still have a video of one of my training sessions that I may chop up and put on here with a few words, I can guarantee you won’t want to watch the full two hours.
Right, the interview. 31st January was a beautiful day. I was watching trees, fields and four legged beast fly past the train windows as I headed into Bradford with a friend. Not long before we stopped in Shipley I received a call from someone at Oxford asking me about how things had been since I finished the course, including who I had applied for a job with. After explaining what I had been up to I was informed of an interview opportunity with an airline. They explained a couple of details and also mentioned that it was the following day, 1st February. That was a real shocker!
Opportunities like this don’t come along every day. Although nervous about the short notice, I accepted the invitation. I got off the train at Bradford and went straight back home. There was now a pile of paperwork and preparation to do in order to be ready for the interview. The day ended with a journey to the airport where the interview was to take place and an overnight stay in a nearby hotel.
I slept quite well considering what I would be facing in the morning – I’d been hearing horror stories from interviews ever since starting ground school. Once at the interview location, I became one of five to be interviewed throughout the day. We were greeted by some of the airline staff and then given a presentation on how the day would run and also covered some frequently asked questions. We were then paired up (kind of because of the odd number) with a simulator partner so we could discuss the departure and arrival procedures we would be using.
Hours passed and then I was finally called for interview. I had spoken to both the interviewers throughout the day and was relieved to see now familiar faces. We covered many topics during the interview. Firstly we talked about the airline and then about my experience to date. Part of my CV highlights my volunteer service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this was even covered during the interview. We talked about what I did, how I interacted with people and how I dealt with the challenges that come along with such work. For more information, see here.
The rest of the interview covered my training and also some technical questions relating to aircraft I had already flown and also a little about jet airliners. These topics included electrical systems, engines, performance and instrumentation. Overall it was a good experience. The guys behind the desk were very friendly and made the interview seem more like a normal conversation rather than a grilling. Once done with the interview, I felt like I could stomach some lunch and so off I went to eat and look over some things before going in the simulator later in the afternoon.
The simulator sessions were brilliant. The simulators we used were very advanced and made for an enjoyable and challenging experience. I flew first and flew a simple departure, did some manoeuvres and then on the way back to the airport dealt with an abnormal situation and then flew an ILS approach, had a go around and then a visual approach to land. Unfortunately I have to say the ground hit us quite fast to make for a less than smooth landing! I then switched seats with my simulator partner and acted as pilot monitoring for the duration of the flight which followed a similar profile to mine.
And that it, job done. I made sure the last guy had a flying buddy and headed outside for some fresh air. Thus commenced the almost three week wait to hear whether I would be offered the position. I’m very pleased to say that I was offered the position. Much more paperwork followed and much more hard work is ahead. The transition to airline operations isn’t going to be easy but I’m looking forward to it after all – it’s what I’ve been aiming for. For now, I will enjoy a trip to the States for my brother’s wedding and a nice read of the operations manual.