About Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia is the largest airline (by fleet size) to use the Virgin brand, and has been flying in Australia under various names since August 2000, when Virgin Blue used two aircraft on a single route.
Growing and developing since then, Virgin Australia serves 33 cities and covers business and charter flights, as well as journeys to international destinations, rebranding as Virgin Australia in 2011.
Despite recent economic problems that have caused many travel businesses and airlines to struggle, Virgin Australia continues to grow, with a fleet that includes Boeing 737s, Fokker 100s, and the Airbus A320.
Whether as a flight attendant, a pilot, or one of the many ground crew and corporate roles that are available at Virgin Australia, candidates need to meet the high standards expected by the recruitment team to be successful.
Working for Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia supports Direct Entry First Officers, Second Officers, and Command Pilots who meet the minimum requirements - including, but not limited to:
- Australian ATPL/CPL (completion level needed depends on role)
- Australian Instrument Rating with MEA, IAP 2D, and IAP 3D endorsement
- English Language Proficiency Level 6
- Australian Class 1 Medical Certificate
- 400+ hours of total flight time
New Zealand pilots are invited to apply if they can or have converted to the relevant certifications and minimum requirements for Australia.
Working for Virgin Australia as a pilot has many benefits, from extended paid leave to insurance, staff travel that can be used by family and friends, and the opportunity to bid for rosters that suit your lifestyle.
Virgin Australia Application Process
The application process is rigorous - Virgin Australia is only interested in hiring the best flight crew, so there are several stages that you must pass to fly.
Every application begins on the career page of the Virgin Australia website, where you will be able to see the positions that are hiring, and where the base will be.
All Direct Entry pilots need to complete a simple profile on the careers site, including all the information about experience, qualifications, and contact details.
Using the job description as a guide, highlight relevant knowledge and skills in your CV, and be sure to include a cover letter if you can. All these details will remain on file throughout your application, so if you are not successful you can reapply at a later date.
Your application will be reviewed by the recruitment team, and if you meet the minimum requirements for the role you will be put forward for the next stage of the process - testing.
The aptitude testing and the simulator assessment are provided by Aviation Australia at their testing facility based at Brisbane Airport.
Once your application has been passed to Aviation Australia, you will be given a test date where you will spend half a day on-site completing several different psychometric tests, designed to check the skills and aptitudes that are necessary for a successful flight career with Virgin Australia.
Tracking Test: Using a joystick, you need to steer a target through a moving stream of markers. This test comprises a practice round, and then three rounds of two minutes each, with scores counted at the end.
Coordination Test: This test uses two joysticks and rudder pedals, needing you to control the PFD and the speed.
Cockpit Mathematics: With a 15-minute time limit, you need to use mental maths to perform practical calculations that you might need in flight. This includes using speed, time, ratios, distance, and quantity as well as interpreting data in tables or graphs. The problems here are not designed to be overly difficult, but the time pressure will make them more challenging, allowing the assessors an indicator of your mental agility and capacity.
Memory Test: This short, six-minute test is assessing your short-term memory and your ability to 'chunk' information to make it easier to remember. The test gets harder as you go through, and involves memorising a series of related numerical and verbal information.
Instrument Interpretation and Spatial Orientation: This is one of the more complex assessments in the battery, with just 10 minutes available to complete. The instructions can be repeated if the candidate is unclear. The Spatial Orientation section needs you to be able to understand the altitude, direction, and flying pattern of an aircraft, and you need to decide which one is correct.
Task Management: Managing multiple tasks at once is a necessary skill when flying, and this assessment gives several different tasks that need to be completed in the right order, including an input task and a monitoring task.
ATPL Level Test: This assessment does not have a time limit, but you will have to answer 30 questions specific to the type of aircraft that you have chosen to fly.
Personality Inventory Test: This multiple-choice questionnaire is not timed, but usually takes around 30 minutes to complete. You need to choose how much you agree with statements that are designed to assess your personality traits, especially those that are useful in flying. These include resilience, accuracy, autonomy, impulse control, and the need for variation among others.
There may be other assessments, such as a written comprehension test and verbal reasoning, depending on the role.
Once you have completed the psychometric assessments, you will need to complete a simulator assessment. This is undertaken at Aviation Australia, and you will likely be monitored by the Head of Flying Operations, the Chief Pilot, and/or the Head of Training Standards.
This is an assessment of your general flying skills; it is not how you deal with a crisis. This means that for a competent pilot with the required amount of flying hours, it should be a straightforward exercise in a virtual cockpit that you will recognize and feel comfortable in.
Once you have completed the assessments at Aviation Australia, you will then come to the base to complete the last stages of the process - interviews and group exercises.
The interview may be one-on-one, or with a panel, depending on operational needs. In some cases, more than one interview will take place, perhaps with different key partners and managers.
These interviews are behavioral-based, which means that they are designed to assess your personality, culture fit, and experience. The interviewers are looking for specific examples of your experience that demonstrate that you have the competencies, skills, and behaviours that will help you be successful in the role.
To make the most of the interview, be sure to prepare some examples that match the competencies and skills needed in the role, and try to demonstrate the innovative and challenging personality that Virgin Australia is looking for in their staff. Using a mnemonic like STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) will help you keep your answers succinct.
While the interview inquiries may vary, many applicants can expect questions like:
Virgin Australia Cabin Crew Interview Questions
While the interview questions may vary, many applicants can expect inquiries like:
- Why do you want to work for Virgin Australia?
- Why should we hire you?
- What was your previous role and from this what can you bring to the cabin crew role?
- Describe your strengths and weaknesses.
- Describe a time when you have gone above and beyond.
- Describe a time when you have dealt with a difficult customer.