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Now read the interview with Kim Whittle to find out if your predictions were correct.
Interviewer:Right, let's look at what it takes to be a stewardess.
Kim:Well, the first thing to say is that we don't use the term stewardess — or steward, or air hostess — any more. The proper term is flight attendant.
Interviewer:Of course, I'm sorry.
Kim:I'm afraid that there's little hope for you if you're not in your twenties. Of course, some airlines will take you on, say, if you're nineteen, but practically no airline will look at you if you're over thirty. So, sort of 19 to 29 is about it.
Interviewer:What about the way you look?
Kim:Companies do differ quite a bit when it comes to physical appearance. If you're under five feet two inches — that's about one metre 55 — your chances are slim, and also if you're over six feet two (about one metre 85) you're probably excluded. You should be of average build and your weight should be proportionate to your height. Some of the aisles are a bit narrow and it helps if you can squeeze past the drinks trolley without knocking a passenger's drink out of their hand!
Interviewer:Is it the same for men and women?
Kim:Yes, more or less. Another thing is that you're on your feet for hours at a time, walking back and forth, so you've got to be in pretty good health. You don't need twenty-twenty vision but you've got to have fairly good eyesight. Naturally accidents can happen so just about all companies insist on your being able to swim. Another important qualification is that you have completed secondary school. I think it's true to say that a lot of companies prefer to take on people with some college education too. It helps if you have a good grasp of geography — passengers sometimes like to know what countries they're flying over, and if a flight attendant doesn't exactly inspire confidence! A good memory also comes in handy when you consider that, on a 747 transatlantic flight for example, there are over 28,000 items loaded on every flight — and a flight attendant has to know every one of them!
Interviewer:Presumably a flight attendant also needs to know a language or two.
Kim:Well, I'm afraid to say that airline companies based in English-speaking countries are a little bit guilty here. Some don't have any foreign language requirements at all. English is enough, I'm afraid. However, in other countries at least one foreign language is an absolute necessity, and it's usually English.
Interviewer:So let's say you've got the interview — they're interested in you. What's important now?
Kim:First impressions are important. I think it's crucial to look smart, but there's no need to put on your most boring outfit. There's nothing wrong with wearing something fashionable — fashionable but smart. Try to come across as being friendly and confident. Some airlines try to test your poise by asking some difficult personal questions, or by making personal remarks about your appearance or your foreign languages. They want to see how you respond to pressure. Try to remain calm and poised is the best advice I can give. Finally, 1 should say it's surprising how many people don't actually think about what the job involves before they apply. For some companies you have to spend up three weeks away from home at a time! So if you've just met the man or woman of your dreams, think twice before you send off that application form!
(by Keith Harding)
9. An important part of the selection procedure for an airline is to understand the psychology of an applicant. Here are ten typical questions from a pre-interview questionnaire.
1) How strong and confident are you?
2) How often can you be honest with your friends?
3) What do you look for most in a job?
4) What kind of people do you admire?
5) How do you like to spend Saturday nights?
6) What do you do when you get bad service?
7) When do you work overtime?
8) How do you feel when people criticize you?
9) What do you value most?
10) How easy is it for you to achieve your goals?
10. Match the questions to the multiple-choice options below.
It doesn't bother me at all.
1 don't usually mind.
1 don't like it very much.
1 hate it.
Dealing with people
Adventure and excitement
Very — I always get what 1 want.
I've never really had to struggle.
Not very — it always takes a lot of effort.
I've never really had many.
Very — you need to be to survive.
Quite — in a quiet way.
1 try to be but it's not easy.
Not at all — I'm quite shy really.
Complain — more people should too.
1 get embarrassed but I say something.
It depends — sometimes I do something.
Nothing — it doesn't really bother me.
My close relationships.
My personality and appearance.
My knowledge and skills.
Every time my boss asks me to.
Only when there is an emergency.
When Iwant toget something finished. Never— I don't need to in my job.
Business people Writers Police officers Film stars
Throwing a wild party. With family and friends. With a special person. On my own, reading.
Very — that's what they are for.
Quite — it depends how well I know them.
I usually try to bite my tongue.
Rarely — people don't appreciate it.
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