Chapter 1: A Test of Patience

Applicant # 438.

I dazed upon the white paper handed to me at 6:30am in the morning. It took me awhile to believe that with an impressive line of ladies and gentlemen falling in line for this job opportunity, this would be my waiting number. 

I found out that my job as a researcher assistant, wouldn’t progress my status of aiming to be a regular employee. At the moment, or any person who would be in my position would be seeking for job stability at a thriving start of my early 20s.

On June 2015, I was among 4,000+ applicants for a mass hiring called upon by the flag airline carrier, Philippine Airlines. The environment of the hiring process took shocked me due to the number of people lining up to pursue their dreams as a “Flight Attendant”.

From that day, I would never forget how I took my self to dress up pretty and keep my chin and heels high to market myself from a assistant researcher into a soon to be flight attendant.

I share with you, my story of how my flight journey began with the hope that I may be able to inspire those wanting to be in the position I hold now. 

The Interview

I had to undergo 3 separate interviews. The initial, the secondary phase and a final call interview.

The first step was a height and weight check, at that time the height required for female was 5’5ft and 5’8ft for the male. Luckily, I surpassed with a height of 5’5 and 1/2 ft. Most airlines usually measure 1ft lower than your average height. 

The initial interview was a judgment of confidence by presentation of resume. Frequent questions asked were mostly about professional and personal questions all of those pertaining in my work profile. 

At this time I noticed a lot who failed or given a reconsideration pass, this was mostly due to failing to meet the height standards and those who were married and had children. 

I was brought to another set of table accompanied with two other applicants. The secondary interview would be conducted by groups of 3. One by one they asked us few questions within a given timeframe.

“Tell me about yourself, Kimberly?”

I froze and tried to picture out the scenario, as well as what to say!

Believe it or not, the whole script in my head just lost. Instead I was saying what my gut wanted me to say.  

“ My name is Kimberly Siao, a graduate of Consular and Diplomatic Affairs. I’m here to present myself to be an applicant of one of the airlines that I’ve only been flying with my entire life. I am currently a young writer that is learning to start her life, and that I am willing to give flying a try.”

To start, I never wanted to be a Flight Attendant. This was a track for me to explore the world of flying that fascinated me but one that I never expected to pursue. It was also something that I wanted to prove to myself and family that I am capable of being financially independent. I had dreams that I wanted to pursue, but this was one of the rare time where things definitely didn’t go as planned.

After all 3 applicants, we were informed that we were given a white paper indicating if we were to qualify for the next round. Luckily, my group passed and we proceeded to the next step the final call interview. 

I was given a new waiting number, #408. 

The final interview would be one-on-one and the interviewers were from different department heads of the company. 

It was another waiting moment, but at least I had more time to compose myself and think of what to say in front of them. I was nervous but I continued to carry on. Despite the anxiousness I was feeling, I stared blankly meditating in silence with the words…

“You can do this, this might be God’s plan for you. Do your best.”

A series of “tell-me-about-yourself” compulsory questions was asked as well as the experiences from my resume. I indicated in my resume that I obtained a level B1 in Intermediate French, they asked me to speak and converse. 

Among the questions that were asked, there were only that I could recall. 

Question 1:

“Ok Kimberly, Tell us about yourself and why would you like to be a part of Philippine Airlines?”. 

I responded the same manner how I did with the initial and secondary only with a little twist.

“ To be honest Mr., I did not have plans to be a Flight Attendant. I wanted to pursue other dreams, that in my belief would try and challenge me.”

As a result of that, the managers continued to ask more questions, while the applicants before me were shocked with the response I gave. 

Question 2:

“I’m curious about your response, of the hundred probably thousands who are here today all want to be Flight Attendants. What brings you here today?”

“ I have an open-mind for trying new beginnings and discovering my passion. I am eager to learn more about the likings of a service that Philippine Airlines can provide for me. Shifting from a job from a corporate to an airline excited me. I have work ethics that I can and will carry to work as a Flight Crew.”

The Observation 

After the series of questions was a physical and verbal check of my personality.

I was instructed to stand in the middle and to slowly turn around, rotating myself in a clockwise direction. I was then asked to remove my blazer to determine my composure and visual body check. 

At that time, I had a little scar on my left elbow that I had when I was a kid. They noted it and wrote down some notes. 

Next step, I was given a speech guide to engage my verbal skills. It was a short one and the interviewer made some comments with the abbreviation of some airline words. Of course, this was all new to me. 

Practically, they looked at me most of the time staring and gleaming while I stood there smiling in different angles. Until…

“Congratulations Ms. Siao, you have passed the final interview. You may proceed with your medical. Please submit this white paper to the nurse. Further instructions will be given and sent to you. We hope you find what you’re looking for in this company”.

My heart pounded and I was ecstatic to hear the news of passing the final interview of the mass hiring. I couldn’t believe that I would grant myself to excel and impress the people in the line.

A Test Of Patience

I entitled this article, a test of patience due to the fact of the multiple factors that happened during the mass hiring. 

I went on 10 hours without eating or drinking. Completing the assessment from 6:30am to 4:00pm.

I roasted under the sun in line waiting to get inside the building.

 I had thoughts that I wanted to quit because I was overwhelmed with applicants leaving the building angered, or in tears. 

At the end of the day, it hit me that this was one big shot, and I can’t believe I made it. 

5 years later, I still find myself happy and contented with the company. I share my flight journey as a lesson for me to count the blessings I have. Also, discovering the passion that once I did not wish to pursue but gave me opportunities to learn and grow more as a person”

Are you interested to know and learn more about being a Flight Attendant? RWY22 is a Cabin Crew Training Center and offers topics to prepare you for the crew life!

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