Did someone say "pilot hiring wave" this fall? Now is the time for an application review, a Resume creation &/or the pilot interview prep self-study program!

Dear Pilot Applicant,

We have worked diligently to ensure your interview preparation is presented in an organized format. Rest assured all subject matter is regularly updated.

We are available M-F, 9am to 4pm MT if you have any questions or concerns.

You may email us anytime at info@cageconsulting.com

We are honored you have chosen Cage Marshall Consulting to help you prepare for your important interview. Thank you for your trust in us.

Angie Marshall

President of Cage Marshall Consulting



Know The Airline
General Interview Questions
Interview Day: Overview
Specific Airline Questions
Background Check
Technical Assessment Review
On-Demand Videos
Reads to Consider
Self-Evaluation Worksheet
Access Your Digital Study Guides
Get To Know

United Airlines

Every airline has a unique corporate culture.
A great way to begin your research into each airline is by reviewing historical information. Knowing how a company was 'born' can help build your foundational knowledge of current business outlook and the focus of future business enhancement.
We offer this VERY basic historical information to help you jumpstart your research.

You should be knowledgeable about the entire company. Dig deeper than just fleets and routes. Take time to review company philosophy and any mission statement. Get to understand the company culture by talking with employees and/or learning about community outreach programs and plans for the future. Review the company’s history.
Mission Outlook


“Connecting People. Uniting the World.”

Every day, we help unite the world by connecting people to the moments that matter most. This shared purpose drives us to be the best airline for our employees, customers and everyone we serve.

Core4 Values

Safety, Caring, Dependability & Efficiency

In action, that means doing the right thing for our planet, our passengers and our people.



United Airlines offered coast-to-coast passenger and mail service.


Ellen Church was hired by Boeing Airline Company as the first flight attendant.


Purchased the first flight simulators with visual, sound and motion abilities.


Received its first jet aircraft DC-8.


Merged with Capital Airlines and displaced AA as the world’s second largest carrier.


First B-747 delivery


Only airline to have operated as EXECUTIVE ONE (designation given to a/c that fly the President of the United States)


Launched Mileage Plus program.


Launch carrier for Boeing 767-200.


First airline to service all 50 states.


United Pilots strike was resolved in 29-days.


Ordered the new Boeing 747-400.


Acquired USAirways.


Declared bankruptcy but continued operations.


Exited bankruptcy and returned to normal operations.


Merged with Continental.


United only major US airline to require COVID-19 vaccines for its employees.

Interview Day


We suggest applicants arrange their own transportation during the interview.  (Unless UAL specifies in their WELCOME PACKET that you have been invited to ride the crew van, practice professional interviewing etiquette, make your own transportation arrangements.) 

We also suggest that you arrive the day prior to your interview.

Prior to Interview Day

After completing the Leadership Assessment, expect an email invite to schedule your interview, arrange travel, and make overnight accommodations

UAL will email a Welcome Packet and the Candidate Study Guide. Studying these documents is a priority!

Complete all requested paperwork and email your documents according to directions and time frames.


Check-in early on the day of your interview. 

Show your ID and receive a visitor pass.

You’ll be asked to remove smart watches, and stow computers, iPads, tablets, and suitcases.

Logbooks and application addendum will be collected. Applicants normally wait in the cafeteria. 

A UAL team member will arrive, give a quick briefing, and offer a tour.

Applicants are called individually for their interview, usually with one Pilot representative and one Human Resources representative.

There are two parts to the interview:

  • HR Interview (Lasts approximately 45 minutes)
  • Technical Interview (Lasts anywhere from 5–45 minutes)
  • Applicants normally remain with the same interviewers for both phases.

After the interview, applicants gather their logbooks and depart.

After The Interview

The interviewers will tell you about the timeframe you can expect to receive the interview results.   

The Pilot Applicant Review Board (PARB) will review the Hogan test score, application, submitted documentation, interview notes from logbooks, HR and Technical interviews, LORs, (and anything additional) prior to making their final decision.   

If a CJO is offered, additional emails will follow regarding the next steps.

Pilot Background Check – Historical Overview

The Pilot Record Improvement Act of 1996 (PRIA) was instated to enhance aviation safety by enabling air carriers to make better informed decisions when hiring pilots.


The PRIA requires a pilot employer to gather appropriate records relating to pilot qualifications, pilot experience, pilot performance, pilot alcohol and drug testing along with the pilot’s driving record.


When the PRIA was first implemented these records had to be requested from various organizations (FAA, individual airlines/companies) and thus, gathering this information could take weeks if not months.


Enter the Pilot Records Database. This database was designed to gather and share pilot records among the FAA and air carriers. With the Pilot Records Database implementation this information can be gathered in days if not minutes.


As you move through the interviewing process it is vital to recognize the absolute necessity of full transparency in discussing your background.

Full Compliance with the Pilot Records
Database is scheduled to begin September 2024.

The PILOT RECORDS DATABASE will serve as the repository for pilot records
from the FAA and records reported by current and previous employers.

The database will include the following information:

FAA pilot certificate information, such as certificates and ratings

FAA summaries of unsatisfactory pilot applications for new certificates or ratings

FAA records of accidents, incidents, and enforcement actions

Records from employers on pilot training, qualification, and proficiency

Employers’ final disciplinary action records

Pilot drug and alcohol records

Pilot records concerning separation of employment

Verification of pilot motor vehicle driving record


Changes come quickly to the airline industry and nowhere is this more apparent than in the paperwork requested of pilot applicants. For this reason, it is vital to review the airline’s paperwork requirements prior to sending in your final documents.

As you prepare the to present

final paperwork, keep these tips in mind:

Application: Addresses complete and correct? Phone numbers, emails for you, your employers your references correct?

FAA records: Reviewed?

Passport: Up to date?

Logbooks (electronic and original): Prepared?

Certifications and Licenses: Reviewed?

Driving record: Reviewed?

FAA medical: Up to date?

College Transcripts (if applicable): Avaliable?

Airline directions

will be different!

If you are in the application process with multiple airlines, please do ONE document preparation at a time. This will help limit the possibility for misunderstanding the airline’s directions.

Double-Check Your


Ensure that all questions are answered and all appropriate boxes are filled in appropriately.

Timing Is Everything!

Send in the requested information ON TIME.

Airlines do not want

to see your birth date

Because of this, it will be necessary to cover this information. Do not make marks on your originals.

Either cover your birth date with paper and make a copy or make a copy of your original document, black out the birthday and then send that copy. (It might appear silly to point this out, but many people ask this question.)


It is recommended electronic logbooks should comply with the most current version of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 120-78A.

It is vital that you follow the airline’s directions regarding acceptable flight time records and training documentation.

Logten Pro – Digital Logbook

Logten Pro – Digital Logbook

Visit Site
Milkeep – Parses military flight records & converts to civilian flight time

Milkeep – Parses military flight records & converts to civilian flight time

Visit Site
Aculog – A Pilot Logbook
Conversion Company

Aculog – A Pilot Logbook
Conversion Company

Visit Site
Prosoft Binders – Logbook
Printing, Presenting, Binding

Prosoft Binders – Logbook
Printing, Presenting, Binding

Visit Site
Interview Questions

This is a sample of some of the general interview questions you may encounter at any pilot interview.

Decision Making

How do you problem-solve?

Looking for confidence, logical methodical problem-solving style taking into consideration factors of safety, comfort, and expense.

Tell me about a time:

You resolved a problem with the help of others.

An unusual situation you had on the flight deck.

You encountered an in-flight medical emergency and how did you handle it?

Someone lost credibility in you.

You had to deal with change.

When someone frustrated/angered you at work.

You failed to achieve an objective/goal/commitment.

You made a mistake or learned a lesson on the flight deck.

You were distracted at work and how did it affect those who were working with you?

When you were able to reach a goal you set for yourself and tell me the steps you used to get there.

When you said or did something and immediately regretted it.

What steps (past and present) did you take to sit in this important seat today?

Have you ever had a situation where you learned something from someone and later found yourself using that knowledge/technique/approach to help you with a situation?

When you were asked to fly and didn’t want to.


How do you respond to those around you in times of conflict or disagreement?


Can you communicate with anyone no matter the personality and situation?

Tell me about a time:

When you had to intervene in a conflict between two other people.

You had to work with someone you didn’t like. What did you do to work with them?

When you had to offer constructive criticism to a coworker.

When something you said or did negatively affected a coworker/passenger.

When you had a confrontation, how did you handle it, and what were the results.

When you had to give bad news.

You overheard a coworker or customer talking negatively about your company and what did you do about it?

You had to tell a crew member or customer no?

When you were not fond of a co-worker and what did you do?

CRM broke down during a flight.

Situation when you had to talk face to face with an upset customer.


Are you an effective leader and also a competent subordinate when required?


Can you be assertive without alienating others?


Are you open to suggestions of others?


Can you admit your errors?


Do you solve problems with a focus on the team?

Tell me about a time:

When you had to take a leadership role unexpectedly.

You used skills that you believe define a good/great pilot/captain?

You saw a coworker struggling.

That you did less than your fair share and how did you feel about it.

You had offered to help complete a task when you were not asked to do so.

You changed your behavior/attitude/personality to work with someone.

When you went above and beyond with customer service.

Someone declined your advice.

You needed to use the assistance of an additional person to help you resolve a difficult situation.

You had to motivate your coworkers/crew members/passengers.

You received resistance from someone about something you requested or directed.

When you gave help to someone that didn't ask for it and it was outside your normal duties.

When you had to step in when you didn't have a position of command or authority.

When you had to mentor someone and what were the results?

You had to encourage a crew member.

You gave kudos or positive feedback towards a crew member.

You did something that benefited your company and coworkers.

When a superior/coworker/subordinate looked to you for direction?

You helped someone without being asked.

Your favorite leadership trait and the last time you used it.

You encouraged a coworker.


Are you compliant with policies and procedures but also easily seek understanding of policies and procedures you find unclear?


When disagreeing you take appropriate steps to change or more clearly understand the policy/procedure?

Tell me about a time:

You saw someone break a policy or procedure.

When you had to operate under a rule, guidance or SOP that you did not agree with.

When you broke a policy or SOP.

When someone asked you to do something you felt was unreasonable?

When you were able to help change a process/procedure/SOP in your job which benefited the company/coworkers.

General (Attitude, Humility, Personality)

Attitude lays the groundwork for the ease of communication and team interaction.

Everything you say and do throughout the interview (even what you are wearing and how you carry yourself) tells the interviewer something about you.

Tell me about a time:

How would you describe yourself? How would others describe you?

What are two of your strengths/weaknesses?

How would you rate yourself as a pilot?

How did you prepare for this interview?

Out of all the other applicants, why should we pick you?

What one special quality would you bring to the table if hired?

How would you define exceptional customer service?

Why do you want to fly for UAL?

TMAAT you learned something about yourself from talking with another person.

What motivates you?

TMA your best customer service day.

How do you define diversity?

What kind of role does diversity play in the work environment?

How does diversity help/hinder you in the workplace?

TMAAT when optimism played a role in the outcome of a difficult situation.

What are three things have you learned over the last year that helped you perform your duties better? What has gotten in the way?

When you felt you were treated unfairly.

Has anyone ever asked you to do anything that would compromise your values or morals?

TMA a skill that you have or have used that you believe would benefit UAL.

Is there anything you have not disclosed?

What Would You Do if..?

These questions allow interviewers to learn about a wide variety of approaches including decision making, compliance, interpersonal, leadership, customer service, and teamwork skills. Your thought process of solving these questions can also uncover your adherence to SOP.

What would you do if:

A coworker smelled of alcohol prior to flight?

You need to divert at min fuel with bad weather and the captain says you can make it to the assigned airport?

Specific Airline Questions

This is a sample of some of the more interesting questions applicants may encounter at the United Airlines interview.  

Have you upgraded at the first opportunity? Why not?

Were you promoted on schedule in the military?

Tell me about a time you did something at work or in the flight deck that you regret.

Tell me about a time you had a challenging passenger and needed to utilize other resources to resolve it.

Tell me about a time you offered someone your advice and they declined to accept it.

Tell me about a time when you had to make a strong effort with a coworker to build a relationship.

Tell me about a time you had to adapt your communication skills to ensure effective communication with a  student/ coworker/passenger / subordinate.

Tell me about a time you had to make an unpopular decision.

Tell me about a time when you made a promise to a customer/coworker/supervisor that you were unable to keep.

Tell me about a time you felt you were unfairly criticized but later realized that the criticism was justified.

Tell me about a time when you promoted diversity and inclusivity in a group, organization, or the workplace.

Tell me about a time you felt a crewmember had mentally “checked out” or was disengaged?

Tell me about a time when you felt as though you let a situation go too long or too far before acting.

Tell me about a time when one of your ideas made a positive impact on a group, team, or organization.

Tell me about a time when one of your ideas made a negative impact on a group, team, or organization.

Tell me about the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far.  Would you change anything?

Tell us about a time when you witnessed a crew member do something that could have jeopardized the integrity of the crew or the company brand.

Tell me about a time you stood up for someone.

Why UAL?

On-Demand Videos

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Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

A self-paced four-part series including four separate videos packaged into a
one-hour course

On Demand 18:32
Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

A self-paced four-part series including four separate videos packaged into a
one-hour course

On Demand 18:32
Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

A self-paced four-part series including four separate videos packaged into a
one-hour course

On Demand 18:32
Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

A self-paced four-part series including four separate videos packaged into a
one-hour course

On Demand 18:32
Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

A self-paced four-part series including four separate videos packaged into a
one-hour course

On Demand 18:32
Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

Building your interview
foundation on-demand video

A self-paced four-part series including four separate videos packaged into a
one-hour course

On Demand 18:32
Reads To Consider

These Study Guides are included with your purchase. They are accessible in your order confirmation email as well as in your Cage Marshall User Account.

Self-Evaluation Worksheet

The Power of the Self-Evaluation Worksheet

A pilot interviewer has (on average) 45-minutes to meet with you face-to-face.


In this 45-minutes your job is to convince the interviewer you possess the aptitude, experience and personal motivation to succeed in this competitive career.


To gauge these attributes the interview questions will closely align with the types of situations you will face when you fly the line. And, the best way to communicate these attributes is to provide personal, specific experiences. Your experiences should clearly paint-a-picture about how you handled yourself various scenarios. As you remember these important specific experiences you will also begin to gain a deeper philosophical understand of how you approach conflicts, solve problems, handle difficult people, etc.


Not many of us spend a lot of time critiquing ourselves in order to remember specific experiences in order to describe our outlook to others; but this is where CMC’s Self-Evaluation Worksheet comes in. Our worksheet is designed to help you not only uncover experiences but become more adept in describing your experiences with clarity.

Put simply, if you don’t clearly understand how you…
  • Make Decisions
  • Handle Conflicts
  • Work With Others
  • Lead
  • Communicate
  • Learn From Mistakes
…how can you expect to be able to explain
your outlook to others?
After completing the
Self-Evaluation Worksheet
you will be more confident by:
  • Understanding Your Behavior
  • Recalling Specific Examples of your Behavior
  • Delivering Your Responses in a Clear, Concise Manner

Additional examples on finding and sharing your experience can be found in Checklist for Success: A Pilot’s Guide to the Successful Airline Interview, pages 34-38 and pages 45-60.

Let’s Begin!

Positive Decision-Making Style

How well an airline runs depends heavily on the decision made by its on-the-scene employees.


Nowhere is this more-true than in the cockpit. Pilots are called upon to make decisions that impact safety, on-time schedule, passenger comfort, etc.  Most often, these decisions need to be made within a few minutes or even a split second.


In short airlines seek pilots who exhibit a strong ability to 1) logically seek best-solutions while 2) not causing new problems with their decision-making approach.

Ask Yourself:
  • What are some difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my life?
  • What process did I go through to arrive at my final decision?
  • What is the biggest mistake I’ve made?
  • What did I learn from that mistake?
  • What split-second decisions have I had to make?
  • What information did I need to make this decision?


Airlines are looking for captains, not
lifetime co-pilots. Whatever position an individual is flying all pilots must
possess the ability to speak up when the situation warrants. Even with no captain experience they will be keenly interested in your potential for leadership.

Ask Yourself:
  • What leadership roles have I held during my lifetime?
  • What leadership role am I particularly proud of?
  • What mistakes have I made while in a leadership role?
  • What did I learn from these mistakes?
  • What adjectives would describe your leadership style?
  • Describe your ideal captain.


 Airlines are looking for individuals who understand the importance of keeping the lines of communication open and flowing no matter the situation or personalities involved.


Ask Yourself:
  • Review your past conflicts and their end result: do you tend to shy away from confrontation?
  • What was a conflict I handled well?
  • What is a conflict I handled poorly? What would I do differently today?
  • Have I found myself caught between a conflict between two co-workers? How did I handle that?
  • Have I ever had to speak up quickly to avoid a mistake being made?

Potential Questions

Ask Yourself:

Team Orientation

There is a definite leadership hierarchy within the cockpit but CRM is of paramount importance. Indeed, the cockpit, the cabin and the pax boarding area is designed to be a team-oriented atmosphere.

Ask Yourself:
  • Have I been involved in any emergency situations where we solved the problem by
    working as a team? What process did I go through to arrive at my final decision?
  • Have I offered a solution that turned out to be the correct decision?
  • Have I ever disagreed with a decision arrived within a team? How did I handle that?

Learning Ability

As a professional aviator you will be
called upon to use your training on a daily basis. A potential employer will be
search for applicants with a  proven,
consistent ability to grasp and retain new ideas quickly and completely.

Ask Yourself:
  • Review your flight training.
  • Have you ever failed a check ride/s? Why?
  • Review your academic record.


An employee with a positive attitude is invaluable to any employer. In the cockpit a positive attitude can make dealing with the weather, mechanical delays, passenger problems and unexpected delays less stressful for everyone. An individual who accepts change with grace can impact a groups attitude. A positive attitude lays the groundwork for good communication and positive interaction.

Ask Yourself:

Review your normal behavior at work:

Do I take responsibility for my mistakes or, do I deflect my responsibility?

Do I complain when I am faced with changes in my schedule?

When someone critiques me how do I respond?

Review at least two mistakes in your past.

When I realized my mistake did I accept responsibility or become defensive?

 What did I learn from those mistakes?

How have I incorporated these lessons into my current behavior?

Have I ever been in a situation where MY attitude caused problems?

Sample Questions

How did you attain your flight training?

Tell me about a mistake you made in the cockpit?

Tell me about a conflict you had with a supervisor. How did you handle it?

Tell me about a time you saw a co-worker break an SOP?

What would you do if a captain made a decision you did not agree with?

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