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Becoming a Flight Attendant 101

cadams
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Last year 7,593 applicants were interviewed for the job of Flight Attendant. From this number 880 were hired. The big question: "What are they looking for?" While serving on the Flight Attendant Hiring Team, I was looking for those who stood out from the group. Professional appearance, positive attitude, and enthusiasm. A question I asked myself was, "How will a passenger respond to this person for five hours at 35,000 feet - while strapped down in a seat?" They certainly don't want to be encapsulated with a Flight Attendant they feel is mad at them! If you feel you have what it takes to be a Flight Attendant, what's the next step?  I suggest a person research the job. Many of our applicants have read the book Nuts! written by Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg. Google "books on the life of a flight attendant" for resources. These can give you an inside look at a working Flight Attendant's job. For all the hilarity there are the sobering topics of commuting, duty hours, irregular operations, no shows, etc. Try to make sure that, before you apply, you have the attitude, flexibility, and stamina this job requires. You still want the job? Great! Go to the Careers Page of southwest.com and follow the instructions for submitting an application online. Then the wait begins. If you meet the basic criteria, you will eventually receive a letter (Flight Attendant hiring is timed with the arrival of new aircraft into the fleet) from our People Department inviting you for a Group Interview. Come prepared with the information for which you are asked, and I recommend getting there early, as there will be paperwork to fill out. Do not be late under any circumstances. If you have a conflict, call the People Department immediately. If you don't know how to get to the interview spot, drive it the day before. If you are flying in, allow enough time to get from the airport to the People Department in our Dallas Headquarters, or to the interview location.  What do you wear? Business attire is always appropriate. Wear something that makes you feel good so you will be relaxed and confident. For women, makeup is required on duty so come to the interview looking like you will if you are hired. Men are not required to buy or borrow a suit, but you want to look starched and business like. Arrive knowing why Southwest should hire you. After the Group Interview you could be asked to remain that afternoon for a one-on-one interview. You could also be scheduled another day for this in-depth interview. If the latter is the case, you will receive a letter giving you the time and date. There is no set time for when you will receive a response, but three to six weeks is a reasonable expectation.  During this second interview, you will spend time with an active duty Flight Attendant and a Company Recruiter. Come prepared with examples of when you have demonstrated being an outstanding Employee at your previous jobs, in a school environment, or times you have interacted with a group. The questions are in a format that begins, "Tell me about a time..." Relax and allow your personality to come through. If you do not get a second interview, or if you do not get hired, please understand that you can interview again in one year. We have many excellent Employees who were turned down the first time but came back and were chosen. A strong desire for the job is a plus and coming back demonstrates that desire. If you are not chosen IT DOES NOT MEAN WE DON'T LIKE YOU. It could merely mean on this given day when interviewed by a given group you were not deemed a JOB FIT. There may even be other jobs in the Company that you may want to consider and apply. I recently flew with an outstanding male Flight Attendant who moved to a city that was hiring and started out on the Ramp at an airport. He wanted to get his foot in the door and was willing to move and take whatever job was available. He enjoyed his job but his goal was to be a Flight Attendant and fly out of Dallas. It took him three years, but he did what it took to make it happen. Do you have a Warrior Spirit? Do you have a Servant's Heart? Do you have a Fun-loving Attitude? If you understand what these three things mean and want to join a team of dedicated Employees striving each day to keep Southwest Airlines successful for our Customers and Employees, please apply!
166 Comments
Animal_Size
Not applicable
I did it! Interview complete and successful - background check in the works. Look out pool here I come!! :)
Steph2
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Hey Fellow Poolies!!!! Lets save some water for Eemeraldskies!!! Welcome Eemerald, the water is fine! Steph
Cantufly
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Hi, all!!! I just recently had my one on one, about three days ago and I am DYING inside. This company IS truly amazing, everyone is so kind and what better impression could you ever want to make! I would like to say that I did find the questions regarding "difficult" times at work to be...difficult. I really love my job, so it was hard to imagine any of my customers putting me in bad situations, as I have been brought up in a business and no matter what, you are there to smile and make people feel welcome. But this is life, and things do happen, I think they really want to see how you can make a bad situation-good! That was really my only struggle. They are there to make you feel soooo comfortable and THAT is a dream job in itself. I hope I have the pleasure to work with all of you someday! Thanks and I'll try to keep you posted :) Christina
Dennis5
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Hang in there, congrats on your one on one. Feel lucky, cause you are! We all are. I am in the pool officially and waiting. Its going to be a little wait but in the end it is worth it! Way worth it, I can only imagine. Let us know how it goes
unr_grad
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If you wanted to leave a flight attendant a thank you, how would that be possible? Thanks!
Michele2
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I am dying to get on to Southwest, I currently work for a different airline and I know that Southwest is the or one of the best airlines to work for. If ANYONE is out there that can help me get a position I would love love love it!!!! I can't sumit a resume online because of the message on the career board that states there are too many applications on file. Anyway, if anyone out there could help me, I would love you forever! Please E-Mail M.Amster@yahoo.com -Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!- Michele
Glenda1
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Hello...I've been interviewed by another airline one on one. I felt so confident that I had the job. I was not stressed and answered there questions. Then recieved an email that I was not chosen. I've had several phone interviews but must not be sayng the correct things. This concerns me, expecially when they ask the questions like describe a time........ and How would you handle......I would really like to know what it is they are looking for in my response. PLEASE help me I really want to be a F/A, help me make my dream come true. I've been in the medical field for over 20 years, I have the experience, motivation, and most of all the desire. Any help or suggestions would be appericated.
Laura_Bixby
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Hello, I had my GI in middle August 2007 in Oakland. I am so excited to find out the date to go to training in Dallas. I was told maybe in May might be the date but not sure. I can't wait to see the other girls who were in my GI. I know the waitting is so hard. I hope to go soon. bye. Laura
Wayne1
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Is there anyone out there who can help a retired city employee, me, with a sample of a resume to be submitted to southwest for a flight attendant position? I would be forever grateful for your assistance in helping a graying fellow a hand. Many thanks!
Shelley11
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hi, i want to know, if ur getting hired as a flight attendant for a US airline for the first time, what does the physical/medical exam for this job entail, and are annual physicals required?
Debbie_Jo
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I was wondering if someone could explain the schedule a new flight attendant would hold. My sister will be attending flight attendant school and needs to work out visitation with her ex to see her kids after she completes training. Will it be difficult to hold any kind of schedule if she makes it and becomes officially hired? Does she get a "normal" schedule or will it be unpridictable? Any info would be appreciated.
Steph2
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Hi there to Debbie Jo, As a new probationary flight attendant I can tell you that your sisters schedule at SW will be unpredictable month to month for some time to come. She will be on Reserve for an undetermined amount of time and it may/probably will change month to month which days she will be on call. For instance this month I am on Reserve Sat -Mon but last month it was Tues -Fri. As time goes on her schedule should become more stable but there will still be times when she will be on Reserve. Hopefully her family and ex-husband will work with her and allow her to work this job and be flexible as to her schedule. That is the only way it will work for her. Good Luck! Steph
Jeraldin
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HI, I'm doing a project for my school , and i decided that my topic will be : Should I become a flight attendant ? . I think this Article helped me a lot. I really want to become i flight attendant and i would enjoy if you write to jeraldin21_jl@hotmail.com Thank YOU!!!!!
Debbie_Jo
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Is there a probationary period for flight attendants? In other words, can you be fired during that period for "no reason"?
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seochick
New Arrival

HI Carole, thank you for your article! I was wondering if you could help! I had an interview scheduled for today and I never received the call...does this mean that SWA has changed their mind? I called the recruiter and left a message and emailed but no response. Can you help? I would appreciate it so much!