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There may be many stages of interviews with Southwest. The most common initial interview will occur over the phone with a representative from the Human Resources department. The initial phone interview will generally be a measure for further screening and will include questions regarding your availability, previous work experience, and salary expectations.
In the event your phone interview is successful, you will then be requested to partake in a face-to-face interview. This interview will either be held one-to-one, in a group, or with a panel.
Although each job position has its own specific set of requirements (prior work experience, specific skills and abilities, certification(s), college degree, etc.), every Southwest position requires three basic qualifications:
Once these three basic qualifications are met, then the job-specific hiring process can begin.
Southwest is the first to admit that its hiring process is quite rigorous, as it includes several extensive steps before a job offer can be made. The steps are as follows:
There are two parts to the application process. The first requires you to fill out general information about yourself, while the second, more in-depth application is sent to you only if the first application has been approved. If both are approved, you will then be contacted by a Southwest recruiter for a brief phone interview.
The phone interview typically lasts between 10–30 minutes, and you are asked a number of basic questions. For example, why do you want to work for Southwest, what do you know about the job position's duties and responsibilities, etc. If you pass the phone interview, you will then be asked to meet for a formal interview at one of Southwest's locations. However, the in-person interview may be scheduled for several weeks after the phone interview.
The face-to-face interview is held at one of Southwest's many locations across the US. During the interview, you will be asked more extensive and in-depth questions about yourself, your previous work experience, your skills and qualifications, and potentially a few other relevant areas. The face-to-face interview is your chance to demonstrate your personality and professionalism through your answers, character, and behaviors.
It's important to note that Southwest focuses particularly on behavioral questions and occasionally (depending on the position) on mechanical questions. Behavioral questions, also known as situational judgement tests (SJT), are psychological assessments where you are presented with hypothetical, yet realistic, scenarios related to the job in which you are applying. While mechanical tests measure candidates' knowledge of mechanical and physical concepts.
To ensure you are properly prepared for these types of questions, check out JobTestPrep's preparation packages on each of these topics.
It's important to remain patient during these three tests as getting the results for each test can take time. These tests are performed to ensure Southwest is hiring solid employees who will promote general safety throughout the company and their work. Only if you pass all three tests (in addition to the previous phases) will you then be offered a job.
Southwest has an extensive and lengthy hiring process. However, JobTestPrep has created helpful tips to ensure that your Southwest hiring experience goes as smoothly as possible.
Whether in person or over the phone, you can be sure Southwest's interview will be intensive. JobTestPrep has provided you with some typical Southwest interview questions and ideal answers.
Question: Why do you want to work for Southwest?
Answer: Give an honest, but appropriate answer. You should align your response with Southwest's mission statement and motto, and you can even reflect upon a positive experience you had when flying Southwest and how it formed your perspective of Southwest and its values. Additionally, the employer wants to see that you are well-acquainted with the company, that you fit the position, and that you are motivated.
Reasoning: This will show that you've thought about why you're applying to Southwest in particular. Additionally, it lets the interviewer know that you are familiar with Southwest as not only a potential candidate, but as a customer too.
Question: Are you willing to relocate?
Reasoning: Southwest has locations all over the US, so recruiters want to see that you're flexible.
Question: How many years of experience do you have in _____?
Answer: I have worked in the ___ field for __ years. Additionally I have worked as a __(specific job position)__ for ___ years.
Reasoning: Southwest wants to learn additional information about you and see how qualified you are for the job position.
Question: Have you ever bent company rules at your current or previous employer?
Answer: No, I've never bent company rules at any job. I believe in company policy and am sure to follow the rules.
Reasoning: Employers want to know that you are not a "wild card" or a liability. Safety is of utmost concern to those who work in the airline industry, and employers want to know that you can follow rules and be dependable.
Question: What do you know about this company/position?
Answer: Demonstrate that you took the time to research not only the company, but also the specific job position you are applying for. You want to show that you know specifics about the company—their policies, motto, and core values—in addition to job-specific requirements (specific procedures, skills, and machines and programs).
Reasoning: This shows that you took the time and invested in learning about their company—the way that they should invest the time to learn about you as an employee.
One of the US's major airlines, Southwest was established in 1967 but got its official name in 1971. Although headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Southwest employs over 50,000 people worldwide. With so many employees, it's obvious that Southwest offers a range of employment opportunities. Available job positions include flight attendants, administrative and management agents, counter clerks, pilots, ramp agents, and technicians. Although each job entails different responsibilities, all positions follow Southwest's general hiring rules, mission statement, values, and procedures. Read on to learn more about Southwest's intensive hiring process and to take advantage of JobTestPrep's tips.
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