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Pilot personality tests are used by airlines and aviation schools to assess the suitability of candidates for a career in aviation. These tests are designed to evaluate traits and characteristics that are essential for pilots, such as decision-making skills, stress management, teamwork, leadership qualities, and emotional stability.

This pack includes tests in the following topics:

  • Math: Basic Math, Numerical Reasoning and Numerical Series.
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning (Inductive & Deductive)
  • Situational Judgement Tests
  • Personality Tests
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Memory Tests
  • Error Checking
  • Grid Challenge & Switch Challenge

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If you’re interested in becoming a pilot, it’s important to understand the hiring process and what airlines are looking for in potential candidates. In addition to possessing the necessary skills and experience, airlines often look for specific personality traits that are well-suited for the pilot role.

What is the Hiring Process like for Pilots?

The process of applying to be a pilot may vary depending on the company and specialization (cargo versus commercial airline), however, most companies’ hiring process for pilots is as follows:

  • Application: Interested candidates must apply online with both a resume and cover letter.
  • Screening & Shortlisting: Recruiters screen all applications and inform successful candidates of next steps.
  • Invitation and Follow Up: Candidates are invited to apply to the piloting program formally.
  • Document Check: Relevant documents such as references and background checks are performed and verified.
  • Simulator: Applicants take and pass a simulator test on-site.
  • Assessments: Applicants are required to pass several pre-employment assessments including a personality and aptitude test. The tests may be online or on-site.
  • Assessment Center: Candidates may also be required to attend screening at an assessment center. This includes additional pre-employment assessments in-person and in groups.
  • Interview: Interviews may include several rounds, and are given over the phone, via videocall, or in-person.
  • Medical Check: All candidates must pass a medical check to rule out conflicting medical issues.

What Assessments Are Pilot Candidates Required to Take?

Regardless of the airline, a candidate is applying to, they will be expected to complete and pass a personality and aptitude test. An applicant may also be asked to take other pre-employment assessments, including the assessment center method.

Personality Test

Pre-employment personality tests assess candidates based on their compatibility with the job, and candidates applying to a pilot position must be compatible with the expectations and demands of the job. Airlines are committed to choosing the best candidates, and one that requires tutoring in technical skills or knowledge is easier to handle when the potential pilot has the personality and temperament to put in the work and do the job. Candidates may be assessed on:

  • Competency: Applicants must possess the ability to adapt quickly to changing situations in a stable, calm manner. They must show a resilience to difficult situations, impulse control, and a high stress tolerance.
  • Conscientiousness: Applicants who are conscious of their strengths and weaknesses must also possess the ambition and perseverance to overcome them.
  • Leadership: A potential pilot must be able to take control and lead effectively. They must possess strong persuasive and assertive skills.
  • Teamwork: Pilots are required to work both with their copilots and cabin crew and must show a proficiency in handling situations as a team with decision-making, communication, and autonomy.
  • Service: Airlines are considered both a travel and hospitality service, therefore, pilots must be capable of performing their duties while also remaining sociable, helpful, and empathetic to their coworkers and passengers.

Aptitude Test

Piloting candidates are also assessed with aptitude tests. These tests are designed to evaluate mental faculty and thinking skills in several areas. Pilot aptitude tests generally assess candidates based on the following:

  • Numerical Reasoning: Numerical reasoning tests evaluate an applicant’s understanding of basic mathematical operations in real-life scenarios. This includes hypothetical situations in which the candidate must problem-solve using mathematical analysis of word problems. Questions may include those related to finance, accounting, currency conversion, arithmetic, data interpretation, and calculations.
  • Verbal Reasoning: Verbal reasoning tests combine written problems and logic to test a candidate’s ability to interpret written language, vocabulary, and the ability to draw conclusions. Questions include language and literacy, with sections of text given with corresponding questions; grammar and spelling, with candidates required to assess given sentences; and vocabulary, including word analogy.
  • Spatial Reasoning: Spatial reasoning tests, also called spatial awareness tests, present applicants with 2- and 3-D objects, and assess their ability to interact with, interpret, and manipulate them according to directions. The questions, including shape matching and mirror images, are geared towards more technical roles, and are intended to evaluate a candidate’s understanding and comprehension of movement, directions, and problem-solving. Pilots may also encounter questions on maps, and be required to show a proficiency in latitude, longitude, and compasses.
  • Logical Reasoning: Logical reasoning assessments are designed to assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills and their ability to use reason and logic. This includes questions related to the job, as well as mathematics and language. Applicants may be asked to recognize patterns in sample sequences, use deductive reasoning to apply given rules to a new scenario, and word problems.
  • Abstract Reasoning: Abstract reasoning tests are non-verbal and are comprised almost entirely of images that the candidate will need to interact with and solve problems about using logic. Candidates are assessed based on their critical thinking skills and ability to think outside the box, and how quickly they are able to do it. Questions include making inferences based on data collected, and questions related to strategy and analysis.

Assessment Center

Airline companies may also use the assessment center method to choose the best candidates. The assessment center method is often used for higher functioning positions, such as piloting. Groups of candidates are assessed under standardized conditions in simulations including group and individual exercises. Candidates are assessed on their responses and reactions to difficult situations and ability to maneuver hypothetical scenarios they may encounter on the job. The assessment center proctors evaluate candidates’ problem-solving and decision-making skills, as well as their workplace compatibility and intelligence. Other assessment techniques may include interviews, presentations, examinations, and behavioral assessment.

How to Prepare for a Pilot Test

The easiest way to prepare for a pre-employment pilot test is to study. This means plenty of practice tests and study guides. Not every piloting position is the same, therefore not every pre-employment assessment is the same, however even a general understanding of what an applicant can expect from the tests -and what is expected of them in their answers- will increase their confidence going into the tests and improve their chances of getting the job. Preparing for an airline pilot test in particular is important because of the range of pre-employment assessments required, and this is where Prepare4Success will help.

Our preparation is suitable for the leading airlines in the world:

Becoming a pilot requires a combination of technical skills, experience, and personality traits that are well-suited for the role.

Wizz AirKLMUnited Airlines
UPS AirlinesQatar AirwaysBritish Airways
Delta Air LinesFedEx ExpressAir France
United AirlinesEthiopian AirlinesAmerican Airlines
Turkish AirlinesEmirates SkyCargoAir China
TUI AirwaysEmiratesLufthansa
The Emirates GroupeasyJetKorean Air Cargo
Southwest AirlinesCargoluxCathay Pacific Cargo
SkyWestChina Southern AirlinesRyanair
Singapore Airlines CargoChina Eastern Airlines Jet2
 Qantas Kuwait Airways Virgin Australia

By understanding what airlines are looking for and being prepared for the hiring process, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job as a pilot.

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