1. Be Late
Normally airline recruiters will flush tardy retards like you right down the pooper. But if you’re late and manage to squeak a face-to-face after all, be prepared with a good excuse, like how you witnessed a car accident and had to stop and perform a roadside tracheotomy on a toddler or something. It helps to have doctored photos.
2. Wear a Hot Pink Business Suit
The airlines are not looking for people who stick out in a crowd. They want conformers, and it suits your purpose to pretend to be one. Your best bet regarding attire during an airline interview is to wear something that resembles the uniform you’d be expected to wear while performing the job. Delta’s uniform colors are, for example, are red, white and dark blue—not very imaginative, I know, but grit your teeth and bear it (which, by the way, will gain you points for performing the classic flight-attendant smile). Whatever you do, don’t dare show up in a Pucci-print cat suit like the old Braniff Airlines uniforms no matter how much you think this style ought to make a comeback. (And it really should make a comeback.)
3. Be an Asshole
It’s likely you’ll be asked to give a 60-second rant on who you are and why you’re perfect for the job. Don’t say any of the following actual things that were said during airline interviews that shit-canned the chances of the interviewee: “And yes, I am a model,” said the beautiful, clueless bitch (to a bunch of beautiful, bitchy airline recruiters); “I’m looking for a less stressful job,” said the bankrupt business owner (airline recruiters think their industry rivals neurosurgery on the stress level); “Why are all Americans so fat?” said the French fuckwit, who, up until then, seemed like a perfect candidate. “I can’t wait to call security to have people thrown off the plane,” said the candidate who wondered why no one gets her sarcastic sense of humor.
4. Say “I Love to Travel!”
For some reason that phrase is an airline-interview death knell. You’re not supposed to want the job because you love to travel. You’re supposed to want the job because you love to work, and you love people, and you love being part of a team and all that other mid-level management corporate suck-up speak.
5. Fail the Drug Test
Oh my God, you idiot. Put the cocaine away at least a week before your face-to-face with your interviewer. Because if you get past the initial interview, you’re basically hired unless you crap it up. Expect to be sent for a drug test immediately after you’ve been given the thumbs up for the next level. And no, the actually in-real-life attempted excuse that the drugs in your urine are a residual from recent sex with your boyfriend will not fly.
6. Have a Criminal Record
Sorry, but that D.U.I. will usually tank your hopes of an airline career. Same with those roofie rapes from your frat-boy days. For those of you with this on your record, you’ll have better luck applying for the police force or to become president of the United States.
Hollis Gillespie writes a weekly travel column for Paste. She is a writing instructor, travel expert and author of We Will be Crashing Shortly, coming out in June. Follow her on Twitter.