How to prepare candidates for a Pilot Screening Assessment

Finding the right pilots for your Airline can be difficult.  Take a look at our tips about how to get the best from your flight crew candidates during a pilot screening assessment.

For Airlines the pilot screening process can be an expensive and time-consuming affair. Screening Assessments may include a simulator check, interview, examinations, psychometric assessments, medical exams, group activities and more. They can take place over one or more days, at more than one venue and even in different countries.

By the end of an assessment, it will be very clear that some candidates are perfect and that others are not.  However, assessments can go wrong because an otherwise good candidate is nervous or anxious so it is important to take a look at what you can do to get the best out of each pilot you screen.

The Screening Process

A major reason for anxiety is fear of the unknown. Offer as much information as possible to enable your candidates to prepare.

Tell your candidates what activities they will participate in during the Pilot Screening Process e.g. interview, Simulator check, etc.  This will give candidates an idea of what to expect. They can start to think about what questions might be asked in the interview and brush up on their CRM skills for the Simulator check.

Perhaps some assessments can be completed ahead of time such as psychometric testing. Being able to complete some elements of the assessment in familiar surroundings will help keep stress levels down.

Provide as much preparation material as possible. This might include information about the Simulator check, how many people will be present in the interview and practice material for any tests. By arming your candidates with information, they will feel confident about the assessment.

As well as preparing your candidates to take part in the assessments, think about their wellbeing while they are undertaking testing. Will food and refreshments be available, or should they bring their own? Ensure they know the dress code, for example, business attire for the interview, possibly sportswear for the medical check.

Getting to the venue

Provide a clear itinerary of where the candidate needs to be and when. Include detailed maps and information about how to get to the venue, where and who to report to and provide a phone number for a contact person they can reach if they get lost or need assistance.

For candidates who are coming from out of town or from another country, offer additional support where you can. Trying to negotiate your way to a place you have never been before, particularly in a foreign country can be stressful. If your Airline does not provide accommodation during the assessment, can you recommend some places to stay which are close by? Can you recommend a taxi or transport option to get around? If your candidates have had a difficult time negotiating these obstacles, they may arrive stressed and fatigued and unable to perform at their best.


If you are holding an Assessment a friendly welcome is a great way to begin the process of relaxing your candidates.  Take some time to get to know your candidates and introduce them to the individuals involved in the assessment. Making an effort to put your candidates at ease before the screening begins will help them to relax in the unfamiliar surroundings and give them the confidence to be themselves and perform at their best.

Cultural Etiquette

For pilots attending a screening in a different country where they are unfamiliar with the cultural norms, it is important to also provide information about what is acceptable and what can be considered offensive in that particular culture. The assessment itself can be stressful so knowing in advance how they should respond to certain situations in that culture will be one less thing for candidates to worry about during the screening process, therefore ensuring stress levels remain low.

At WINGS Recruitment, we pre-screen all of our candidates. This gives us a chance to ensure we are putting the best candidates forward to our Airlines and offers our pilots an opportunity to hone their interviewing skills before attending an interview with our Airlines. We also support our pilots through the Airline screening process ensuring they have plenty of information up front about the screening and the peripheral concerns such as local accommodation and transport. To find out more about how WINGS Recruitment can support your Airline register with us or contact our friendly team at