Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to Interview With JetBlue & Not Land Your Dream Job

Exactly one year ago today, I interviewed to become a member of the newest fleet of JetBlue flight attendants. And while it was a nerve-racking experience, it was also the most fun I've ever had at a job interview.

To give you a little background, I've always loved to fly. I get excited about it—borderline giddy—every single time. It's just totally amazing to me that the technology exists to transport hundreds of people through the air together in a giant metal tube. So, when the 8-6 desk job started feeling claustrophobic, I decided to pursue my passion for people, planes and travel. It seemed like the perfect complement to my part-time Lofted Designs jewelry career. I did some research, chatted with some flight attendants I know and started thinking I'd finally found what I want to be when I grow up!


In October of 2011, JetBlue (one of my favorite airlines for many reasons) posted job openings for in-flight crew. I was ready with my resume and applied immediately (applications are usually only accepted for a few days). As it turned out, I was one of 2,700 candidates to apply during this window. In November, I completed an automated phone interview, and after a few weeks I received a call inviting me to Queens, NY (home of JetBlue's corporate offices) for an all-day face-to-face interview on January 19, 2012.

My plane from BOS to JFK
I arrived in New York the night before, and spent a little extra time lingering in T5 at JFK learning about the history and culture of JetBlue in preparation for the big day. Terminal 5, if you haven't been there, is essentially a JetBlue museum featuring cool exhibits and embodying the airline's brand experience. They even have live concerts there. With musicians you've heard of. I'll put it this way: it's the only airport terminal I've ever wanted to hang out in.

From there, I made my way to Queens, checked into the sketchiest hotel I've ever stayed at in my life and did some last minute prep work. I'd already been preparing for this interview for three months, but when it comes to your dream job you can't really be too prepared. My suit was laid out, my nails were manicured and my hair was cut and freshly styled. I felt confident and ready to look and act the part.

Kiki Ward's Essential Guide – definitely helped me prepare!
The next day, I arrived at JetBlue's offices early for fingerprinting. There were about 40 of us interviewing on the same day...people from all walks of life. All ages, races, backgrounds and geographic locations. One thing tied everyone together—it was the friendliest group of people I've ever met. Honestly, I'd say about 80% of those people could have made amazing flight attendants.

After fingerprinting, we all gathered at large round tables in a conference room where a group of JetBlue representatives introduced themselves and presented information about the company and the job. Following the presentation, we each had the opportunity to introduce ourselves and participate in some ice breaker activities.

Next, we all took turns going into various smaller rooms for jumpseat and reach tests. In one room, we were asked to read safety announcements and answer a variety of questions where it was very clear they weren't listening for content but for vocal quality and speech. Toward the end of the day, we were brought into a room in groups of 3-4 candidates and asked one-on-one questions round-robin style:

  1. Give a brief overview of your work history, focusing on customer service experience.
  2. Talk about a specific time you were faced with unreasonable demands from a customer and how you handled it.
  3. Describe a time you had a conflict with a co-worker and how you resolved it.
  4. Talk about a time you worked with a team to solve a problem.
  5. Describe a stressful situation you've been faced with and how you handled it.

In between each of these segments, there was a LOT of sitting around and waiting. Following advice I'd read in several places, I made an effort during this "down time" to be as outgoing and cordial as possible by introducing myself to the other candidates sitting nearby, engaging with the JetBlue representatives and learning people's names and remembering them. I felt very confident at this point that I was doing everything right.

The interview wrapped up in the early afternoon and we were told we'd be contacted within a week, either by email if we were not selected or by phone if a background check was required to advance to the next step. About a week later, I received the dreaded email: "The competition for this position was strong. And, while your background and experience are very good, we have made the decision to offer the position to another candidate." 

I am eligible to re-apply now (there is a one year waiting period) but for the time being, my dream is temporarily on hold. My full-time desk job pays the bills and my crafty jewelry business Lofted Designs keeps me happy and creatively stimulated. Someday I hope to be one of the friendly faces in the sky—whether for JetBlue or another airline (Virgin America, I've got my eye on you!).

Airplane view from above
View from above – I always pick a window seat


22 comments:

Rachel said...

Please share with us some of the questions you were asked in your interview! It might be helpful to fellow to-be flight attendants in the future.

Lofted Designs said...

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for reading! I've edited the post above to include a numbered list of some of the questions asked of my group. I'm sure these vary and my memory isn't 100% accurate since I went through the process a year ago, but I hope it helps you (and others) prepare.
All the best,
Lori

Anonymous said...

Don't give up on your dream!!! It just wasn't your time yet....

Lofted Designs said...

Thanks, Anonymous encouraging commenter! I'll apply again someday. You're right, the time wasn't right (for many reasons) and I'm not giving up. :)

Philip Watkins said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your experience on the screening process before you get the job. The tips you gave will surely help a lot of aspiring workers out there. The importance of the screening process is heavy since it selects deserving individuals from a lot of potential candidates that can help the company to grow. How are you now?

Philip Watkins @ USA Fact

Lofted Designs said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Philip! I'm glad you found my post about the JetBlue screening process useful. I'm doing well although not yet working in the aviation industry...someday!
Best wishes,
Lori @ Lofted Designs

Anihat said...

Thank You so much for sharing this with us. My interview with jet-blue is tomorrow and I am highly nervous. I hope you don't give up! Keep trying! Best wishes to you!

Anihat said...

Thank You so much for sharing this with us. My interview with jet-blue is tomorrow and I am highly nervous. I hope you don't give up! Keep trying! Best wishes to you!

Anonymous said...

When does Jetblue post the Inflight positions? Every time that I look, they are not there.

Lofted Designs said...

Hi there, anonymous! It's tough to say when JetBlue will be hiring FAs again, and I'm obviously not with the company so not the best resource for info. :) JetBlue usually opens the application window on their website for a VERY short time (like 1-2 days) and then it's not available again until they have the need to hire more in-flight crew. I would recommend keeping your eye on the Indeed job forums and check it regularly (http://www.indeed.com/forum?q=jetblue ). People will post when it's time to apply again. Or just keep checking the JB website every few days. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

did they mention tattoos at any time?
I have one in my inner wrist im worried about. I am going 2 get rid of it soon.

Lofted Designs said...

Hi there! There was no explicit mention of tattoos when I interviewed, but I think it's definitely best to cover them whenever possible in order to make the best impression. Maybe you can wear a wide cuff bracelet or non-noticeable (skin colored) band-aid during the interview process. Thanks for reading and good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Were you asked to bring loads of information including W2's, work history, 10 year address history? If you can't produce everything, what happens?

Lofted Designs said...

Thanks for reading/commenting! I believe I was asked to bring that type of documentation with me to the interview, although I can't exactly remember the details. I'm fairly certain the information required is for the background check portion of your interview. Bring what you can...if anything is missing, hopefully they will allow alternative methods of proving your history. Understandably, not everyone will have proof of address history going back 10 years! Good luck. :)

M. Smith said...

This question is for LOFTED Designs -I read the information you shared under an article called "How Not to get a Job with Jet Blue." I was wondering what if anything do you think you did wrong and what do you think you could you have done differently in retrospect? It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong. Please share.

Lofted Designs said...

M. Smith, that is a fantastic question! Honestly, I was unable to identify any specific areas where I fell short during the interview process. I left the interview feeling quite confident about my participation and interaction with both the interviewers and my peers. I'm not really sure exactly how many people they were looking for that day or what might have deterred them from making me an offer. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

HI. Have you applied again since time has passed?

Lofted Designs said...

I have not re-applied with JetBlue or any other airline because I have since landed a job I absolutely love with Marriott! Great company, perfect job for me & travel perks. :) I'm still making jewelry, too! www.lofteddesigns.com -- thanks for reading!

Jaime Crystal Villamaria said...

Congrats on getting a job that you love!
Your post scared me before going into my jetblue f2f interview 3 weeks ago...BUT it definitely prepared me for what I needed ahead. I'm just pending my background check.. Cross your fingers!

Lofted Designs said...

Hooray, Jaime! Congratulations on feeling prepared for your interview...I'm happy my post was helpful. My fingers are definitely crossed for you!!! GOOD LUCK. :)

nkese oneil said...

Hello, do you know if Jetblue accepts applications from other countries other than the US? Will appreciate your response.

Lofted Designs said...

Hi Nkese Oneil - their website says "JetBlue Airways Corp. is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability status, pregnancy, genetic information, citizenship status or any other characteristic protected by law."

They may require you to relocate to the US if hired, but if you are interested in applying and that is an option for you, I say go for it! Good luck.