The airline recruitment process always seems to be a popular subject so I thought I’d write this post so I don’t have to keep answering the same questions over again 😛
I’m a big believer in the power of the universe and I truly believe what is meant for you, will always be yours no matter what. Some might say my employment with Emirates is fate while others may say it’s a coincidence… I believe it was always written in the stars! In all honesty I was very happy working with Qatar Airways and I wasn’t planning to resign or move to another airline. Of course the majority of us in Qatar wondered whether the grass is greener on the other side (a.k.a Emirates) due to all of the restrictions and rules we have to follow at Qatar Airways. I’m not sure if I mentioned this in one of my other posts but Emirates was always my first choice of airline I wanted to work for. However, they were not hiring cabin crew in 2017 when I wanted to join. The job opportunity then came up with Qatar Airways so of course I’d be crazy not to take it as I had no idea when Emirates would hire again.
It was actually my old housemate that encouraged me to apply with Emirates. She knew a few girls that had moved from Qatar to Dubai and were very happy with their decision. I won’t get too deep and personal but I was also dealing with a breakup at the time so Doha wasn’t my ideal place to be, I really felt like I could do with a fresh change of scenery. With my housemates encouragement I decided to take a look at the Cabin Crew open days listed on the Emirates website. It just so happened that I was travelling to Warsaw in Poland on the same day Emirates were holding an open day there… Coincidence or fate?
For the entire month leading up to the flight I was contemplating whether to go to the open day or not – obviously you know what I decided to do! On the day of the open day, I woke up early and dressed in business attire. I tied my hair in a bun and applied that famous bright red lipstick Emirates is famous for. I arrived at the hotel at 8am, an hour before the open day began. I was surprised to see that I was one of only 4 girls there at that time. When I attended the Qatar Airways open day in Melbourne, I arrived an hour early to find there were already 50 people there so I was quite shocked to see such few numbers that day. As time passed, I was pleased to find out that the final number of applicants was only 50 (opposed to around 300 when I applied for Qatar Airways in Melbourne)… Yay for less competition! 😛 One of the other applicants explained to me that if you are rejected at an Emirates open day, you aren’t allowed to attend another one for 6 months. This is the reason why the number of applicants was less as Emirates held numerous amounts of open days in Warsaw last year. It was my lucky day!
Round 1 – CV drop
The first part of the day started with a short presentation on Emirates and Dubai itself, I suppose they want everyone to know what they are getting themselves into before they sign any contracts. I’m glad they did this at the beginning of the day because that way if you had any questions or concerns the recruiter could answer them from the very beginning. During the Qatar Airways open day the presentation came right at the end of the day for those of us that were selected. After the presentation, each one of us went up to the recruiter one by one (there was only one recruiter) and handed her our CV and a passport size photo. The recruiter then asked each of us a couple of questions – for me personally she asked how old I am (LOL because I’m old I guess) and after this she asked why I want to leave Qatar Airways (it was written on my CV that I was currently employed there). I was very honest with her regarding the reasons for wanting to move and explained basically what I mentioned earlier. The recruiter was very generous and allowed all of us 50 applicants to take part in the second round.
Round 2 – Group activity
We were divided into two groups for the second round of the open day. I was in the first group – we all sat in one large circle and were given a picture to discuss with the person sitting next to us. We then had to stand up one by one and talk about our image for one minute. The recruiter encouraged us to talk about something outside of the box rather than just stating what you see in the picture. She was observing the way we interacted with the person sitting next to us as well as how we each individually presented our pictures to the group. After both groups had finished the activity, a list was placed on the door outside the room with the names of those who succeeded to the third round. I was happy to see my name on that list.
Round 3 – Group activity number 2 and height/reach test
This was the round I was most nervous about as I am vertically challenged and height is one thing I cannot change about myself. I was relieved to have passed the reach test on my open day with Qatar Airways and I was so nervous to have to repeat it again with Emirates as the tips of my fingers just scrape the 212cm mark we have to reach in order to qualify as cabin crew. Thankfully I managed to reach the 212cm mark again on the Emirates recruitment day. They also measure your height to ensure you are a minimum of 160cm. After the measurement tests, we all had to partake in another group activity where they gave us a scenario and as a group we had to discuss and come up with a solution that everyone agreed on. Everyone had the chance to speak and share their ideas. The recruiter seemed to be noting the way we not only expressed our ideas but also how you interacted with the other applicants and listened to them as well. After this round another list was posted on the door outside and again it had my name on it… happy days! There were 12 of us on that list…
For the remaining 12 of us selected, we were each asked to fill out some paper work and book in a time slot for our final interview which would be conducted online at a later date (using a program similar to Skype). This would be the last step in securing a job with Emirates. The recruiter also asked us to complete an online psychological test and an online English test within the next 24 hours (the link was sent via email). However, the recruiter made an exception for me regarding the English test as I am a native English speaker. This was very nice of her as for Qatar Airways I still needed to undergo an English test as part of my assessment. I booked my interview around 6 days after my open day. The recruiter also spoke about next steps regarding an online application. It is possible to submit an online application via the Emirates website prior to attending an open day, however it is not mandatory. I had not submitted an online application so at the open day the recruiter told me to submit my online application in the next few days. As part of the online application you need to submit four types of photos (I completed all of these in the few days I had before my final interview):
Passport size business attire photo with white background:
Full body business attire photo with white background:
Full body casual photo:
Mid body casual photo:
Apologies, they are a bit cringe but so many have asked me about the photos!!
Final Interview (ONLINE)
I had my final interview a few days after the open day when I was back home in Qatar. Even though it was a virtual interview, it was still necessary to dress in business attire, tie my hair back and apply the red lipstick as I did for the open day. The final interview was a one on one interview with a recruiter and it went for approximately 40-45 minutes in length. They asked me lots of questions and in response I had to provide specific examples from my previous work history to answer them. For example, if the recruiter asks you to tell them about a time when you displayed good teamwork, you must answer the question with a specific example from one of your current or previous places of work. You need to explain what the situation was, how you demonstrated teamwork and what the outcome was from your actions. In my opinion the questions were very simple, however the issue was finding the perfect example to answer those questions. The interview isn’t timed so you can take a few minutes to think of your answers before answering. The recruiter was also very friendly and prompted me if I was stuck on a question. She took notes on her computer as I spoke. Don’t ask me what the recruiters are looking for as I have no idea what their criteria is!
The Golden Call
The golden call aka the call you receive from HR to inform you that you got the job with Emirates can come at any time after your final interview. During my interview I asked my recruiter when I should hear back regarding a job offer and she informed me that the process usually takes 4-6 weeks. I’m not kidding, 3 days after my final interview I received my golden call and I was not expecting it at all! I honestly thought Emirates were calling to tell me that my online application was incorrect or perhaps one of my photos wasn’t the correct sizing. It was one of the most awkward phone calls I ever received as I probably didn’t sound as excited as I should have been when they told me I got the job! I was completely caught off guard because I had just finished my final interview and the recruitment process with Qatar Airways was much longer so I expected the same with Emirates.
During this phone call, they confirmed my start date with Emirates. Actually one thing I forgot to mention earlier is that when you fill out the paper work if you are successful at the open day, one of the questions they will ask is when you are available to join. You are allowed to join a maximum of 6 months after your open day. As I had a South America holiday planned in September, I asked Emirates to postpone my start date until October (after my trip and so that I can give Qatar Airways enough notice for my resignation) Emirates HR team were completely fine with me delaying my start date and allocated me an October joining date.
Before moving to Dubai
Before moving to Dubai, you have to complete a few more things which the airline will inform you about ie. UAE visa application, medical declaration, recommended vaccinations (Yellow Fever is mandatory), and a dental check. You are given access to a portal which explains all the steps involved for moving to Dubai and working for Emirates, it also provides you with all the documentation you need to complete before joining. I was very impressed with this aspect of the recruitment as it was so organised and the HR team were very quick to get back to me if I had any questions. This was completely different to my recruitment experience with Qatar Airways as for me personally it was a complete shamble.
I think that about covers everything regarding the recruitment, if there is anything you would like to know that I didn’t cover, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer your questions.
Ciao ciao xxx