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Pinnacle Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: March 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:



Contacted in JAN 2000 by Kim Monroe less than a week after faxing her my
resume. Fax number is (901) 348-4162. She gave me a choice of 3 dates (all
Wednesdays) to fly to Memphis and interview. I chose the last date (early
February) which gave me three weeks to prepare. About two weeks later a
FedEx package arrived with an application and an airline ticket. They flew
me up to Memphis (their dime) on the Tuesday before my Wednesday interview
and suggested that I stay at the Radisson Airport. You pay for the hotel
but they give you a NWAL rate of $49 plus tax. As a side note, my room was
in the back of the hotel and couldn? have been more than 50 feet from a
taxiway. Between nervousness about the interview and the FedEx plans flying
all-night I didn? get much sleep. I would ask for an inside room or one
towards the front of the hotel to lessen the airport noise distraction. On
Wednesday morning I checked out of the hotel and got on the hotel airport
shuttle that took me and about ten other applicants to the corporate office
less than 10 minutes away.
Once at the office we were all put in a room and given more paperwork
to fill out, then given a company brief by Jeff Watson from human resources.
Afterwards we took a 50 question multiple choice test on weather, ATP,
aerodynamics, and instrument flying. Don? stress too much about the test.
I mentioned that I didn? think I did too well on the test and the captain
that interviewed my said that he probably couldn? pass it!?
The makeup of the applicants was out of 18: 1 female, 17 male; 4 black,
14 white; 1 around 24 years old, 12 between 30-35 years old, and 5 between
45-50 years old.
I was the first to interview at 11am by Jeff Watson (HR) and Jack
Moehr, pilot. Half of the people were interview by Kim Monroe (HR) and
another pilot. They took turns asking me questions sometimes not letting me
finish my answer but very friendly. The questions are as follows:

1. Why do you want to work for NWAL?
2. What is a clearance limit?
3. Look at this Jeppesen approach and tell me when I can descend, where do
you missed approach?
4. On the same approach, you don? break out and go to MA point as depicted
on the plate. Once established you go lost comm before you receive
instructions from ACT, where do you go and when?
5. Tell us about a conflict you?e had with a coworker or copilot?
6. Tell us something stupid you?e done in the cockpit?
7. Why should we pick you over the other 17 applicants here today?
8. What would you do if you are flying with a crusty old captain and her
tells you to keep your mouth shut and sit on your hands?
9. How are you going to deal with our procedures if the are not the same way
the military does things?
10. What is your favorite leadership role you have had and why?

They then asked if I had any questions for them. I asked Captain Moehr if
he has enjoyed his 11 years with NWAL. They thanked me for my time and I
was given a ride to the airport and on a flight by 2pm. Two days later on
that Friday in February, Jeff Watson called me in the afternoon and offered
me a class date a few months later.


Contacted by Kim Monroe on a Monday in March to interview just two days
later on that Wednesday. Had e-mailed resume to her about 3 weeks earlier
and received a letter in the mail from her just a week prior to expect a
call for an interview soon. They have A LOT of resumes to wade through as
the response to their recent recruiting blitz has been tremendous, so if you
meet their stated mins (1200 TT, 200 ME), have patience as you WILL be
getting a call to come and meet and chat with them in Memphis. Although
time between call for interview and actual interview was pretty short-fused
for me, I agreed to it as Memphis was a short drive for me. The only
downside about the relatively short notice was twofold:

1.) I didn't get application and associated paperwork in the mail beforehand
to fill out prior to arrival like others did (would have saved not only
time, but also my hand, which was sore after writing so much!)
2.) I didn't have much time to bone-up for the 50 question Commercial/ATP
general knowledge test given to all applicants on interview day prior to
face-to-face HR/Pilot interview.

As it turned out, neither of these items turned out to be much of an issue
as I had plenty of time to complete all the paperwork while others were
interviewing and the test wasn't really that hard (even though I almost
tanked it due to lack of good study preparation!). Even if I had failed it,
I think they are looking at the total package and won't necessarily hang you
for your academic failings unless you are a jerk or something.
Pleasantness, a sense of humor, and generally being relaxed and yourself go
a long way towards fitting in with their corporate image.
Since it was a busy week for the hiring folks, only 7 people were in this
particular interview class with a statistical breakdown as follows: 7 white
males (no females/minorities); 4 civilian, 3 military; 2 ages 25-30, 2 ages
30-40, 3 ages 40+. I believe the majority of the applicants in this group
had greater than 1500 hrs TT as Jeff Watson said he had put this group
together specifically to assign class dates for May. The Level D sim which
can be used to fully train folks with less than 1500 TT won't be ready for
use until June 00, so the Level C sims they use now can only be used with
folks who have more than 1500 TT according to some new FAA regs. Jeff said
he had two classes to start in May with 10 in each class, about a week
apart. In June, he has 2 classes of 10 each as well and expects to probably
ramp those numbers up in following months as the new "D sims" come online.
Besides Jeff Watson (HR) and Jack Moehr (Captain pilot) doing the 2v1
interviews, Kim Monroe (HR) and Greg Franklin (Captain and RJ Project Mgr)
also conducted "2v1s" to speed things along. The face-to-face was very
friendly and I only got asked a handful of HR and tech questions such as:

1.) Tell me about a conflict that you had with a coworker or other pilot?
2.) What was your favorite leadership role and why?
3.) Have you ever been late for work or had an unexcused absence?
4.) What do you think is a fair policy in regards to showing up to work and
signing in on time?
5.) Look at this JEPP plate and brief the approach. (Done twice on two
different approaches. First time told not in radar contact so pay attention
to whether or not you need to do published procedure turn as opposed to
simply getting "vectors" and intercepting final approach course. Can't take
vectors in this case as there is no radar! Also listen for details in
scenario such as runway approach lighting inop or remote altimeter setting
being used which will affect your MDA/DH (make them higher usually). They
just want to see if you know how to read and understand the darn plate under
different circumstances. Not to hard.)
6.) What is the maximum speed under the lateral limits of CLASS B airspace?
(200 KIAS)

They then asked me if I had any questions and I asked about future RJ
delivery schedule. After it was all over, they told me to expect
notification (yea/ney) a couple days later by phone from Jeff Watson. I
spent pretty much the whole day at their offices from 0830-1600, although
others with early return flights home got done much sooner. All in all a
very pleasant, professional experience. They ended up offering me a job a
few days later.

Date Interviewed: March 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Six people interviewed. All had at least 1900 hours. 5 male, 1 female. lowest time was 1900 hour pilot flying a Kingair left seat. High time was
the female, 2800 hours flying lears. Ages early twenties to early 40's.

Stayed the night in the Raddison airport in MEM. When you book your
reservation, ask for the Northwest airlines rate of $49 plus tax. Also, ask
for a non-smoking room, and a room "as far from the airport noise as
possible", otherwise you will be up ALL NIGHT listening to the Fed Ex planes
all night long. Half the interviewees had that problem.

Radisson shuttle will take everyone to the Express Airlines 1 H.Q. at 8:00
a.m. I advise you get to the front desk early to check out, as it could take
up to 20 min. for the driver to actually show up, as happened to us. We
barely made it for the 8:30 showtime.

Interview consists of LOTS of paperwork. Not one person received an
application in the mail, so we had to write it all out when we got there.
Bring with you already a complete background history of EVERY place you've
worked EVER. You'll fill out a 10-year background and a "complete" work
background (very time consuming). Also bring a list of EVERY address you've
lived at since you were 18 years old, and 4 personal references. if you were
unemployed or self-employed, you'll need personal references (3 I believe)
who can attest to those periods, or W2's, or a DD214 for military.

After the paperwork is done (or almost so) Kim Monroe will give you a little
background and future of the company. Then the interviewing pilots hand out
a 50 question multiple choice test with questions taken verbatum out of the
commercial, instrument AND ATP test banks (which was a surprise, I was told
it would be out of the ATP).

Then the tests are graded, and the order of interviewees is set according to
the schedule of when people need to leave to catch planes back home.

The interview is with a human resources person (most likely Kim Monroe, or
Jeff Watson, head of HR), a line pilot, and either the chief pilot (VERY
cool and nice guy) or the RJ program manager (check airman).

Standard HR questions:

Why Northwest airlink?, tell us about your flying background, what is your
definition of a good leader?

Then they have you brief a few metar reports. Next an approach plate. (I had
the Fayetteville, AR LOC 16). Brief it. How would you fly the approach, you
are not in radar contact. Tower is closed.

Some technical questions:

If you are circling, you see the airport before MDA. When can you circle?
(dunno, but I would say stay within a mile of the airport, and I think you
can't bank more than 30 degrees). Are there any restrictions? (can't circle
to one side as sated in the approach mins).

Next we are on the ground. Weather is now 300 and 1. Can we take off?

Class B overlay chart was brought out. "What are the speed restrictions
associated with class B airspace?"

"What is V1? V2?"

"Your Captain tells you that the weather is below minimums, but it's been a
long 3-day trip, you're both tired, and he's going to land no matter what
anyhow. You see the aircraft approaching Decision Height at a good rate of
descent and it's obvious the Captain is not going to go missed. What do you

That's about it. Some personal questions about you, would you be moving your
family, can you work long hours. Then, any questions for them.

Some other questions some of the other people said they got was the "drunk
Captain" scenario, what do you do, brief an LDA approach into Fayetteville
AR, pointing things out on a jepp plate saying "what is this?",

Very nice people. They will call you in a few days (by the next Monday
latest. You always interview on a Wednesday) if you got it. If you don't
hear from them by then, assume you didn't make it.

A little info, they have currently 30 something Saab 340's. They have 54
CRJ200's on firm order with an option of 70 more ($5.2 billion deal). 1st
one arrives April 10 2000, second one arrives April 15th. They will get 1.5
a month the rest of the year. 2 per month the next year. They are still PFT
for people less than 1500 total and 300 multi, but if you have more than
1200 and 200 it is reimbursed by the company, less than 1200 and 200 and
it's not refunded. Express 1 does NOT want to do PFT like this, but
NorthWest Airlines (who wholely owns them) is mandating it since the
upgrades are so quick.

They are saying Saab Captain takes about 12 months, sometimes less. They
think it will be only about another 12 months to get RJ Captain. As of march
2000 they are not hiring into the right seat of the RJ, however it doesn't
look like anybody wants to bid right seat of the RJ from their existing pool
of Saab FO's, as it would come with a seat lock, so they probably will start
hiring people into the right seat of the RJ "VERY soon". HR says that they
have no control over where the FO's will be put when they do start hiring
for both a/c, but those with jet experience would probably get the jet.

Expect crummy hours for the first couple years while they grow so dang
quick... but it will be worth it as for right now, they have less than 300
pilots. This time next year they will have probably 700, and in 5 years
they'll have 1200. RJ Captain starts at like $52/hour, minimum of 70
hrs/month, average is 80 hours a month (currently in the saabs). Minimum
guarantee goes up with longevity with the company.They will probably want
quite a bit of Saab time to upgrade to RJ Captain it sounds like, but the
ground work hasn't been laid on that yet and they are taking senior saab
captains and typing them in the RJ's right now.

They have the RJ full motion level D sim up and running in MEM. They will
have a SAAB level D up in MEM by June, but right now it's in I think STL and
San Antonio, possibly HOU, can't remember.

You are NOT PAID during the 6 weeks of school, and you have to put yourself
up. Only major drawback to the company. However to be in the top 25% of the
pilot group (ALPA union) in 3 years, it's worth it... you won't remember
those 6 weeks when you're making $70k a year in less than 3 years and your
buddies at other "larger" commuters are still waiting to even upgrade!

Date Interviewed: March 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Below are my results from my interview on 3-29-00 with Express Airlines 1,
Inc. (Northwest Airlink). Before that though, I think I'd like to get some
things off my chest. First off, I paid my $35 dollars or whatever for a
phone interview prep. First off, I asked for an express 1 Northwest airlink
prep, and got an express 1 international prep. Got this the day before the
interview ordered because 1) I was told it would only take about "5 minutes"
to get it set up, and that 2) it would have the newest information". So, I
waited until the day before. Got that all straightened out and got the right

Then, when I got the right interview, there was only about 8 minutes of data
on the airline, and some of it wasn't even accurate. For one, it didn't say
anything about the written test I'd have to take, which I found out in the
interview has been that way for "quite some time, now"... like over 6
months, which tells me the data is VERY old, when I was told by one of your
councelors that the data from the tape was "within a couple of weeks" before
I bought the service. A flat out bold LIE if that's the case, and could be
interpreted as "bait and switch".

I have 3 other interviews coming up in 3 weeks. I was going to buy the phone
prep for all of them, but not after this. I must say that I'm disappointed
in some of the service I've gotten. Especially for the price I've paid to be
a "full member", as was recommended by your councelors.

Also, one other thing: I'm guessing this is where you want this information.
Considering this is your #1 business, prepping pilots to get jobs at
airlines, you'd think you'd have a big, FAT button on your website that says
" click here to upload your interview experience" or something. You know the
traffic on your website. I'd imagine if you made it easier for us to give
you the current info from interviews, you'd get more input from us.

Anyhow, here's the interview information:

company: Express Airlines 1, Inc (Northwest Airlink out of Memphis, TN...
NOT Mesaba)

Date Interviewed: February 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Northwest Airlink-Express Airlines I I interviewed with Express Airlines I in Feb 2000. Seems
like a great company. They're all very friendly. I
interviewed with the director of training and an hr guy. If
you want to save some money, fly in the morning of the
interview instead of the night before, I did and it was no
problem. Lots of technical questions, 91.175, know it well,
MEA, approach light systems, know ALSF I, explain the basics
of a turbo-prop engine, the difference between an axial
turbine and a cetrifugal turbine (I didn't know and told him
so), how many times a day is a TAF issued (0000Z, 0600Z,
1200Z, 1800Z), and the hr questions were good quality
questions, they made me think, but I anticipate a job offer,
it went well. They are buying several CRJ and are growing
quickly. They're paying more than average, get on quick for
a good seniority number. No sim ride. Go click on a banner
please. P.S. They'll probably buy you lunch. Great people!

Date Interviewed: February 2000
Summary of Qualifications: NA
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:

Arrived at 8:30 am at the main headquarters. Sat for about an hours while
some of the guys finished their paperwork. About 10:00 a company rep can in
and gave us all the general information about airline. Took a 50 question
written test composed of questions from the instrument and commercial books a
lot of weather questions. After the completion of the test a line F/O
reviewed our log books. He wrote down our times. When I went for the
Capt. appears drunk what do u do
explain your flying career
explain an emergency that you have encountered
look over these charts
1) where is the missed approach point
2) what is the DA DH
3) how many ways to determine the outer marker
4) coming from this direction what do u do
know your jepps well

asked about VMC
TAF'S how often issued

Overall the interview is very informal they want you to feel relaxed and
comfortable. The company is experiencing tremendous growth. Hiring 20 a

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