Southwest Airlines Interview Questions with Answer Examples

southwest interview

Preparing for a flight attendant interview with Southwest Airlines?

You’ve come to the right place!

I’m a Southwest flight attendant who successfully navigated these interview questions.

In this article, we’ll explore common interview questions and provide answer examples to help you prepare effectively.

Let’s dive in and get you one step closer to soaring the skies with Southwest! 🛫

What to Expect in a Southwest Airlines Interview?

You can expect in a Southwest Airlines interview, that they are going to ask a lot about:

  • who you are
  • what you stand for
  • what you can bring to the table
  • your previous experiences
  • a lot of customer experience questions.

Southwest Airlines flight attendant interview process is like many other interviews for major companies. However, there are a multitude of steps to get from applying to obtaining a conditional job offer (CJO).

​Flight Attendant job applications are a step-by-step process, with many steps being involved before you are given a CJO, which is contingent on you passing training.

However, the process is not always the same for everyone in Southwest Airlines flight attendant interviews.

Some are offered to do: a phone interview, Skype interview, or an in-person interview.

The phone interview will many times lead to the Skype, or in-person interview, or you could simply start off with the virtual, or in-person.

The factors of those interviews can also differ. You could have a one-on-one interview, have multiple people interviewing you, or a group interview with multiple candidates being asked questions at the same time.

Many also find out right away, if they are selected.

Others could wait weeks, to months, to be notified of a decision.

The only people who know why this is the case would be the hiring personnel. You should prepare for all scenarios.

infographic southwest airlines interview questions

Common Interview Questions Asked at Southwest Airlines

Tell me about yourself

When they ask, “Tell me about yourself,” remember they want to know about your professional side and what makes you a great fit for Southwest Airlines.

Keep it concise, focusing on your relevant skills and experiences.

Example answer :

I’ve always been passionate about delivering exceptional customer service and helping people, which is why I’m enthusiastic about pursuing a career as a Southwest flight attendant. My customer-facing experience as a customer service representative and call center agent has equipped me with the strong communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills essential for this role. I’m also calm under pressure and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure a positive travel experience for all passengers.

Why Southwest and not other airlines?

I would really try to talk about their culture. What do you think sets them apart? After doing research on the company, you should know what you like.

Example answer: 

The reason I am choosing Southwest, over other airlines, is really because of the culture. I am extremely impressed with how much of an emphasis is placed on really treating people like family. I want to be with a company that is truly out there, making a difference. One, that I would love to be a part of. Spreading love, one passenger, at a time.

Why do you want to become a Flight Attendant?

What makes you want this job? Emphasize more than just the desire to travel. Focus on how you can be of service to others.

Example answer:

I want to become a Flight Attendant, because I want to make a difference in others lives. Traveling can be such a stressful moment in others lives, I want to be there to ensure that, for whatever reason they are traveling, they not only get their safely, but in a manner that makes them feel like they are really acknowledged. This position would give me the opportunity to meet so many people, so many opportunities to make a difference in someone’s day.

Customer Service-Related Questions  Asked at Southwest Airlines

What is the difference between customer service and hospitality to you?

​The difference between customer service and hospitality to you is different for everyone.

However, customer service is more generic, hospitality is an added level of care. It’s making sure that there is an extra level of time and effort, when it comes to anyone you encounter.

You should always answer as if you are a representative of Southwest Airlines.

Example answer :

The difference between customer service and hospitality to me, is an added level of care. Customer Service is what we expect, someone who is going to take care of us, but you don’t always necessarily know what that entails. There are some who give phenomenal customer service, and others who are subpar. Hospitality to me, is treating someone like family. Going above and beyond, to ensure that they are taken care of, not just on a level that is expected, but a level that shows you are truly invested in more than that. I not only care about their experience, but about how they feel. What can I do, to ensure they feel like I am treating them as an individual, with individual needs? It only takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life. That’s hospitality to me.

Can you describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer?

​This is when you really want to show who you are as an individual.

What have you done to help another person in need? What experiences have you had in life that have given you the opportunity to connect with others?

Empathy goes a long way.

Example answer :

A time that I went above and beyond for a customer, was actually a time that really hit hard for me. I had just come back from my father passing away, it was my first flight back, and I had a woman board, who you could tell was distraught. She was trying to hide it, but you could just tell. I simply asked if she was okay, and she expressed that she was on her way to see her father, who had just passed. How I could empathize with her. I asked if I could give her a hug, which she agreed to, and let her know that I would take care of her, in any way that I could. I asked for her seat number, and told her that I would check up on her, even though I was working first class at the time. Throughout the flight, I did just that. Ensured that she had everything she needed, as well as simply, took the time to talk to her. I told her about my situation, and we had a real moment where we both exchanged tears. During our conversation, she mentioned that she had an extremely tight connection and was afraid of missing her next flight, which was crucial for her to make. Thus, I made sure that she was moved forward as much as possible, right before landing. Once we landed, and were taxiing to the gate, I asked if others would remain seated, so she could deplane as quickly as possible. She did, in fact, make her flight. I don’t feel like I went above and beyond, I just treated her as a human being would want to be treated. My own experience just happened to add a heightened piece to the equation.

Describe your customer service experience

Everyone has some form of customer service experience.

This is your time to really tell the interviewer how your background experience, as well as, how you’ve gone above and beyond in the roles you’ve been in.

Example answer: 

In my previous role I worked as a call center agent at Rainbow Corporation, where I handled a high volume of calls efficiently and effectively. This role honed my problem-solving abilities as I tackled a wide range of customer concerns, from technical issues to billing inquiries. Additionally, I received positive feedback from my manager for my ability to remain patient and calm, even in challenging situations.

Job and Industry Knowledge Questions Asked at Southwest Airlines

Tell us the job duties of a Flight Attendant

For this answer, you will want to do your homework and find out exactly what the Flight Attendant role entails.

If you have previous experience being a Flight Attendant, at another airline, let them know this information and tell them the duties you performed.

Example answer :

The job duties of a Flight Attendant are multifaceted. I previously came from two other airlines, so I have in-depth knowledge on Flight Attendant duties. Safety is our primary job function, it is imperative that we know exactly what to do in any situation that we may come across. Safety checks, briefings with your fellow crew members, providing exceptional customer service, announcements, arming/disarming doors, providing a beverage/food service during flight, being qualified on all aircraft/configurations at said airline, etc. Of course, each airline has their own specifications on job duties, but training would give me all the information needed to be successful in this role.

What Flight Attendant responsibilities do you know?

For this one, you will also want to do your research. Take the time to really find out what it entails to be a Flight Attendant. There are plenty of individuals who post about their role on social media.

If you have previous experience in the airline industry, this is the time to show them.

Example answer :

The Flight Attendant responsibilities I know are second nature to me. I have been in the aviation industry, in the role of a Flight Attendant, for going on eight years, all together. A few responsibilities I would like to focus on are safety and providing exceptional customer service. It is your responsibility to ensure that your equipment is not only checked, but you know exactly what to do in an emergency position. Safety is always the number one responsibility of a Flight Attendant. Also, providing exceptional customer service is a responsibility that is also at the forefront of our responsibilities. Everyone is traveling for different reasons, we want to ensure that they are well taken care of. Building a rep-ore is a great way to figure out why someone is flying, and how you can provide that exceptional service. We wear a lot of different hats, which change from flight-to-flight, understanding that I have to understand how to adjust, and change those roles, as needed, is paramount.

What are Southwest’s Core Values?

Look at the company website. It goes into depth about what Southwest stands for. You should know this, because it’s extremely important to the culture, and vision, of who the airline is.

Example answer:

Warrior Spirit: This value emphasizes the importance of working hard and with determination, facing challenges head-on.

Servant’s Heart: This one’s all about treating everyone with kindness and respect, whether they’re your coworkers or passengers

Fun-LUVing Attitude: This is about having a good time while you work. It means, “Let’s enjoy what we do, keep things positive, and create a fun atmosphere for everyone on board.

What is Southwest’s Vision Statement?

To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.

How does this resonate with you? How can you make this your own vision statement?

Example answer:

To make it my own vision, I’d aim to bring love and positivity to my work, making passengers’ journeys as enjoyable as possible. I’d also look for ways to work smarter, not harder, to keep things efficient. And I’d focus on finding solutions that are good for the airline and the planet. Teamwork would be key too, because together, we can make this vision a reality and keep Southwest flying high.

Skills and Qualifications Questions Asked at Southwest Airlines

What do you think would be the most challenging part of this position for you?

To answer this question, identify a specific challenge related to the flight attendant role, demonstrate self-awareness by acknowledging it, and then emphasize your proactive approach to addressing or mitigating that challenge.

Example answer: 

The most challenging part of this position for me, would be the constant change in your schedule. I am very much a night person, so getting used to having a schedule where the time changes, can be constant, is going to be the most challenging. Of course, with time, these changes will get less and less noticeable. I look forward to making those adjustments.

What was your biggest accomplishment?

Really take the time to think about this. What are you proud of?

Example answer:

Up to this point in my life, I would say, my biggest accomplishment is obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree. I majored in Criminal Justice & Criminology, with an emphasis on Fire & Emergency Response Administration: I would say this is my biggest accomplishment, because I kept pushing, no matter how long it took me. All the while, working full time, and changing my major multiple times. Obtaining this degree was important to me for my future. I am extremely proud of myself, for not only succeeding, but thriving. I know that no matter what comes my way, I will succeed. It’s all about your mindset, which I will continue to implement no matter the situation.

Situational and Behavioral Questions

Tell me about a time you were faced with difficulties in the workplace and how you handled it.

Consider using the STAR (Situation Task Action Result) method.

  • Situation: Describing the context or challenge you faced.
  • Task: Explaining your role or responsibilities in that situation.
  • Action: Detailing the steps you took to address the challenge.
  • Result: Sharing the positive outcome or resolution of the situation

Example answer: 

A time I was faced with difficulties in the workplace was when there was a medical onboard my flight. I was able to handle it in a clear and concise manner, while relying on my fellow crew members, and medical personnel onboard. (I would then go into the exact scenario that took place, but for HIPPA regulations, I will not be going into further detail on this exact event). After describing the event in depth, including crew resource management, I would explain that this was a difficult situation, only due to the fact of it being unexpected, but my training set me up for success and I was able to handle it in a professional manner.

What would you do if you and another crew member didn’t get along?

Prioritize communication and professionalism.

Example answer:

If another crew member and myself didn’t get along, the first thing I would do is give them some space to cool down, regardless if this was myself, or them. After a period of space, if able to do so, I would then try to bridge the gap. Asking them if they have any plans for the layover, if they have any suggestions for the city that we will be in, etc. Keep it light, but get them talking and more relaxed. If we are still unable to see eye-to-eye, then simply be as professional as possible. We are there to do our jobs, if we don’t happen to like each other, that’s okay, but we do need to be on the same page when it comes to safety, and providing exceptional hospitality.

Tips to Prepare for the Southwest Flight Attendant Interview

Here are a few tips to prepare for the Southwest Flight Attendant Interview:

  • Focus on the STAR method, which can be utilized across the board for any airline interview process.
    What is the STAR method exactly?
    It is a method that focuses on how you structure your answers to the questions that arise in an interview. Situation, task, action, and result. If you follow those guidelines, it makes it easier to not only give your answer, but in a structured and concise manner.
  • Dress the part. Make sure that you look professional and polished.
  • Make sure you are early. Timeliness is extremely important in the aviation industry.
  • Smile! Show them that you truly want to be there. Let your personality shine!
  •  If you have an online interview, make sure you: test the video, sound, lighting and background. You want it to be in a quiet and private setting, no distractions.
  • Do your homework. Take the time to really look into the company and why you want to be in this industry.
  • Look at videos of other Flight Attendants in the industry. Or, reach out to others you may know who are already in the career.
  • Signup for Facebook groups. There are many that are very helpful when it comes to what to expect. Or, simply answer any of your questions.
  • Really think about how you can benefit the customers you would be in charge of providing exceptional service to. What sets you apart from the others?

Tips to Prepare for the Southwest Video Interview

  • Get in the cue early. You should be waiting for them to let you into the meeting.
  • Make sure you are in a location that is quiet.
  • Your background is clean.
  • You dress for success.
  • Smile!
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Do your research.
  • Look into Facebook groups.
  • Glassdoor.
  • Practice with family/friends.
  • Be yourself.
  • Manifest the outcome you desire.
  • Thank them for this opportunity.
  • Make sure your software is compatible.

FAQ of Southwest Flight Attendant Interview

➡️ How Long is the Southwest Flight Attendant interview process?

​The Southwest Flight Attendant Interview process really differs from person to person.

Some individuals get a CJO rather quickly, in one month or so, and others could take over a year to get the entire process completed.

Here is an example of different timelines:

Case number 1:

  • Applied 01/21
  • Face to Face Interview and CJO 06/20
  • Background cleared 8/18
  • Training date 10/16

Case number 2: 

  • Applied 01/24
  • Phone Interview: 05/22
  • Face To Face Interview and CJO: 06/23
  • Background Cleared: 06/28
  • Training date: 10/09

➡️ Is it difficult to get hired as a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant?

It can be exceptionally difficult to get hired as a Southwest Flight Attendant. They are one of the hardest companies to get in with. A very small percentage of people get through the entire hiring process.

Take into account that airlines with a global reach like Southwest often receive a higher volume of applications, making their selection process more competitive.

➡️ What kind of questions can I expect during the interview?

During a Southwest Airlines flight attendant interview, you can expect a mix of behavioral, situational, and customer service-related questions to assess your qualifications, personality, and suitability for the role. These are some common questions you might encounter:

Describe a situation where you had to work as part of a team to achieve a common goal

How do you ensure that passengers have a positive and enjoyable flying experience?

Why do you want to work for Southwest Airlines specifically?

➡️ How should I prepare for the interview?

​You should prepare for the interview by: doing your homework, looking into the company, finding an outfit that is professional and polished, joining groups that are geared toward the Flight Attendant interview process, figuring out why you want this position, what can you specifically bring to the table, look into the STAR method, what does Southwest represent, and how do you connect with that?

➡️ What are some qualities that Southwest Airlines looks for in a Flight Attendant candidate?

​Some of the qualities that Southwest Airlines looks for in a Flight Attendant are: a quality personality, someone who genuinely cares about others, can handle conflict, think outside of the box, ability to show up on time and not have to be micromanaged, work well with others, can fit into the culture they have worked so hard to establish, wants to have fun, etc.

➡️ What happens after the interview?

​After the interview, which depends on which interview you are offered, you are sent in to do paperwork, sign your CJO offer, make sure you have a valid passport (that isn’t expiring), background check, fingerprinting, urine analysis, etc.

After you have completed these steps, you will wait until they inform you of your training date.

Training will be a few weeks, and whatever they send you, start studying!

Training is no joke.

After training you will be on a probationary period for a specific amount of time, afterwards, you are truly considered a vetted Flight Attendant.

The career is what you make of it after that.

Last Thoughts

Becoming a Flight Attendant for Southwest is truly an amazing experience.

Really take the time to prepare for what is to come.

There are so many informational pieces online, as well as groups, and others who would be more than willing to offer guidance in the industry currently.

How badly do you want it?

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