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Skywest Airlines Pilot Interview Profiles

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?
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 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 CFI, 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/PAX? What will be your biggest challenge at ground school?
Date Interviewed: January 2015
Summary of Qualifications: Retiring military fighter dude, 3500 TT, 3000 TPIC. Non-current due to desk job at end of career
Were you offered the job? Don't Know
Pilot Interview Profile:
I interviewed at one of the SkyWest Pilot Recruitment Events. The ads for the event online said that if you wanted to interview at the event, submit an application beforehand and bring a copy of your resume and logbooks to the interview. I submitted an application via the skywest.com website, and two days later received a phone call from Utah inviting me to an interview in Denver. I told them that I’d be going to the Recruiting Event in just a few days, so they scheduled my interview for the event. Once I was formally scheduled for the interview, they emailed me the list of documents to bring (stuff in addition to just the resume and logbooks as noted earlier; radio license, FAA First Class med, social security card, passport, etc.) and the list of books to read to prepare for the interview.

There were about 10 people who showed up to the Recruitment Event, and of those 10 at least 6 had full-on interviews (some that had been scheduled beforehand like me, and some who showed up to the event without a specific interview invitation but who were able to interview anyway). Very diverse group of people in the interview group; one active 121 pilot from a Central American airline who was looking to shift to working in the US, a pilot from a 135 outfit in Hawaii, one former military pilot/Comair,/Net Jets pilot who’d been out of the regionals for a decade working for a startup charter company, one 135 sightseeing pilot from Vegas, and me (the retiring military dude coming off 3 years of a non-flying desk job). I didn’t catch the full backgrounds of all the rest of the guys, but a couple of them didn’t have ATP or R-ATP mins yet. For those guys, both of them had full-on interviews, but I don’t know how the company is going to handle them — from the informal discussion in between interview events, I got the impression that if they were hired, they’d simply be given class dates that were far enough down the road for them to get to ATP mins before starting class.

The day started with the typical 30-minute presentation about SkyWest, given by 3 locally-based Captains. All three were enthusiastic about their jobs and SkyWest, but were also surprisingly candid about the company, about the state of the regional industry, and about how that is impacting their pilot interviewing and hiring. They admit they’re having no-shows to both interviews and training dates, and that the quantity of applicants is decreasing. They seem to be actively trying to fight “lowering the bar” so far as who they’re offering jobs to, and as such the company is focusing on grabbing as many of the most qualified and motivated applicants they can — they seem to be a little SWA-ish in that they value positive motivation and attitude, and that they’re hiring for personality. They indicated that minor trip-ups in the interview were going to be overlooked if the person had the right attitude and would be a good company fit.

After the presentation, the Captains discussed the formal interview process, and how it would be handled at the Recruitment Events (as they didn’t have the time/people/infrastructure to give the full interview there). They did not formally administer the 50-question ATP “clicker test”, but in the 1-on-1 part of the interview they had a printout of one of the tests and were working questions from it into the technical interview. Regarding the Frasca sim, they indicated that people they interviewed at the Recruitment Events wouldn’t all be required to go schedule a sim later, but they’d determine need on a case-by-case basis. They said folks who didn’t give particularly strong performances in the technical interview and lower time multi folks would likely get scheduled for a sim, and if that happened that’s all they’d have to do in SLC or DEN (no repeating any other portions of the interview). Same thing went for the CRM portion. They did not have enough time/people to do full CRM exercises, so in my 1-on-1 the Captain and I role-played two minor CRM situations (one, how I’d handle encountering a line of T-storms enroute from DFW to SFO, and second how I’d handle an engine failure in flight).

So, the “formal” portion of the interview started with the blank sheet of white paper and: 1) Draw a jet engine, 2) 91.175 descent out of DH/MDA requirements, and 3) Draw your most complicated aircraft’s electrical system. As has been stated, they want you to be as detailed as possible, label as much of it as possible, and that the drawings would form part of the discussion in the 1-on-1 technical portion.

As has been reported many times, the interview content was exactly as reported in previous reports. In fact, the three Captains who were conducting the interviews mentioned more than once that they were EXPECTING applicants to have taken the time and initiative to find/read/study the gouge, and that they looked favorably on such initiative (and not favorably on folks who hadn’t taken the initiative to prepare like that).

My 1-on-1 lasted about an hour. It started with a quick review of my resume and job history, and then the times were compared with my logbook. I brought a printout of a digital logbook (spiral bound at FedEx Office for about $5) and they were happy with the details. Since I am not in a current flying job, the Capt specifically wanted to find my last BFR, last IPC, my 30-day, 90-day, and 1-year hours lookback. For some reason the summary of hours in each aircraft type that I submitted in my online application didn’t make it out to them, so we spent a bit talking about the hours breakdown in each of the aircraft I’ve flown.

Discussions of the drawing were straighforward; what kind of engine, describe the components front-to-back (I discussed a few things specific to the military fighter engine I drew, like the afterburner), and then had me describe the airflow through the engine and what each section did. What do the stators do…what’s the difference between the N1 and the N2…how and where is pressure measured in the engine…what is bypass air and what is the benefit…where are the ignitors…how is ignition in the combustion chamber sustained…where is the accessory section…how does the starter work (how does an air-start work). From there it was on to the 91.175 discussion. About all he asked here was about if the 100-foot restriction from the Approach Lighting was measured from field elevation or TDZE, but we also briefly discussed what the ALSFs looked like, and what the other instrument runway lighting looked like. On to the electrical system drawing; although I drew a good flowchart, I didn’t label all of the volts/amps of each of the systems, especially in the DC system, so we talked about each of those.

From there, the rest of the HR questions and tech questions were all exactly from the previously-reported gouge. I won’t repeat all of it — it has all ready been said before, so go read that stuff. I think because of my single-seat military background, he asked me several times about CRM, how I’d handle various situations (weather delays, mechanical issues, etc) to gauge my knowledge of including FAs, dispatch, ACARS, etc, into the decision-making. As mentioned, he had me talk through the two CRM scenarios from above, but we also discussed checklist and memory item execution in a 2-pilot environment, PF/PNF responsibilities, and he had me brief him an approach as if we were flying it as a crew during the Jepp portion.

For the Jepp review, we looked at the ILS 16 to RNO and the Skywest-only Silver ILS 16. I was stumped as to why the ceiling and vis requirement for the standard ILS were so big (7 miles vis, 4000’-something HAT), and I assumed it was because of the terrain. That’s partially true — it is apparently because of the climb gradient for the missed approach, and the Silver ILS has lower mins because it assumes a steeper climb gradient for the missed.

Other than that, all pretty standard stuff that’s been reported and repeated before. Based on their attitude about gouge, I wouldn’t expect them to throw in any curve-balls unless someone is showing serious deficiencies in knowledge, so study up on what’s here and elsewhere and you should be fine. For any USAF folks, I’d say this was one of the easier orals I’ve had compared to the instrument checks I’ve had in the fighter/trainer world. Even the TMAAT questions were sort of woven into other conversations, so I didn’t really have the opportunity (or need, to be honest) to set up and execute the stories I’d prepared and practiced per the interview prep guidance.
Date Interviewed: December 2014
Summary of Qualifications: 1550 total time/400xc/75 multi/CFI-CFII-MEI
Were you offered the job? Yes
Pilot Interview Profile:
I was contacted by the hiring department one day after I applied online and was invited to come to interview in Salt Lake City. They pay for your travel, however you have to pay for your hotel room. They send you a list of hotels but the comfort suites is cheap and really nice and offers free shuttle service so I chose there. Be sure to bring copies of everything they ask for in the invitation email. Save them time and make their life easier. Dress Sharp and be sure to buy a bright tie. The HR woman said she really appreciates a nice fit suit and nice ties.

Take the early shuttle and get their by 730. Bring your luggage because they have an area for you to stow it. I arrived at 730 and was greeted by nice lady behind a desk and was told to get my badge and the interview team would be with me shortly. Remember you're always being interviewed so don't say anything dumb even if you think no one is listening. There were 4 of us interviewing that day. Myself, another CFI, an ex air force pilot, and a 135 pilot.

We were brought upstairs and taken to the "Holding Cell". Just a joke name for their conference room. Our HR woman Anna gave us a quick intro about Skywest and why she loved working their. The 2 interviewing captains then came in and went over the powerpoint.

The first test is 30 questions multiple choice that we all took together. This covered basics items(diodes,TRU's,Inverters,Shunts,Transformers,some 121 rules,AC/DC,ETC.) I think best score was 27/30.

Following the test we were told to draw a turbine engine and tell them all we knew about it, a electrical system of our most recent plane flown, and everything we knew about FAR 91.175. Just remember that has to do with what you need to descend below your MDA/DH. While doing this I was brought back for the sim ride. Do yourself a favor and work on your scan in a sim for 2-3 hours before it really helped me out. I was given the ILS Cedar City,Utah. Standard departure but be sure to get the weather before you take off and when you read it make sure its legal to takeoff. Standard 1 mile or 5000rvr. He gave me a hold over a VOR. I told him the entry and the max hold speed and we moved on to vectors for final and when I broke out the airport wasn't insight so I went around. He said my scan was solid and appreciated that I was honest with my mistakes. (gained 200ft and didn't get the weather before I landed.)

I was then told to finish my drawings and went and did my Tech portion with the other captain. We dissected my turbine engine. (Buy the turbine pilots flight manual) Bleed air,N1?,N2? Low Shaft,High Shaft, how hots the bleed air?,Whats it for?, Stator Veins, How to start a turbine engine? etc. We moved onto my electrical system reviewing alternator/generator differences, shunts, ac to dc, amps vs. volts, Bus Bars, Circuit breakers. Then he pulled out a Jepp approach plate and we reviewed that. For 10-15 minutes. Be sure to review your symbols and low enroute charts as well. Don't neglect those. Tech went well but could have been better.

We moved onto the CRM scenario and believe me those 7 minutes fly by. Just remember to use your resources and talk to your co-pilot and pick a plan before making any moves.

Then we had lunch with the captains and just made small talk. Two really cool guys with tons of knowledge. Remember this is still part of the interview so DONT SAY ANYTHING STUPID!

After lunch we went back to the conference room and then de-briefed with HR and was told to expect a call or email within ten days.

Got an email 10 days later with a class date for the CRJ. Just relax and be yourself. Don't stress and try to get some sleep the night before. They want to give you the job, but don't give them a reason not to. Good luck everybody!
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