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Industry recruiters reveal their tips on what to do—and not do—when seeking employment.

Ready for that big job interview? Looking to make contacts in your dream career? Before you meet with a potential future employer or begin to network in a field of interest, consider the advice of a few recruiting experts.

Several human resources professionals who’ve interviewed a multitude of aviation job applicants share the following pointers to help you become the best candidate you can be.

1. DO research the job and the company.

Doing your homework about an organization you’re interested in is a no-brainer. “Researching the company will help you come to an interview prepared to address [the company’s] needs and ask informed questions,” says Teresa Strangie, chief HR officer for Boston MedFlight. To find recent news about an organization, visit its website and social media pages, check out industry publications, or simply talk to friends or other contacts in your network, she adds.

2. DON’T ask just surface questions.

In your first interview with a company, leave the questions with obvious answers for last. “Employers expect you to ask about compensation, paid time off, and health care,” says Susan Kim, general manager at Rainbow Helicopters. “It’s always a pleasant surprise when a candidate implements some critical thinking and asks an uncommon, albeit great, question.”

Kim cites the time an applicant asked, “What are the most challenging aspects of this position?” as an example of a solid, probing question that made the candidate memorable.

3. DO practice good etiquette.

Manners matter! “Be confident, humble, and polite when answering questions or speaking,” advises Jaclyn Roach, manager, staffing and compensation, for MD Helicopters. “Don’t forget about nonverbal communication, too: Are you leaning in? Looking at your feet? Be aware.”

Silence your phone and don’t put it on the table or look to see who’s texting or calling during the interview, adds Felicia Naquin, senior HR business partner at Bristow Group.

4. DON’T appear arrogant.

Avoid being boastful when speaking about your accomplishments. “It’s one thing to share examples of the experiences you’ve had that were challenging. It’s another to boast about how you flew in a difficult situation, when a team is part of the flight,” says Laurie Church, HR generalist, aviation operations, with Life Link III. “Teamwork is essential in [the air ambulance sector]. Collaborating to achieve the best outcome for the patient is No. 1.”

Indeed, adds Austin Roth, president of SkyBridge, “Everyone who will look at hiring you will want to know you can work as part of a team.” On the other hand …

5. DO talk positively about yourself.

“Be proud of your accomplishments no matter how big or small they are,” advises Miranda Colosimo, people operations manager at Erickson. Your achievements can set you apart.


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Christine A. DeJoy

Christine A. DeJoy

Christine “Chris” A. DeJoy is senior editor at HAI and deputy editor of ROTOR magazine.

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