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Interview Updates

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Well-known member
Nov 27, 2001
In speaking to one of the folks who sits on SWA's decision boards (DBs) I was informed nearly 250 interviews are scheduled for Jan. He also provided me some raw data on recent interviewees & their performances. Specifically Midway pilots who have interviewed over the last 3-4 months.

As a caveat to the following comments: I hope in posting them to help any future pilots, Midway or others by taking these comments & learn from them. They are merely observations from someone (my source) who has seen the raw data from the "scores" received by recent interviewees, specifically Midway pilots. (pls don't ask me how they score...I do know all three interviewers must ALL agree to a thumbs up or thumbs down)

His comments to me were that many folks were surprised that the Midway folks scored so low & that approximately only 10% of the pilots who interviewed were rated high enough by the interview team to be recommended for hiring to the DB. This was a surprise to him & to others on the DB. However, they felt the interview teams hadn't changed anything in the process but for some reason the Midway folks had not come across as well as everyone thought they might. There is only speculation as to why.

For those who interviewed my purpose is not to debate the pros or cons of SWAs interview process. I'm not trying to create a furor over the issue but do wish to pass on any lessons that maybe learned from the process to others who maybe preparing for the interviews. I also don't wish to put a scare in any future interviewees from Midway.

The key is be yourself & be POSITIVE. I'm sure those who weren't selected felt they were. If you truly wanted to work for SWA but weren't selected then I'm truly sorry. I wasn't at the interviews obviously & don't know what occurred (other than my own experiences & what I know from talking to the folks who do interview...I'm not an expert in other words).

Chase's observations & lessons learned from this:

1. The interview is CRITICAL to getting hired. LORs are great, having prior 737 time is fine but none of that will overcome a POOR interview. How you present yourself by discussing your flying experiences during the interviews is the key.

2. I know SWA did a day or so of job fairs for Midway folks when they announced Chap 11 in Aug. That may or may not have lead some folks at Midway to believe SWA was greasing the skids for them to get into SWA. I DON'T KNOW ALL THE DISCUSSIONS HELD BETWEEN SWA & MIDWAY. I do know of some Midway folks who got hired. My point is this: Regardless of where you're coming from, EVERYONE going into the interview is on equal footing. The job is yours to earn based upon the merits of your interview & remaining package. There are no freebies or easy roads to getting hired regardless of how you got to the interview. Take nothing for granted!

3. Whatever baggage you may have coming into the interview, leave it in the parking lot. Again, I'm not trying to second guess anyone (if I've offended anyone, my apologies) but simply offering a simple reminder to those who may have interviews coming up. Often times during an interview, "we"="interviewee" aren't even aware of how we come across to others. Body language, how you describe your previous management/job experiences as either positive/negative experiences, humor or lack thereof, are just some of the factors that can work for you or against you. It is hard to get feedback unless you get someone to be the "honest thirdparty". Don't short change yourself, particularly if you're not sure or haven't done an interview in awhile. I'm not trying to generate business for anyone or any organization. Each person needs to evaluate your own strengths & weaknesses. If I sound preachy, my apologies again.

4. If you've been invited for an interview, you have as good a chance of getting hired as anyone else there!! Don't worry about your credentials, if SWA didn't think you were competitive, you wouldn't be there. Focus on presenting yourself in the most positive manner possible during those 4 hrs. Yes, read NUTS, review the interview questions, but be yourself & have fun. It can be the most enjoyable experience you've had or just another interview, the choice is yours.

I have debated whether to post this msg or not. If it has offended any of those who were not selected, this wasn't my intent. I'm not the guru on hiring for SWA by any means but if I can be of help to those who are trying to get to SWA & this posting helps someone in the future, then it will be worth my postiing it. I hope it does.

For those on furlough and/or in search of a job, good luck & my prayers are with you.

Thanks to Mark/Webmaster for this board also.

Happy New Year


Even if one does not get the job at SWA (I did), you still come
out of the interview feeling great.

Another good book to read is called "WHO MOVED MY CHESSE", I do not have the author's name. The book is about change ( in ones life and how to cope).

Think about some stories that I know they all ask;

Tell me about a low fuel story?
Tell me about a crewmember that you did not get along with?
What have you done to contribute to the operations at a airline?
Why do you want to work at SWA?
Why do you want to leave XYZ?

Above are just a few of the questions that I know all have been asked.

Most of all, be happy and
:D :D :D :D :D :D

happy new year

and good luck to all

SWA INterviews


Great post. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE ABOUT! Anybody who takes offense at your observations should get a skin transplant, or get out of aviation.

I'm scheduled for a SWA interview in early January. I've been reviewing my logboks, looking for situations that could apply to the questions. A buddy who successfully interviewed and is in the pool summed up the questions this way:

"they mostly fall into three or four categories: Get to Know You (tell me about your career, how you got here etc...), Decision Making / Thought Process (tell me how you handled a low fuel situation, emergency, unusual situation etc...), Conflict (tell me about a time you worked with a jackass etc...) Initiatiative (tell me about something you initiated by yourself, special project etc...)."

I found thinking about situations with these four categories in mind made it a little easier. Without memorizing the details I have about 6-8 situations that cover the categories.

Question: I hear from everyone: BE POSITIVE, no negatives! With that mantra in mind, how do you answer questions like: "What did/do you like least about your last/current job?"

Once again, great post. Thanks for the G2.

Last edited:
Good post :)

I think a couple of basics are:

--You have to WANT to work for SWA, and you have to be able to get that across to the team. If you're just there because your last job evaporated and you need a new one, that might be a problem.

--There are no "absolutes." It's OK to have broken a rule. It's OK to have failed a checkride. But the underlying reasons for what happened and what you decided to do will make or break you, so make sure the story you pick shows you take responsibility for your actions and
used "reasonable" judgement, or at least "learned your lesson" from the experience.

Get pretty familiar with the "bad stuff" that's happened to you over your career. Figure out what lessons you've learned from it, and figure out which stories have the most "positive" aspects. Don't neglect the "good stuff" either. You'll probably get a chance to tell about a time you "saved the day" somehow.

Try to enjoy the interview. They have it set up so there shouldn't be anything "unpleasant" about it, and it's pretty much totally NOT "you vs them" like some other places. Look at it as making a major step toward your "dream job" and not as some terrifying ordeal or checkride.

If you're uncomfortable in the interview setting, I'd say do a practice with someone (even just your wife or buddy)--not because "poise" is going to be all that important to the team, but because you'll make a much better impression if you appear to be relaxed and having fun.
Well said folks! You brought even better observations than I & I'm sure they will help others. To those interviewing, the last 3 commentators hit the nail right on the head. Read & re-read them & apply these principles to your interview & your chances will increase dramatically. Good luck to all. If you have specific questions about anything at all dealing with SWA don't hesitate to send me private message, I'll be glad to help anyway I can. If I don't know, I'll tell you.

BTW, for those looking for long lost buddies who are with SWA, I'll be glad to get in touch with them so you can link back up with them. This will help big time when it comes time for an interview. Good luck & Happy New Year to all again,

Think about some stories that I know they all ask;

Tell me about a crewmember that you did not get along with?

So we're on day 1 of a 4-day. I noticed this guy has a big Igloo cooler with his luggage. He stepped off the plane, and I opened the cooler to take a peek at what he had inside: 8 dozen Hot Dogs.
He also had a luggage tag emblazoned with "SWA Bubba"
We are interviewing, hiring DC-9 CA's off the street, January Class

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