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Skywest Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

Date Interviewed: September 2015
Summary of Qualifications: TT 3493, PIC 3004, Turbine PIC 0, ME PIC 743
ATP w/B737 (never used it), CFI, CFII, MEI
B.S. Aviation Management
M.A. Education - Instructional Technology
60 yrs of age
Retired Navy NFO (P-3C)
25 years experience in Silicon Valley as a GPS applications engineer and Project Manager
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
Five of us interviewed in SLC on 9/14. I was clearly the oldest - by a wide margin. Arrived the night before and stayed at the Comfort Suites Airport; heartily recommended because they will shuttle you back and forth wherever you need to go. Only two pilot captain interviewers and one HR rep. After introductions from them and us, we all got to tell them about ourselves. Then a brief video about the company, nothing more than a lot of flying shots of their jets. A PowerPoint discussion of how great it is to work there; not really much talk about the nitty gritty of benefits other than how great the pass privileges are. No clicker test. Then the screen in the meeting room is raised, and under it on the whiteboard are our next instructions: draw a jet engine, draw an electrical system diagram, and write out the requirements of 91.175 relative to going below MDA/DH. Each of the five candidates were interviewed sequentially and separately by one captain (for technical questions) and HR. The rest of us cooled our jets in the conference room and just waited while two were always gone. A lot of waiting over the course of the day. No simulator ride. Tech session interview: explain your artwork and then look at a dispatch release. Explain the METARs and TAFs (translate to plain English). Do you have takeoff mins? If not, is a departure alternate required? How far away does it need to be? There will be some obscure codes on your weather reports. Now, look at a Jepp departure plate. (I got HLN). Was given some ad hoc spoken weather for the HLN ILS-LOC Z 26 approach by the interviewer. Can we legally start the approach? If so, finger fly the approach. What happens when the weather goes below mins, after passing the FAF? Now, move onto the ILS 16 at RNO. Pretty much the same drill for this approach. I did not have to look at or explain anything on Jepp enroute charts. The HR interview is also 1-on-1, and pretty standard. Just be yourself. In summary, although I think I was prepared adequately in the weeks preceding my interview, I was just mentally out of it on interview day as I simply could not get any sleep the night before (it is not the hotel's fault). This was probably my only shot at an airline interview, given my age, and I was just too wired to sleep. Caffeine in the morning could have been my friend, but she deserted me. :-( It may actually be decaf in their coffee pot at SKYW, given it is Utah (I will say no more). I did 'ok' and really nothing more, was not sharp when I needed to be, and it is no one's fault but my own. In fairness, I think SKYW was more than accommodating and wanted me to succeed. A few of us were told when we left that they (interviewers) no longer have decision making capability in SLC, and all hiring decisions are made in SGU within 7-10 days. But clearly from some of the latest interview reports here, that isn't the case. If you shine, you should get your interview offer before you leave. I think the interviewers just don't know how to politely and compassionately let someone know they didn't make the cut.
Date Interviewed: August 2015
Summary of Qualifications: CFI CMEL 1200TT R-ATP eligible
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Interviewed in Denver. Arrived the night before. As was said before, book your hotel early. I waited and had to settle for a hotel about 5 miles from the SkyWest office. Not a huge deal, but definitely added some stress.

Got to the office the next morning around 7:30am. I was the first one there, and the other 3 applicants arrived shortly after. Interview began at 8:00am. We began with an introduction from the 5 or 6 Captains and pilot recruiting rep. They all had nothing but great things to say about SkyWest. It really made me feel like I had made the right choice in applying. We then introduced ourselves and told the interview team a little bit about us.

Next up was the introductory video and presentation on SkyWest. We did not have a clicker test like the other gouges, but I would still be prepared for it. Following the presentation we were told to draw the following: Turbine engine, electrical system of a current aircraft, and 91.175. While we were drawing we were pulled out to do the CRM evaluation.

The CRM portion was exactly as mentioned in the previous gouges. Being the least experienced applicant I was Captain. We were given a scenario of being on approach to KDEN with thunderstorms approaching from the northwest with a sick passenger in the back. Talk it out with you co-pilot, use all your resources, and you'll do fine. It goes VERY quick.

We then did the HR portion of the interview. I interviewed with Matt, a Denver based Captain. This was honestly a very fun experience. They basically just want to get to know you. Be yourself and it'll be a breeze. I was asked some WWYD questions mostly revolving around conflict on the flight deck. Nothing too unexpected.

Finally we had the tech interview. I had Shaun, a Houston based Captain for this interview. We started with the turbine engine drawing. I was asked about air flow, igniters, the accessory case, bleed air, N1, N2, HP turbine, LP turbine, and bypass ratios. Then we discussed the electrical diagram. Nothing too crazy here. Be able to explain the flow of electricity, label items on the busses, and know basic electrical components like TRUs, rectifiers, inverters, bus ties, etc. Then we moved into 91.175 and eventually Jepp. Know your Jepp. Know your Jepp. Know your Jepp. They want you to have these down cold. I briefed the ILS 16R at Reno and discussed the charts, mostly symbology. I also looked at a Class B chart for Denver. We wrapped up our discussion with weather(icing and thunderstorms) and emergencies(rapid decompression).

They talked for a bit and then called us in one by one for a debrief. They asked what I thought I did well and what I could work on. They pretty much agreed with what I said, and thought overall I did very well. I was offered a position on the CRJ, which I immediately accepted. If the 4 that interview at least two others received offers as well.

Overall it was a great interview experience. They made me feel right at home. Something that stuck out to me was that as I was leaving they said "If you need any thing between now and class, you let us know. Your family now." That to me speak volumes to the culture at this company. Looking forward to a great career with SkyWest!
Date Interviewed: August 2015
Summary of Qualifications: CFI, CFII, MEI 2700TT, NO 121/135 EXPERIENCE
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
I arrived in Denver the evening before the interview. I waited till the very last day to book the hotel. As a result, they were completely sold out. I did manage to get another hotel room about 5 miles from the training facility. A really nice lady who apparently works for SkyWest offered me a ride to the hotel, and even picked me up the next morning for the interview. I got there at 7:30am, for an 8:00am interview. There was one other applicant who arrived with me. We introduced ourselves and made our way to the 4th floor where the interview was to take place. About 7:45, a very well dressed gentleman walked in and greeted us warmly. He gave us training badges and had us sign in. we also were instructed to sign the lunch sheet and choose what we wanted - super cool!! By this time, the other 4 applicants made it, as well as 4-5 other SkyWest employees who were equally friendly and very professional in their appearance. We never sat down until they invited us to. We also didn't take our jackets off until they gave us the option to do so. One of the big things that jumped out at me was how they did so much to put us at ease - they always talked about the SkyWest 'family', and it felt just like that. After a really cool video presentation, we all went around the table and introduced ourselves. Then we got a good bit of information about the history of SkyWest and their philosophy and culture. Again, very close knit people and the seemed to really care about us. I didn't feel like a number - but I felt like a member of their family. They told us very early into the interview that the job was ours to lose. Soon after, we started paperwork. Please have all your documents in order, clean, and in some sort of folder. They collected our paperwork, as well as our physical certificate(s), and ID's. This took about 20 minutes. Next we were handed these remote control type devices, which were to be used to take the written test. This test is very much like the ATP written, about 40-50 questions if I remember correctly. Please study and make sure your IFR knowledge is sound. We never got our scores right away, but I felt like I did ok. After the test, they returned with our ID's, and now we were told to draw a jet engine, an electrical or hydraulic system of the most recent aircraft we flew. We also were told to list on paper the items in FAR 91.175 that needed to be seen in order to continue an instrument approach. Make sure you know that. We had about 10-15 minutes to draw and I must say, some of the guys could really draw!! My drawing was ok as I practiced this a lot at home. Next we were paired up and brought into another room to do CRM. The least experienced of us played the captain, and the other guy was the FO. The scenario was briefed - fuel, WX, route of flight, altitude, alternate, and the emergency situation. We were given 7 minutes to figure a plan of action and execute!!! It felt like about 30 seconds!!! Word to the wise - CRM includes MORE than just crewmembers flight attendants and avionics/automation. I elected to call MX, and dispatch, which they said was very good. I also requested emergency equipment to be at the runway waiting for us. After that was over, they told us the good things we did, as well as the things we did not. This is not a pass/fail thing so don't worry, just a way to see how well we work as a team and what we can expect going forward. they then told us that we may or may not have to do a sim eval, depending on how we did on that test. I don't know who did or did not, but I did not have to do a sim eval. I found out later I got a 93 on the test. We then broke for lunch and it was VERY COOL! The folks that were interviewing us actually sat and had lunch with us! We talked about all sorts of things and I was highly impressed with that. By now, the stress was still elevated, but I no longer felt like I was going to pass out - until the next part which was the technical portion. we were taken one at a time and were told to bring our drawings with us. Please study jet engines - it will help. I didn't expect them to get so extensive into this part, but the guy who did my technical part pulled no punches. We went into great detail about jet engines, and not much different with the other system(s). Then he had me look at an IFR flight plan, STAR, and Jeppessen appch. KNOW YOUR JEPP!!!! Read a METAR, TAF, and looked at a WX chart. Then he had me discuss how this would affect the proposed flight. This part took about an hour. I walked out of there and felt like I just ran 10 miles!!! Then we had the HR portion. I had been talking about astrophysics, Chicago, sports, and the airline during lunch with the guy who would eventually do my HR part. Just be yourself, relax and you'll be fine. This basically concluded the interview and we were all told to go back out to the conference room. One by one they called us in. I was the second person called in, and by now, it was about 4pm. The first guy went in and was in there for about five minutes. I was in there maybe 10-15 minutes, They all were in there and they told me to take off my visitors badge. I thought, "oh God, here we go, back to flight instructing!!!" They kind of looked at each other and then took turns giving me feedback on the different portions of the interview and how they felt. Finally they asked me to comment, and I thanked the graciously for the opportunity to come out and either way this went, I was glad to be here, and I learned a lot. They then said that they enjoyed my personality, and that they could tell I prepared for this day. They said at this time, we'd like to offer me a position as first officer with them!!! I began trembling and I put my hand over my eyes so they wouldn't see the tears. Composed myself, jumped up and as they extended their hands out to shake, I hugged each one of them, thanked them and that was it. I got a call from their HQ while I was waiting on my flight home - and it was a warm and official welcome to the SkyWest family!! Great experience and I am certain that this was the last job interview I'll EVER do. Good luck!
Date Interviewed: June 2015
Summary of Qualifications: ATP MEL, prior 121 & 135, plenty of time.
Were you offered the job? No
Pilot Interview Profile:
Well folks, SkyWest is a pretty interesting company. I interviewed there last month, here's how it went down:

Showed at 755am for the 8am interview. There were two other applicants there. We were greeted by Ana who led us upstairs to the conference room. Once there, we were greeted by Dan (Chicago-based captain) We were given the welcome speech, etc.

One of the things Dan told all 3 of us was that the interview is a two-way street; we were interviewing SkyWest as much as they were interviewing us. Ok, duly noted.

Took the 30-question written test, not too tough. Next came the tech interview with Dan. I produced all my logbooks, licenses and certificates. He asked me to read a TAF, he asked me about exemption 3585, how I would fly the lost-comm procedure from SLC if I was departing 34R to SGU, lost come x-ponder code, asked me to brief the ILS into Reno NV, max speed in class B, holding speeds, nothing out of the ordinary (this time).

Now, I had interviewed there once before, last year. During that interview, I was asked a weird tech question. It was, "How hot is the bleed air that comes out of 10th stage in the CRJ's engine?" I told him, "I don't know."

That should have ended it, but it didn't. He persisted and said, "Go ahead and guess anyway." So I did.

At the end of that interview, during the critique, that same individual faulted me for guessing - he said "During a tech interview, if you're asked a question that you don't know, you should admit you don't know." Umm ... I DID.

SkyWest is known for pulling stuff like that. I had sent emails about that experience to their former head of pilot-recruiting.

In those emails, I also called out the innapproriately low pay that SkyWest has always chosen to start its 1st year F.O's at ($22/hour at the time).

Those emails were genuine and professional in tone; I took care to make sure there was no snide or antagnositic content in them.

So, back to the more recent interview last month. When Dan had finished, he asked me if I had any Q's for him. I asked him about the pay package that was being negotiated, how that was coming along (he couldn't tell me too much).

I then asked him about the 10th stage bleed-air question I was asked at my earlier interview. I wanted to see if (1) he knew it off the top of his head, and (2) if he though it was a fair question to spring on an appliacant.

He didn't know it off the top of his head, and his response to me? "Uhhh ... don't interview the interviewer."

Hmm, I'm getting a mixed message from the company now. What happened to "You guys are interviewing us as much as we're interviewing you" bit?

So, after the tech interview, I went back to the conference room to wait. I was waiting for some time before Ana came in. As I suspected, SkyWest had saved those earlier emails I had sent them, and Ana was coming in to try to take me to task over it.

She was joined by a captain named Matt. Ana stated that she was surprised I came back to interview again (uhh, then why'd you guys invite me again?).

I tried to point out the pay issue. I told her to look at the matter objectively. She coountered with "well you know what the pay is and you still came for the interview."

That doesn't make it right, Ana. I wanted to tell her that the only real reason I came back was for the free interview prep and the free lunch. Haha.

Matt joined in, and said that he was "floored" by the emails I sent in before. He said, "From one pilot to another, I think those emails suggest bad judgement, they are antagonistic, and that you were trying to light a fuse."

I believe that Matt's statement was rank speculation of a very distasteful sort. I wonder if he even cared what an unfavorable reflection he placed on his company by behaving in such a way.

At this point, another captain (Jeremy) came in. Jeremy was refreshing to deal with, after what I had witnessed from Ana, Matt and Dan. Too bad Skywest has so few like him.

Lastly came the H.R interview, and it was conducted by Jeremy. Ana and Dan were present, but they didn't say much which was fine with me.

Basic H.R questions. Jeremy then asked me about the emails I sent in before. He said it looked like I was giving off the "sour grapes" attitude.

I explained that I have sizable student loans and credit card debt, and pointed out that I got an offer from another airline that paid more.

I explained that SkyWest shoud, seriously re-consider it's starting pay rate and also how it conducts its interviews.

He seemed receptive to this (more than Ana, Matt and Dan were, at least).

Not surprisingly, I did not get an offer, but that's A-OK with me. This airline is so drunk on it's own kool-aid it is amazing. I feel sorry for them.
Date Interviewed: June 2015
Summary of Qualifications: R-ATP (AMEL) Military 800+TT, ~200+hrs multi-engine turboprop, Commercial (ASEL and helicopter), 3-types, FAA IGI and dispatch certs
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
Bottom Line Up Front: Apply at Skywest! They want to hire you, don’t wait. Even if you don’t meet the minimums just yet, interview now, lock in a class date, seniority is everything. Changing jobs or getting out of the military, lock in that class date now. They need to hire at least 350 pilots ASAP and are sending some pilots to Paris, France for sim training because they have so many pilots in training right now and have a sim backlog. Join now and watch your seniority grow.

Submitted Resume: 6/16/2015. I followed up with a call shortly thereafter, called SkyWest airlines headquarters number 435.634.3000 and asked to speak with pilot recruiting, spoke with Kristin B. She pulled up my application and we chatted for a bit. Afterwards we talked about scheduling an interview. We scheduled an interview two days later on 06/18/2015, in Houston, TX at a pilot recruitment event. (They pay for the flights to/from interview, positive space, no standby required) Interviews started at 10:00AM, short video and slide deck about SkyWest. SkyWest had two captains and one HR representative in site. Open forum, or at least we made it that way, the group asked questions as they went through the slides, about an hour. After that there was a one-on-one technical interview with a line captain. Break for lunch provided by SkyWest. One-on-one HR interview with a line captain. Break. Then a two-on-one de-briefing, they give you feedback on how the interviews went, and if they went OK they ask preferences for aircraft and training dates. I was told that they send their recommendations to headquarters and that they would get back to me shortly thereafter. I was called the next morning 6/19/2015 with a conditional job offer. I accepted!! Class date 6/25/2015 in the ERJ-175. As this was a pilot recruitment event away from the simulator, No Sim, No CRM event, and No written exam (might have been due to my current ATP or my military background). Easy going, professional, learned a lot. If they invite you to the interview, it’s your job to lose, study and be prepared, and get hired. I know that at least 4 of the 5 guys that interviewed got job offers, two military, two CFIs, one guy with SIC light jet time.

Technical Questions:
Swept wing; characteristics (general discussion) Where does the wing first stall? What does an impending stall do to aircraft control? What effect does airspeed have on a swept wing (low vs. high speeds)
Rudder Boast (general discussion) what does it do, what does it prevent?
Bleed Air: Where does it come off the turbine engine? What is it used for? How is it cooled?
No electrical questions
Know 91.175, flat out. Know when you can continue an approach if weather from the tower goes below minimums (before and after FAF). How would you demonstrate that you as the pilot had the required visibility to land? Know distance(s) and what markings on the runway mean and how far apart they are. Being able to draw it was helpful. When can a Part 121 pilot go to 100ft above the runway height?

Jeppesen Charts:
Approach charts; Know everything in the “Landing minimums” section. They sample chart they used allowed a RVR reduction if you were flying with a flight director and AP, reduced from RVR 2400 to 1800.
Know that in the “Briefing Strip” that the height above ground at the FAF is given.
What does the “D” in “D-ATIS” mean?
What does the MSA tell you? What distance does it apply to?
They had me brief the missed approach instructions and asked how I would fly it.
Asked what weather I would need to start the approach? Then asked how those weather requirements would change if part of the landing system was INOP.
What does the (L) and (H) mean next to the Navaids.
Low level chart: Asked about airspeed restrictions under, over, and within below and above 10,000MSL in class B airspace.
SID: How can you tell the minimum altitude per segment, and distances between segments? On my particular SID the minimum altitude for the first segment happened to be lower then the published procedure so ensure you give them the higher of the two when describing how you would fly it.
Weather: Microbursts (Know when they happen, what they look like). What are aircraft indications that you have encounter one? What should you do? Increase/decease power?
Virga, know what it is and what it tells you as a pilot
You will read a METAR and TAF. They will give you an estimate arrival time and ask if you need an alternate. Then ask what weather you will need at the alternate. Questions about the fuel required? If you file with a single alternate and then if you filed with a second alternate.
Was asked to read the remarks section as well, so read up on that.

HR questions: Biggest weakness? Weakness in the aircraft? Any failed checkrides? How actuate is your logbook? Tell me about a time you were scared when flying? Tell me about a time you broke a FAR? How would you deal with a younger pilot, maybe with less experience than you, that is the captain of the aircraft? How would you deal with a difficult co-work/captain/flight attendant? What will be your biggest challenge at ground school?
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