For many, being a Virgin Atlantic cabin crew member is a dream job. There’s nothing that they want more than to put that iconic red jacket on and travel around the world serving on board one of the most famous airlines in the world. But what does it take to get there?
Sarah Smart, who has been interviewing prospective cabin crew for 10 years, has shed some light on the process on the Virgin Atlantic blog. Setting out to dispel some of the clichés and fears, she explained what she looks for when interviewing and how she came to work at Virgin Atlantic.
Having worked as a personal trainer and dancer on board cruise ships, Sarah honed her customer service skills in retail and recruitment before applying to join the team at Virgin Atlantic. Of her interview, she said: “I always remember how I felt when I was sitting on the couch in this room. It was both exciting and nerve wracking. But the one thing I remember was how the recruitment team came across and how they made me feel. More than anything, they gave me the passion to want to work here.”
Sarah still flies for Virgin Atlantic and said that she loves the camaraderie she finds on the job. She added: “It really is true that no two days are the same, and it’s that wonderful feeling when your customers work off the flight with great memories. Then of course there’s the lifestyle. It takes a while to adapt to it but you’ll never look back.”
But how can you join the team at Virgin Atlantic? Sarah explained more about the application process: “Cabin Crew recruitment starts with an online application where you upload your current CV. The form will include a couple of behaviour and motivation based questions. If you pass through that screening you will be asked to submit a short recorded video interview around our brand behaviours and if we think you’ve got what it takes we’ll invite you in for one of our assessment days.
We’re looking for people who not only have that passion but also go above and beyond
“At the assessment day you’ll first be asked to sit on a crew seat and reach an overhead bin. This is important because a lot of safety equipment is stored in the hat racks and you need to be able to reach it. You’ll then do a couple of group activities. Teamwork is imperative. We’ll also be looking for your problem solving skills and behaviours. You’ll then have a short test followed by your interview.”
But when it comes to interview day, what is she really looking for? “Our cabin crew, first and foremost, need to love customer service,” she said. “We’re looking for people who not only have that passion but also go above and beyond. You’ve got to be able to think on your feet, work well as part of a first class team and, naturally, love to travel.”
Sarah also shared her advice for anyone coming to an assessment day for Virgin Atlantic cabin crew: “Just be yourself. Remember how well you’ve done to get to the final stage. Believe in yourself. Show us your personality, energy and enthusiasm, and smile.”
And as for some of those rumours that are flying around… “We hear all sorts of crazy things,” she said. “That we have targets for specific days, only recruiting one on a Monday, two on a Tuesday and so on. Not true. We want everyone to succeed. Then people think we’re going to make them perform a song and dance. No. And of course that we only recruit tall blondes. I’m five foot three with short black hair so again, no. There are no trick questions, no spies in the group and no targets to meet – it’s all about finding the best people to join us!”