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Getting the Type for SWA from a New Hire

JTB

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Awesome. If you opened up this thread, then you probably know that a type rating is pretty much required to get an interview call at Southwest.

I read a post about a year ago from Chase - he asked new hire folks at SWA where they were a year ago. I thought about that post many a night and wanted to share my humble thoughts to those who are contemplating the type rating to improve their app or begin to apply at Southwest.

Many folks I knew put in the app (including myself) and thought they would wait for "the call" before they spent money on the type. So why did I get the type last summer instead of just wait for a call that may never come? Well, I didn't want to look back 10yrs from now and wonder "what if" I took a strain and got the type for an opportunity to interview at a class act company like Southwest. The friends I know at SW love their job. But I was doing what others around me were doing and were waiting for the call that odds are wasn't going to come. I have a friend who got the type in the spring of 02. SW wasn't interviewing or hiring at the time or for the forseeable future, but he knew that they would eventually and wanted to be the first to be called. His positive attitude definitely had a great effect on me.

So, I got the type. I was hungry and got lucky. I know many folks (both mil and civ) who paid money for the type and got the interview and subsequent rejection from SWA. I don't know the how or why behind the selection process, but I can honestly say that I would rather have paid the money and had an opportunity than have an attitude about spending my own money to get the type to possibly be told "no thanks."

Easier said than done.

The facts: On our day in December 12 of us interviewed, 4 got hired. Most folks who interviewed on that day had their "A game" and were contagiously enthusiastic. What happened to the other 8? I don't know. I believe everyone had the type. I also learned that a recent interview group had 8 out of 12 hired. These stats tell me only one thing - they're only going to hire folks who they believe will be a good fit for SWA.

Again, I'm an extremely lucky person who (a year and more ago) would spend a few hours on a given weekend and go over various posts to stay informed. Southwest is interviewing and hiring like gangbusters right now. Why? They're growing and are very smart about positioning themselves for the future.

Yes I'm drinking the Koolaid. Believe me, it's still just sinking in. But I'm sending this out because I was reading posts like this before and had discussions with my wife on the decisions that would ultimately affect our future.

Bottom line - Take a chance. Get the type. Get the prep to help you know who you are. I did mine with AlbieF15 (emeraldcoastinterviewconsulting.com) - class act and worth the $$.

Lastly, have a Plan B. I recently talked with a military bro who was getting out in the next couple of months. He had a "hook up" with a friend at one of the cargo companies. While that's an awesome plan, I asked him what if cargo company X doesn't work out - he didn't have another plan. When I asked him what about Jetblue or Airtran or SWA. He said the Jetblue app was too long, Airtran didn't want mil reserve folks and he didn't want to spend the money on the type for SWA. I of course talked with him about the benefits of each company, but the underlying problem with him was attitude. His attitude was "I'm gonna get the job with cargo company X. Well, I hope that works out. But for the rest of the folks who may read this note, please research and have a Plan A-X for the various great airlines that are hiring.

If you've read this note to this point then you have the ability to look into each of the great airlines that are hiring. Many folks may have read the thread title of Getting the Type... and moved on to something more interesting. If you're like me a year ago and are sitting on the fence (or haven't applied to the other various great airlines), hopefully this note will give you more perspective - the same way Chase's note gave me a year ago.

Good luck -it's worth the strain.

Fly safe,

jtb
 
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AV80R

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Congrats to you!



“…Airtran didn't want mil reserve folks…”



As far as your friend, I don’t think he/she researched AirTran very well, if at all. There were 3 military guys in my class and I know there are tons of military reserve guys here; in fact just a few months ago one of my buds got back from a deployment. Regardless, good luck to him.

av80r
 

chase

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JTB,


Congrats to you & your family....I think your post sums it up well for some. As you humbly point out it doesn't work out that way for everyone....I'm sure there were folks who were interviewing for a subsequent time while you were there so the good news is multiple attempts are a possibility....getting hired on the first try just makes you more thankful, as you obviously are....you're right about Albie, class act & does a great job. Glad he could help you....most importantly you outline your plan & it has turned out successful. Thanks for coming to SWA & encouraging others to do the same....hope to see you on the line,
 

AV80R

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Gimp - "Does Air Tran still want 500 PIC 121?"

According to the official website it looks like it is still required.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Fixed wing flight time - 2500 hours
  • Multi-engine, fixed wing flight time - 1000 hours
  • 121 PIC or military equivalent - 500 hours
  • An ATP certificate, or successful completion of the ATP written exam
  • Current First Class Medical certificate
  • Valid passport
  • Legally eligible for employment in the United States
  • Free of felony convictions within the most recent 10 years
Maybe they’ll change it in the future, who knows? Have numerous friends on the fractional, 135, and 91 side of the business, I’d love to be able to help them out.


av80r
 

blzr

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Does SWA require 121 pic, or can you have the type, 91/135 pic and 121 sic and still be competative?
 

canyonblue

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blzr said:
or can you have the type, 91/135 pic and 121 sic and still be competative?

Yes. 121 not required.
 

JTB

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AV8OR,
You're absolutely right about the mil reserves w/ Airtran. My point is that some folks don't apply for an opportunity based on a (false) perception. Or because they hear about a friend who got rejected from company X and believe the reason why was because of so and so. It's easy to discount a carrier for falsely perceived reasons. It takes more work to realize AT has been on their business plan since 97 and are growing and are bringing great folks onto the property.

Chase,
Your post could not be more true. And in fairness, I got rejected from a major around the same time I interviewed with Southwest. I was crushed. Got the type in the summer, got the call from SW early in the month and then all of the sudden company x calls for an interview later in the month. For those of you who have been rejected, I'm with you. Rejection is a major blow (huge understatement). So please know that I humbly write this and realize I'm extremely fortunate. And hope those who read this will be too.

I've got a friend who truly had a plan. He had a list of airlines (AT, AWA, FX, JB, SW and UPS I believe) with names of HR folks he'd met at various conferences and names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of friends who worked at each of them. I asked him how he knew friends at company X, he said, well, I didn't until I started networking and scouring who he'd flown with and who he'd drank with. He had apps in with each of them and said he's going to work with the first company that hires him. He gave a great reason for each one of them. What impressed me was his organization - literally a copy of each app and his "ready" folder that had everything he'd need in the event he got the "call" today. He got hired at the first company that called for an interview -FedEx. But the point is that he would have been just as happy working for any of the six that were on his list. Sorry for the ramble but that theme of prep is similar to what Chase, Albie and others have been saying for years.

For those who have got the type and have unfortunately been rejected from SW, they do interview folks again - and with success. I met a guy recently who was interviewing for the second time (got rejected a little more than a year ago). So it is happening (and I know some folks don't agree w/ that either, but it is what it is). Also, there are one or two folks in the class behind me who didn't make it into SW on the first go. The idea of getting the type for one chance is just not true. Because once you've got the type ticket, you're one up on those folks who haven't made that commitment to get on w/ SW. On the other hand, I've got a bud who thinks SW should go through all of the first time apps before they go to folks for the second interview. IMHO, all of the folks who got rejected may not apply again because they went on to other places or simply aren't going to apply again.

Finally (thank goodness) If you got rejected, that just flat out stinks (after paying the money for the type and jumping through all the hoops to be ready) but I truly believe they don't hold that against you - they realize folks can have a bad day. It's worth trying again.

Good luck and fly safe,

jtb
 

Jim Smyth

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JTB, congrats on going the extra mile that alot of us have done in the past. As you know by now it will pay off in spades. SWA is truely a great company and most people dont realize it until they get hired and are on the property.

Attitude is also very important. Also positioning yourself for success and also for failure if it comes.

I have interviewed with 6 airlines in my career and only was hired out of 2 of them. Major dissapointment when you dont get the call! Dont let it get you down and continue to strive and educate yourself for the job you want.

Since I have been with SWA I met a guy that interviewed 3 times before he finally got hired. So there is hope if you dont make it the first time if you want to continue with the process again.
 

FlyBoeingJets

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JTB said:
Lastly, have a Plan B. I recently talked with a military bro who was getting out in the next couple of months. He had a "hook up" with a friend at one of the cargo companies. While that's an awesome plan, I asked him what if cargo company X doesn't work out - he didn't have another plan. When I asked him what about Jetblue or Airtran or SWA. He said the Jetblue app was too long, Airtran didn't want mil reserve folks and he didn't want to spend the money on the type for SWA. I of course talked with him about the benefits of each company, but the underlying problem with him was attitude. His attitude was "I'm gonna get the job with cargo company X. jtb

It wasn't too long ago that UAL would ask such questions in the interview. If you didn't say you 'had apps out' it would be a red flag. Some sort of arrogance thing that they wanted to screen out.

The type thing is different altogether. If you have the cash to spare it is worth it if you want to work for SWA. I know there is a debate raging on this, but it does show a commitment to the industry and an ability to adapt to civilian flying for military folks.

On the flip side, FedEx likes military guys to show a singleminded attitude and 'commitment' to them. But the aviation industry is littered with military guys who were either not interviewed or turned down by FedEx. You can put you career on hold for one company or aggressively pursue employment. Tough choice. Doable if you are young with military employment in the interim.

At most carriers it may make you look foolish to not apply elsewhere. If not foolish it may make you terribly nervous in the interview knowing since you only applied to one company you have to make it or else.
 
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AV80R

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“AV8OR - You're absolutely right about the mil reserves w/ Airtran. My point is that some folks don't apply for an opportunity based on a (false) perception. Or because they hear about a friend who got rejected from company X and believe the reason why was because of so and so. It's easy to discount a carrier for falsely perceived reasons. It takes more work to realize AT has been on their business plan since 97 and are growing and are bringing great folks onto the property.”

Very true and a good point! Tell him that if things don’t work out at his choice #1 he should apply at AT, I think he’d like it at here.

av80r (that’s with a “zero” not “oh” – don’t want the other guy get nasty PM’s meant for me :) )
 

HalinTexas

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1st: Everything in this industry is a gamble.

2nd: It's never fair.

3rd: You'll get over No. 1 and 2 if you chose to.

Don't put yourself in a position of second guessing. Make your choices and stand by them. Opportunity does knock several time in one's career, so listen closely it may be knocking softly.

I bought my type in '96 after my mother died in '95. I also pre-paid my daughter's college with that inheritence. Interview/rejected at SWA in '97 and '99. Best and 2nd worse interviews. Rejected by DAL, AWA, and Emory in '98. Accepted by Airtran, Vanguard and ATA also in '98. Accepted the ATA offer. I also divorced my 1st wife in '98. You can see there's tons of hindsight available here.

I stuck it out at ATA. I've had a blast, and until last year, it was a good choice. Hindsight once again. I was hired onto the L10, went to HI and Japan my 1st month online. Flew the B757 (typed), my favorite airplane for 6 months. Upgraged to CA on the B737, another fine electro-beast, at 4 years, 9 months at 37 years old. May 1 I was downgraded to FO on it. I have no regrets.

I've reapplied at SWA last November after the Airtran deal was announced. After the '99 interview, I thought I could never do a better job than that one. So I haven't tried until now. That's the point. You'll never know until you try.

If SWA is the place you want to be, then you'll spend the money. Yes, I could have used the cash to pay off my dumba$$ attorney, but I wanted, and still want, to work there. You can't worry about rejection. The last question the AWA interviewer asked me was, "So, if SWA calls you back (remember, rejected once) would you go?" How the he!! do you answer that? You also can't worry about your "statistics." It's all in the attitude and how that compares against the others' you're interviewing with, but you have no control over that.

If you get rejected, you might find happiness somewhere else, and you can always try again. And again. And maybe again. Southwest isn't perfect. They do hire many you would consider undesirable or uncompetitive. Some do get through the cracks. I know of two that they've hired, but you can't let that enter into your thought processes. You have no control over that. It's not about them, it's about you.

If you have the money and the desire. Do it. If you don't have the money and the desire is great enough, you'll find the money.
 

JTB

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Halin, your old mesmerizing avitar is missed. Thanks for the honest perspective.

I had a pm that asked if the stats from our interview group was the norm (4 out of 12 hired). Gosh, I've wondered and have scratched my head since the results of that DB. I don't know the details of how folks are evaluated. You may have had your absolute A game and still come up short. My sim partner from HPA and I interviewed on the same day. Both of us had our references called. I got the "call" and he didn't. That still crushes me as I think about it. He's a great guy and great friend who will be back! So what's the norm as far as interview to hire? I've seen 40-60% as far as results of the DB. This has been talked about a lot on this board.

The real question is this -are you going to let stats hold you back from getting a type to have a shot at an awesome company? Or are you going to let a rejection hold you back from improving your quals and giving it another shot. I'm writing this to the folks who have the quals or will soon have the quals and are tossing around the idea of getting the type.

jtb
 

Ty Webb

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FWIW, AirTran seems to be interviewing and hiring a handful of ATA guys each month. We may be hiring more ATA guys than SWA is . . . . no flame, just a hunch, based upon a conversation I had with a good friend at SWA (9th year CA). I hope we're both hiring the ATA guys . . .

Man, if I had to choose right now between multiple carriers, it would be tough. The security of SWA versus a 2 year upgrade or so on the same equipment at FL. The pay and stability of Fedex or Brown, or the innovations of JB . . . . .

Commuting would be a huge factor.

Good luck to all . . . . may you all have that tough decision to make.
 
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Captain Overs

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No flame intended, but I disagree. You need to take the job that's offered. If a better one comes up then you decide what you want to do. I wouldn't NOT go to Airtran just because I was waiting on a call from SWA that may never happen.


Just my 2 cents
 

Ty Webb

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I thought about it too, and edited the post. Every one has to do what's best for themselves, I guess.
 

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