It’s time. You’ve taken your first step towards a professional flying career and booked a Leading Edge Skills Assessment. This is where you find out if you have what it takes to become an airline pilot.
You’re probably nervous, we understand that. Becoming a commercial pilot is a long-held dream for most candidates, so we expect you to feel a bit on edge. On the day, we’ll do our best to help you feel at ease and this post explains what your visit to Oxford will entail so you can prepare thoroughly and demonstrate your potential on the day.
The Skills Assessment Day is usually 09:00 – 17:30 and a light lunch will be provided.
We will measure your technical and non-technical skills through computer-based aptitude testing, a group exercise and a competency-based interview. You will also have a chance to tour the academy and meet some of the team.
At the end of the day you will receive a thorough debrief of your performance, regardless of the outcome. Feedback will be offered on your scores, successes and areas for development. We will always be honest, candid and supportive. If you’ve been unsuccessful, retesting at a later time may be suggested and practical suggestions given.
Computer-Based Testing (CBT)
The CBT will assess a variety of skills using our online tool, which could include some or all of the following:
- Numerical Reasoning
- Verbal Reasoning
- Logical Thinking
- Spatial Orientation
- Spatial Reasoning
- Multi-Task Capability
- Spatial Memory
- Reactive Speed
- Monitoring Ability
- Complex Control
- Ability to Concentrate
We suggest getting your mental maths up to speed beforehand and also recommend you read the Padpilot Maths and Physics for Pilots book, which is free to download. You can find details of CBT pilot aptitude tests (although not ours) online if you wish to practice this type of test. There may be a fee to take such tests.
A group exercise will be conducted in a small group with one or more assessors observing. We’ll look at your team working skills, leadership skills, and how you communicate, along with other qualities such as resilience and problem-solving.
There is a wealth of information online about group exercises that will help you demonstrate your capabilities in a group environment. Take time to digest this information and become aware of how you operate in team settings.
This will be a formal interview conducted by two assessors. You will be asked questions that help you demonstrate both your motivation and your competencies. We will look for evidence that you understand the role of an airline pilot, what you have done to prepare for an aviation career, your knowledge of the industry and what you know about the training path ahead. You will be asked some competency-based questions where the assessors look at skills and qualities such as team working, leadership, decision making and customer focus. You will need to give examples of skills that you’ve demonstrated in the past which transfer to the flight deck environment and which show your potential to become an airline captain.
We recommend you research interview techniques, especially the STARR technique. This will help you structure your answers; keeping to the point and making time to communicate the evidence needed to answer a question well. You’ll need to prepare some strong examples of when you’ve used specific skills. Begin practising your interview technique with friends and family ahead of your assessment day.
It is essential that you look the part as it’s hard to change first impressions. Present yourself at your Skills Assessment Day as you would for an interview with your dream airline.
We are looking for potential airline captains so make sure
- you are well rested
- your hair is neat
- you are wearing professional business dress
- your shoes are smart
- your hands are clean and manicured
- you don’t chew gum
- your phone is switched to flight mode
Finally, plan your journey; consider traffic issues and the weather forecast and how they might affect your trip. Consider staying in the area the night before to reduce any stress on the day.
Nerves are normal, but good preparation for each element of your Skills Assessment will help you feel confident and a little more relaxed on the day.
We look forward to welcoming you to Oxford.