Etihad Assessment Day Explained: What To Really Expect!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Etihad Assessment Day Explained: What To Really Expect!

I am sure lots of you were happy when you received the short-listed email to attend Etihad Airways assessment day. However, many factors play a huge role in passing your interview and some of which might not sound fair or appealing. 

Let me say this first:

I would like to start by telling you the truth and the real conclusion of my experience and hundreds of others that were qualified and over qualified yet they weren't chosen during the first stage without even getting a real one on one interview. Yet they kept applying and finally made it after attending lots of cabin crew interviews. 

It would have been completely reasonable if Etihad picked up qualifying candidates during their first try, but to be fair evaluating large numbers of applicants can be difficult especially for a small period of time and that leaves a big gap for a chance.

It's messed up I know, but maybe you can take something out of this:

Etihad is always hosting flight attendant jobs and I was short-listed and then invited to attend the assessment day on the 28 of December 2015 in Casablanca Morocco. I had prepared all the requested documents that were sent to me through email ( registration form, pre-employment declaration form, the introductory statement, passport photo and full-length photo in business attire, resume....ext). Two days before the assessment day I had to take 13 hours bus to get to Marrakech and 3 hours ride on the train to Casablanca. So it's not like I live around the block neither many candidates that came from all over the world to attend the interview.

assessment day cabin crew

A little bit about my credentials:

+ High School Graduate From a native English speaking country 'USA'.
+ Over 2 years experience in customer service "Exxon Mobile".
+ 6 months of marketing and sales "Clear-view Energy" an energy provider company.

What was the recruitment team like:

I won't disclose the assessor's names but I will describe them from how they presented themselves to the candidates and as a whole:

  • Algerian Assessor: She was nice overall and she is in charge among the assessors from what I was told by another candidate. She was the one who told us who passed the first stage by calling out their names and she apologized mostly about any inconvenience and to those who didn't get the chance to continue along.
  • French Assessor: This guy is pretty chill and he was very interactive with candidates. I personally got the chance to answer one of his questions during the power point presentation. His French accent is pretty good yet he apologized for it anyway and that made me smile :).
  • Emirati Assessor: She was the one I registered with and she wasn't excited as her colleagues were but she is pretty calm and chill. She made a joke saying "I am not Moroccan" although she looked Moroccan (Lol). She gave a good presentation about Abu Dhabi UAE lifestyle and Etihad Airways history and she seem proud doing it.
  • Romanian Assessor: She is a lovely young lady. She was smiling the whole time and full of energy. I did my impromptu speech with her and she greeted me nicely and she asked me a question about manners. A friendly candidate sitting next to me liked her more than anyone else did during that day.
  • Irish Assessor: She was delightful although I didn't talk to her personally. However, she was very nice and understanding (She did something remarkable that day!). 

Assessment day stages:

  • Arrived before 8:00 am to Movenpick hotel
  • Led to an auditorium inside the hotel at 8:00 am
  • Registration began where they take your registration form and one passport photo only
  • Asked to reach 210 cm by the interviewer and given a name tag with a random number
  • Registration stage finished about 10:00 am (about 200 candidates)
  • Followed by a simple English test (2 pages-20 min)
  • 25 min break after the test
  • impromptu speech 1-on-1 (1 min per applicant) where they ask you random questions to test your English skills
  • After given your impromptu speech you are asked to come back at 2:15 (lunch break) 
  • At 2:15 pm the two assessors explain the lifestyle of Abu Dhabi and more info about the airline (around 40 min).
  • Filtering the candidates and those who passed so far (Nerve Wracking Part)
  • The end of that day (those who passed were asked to come back the next day).

First thing first

Everybody is dressing up in business attire and I arrived on time. After getting to the hotel auditorium, we begin registration and there were about 200 candidates setting in 4 long table rows. There were only 4 assessors which I'll get to talk about in a different section of the article. I was registered by the Emirati assessor and she wasn't excited as her colleagues but she wasn't rude either.

She asked me "how did you apply for Etihad airways" and i said "Online" she then asked "do you have any tattoos or piercings" and I was said "No". Then she asked me to reach a 210 cm mark on the wall which I did easily / I am 5'9" (To make sure that you can reach the safety equipment onboard the aircraft). I was then given a name tag and a number adjacent it. The last letter "E" of my name is missing and I didn't mind; not a big deal. She then told me to have a seat and I was like "Thank you". 

The English test stage

After all the candidates registered we were given the English test that consists of 4 parts/2 pages (grammar, comprehension, multiple choice answers) it was easy although it could have been better if they had given candidates more time but I can't complain, because they also need to test how fast you can finish up things. After the test, we had a 25 min break where the candidates can use the bathroom or go for a smoke w.e.

The impromptu speech

The impromptu speech was right after the break and for those of you who don't know what is 'an impromptu speech' is basically asking candidates a random question and 1 minute to answer them. 

The purpose of this short debate is to test your English speaking skills and how you would respond to the question. A good way to prepare yourself for that part is to practice English communication skills with a friend and have em rate your answers based on grammar and orientation.

Some of the questions asked during the impromptu speech

Cabin crew interview questions are pretty broad and you just can't prepare for them especially during the impromptu speech. Here are a couple of examples that were asked when I attended the flight attendant recruitment day:

  • is it good to be young?
  • what makes people smoke?
  • what is your favorite dish that your mother's make?
  • what's the one place you wanted to visit?

Also, when it is your turn for impromptu speech you must go to a different assessor than the one you registered with. I did my impromptu speech with a Romanian assessor where she asked me "are manners important in the workplace?" I replied with " I've worked in customer service for 'Exxon mobile' over 2 years and manners are very important to interact with customers and to win their trust. Also keeping manners under stressful situations is important in customer service and not to take things personally if you've been wronged" She was pretty happy with my answer from what I can tell and she told me to come back at 2:15 pm. 

Break time...

I left the rest of my documents on the table except for my passport and I left with another candidate to get lunch. I was pretty comfortable with myself during the break because I knew I did good and I was qualified compared to many other candidates that I've spoken to.

Presentations about Etihad, Abu Dhabi, aircrafts...etc

I came back from the break feeling confident about moving to the next stage. The French and Emirati Assessors presented a power point presentation of Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways which included; Videos of places in Abu Dhabi, Pictures of upgraded air crafts, Facts like the 7 year consecutive awards airline and about the airline's CEO James Hogan, Destinations of the airline.....etc the presentation lasted for about 40 minutes and the applicants were pretty vigorous when it comes to answering questions.

Here's the separation part

The Algerian assessor told the candidates that they shouldn't be demotivated if they are not chosen to continue on the assessment day and that we are there because they saw something in our resumes/cv that made them invite us! however, they are going to decline candidates without any personal feedback because of their confidential policy.

She says "You can always apply after 6 months" and then she started reading out names from the registrations forms. Everyone was anxious when she was reading those names because no one knew whether she was calling out the winners or the losers. They just have to raise their hand and stay seated. Then after the candidates are called out (about 40 maybe) they were asked to follow the French assessor to a different room while the rest must stay seated and I was among them. She then apologized and told us we did NOT make it :(.

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Final thoughts

The recruitment team can surely improve their process in many ways to attract the best candidates while being fair to all. Qatar airways, for example, began a sonru application that conducts online video interviews for candidates which save both time and money for both parties (the airline and the applicant).

I believe in a fair process and it's sad that qualified candidates have to attend over three assessment days sometimes to make it through. Nonetheless, I believe Etihad Airways will improve their recruitment process in the future as other competitors began doing so conveniently. 

If you made it this far...
Please share your opinion regarding the recruitment process and ask any question in the comment section below?
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  1. Same thing happened to me, I was so sure I would pass into the next stage and then they told us we were unseccesfully today... I still don't know what went wrong. And the worst thing is not being able to apply for another six months

    1. Yeah exactly the same thing. Well stay positive because i know people that made it after their third and fifth assessment days. :)
      Best of luck

  2. Hello, have you seen foreigners who passed the OD in Casablanca? I am planning to travel all the way but I am afraid they will only give a chance to Arabic speaker (I am from southeast asia). Thanks!

    1. Hi Yeah i have seen few foreigners but they are from neighboring countries such as Egypt and Algeria and of course they speak Arabic. Usually you want to stand out and when they come to Casablanca they are looking for Arabic speakers. Have you applied online? isn't there any neighboring country in south east asia where they held assessment day?

  3. Hi what's the period between every open day and the other and do they plan any invite based assessment days between the open days that are published gor the public to see?

  4. I didn't quiet understood your question. Open days are there to help candidates that didn't apply online for face to face interview and if they are successful they will be invited usually the next day to attend the assessment day and a final interview.

  5. Do they have an open day in Bolivia?

  6. Hey!i would like to know when the assessment day will be in morocco i searched everywhere but i didnt find any answer


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