Step By Step Guide To The Cathay Pacific And Cathay Dragon Pilot Selection Process

Step By Step Guide To The Cathay Pacific And Cathay Dragon Pilot Selection Process

Many major airlines are opening up their doors, increasing numbers in their cadet and direct entry programs and offering new entry points into the industry. Whilst now is the perfect time to look at an airline career, getting there is still very competitive and challenging. To give yourself the best possible chance of success, first of all, you need to understand the pilot selection process.

Pilot Selection

Aspiring candidates are required to pass an application and selection process. This process will vary depending on which airline you apply to but will consist of aptitude test, group exercises and interviews. Each process is designed to assess the core competencies and skills required to become not just a trainee or even First Officer, but a future Captain and beyond.

Let’s go through Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s interview process.

Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon Cadet Pilot Selection Process

1. Stage 1A

Initial Psychometric Testing

These initial psychometric tests are design to screen applicants and look at key qualities that are desired for the role as a pilot. These can look closely in a number of areas such as general personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning and eye hand co-ordination; all of which are essential skills for the role as a pilot.

ICAO English Test

2. Stage 1B

Initial Interview Screening (HR & Technical)

During the initial Human Resources (HR) interview a candidate’s overall motivation towards the role as pilot and working for any organisation is both identified and tested. This can be examined from one’s enthusiasm, and general attitude; through to the actual level or research and preparation put in prior to this first stage interview. A basic level of aviation technical knowledge is reviewed depending on the candidate’s level of flying experience or exposure that they may have obtained.

3. Stage 2

Groups Skills & Exercises

As crew will meet at the beginning of a flight and then either work for a single day or for a period of time together, working well as a team is an important part of becoming a pilot. Additionally, aspects of both normal and abnormal situations that they may face is a typical part of routine pilot life. Therefore, solving new and challenging problems is an essential skill. These exercises will place the candidate within a number of situations and tasks to be completed which will address and identify skills such as communication, leadership, mathematical problem solving and threat management; all completed over a short period of time during these exercises. This will identify and challenge the group as a crew which is typical when out in an operational environment.

Extended HR and Technical Interview 

A further HR and Technical Interview is conducted beyond the initial screening process. Usually this is followed in a similar format with both personnel from the HR and Flight Operations department, and delving deeper into the candidate’s attitudes towards work, studies, and life experiences. Furthermore, a more detailed look at aviation knowledge and preparation which would be expected of a future cadet pilot is examined through verbal questioning and discussion.

4. Medical Check

Cathay Pacific Direct Entry Second Officer Selection Process

1. Group Skills & Exercise

As crew will meet at the beginning of a flight and then either work for a single day or for a period of time together, working well as a team is an important part of becoming a pilot. Additionally, aspects of both normal and abnormal situations that they may face is a typical part of routine pilot life. Therefore, solving new and challenging problems is an essential skill. These exercises will place the candidate within a number of situations and tasks that need to be completed which will address and identify skills such as communication, leadership, mathematical problems, general problem solving and threat management; all over a short period of time. This will identify and challenge the group as a crew which is typical when out in an operational environment.

2. Simulator Exercise & Assessment

The flight simulator is utilised to assess candidates flying skills and attitude’s in a large jet transport aircraft. Although not expected to fly the simulator as a qualified or endorsed pilot, a sound demonstration is required of one’s basic instrument flying and relevant techniques. This is to ensure a sound foundation in flying practises and aptitude towards the upcoming role in an airline environment.

3. Detailed HR and Technical Interview

During the Human Resources (HR) interview a candidate’s overall motivation towards this role is tested and examined with a similar approach towards that of Cadet Pilot applicants. Although similar with respect to HR, the technical abilities and knowledge is expected to be at a higher level based on their relevant flying experience and backgrounds. Furthermore, as with Cadet applicants one’s enthusiasm, and attitudes; especially research and preparation about life in Hong Kong are also closely examined. This interview is conducted by personnel from the HR and Flight Operations department, and typically analyses HR and technical aspects of previous work and flying experience.

Next time, we will talk about the interview process of Qantas and QantasLink. Stay tuned!