A new career opportunity with British Airways
Returning from Warsaw with British Airways a few weeks ago, I flicked through the pages of the airline’s High Life magazine, and came across one of the regular features – introducing passengers to one of their pilots. This particular gentleman, now flying an aircraft type that I forget, started his flying career as cabin crew.
Realising that I could perhaps go down a similar route, I went home and reluctantly applied for a role British Airways. When I say “reluctantly”, I mean in the sense that I did not expect my application to amount to anything. I filled in the short assessment, attached my CV and sent it on it’s way. I expected to receive a “sorry, not this time around” email in the following days.
But I didn’t.
After that initial application, I was invited to complete an online assessment, and, on completion of that, was asked to go along to an assessment day – a first opportunity to meet with recruiters and to take part in various exercises, hopefully confirming my suitability for the role.
Despite having attended a number of interviews over the years, and with a good track record, I was incredibly nervous. I arrived at the airline’s Waterside head office on the edge of London Heathrow Airport shortly before 7.00am for a 7.30am start. Thirty of us nervously waited to see what the day had in store.
The day started with a some reaching, stretching and bracing exercises and was followed by a short presentation and video about the airline and ‘Mixed Fleet’ – the contract that new recruits are offered – comprising both long and short haul trips on many of the aircraft operated by the airline.
From there, the many of us in the waiting area were taken away in groups of five for a short group assessment, and then individually for a role play exercise. Since the airline requests that we do not share online what each assessment entails, I will avoid doing this, but be assured that both are quite straightforward – and enjoyable!
With the group of us again sat together in the waiting area, we waited patiently for some news. We knew at this stage that some of us would be leaving, having not been successful, whilst others would go on and have the opportunity to be interviewed later in the day.
Split into two groups, the walk to the rooms where we would hear the results felt very long!
On hearing that those in our group had been successful during the morning session, there was a great sense of elation amongst us all. Anybody would have thought that we had been offered employment already, but no, we were simply moving onto the next stage – the interview!
The interview was conducted by two interviewers, who would take turn to ask questions. In such situations, I feel quite comfortable, and the time seemed to fly by. I came away after 20 or so minutes feeling pleased with the answers given and telling myself that I could not have tried any harder. As I was returned to the waiting area, I was told to expect the outcome within 7-10 days.
By the late afternoon on the following day, I had my email from British Airways, making a provisional offer of employment. The feeling was indescribable – but it was definitely a pleasant one!
Given the vast number of candidates invited to the assessment, I was pleasantly surprised by just how efficient and organised the day was. All of us knew to expect some waiting, but no wait was ever unbearable, and getting to know other applicants helped to pass most of the time! It seemed that no two people came from the same background – some working in retail, others already in the industry and others in hotels etc. Many were fascinated by my work as a housing officer!
So after close to five years in social housing, I am about to move on, and I could not be more excited. The airline industry is one that I have a huge interest in and one that I feel I belong in.