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Question:  in today's market, how does a recently retired USAF fixed wing pilot NOT get hired by a major?

I assume, assuming all basics - ATP, etc - are in place that it either comes down to the interview or a version of a black-ball from someone who knows the candidate.

Follow-on questions: 

- How does one blow (sts) the interview?

- If some form of a black-ball, how does the company know of such?  Are potential hires known/announced?  Is it word of mouth?

 

My curiousity is because a former commander very recently was turned down by a major.  Not sorry as the individual would very quickly let everyone know he/she was the smartest person not only in the room, but ever.  But that news led me to wonder the above.  Might help those pursuing such a job.

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I went down to the crew base in Dallas to grab some paperwork a couple weeks ago and saw the interview list. A couple guys had some positive comments next to their name, but one dude had “Not only no, but HELL NO!” The Chiefs look at this sheet and it carries a lot of weight at Southwest.


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It's usually done via letters to the HR department, "internal" (as in that person doesn't see) recs, or talking directly with people.  I'd have to really dislike someone to "black-ball" them.  I've had some people I've generally not cared for, but none that I can think of one drive me to this.  That said, I know of one guy who was bad enough that there was a concerted effort to get him blackballed at every airline.  From my understanding it's been successful so far, but I have heard a rumor he may have finally gotten hired somewhere.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same guy Duck saw on the list. 

Edited by SocialD

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Usually the two cardinal rules are, 1. Don't be a douche because at some point it'll come around to bite you. 2. Don't lie about things on your app or during an interview no matter what it is.

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1 hour ago, brickhistory said:

very quickly let everyone know he/she was the smartest person not only in the room, but ever. 

So don’t be that guy. Those thoughts shine through in the interview no matter how much you try to hide your asshole-ness.  

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1 hour ago, SocialD said:

That said, I know of one guy who was bad enough that there was a concerted effort to get him blackballed at every airline.  From my understanding it's been successful so far, but I have heard a rumor he may have finally gotten hired somewhere.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same guy Duck saw on the list. 

This wouldn’t happen to be a “well-known” guy from the mobility community, would it?  
 

Either way, the efforts against the guy I am talking about were due to extreme douche-baggery outside of his AF career.  That’s a clean kill when you fuck over a well-liked bro with a lot of friends at most (if not all) of the majors. 

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If the guy was always the smartest person in the room, I bet that the interview is what tanked him.  Of the roughly 10 guys at my interview that started a group text to keep track of results, only one guy didn't get hired (recently retired AF).  Had one of the interviewers pulled me aside as I was walking out and asked "one guy isn't going to get hired, who is it?" I'd have said that guy.  It was obvious to a third grader that he was massively stressed.  Everyone was stressed and excited, but I think he had psyched himself out.

If you are current in a USAF fixed wing airplane and have your ATP, you are very competitive.  If you're not current, may need to start moonlighting as a CFI or accept a penalty lap at a regional.  Here is a list of things that could tank you in the interview (not comprehensive, but probably close):

Lying on your app (most common is padding the hours or avail date)

Not doing your homework / interview / test prep

Being a douche

If you get an interview, the airline has already flown you out to talk to them.  They want to hire you.  Reinforce the reasons they saw in your app and don't give them a reason to not hire you.  It's a big opportunity.  Start prepping a full year out for the app and interview for at least a few hours a week building to a few hours a day in the month prior.  Do that and you'll be confident enough to be yourself (or if you're a douche, be someone else.  In that case, don't apply at my airline).

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I know of a guy who made himself persona non grata at his Reserve unit and got hired by a major airline.  Most assumed he failed to "List any accident/incident you have been involved in" on his application and someone dropped a dime on him.  Sure enough, he had failed to list an incident..or two.. and was shown the door.  So,  be a douche nozzle and piss people off might be one way to not get hired.

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4 hours ago, Duck said:

I went down to the crew base in Dallas to grab some paperwork a couple weeks ago and saw the interview list. A couple guys had some positive comments next to their name, but one dude had “Not only no, but HELL NO!” The Chiefs look at this sheet and it carries a lot of weight at Southwest.


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Where does this list sit in the DAL crew base?

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Any nuggets out there for the app that trip guys up? Currently going back and listing various military schools I attended and getting official transcripts and such. 
 

I also had a guy recently ask me what he should do about having a failed civilian checkride that didn’t show up on his FAA records review. I said still list it, but it’s like the opposite of hiding something there and makes you look odd.

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30 minutes ago, BADFNZ said:

Where does this list sit in the DAL crew base?

You can internally “anti” recommend someone. 

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9 hours ago, TreeA10 said:

I know of a guy who made himself persona non grata at his Reserve unit and got hired by a major airline.  Most assumed he failed to "List any accident/incident you have been involved in" on his application and someone dropped a dime on him.  Sure enough, he had failed to list an incident..or two.. and was shown the door.  So,  be a douche nozzle and piss people off might be one way to not get hired.

Now I’m second guessing my apps.. what is considered an accident or incident? I’ve shut down so many engines I have no count. I had a pretty unique emergency once but we recovered the aircraft with no damage. I listed my over speed, no damage, with my Q3; but not under incidents. What’s the threshold?

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10 hours ago, TreeA10 said:

I know of a guy who made himself persona non grata at his Reserve unit and got hired by a major airline.  Most assumed he failed to "List any accident/incident you have been involved in" on his application and someone dropped a dime on him.  Sure enough, he had failed to list an incident..or two.. and was shown the door.  So,  be a douche nozzle and piss people off might be one way to not get hired.

Curious about this, do they have a definition of an “incident”?  I’ve had enough emergencies in the Talon that I’ve lost count.  Do they want you to list battle damage under this?  I have every intention of being open kimono on my apps but I don’t want to unintentionally leave something out and then get called on it.  Appreciate any info you have.

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Where does this list sit in the DAL crew base?

Surprisingly this one was sitting out on one of the tables in the lounge/tv room.

So I can’t speak for other airlines since I only applied to SWA but I was amazed at just how friendly and easy the interview was. I even cracked a couple jokes and just had fun with the interviewers.

“What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge going from Military to SWA?”

“Figuring out what to do with all that money, Bob. Just kidding, but honestly... [discussion about leaning on others versus the military putting everything on your shoulders]”


The toughest part was the LOI, where they give you a bad situation with no good answers and only a couple mins to deal with it. Plus you may or may not have helpful crew members. My FO was hell bent on diverting to a place that just didn’t make sense. One guy in my group had an FO who tried to takeover the plane and make decisions for him. It’s like a better version of Delta’s “what would you do” because now you have a face to look at and it’s not a hypothetical anymore. JUST MAKE A DECISION AND DO IT while trying to not be an a-hole, passive or Capt America.

Good questions in here, keep them coming.



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Curious about this, do they have a definition of an “incident”?  I’ve had enough emergencies in the Talon that I’ve lost count.  Do they want you to list battle damage under this?  I have every intention of being open kimono on my apps but I don’t want to unintentionally leave something out and then get called on it.  Appreciate any info you have.


I didn’t list every time I shut an engine down in the T-38 or anything that wasn’t a reportable incident to the FAA. I listed my one Q-3 (that guy is blacklisted and not by me), and that was about it. I was involved in a Class C which was later upgraded to a B, which I probably should have mentioned but I had honestly forgotten about it because it happened at the school house when a C-17 broke our boom in half and landed with it still in his receptacle. That was a weird situation because the SQ/CC of the C-17s was flying and I guess he was a golden child. We waited around expecting to pee in cups but magically it all went away as if it never happened. Right before I graduated the IP found me and told me the damage was so bad that they had upgraded it. Those things you definitely want to list. I would say don’t hide anything but also don’t be the worrier who psychs himself out so much that he can’t perform come game day.

Also don’t be like the guy in my wing who showed up for the interview dropping the F-bomb every other sentence. The feedback I got was they really wanted to hire him but just couldn’t justify it.




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57 minutes ago, DirkDiggler said:

Curious about this, do they have a definition of an “incident”?  I’ve had enough emergencies in the Talon that I’ve lost count.  Do they want you to list battle damage under this?  I have every intention of being open kimono on my apps but I don’t want to unintentionally leave something out and then get called on it.  Appreciate any info you have.

ICAO definition of accident: 

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Accident

Incident:

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Serious_Incident

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On 11/25/2019 at 7:43 PM, FUSEPLUG said:

This wouldn’t happen to be a “well-known” guy from the mobility community, would it?  

Negative.  Fighter community.  

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On 11/25/2019 at 5:10 PM, Duck said:

I went down to the crew base in Dallas to grab some paperwork a couple weeks ago and saw the interview list. A couple guys had some positive comments next to their name, but one dude had “Not only no, but HELL NO!” The Chiefs look at this sheet and it carries a lot of weight at Southwest.


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The infamous “bro check”...bottom line, don’t be a douche.  

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On 11/26/2019 at 9:30 PM, DirkDiggler said:

Curious about this, do they have a definition of an “incident”?  I’ve had enough emergencies in the Talon that I’ve lost count.  Do they want you to list battle damage under this?  I have every intention of being open kimono on my apps but I don’t want to unintentionally leave something out and then get called on it.  Appreciate any info you have.

I'm not in the hiring business and have no idea what the airlines might want to know. I had numerous events (worse week was a T-38 engine fire, rapid decompression, and major electrical failure over three days) and didn't list any since nothing required an investigation. They made good topics for a lot of interview questions, however. 

 I would guess if you were personally listed as the cause of the event due to neglect, error, etc., you might want to mention it. The person I mentioned was directly responsible for the incident, actually multiple incidents, through his actions showing wanton disregard for rules and the safe operation of his aircraft. Very blatant and hard to overlook or justify by any measure by any rational aviator. 

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18 hours ago, TreeA10 said:

I'm not in the hiring business and have no idea what the airlines might want to know. I had numerous events (worse week was a T-38 engine fire, rapid decompression, and major electrical failure over three days) and didn't list any since nothing required an investigation. They made good topics for a lot of interview questions, however. 

 I would guess if you were personally listed as the cause of the event due to neglect, error, etc., you might want to mention it. The person I mentioned was directly responsible for the incident, actually multiple incidents, through his actions showing wanton disregard for rules and the safe operation of his aircraft. Very blatant and hard to overlook or justify by any measure by any rational aviator. 

Thanks much, response was helpful.  Knock on wood, so far I haven’t had my name on any investigations so hopefully I can keep that up these last 4 years.

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On 11/25/2019 at 4:43 PM, FUSEPLUG said:

This wouldn’t happen to be a “well-known” guy from the mobility community, would it?  
 

Either way, the efforts against the guy I am talking about were due to extreme douche-baggery outside of his AF career.  That’s a clean kill when you fuck over a well-liked bro with a lot of friends at most (if not all) of the majors. 

He works for Boeing.

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On 4/16/2019 at 6:19 PM, Cockpit2Cockpit said:

Here is a link to the latest article on my Cockpit to Cockpit blog...enjoy!

Military to Airline Pilot 101: What to Expect in Your First Year

https://bit.ly/2UpTEKl

 

Quick question for you guys who have read this book:

I'm a Guard baby and also a Regional Captain who is trying to get his s**t together and get apps/profiles published for several companies by 1-January... Since I have a pretty good grasp of 121 life and the differences between the Mil and Civ side, would this book still be a useful supplement to my current efforts?

I don't mind to spend money on good stuff, and it sounds like it's fantastic info for guys coming off AD careers, but I don't want to blow hard-earned cash on something that doesn't really pertain to me... especially since I'm dropping all kinds of coin for Emerald Coast, app reviews, etc. 

Any opinions welcome, and thanks in advance. 

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Between the free advice from friends who are where you want to be, the insane amount of advice on forums like this and APC, and the advice you're about to pay for with interview prep, I bet you'll be fine.  I didn't buy or read that book or any other and it worked out just fine for me.

But to play devils advocate against myself, it is a huge career money-wise, so another $20 or whatever he's charging probably is a drop in the bucket.

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:32 AM, so.it.goes said:

Quick question for you guys who have read this book:

I'm a Guard baby and also a Regional Captain who is trying to get his s**t together and get apps/profiles published for several companies by 1-January... Since I have a pretty good grasp of 121 life and the differences between the Mil and Civ side, would this book still be a useful supplement to my current efforts?

I don't mind to spend money on good stuff, and it sounds like it's fantastic info for guys coming off AD careers, but I don't want to blow hard-earned cash on something that doesn't really pertain to me... especially since I'm dropping all kinds of coin for Emerald Coast, app reviews, etc. 

Any opinions welcome, and thanks in advance. 

You're good without the book; you already went Mil to airline by flying at a regional, so you've got insights that someone coming from AD doesn't.

Tangentially, my unsolicited advice (knowing what I know now) is to spend the extra time asking your homies what they do NOT like about their respective airline. This isn't a dig at anyone, but dudes coming off active duty have a very skewed perspective; most of them just got out of an abusive relationship with the Air Force, so no matter which company they end up at, life is SIGNIFICANTLY better. Since they've only seen the industry during a bull market, there are no apparent downsides. However, the O-5s in your SQ who've been playing this game for the last two decades can tell you what to be cautious of and what their airline is NOT bringing to the table compared to the others. Not that you haven't done this already; some folks here are unfamiliar with the process. Just my 2 cents; best of luck, man.

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You're good without the book; you already went Mil to airline by flying at a regional, so you've got insights that someone coming from AD doesn't.
Tangentially, my unsolicited advice (knowing what I know now) is to spend the extra time asking your homies what they do NOT like about their respective airline. This isn't a dig at anyone, but dudes coming off active duty have a very skewed perspective; most of them just got out of an abusive relationship with the Air Force, so no matter which company they end up at, life is SIGNIFICANTLY better. Since they've only seen the industry during a bull market, there are no apparent downsides. However, the O-5s in your SQ who've been playing this game for the last two decades can tell you what to be cautious of and what their airline is NOT bringing to the table compared to the others. Not that you haven't done this already; some folks here are unfamiliar with the process. Just my 2 cents; best of luck, man.


Thanks, man. Good advice (which I feel like I have mostly adopted already). The only "tough" part about doing so, is that when you're in a guard unit in a domicile (Louisville/UPS), the numbers are WAY skewed toward that particular employer, and it can be difficult to get an idea of what everyone else is like.

We've added a few Delta folks, one/now two United, and have a couple AAL/SW guys in the ranks, but the vast majority are UPS, so that's about all I hear.

I'll have to be a little more proactive about the other companies, but, ultimately, I guess it comes down to who calls first anyway.
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