Recruitment Process


So I thought I would tell you about my experience of the recruitment process. I know that so many people appreciate hearing these stories in order to prepare for their own open days and final interviews. I know that I found other cabin crew blogs and forums so helpful when I was preparing for mine!

At the end of June this year I started looking in to a career with Emirates. After completing the application on the career website I found a list of open days and assessment days for candidates to attend all across the world.

For those who don’t know…

An open day is… a day organised at either a hotel or conference centre where any candidate who wishes to apply can go to hand in a CV to the recruitment officers and learn a little more about the airline.

An assessment day is… often the following or same day and all candidates chosen at the open day participate in a range of group interview activities.

By luck there was an open day taking place in Aberdeen, only 10 minutes from where I lived, that weekend (Saturday, July 2nd)! It was fate! I only had 4 days to organise everything I needed and I was panicking! There were moments in those 4 days where I considered not going and just waiting for the next open day but it was my mum, in the end, who forced me out the house that Saturday morning and took me to the Hilton Hotel. Thanks mum!

Naturally being a woman, my first big concern was what to wear!! After much debate I decided on black, fitted cigarette trousers with a cream coloured pussy bow blouse and a pair of black court heels. I wore my hair curly and pinned back off my face with a hair clip. My make up was neutral and professional and I didn’t wear red lipstick! Every thing I have read suggests that you wear knee-length skirt, blouse and jacket to an open day but I felt more comfortable in trousers so that’s what I chose to wear. My advice to anyone who is struggling with what to wear to an open day, like I was, is to go with something that makes you feel comfortable and professional. If you feel good then you will be far more relaxed and focused J

So on to my second concern, what was I getting myself in to? I had no idea what an open day entailed at all and my anxiety was through the roof! I briefly googled “emirates open day” and soon realised that if I read anymore I would completely talk myself out of going. I find its best for me to go in to something not knowing what to expect and then nothing can faze me!

On Saturday morning, the open day began at 9am and I arrived at the hotel half an hour early, as I absolutely did not want to be late. The recruiter opened the doors and invited us in to the room. I took a seat with a group of girls whose names I have unfortunately forgotten. There were about 40 of us in total, which I believe is a very small group compared to some open days! Firstly, we were shown a short film where current cabin crew shared their experience of the Dubai lifestyle and what it was like to work for emirates and other general information about the job (salary, expenses, accommodation etc.). When the film was finished the recruiter answered some questions and then began collecting photos and CV’s. This is your first chance to make an impression with the recruiter. Although it is brief, remember to smile, be polite, professional and answers any questions they might ask but most importantly just be you, don’t allow yourself to be intimidated!

Once all the CVs had been collected, we were asked to leave the room for 15 minutes and I believe this is where the open day became the assessment day. When we were called back in all the chairs were now in a circle. She gave us all a number and told to sit in numerical order in the circle. This is another opportunity to stand out to recruiters, take control in this situation make your number known to people, look around and engage. When we eventually got to our seats, we were separated in to groups of three and for round 1 we were given a card with a profession on it. As a group we had to decide on three attributes a person must have in order to succeed in this profession. I was in a group with the two lovely girls who were so easy to talk to (definitely made the whole exercise easier) and the profession we were given was a baker. We decided that a baker should be organised, talented and have good time management skills. Each group then presented their ideas to the room. I hate public speaking like I HATE IT but you’ve got to just push past this for five minutes and put yourself out there. For round two we were given another card and on this card was an object and we had to decide how the baker would use this object. So we were given a parachute… All we could do was laugh, we came up with some ridiculous way that the baker could use this parachute and I must have laughed throughout our whole explanation of it!! Throughout this task make sure you are engaging with the group although it is hard try to ignore what the recruiter is doing and focus on what’s going on in the circle. KEEP SMILING!

Then came the first round of cuts. This is where the number we were each given came in to it. If you were successful in the first round your number would be posted on the door. If your number was not on the door you were to collect your things and leave. It was all very intense. After about 15 minutes of anxiously waiting she came out of the room and posted the numbers. All 40 candidates rushed up to see if they had been successful or not. I had butterflies in my stomach. Unfortunately, I am not very gifted in the height department only 5ft 3in so I had to wait. I could hear people’s excitement as they had gotten through to the next round but I was too busy trying to catch a glimpse to really notice! Finally, one of the girls in front noticed me struggling and asked what my number was (it was 19) she turned back and told me I had got it. If I am honest I didn’t believe her. I waited until I could see for myself but there it was, number 19. I was shocked! It was really hard to watch the unsuccessful candidates leave I felt really sad for them. They were all very disappointed L I forgot to mention that my mum actually came to the hotel with me so I went to find her to tell her I had got through and I honestly think she was more excited than I was hah!

After another 10 minutes of waiting (being patient is really the main skill you need when applying for Emirate!!) the recruiter called us back in. About 20 of us were now sat in a circle again. She gave us all sheets to look over which informed us of the Emirates uniform looks policy. While we read, she called us up individually for the second part of the day. We had to have our minimum requirements checked. In order to work for emirates you must:

  • At least 21 years of age at the time of joining
  • Arm reach of 212 cm while standing on tiptoes
  • Minimum height of 160 cm
  • High school graduate
  • Fluency in English (Written and Spoken)
  • No visible tattoos while in Emirates Cabin Crew uniform
  • Physically fit to meet the Emirates Cabin Crew requirements

Only one girl didn’t meet the height requirements and had to leave I felt so sorry for her! Sadly, tattoos are a big no-no with most airlines. If you have any visible tattoos I wouldn’t recommend going to an open day, as you will be eliminated at this stage.

The third part of the day revolved around a scenario where the group (there was now 19 of us) was running a car rental company. There were 8 customers coming that day to collect their cars but there had been an error in the booking system and we only had 2 to cars available. We then had to decide as a group who we should give the cars to and what we could offer the other customers who would be left empty-handed. The customers included:

  • A business man on his way to a business deal
  • A student travelling to his final exams
  • A pregnant lady on her way to the hospital for a routine appointment
  • A rock band
  • A family travelling to a wedding 5 hours away
  • A loyal customer
  • A young man who lived out in the countryside
  • And someone else that I cannot remember! Sorry, I am writing this 5 months later!!

There are no right or wrong answers to this scenario again just share your opinions in a professional and friendly manner, make sure you include everyone’s opinions. Don’t talk over people and always listen attentively to other members of the group. And once again, don’t forget to keep smiling!!!

After this exercise we left the room once more for the final round of cuts. When my number appeared on the sheet again I really couldn’t believe my luck. I know thousands of people attend these events each year and don’t make it passed the CV drop. I rushed over to my mum again to tell her and she was so happy for me I really started to believe in myself. When we were called back for the last time and the recruiter told the 14 of us remaining that we had been successful and that our final interviews would either be on the Sunday or the Monday. Luckily, I managed to have my interview on the Monday as I was going out to celebrate my 21st birthday with my friends that Saturday night and Sunday would be spent hung over feeling very sorry for myself as double celebrations were in order that night!



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