Friday, August 19, 2016

Etihad Assessment Day in London [Experience]

On 9th of August, Daniela Couto took part in Etihad assessment day in London 2016 at crown plaza London Heathrow hotel. Unfortunately, Daniela did not pass her assessment day but she is kind enough to share her experience with you today and hopefully help you prepare better for your assessment day with Etihad Airways.

Etihad Assessment Day London Experience

Hi, guys.
I would like to leave here my AD experience and thoughts after Final Interview.
I did not pass but hopefully, this might still help you.
I am sorry for the very long post.
Crown Plaza London Heathrow Hotel, 9th of August.
There were about 130 candidates, some of them came on purpose from Turkey, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland for the event...etc

The AD started at 8:00 am with the candidate's registration. The recruiters assigned each of us a number and asked to check our hands both sides. Also, we did the reach test at this stage.

After everyone was registered there was an English test. Quite straightforward one composed of multiple choice grammar, a text to read and fill in the gaps with words given and comprehension exercise composed of a text to read and then answer the related questions, there was a 4th section which I can not remember what it was exactly about.

After English test completion we moved to this one-to-one exercise where the recruiter would ask each candidate a totally random question, for example: "do you like to be young?", "is there a holiday destination you would not go back to?", "which qualities should a friend have?", "if you had a sport related job what would it be?".
After this stage has finished, what took quite a while, the recruiters did the first cut off. Around 40 candidates were left for the group games.

Group games were done in teams of 6-7 people.

Easy exercise, the scenario was something similar to this:
Your team went on an exploration trip in the desert but unfortunately your jeep had a critical problem and you are now stuck in the desert where during the day the temperatures are X and during the night X.
You had a chance of saving these items (around 12) before the jeep got completely destroyed.
In a group discussion, you must organize these items by order of importance to ensure your survival in the desert.
You have 20 minutes to solve the task.

We then had the items written on small cards, some of them were:
mirror, newspaper, lighter, compass, a map of the area, chocolate bar (1 unit per person), extra trousers and shirts, a big piece of canvas, ax, gun...
We did really well the group exercise... everybody talked a lot but in a very balanced way because no one took the leadership or tried to monopolize the discussion, also we had someone timing the task and we did get to a final conclusion as a team.

After the group games conclusion, there was another cut-off, this time, we were only 30 candidates left for the final interview.

Forgot to say that after each cut off there was a presentation, first one about how is it like to live in Abu Dhabi, traditions, general information, Etihad's' products and the second one about company benefits and training course.
Some of the candidates had the final interview the same day while the others were scheduled for tomorrow.

I had mine the second day, I believe was not brilliant but not too bad either, I shall wait and see the result.

I was asked cv related questions: in which airport do I work, why did I want to leave my previous job, why do I want to change my current job for Etihad, do I have experience of living or working with people from different cultures, what do I know about the middle east, tell me a time you provided an excellent customer service, tell me about a time you had to deal with a passenger who was really angry... Shall I remember more questions I will update it here.

Etihad Assessment Day London

Etihad Assessment Day Questions

09/08/2016, London

2 Recruiters, 1 Irish taking notes 1 English asking questions
1-to-1 initial question before group games

Which qualities should a friend have?
My answer: "I believe a good friend is loyal above all things and also is someone that can tell you anything. Someone who always tells you the truth regardless it being good or not. That is the type of friend I would like to have because  If they tell me that I have failed, point out my faults they are contributing for me to become a better person, and by being a better person I can become a better friend as well."

Cabin Crew Final Interview 

1st question was customer service related, can not exactly remember what but was short and concise. I remember I have answered but wanted to walk the extra mile and show the recruiters my passion for customer service, so I added to my answer: "I do have this funny thought about customer service (recruiters looked interested) and I proceeded: I do believe that providing a good customer service is very similar to baking. You might have all the correct ingredients, the right portions and still fail at producing an amazing result... because there is one ingredient I have that you just can not buy from the supermarket or produce it... and that ingredient is love, passion, dedication, the will to always do more and better (and I pointed out to my heart while saying this). And I want to be that secret ingredient for Etihad."
My personal comment on my answer after FI: I thought this was pretty clever and nice to say but maybe it sounded cheesy and the recruiters were not much sensitive... who knows?

Which airport do you work in?

Why did you leave your previous job?
"I loved my experience in Ryanair but I felt was time for me to do something more challenging and wanted to develop my skills especially in terms of Food and Beverage service. 
Wanted to grow professionally."
My personal comment on my answer after FI: Honest answer, maybe not enough good for recruiters. It might pass the idea that I am a person naturally unsatisfied.

Why do you want to change your current job for Etihad?
"I have learned a lot on the way here but I want to take my customer service skills to the next level, learn how to provide a 5-star service, see how far I can push myself and for that I want to learn from the best.
Also,I am looking forward to developing not only professionally but also personally and for that I want this life change. I want to see the world through the eyes of a new different culture and make the most of the experience. I want to grow with and for the company."
My personal comment on my answer after FI: All this is true and valid enough reason for me, maybe I talked too much or gave too many arguments and sounded too eager.

What do you think are gonna be the biggest challenges if you come to work with us?
"Family first, because I am a human being. It is gonna be difficult not to be present on the special dates and specially not having the opportunity to see my nephews growing up. But I am gonna earn so much from this experience that all of those things will be worth it."
My personal comment on my answer after FI: I believe I made them think I am a terribly home-sick person, which is not true. I wanted to tell them I live on myself since I was 18 and I have been doing quite well, but I forgot! In the heat of the moment it is incredible how I forgot to tell them the key things. :(
Also, I think they could actually be waiting for me to point out different challenges, maybe the hot weather, or maybe how to learn living in such a different culture, going through the training course...

What do you know about the Middle East?
(This one question caught me unprepared... I was ready for what do you know about UAE, Etihad, but not the ME itself). My concern was obvious, I must admit. I started "Humming" but I did not want to admit my lack of knowledge and I actually tried to say anything I could remember, so it came out something like this: "I know Middle East has muslim religion as majority, like Etihad they are very proud in their hospitality and they have different traditions... I know for example it is extremely rude to give your left hand to a muslim person.
My personal comment on my answer after FI: Ok, being honest... I failed, failed really badly at this one. Was not ready, that was evident and this messed up with my confidence and probably the rest of the interview. 

Tell me about a time you provided not a good but an excellent customer service?
 "When I was Ryanair there was a day I had this family of four going on holidays with separated seats. I wanted to seat them together to make their flying experience memorable. I had no enough empty seats together in the cabin to put them all together so quickly looked for passengers traveling on their own willing to swop seats, what I managed to do. Then I sat the volunteers on a emergency exit row with extra legroom as compensation."
My personal comment on my answer after FI: I was ready for this one question... but I was already worried from previous question, not 100% concentrated because started worrying and the recruiter frigthned me when she said not a good but an excellent customer service... I had my answer but she made me feel like she wanted to hear something from the outter world. I thought this was a pretty good answer but after FI I am no longer sure...

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a very angry passenger?
"There was a day a passenger was very upset because his bag had been tagged and was going to the hold. He did not that to happen because would delay him when arriving at the destination airport. I did understand his situation but had to explain him that for lack os space and safety reasons I could not fit his bag in the hatbin or underneath the seat and reminded him that he has accepted to comply with this baggage procedure when he accepted the terms and conditions of his travel. Then I added that sometimes cabin crew come across situations that even if they want they can do nothing about".
My personal comment on my answer after FI: Ok, being very honest and critical about myself... this was a very unfortunate answer from me. I believe I gave the recruiters the idea I am not friendly or understanding towards the passengers problems. I was nervous, damn nervous and loosing hope...  I had another answer previously studied for this question but it did not come to my mind the moment I needed it so I had to tell something, that despite being true did not show my problem solving/customer service skills at all.

Do you have experience with other cultures, have you been living or contacting with people from different backgrounds?
"I used to live with italian colleagues, was all fine we did get along very easily... we would only argue about something: how to cook the perfect pasta!" (the recruiters actually laughed, found it funny I thought.
My personal comment on my answer after FI: You guys are allowed to call me idiot for my answer, I deserve it at this one. So idiot Daniela, under nerves, pressure, trying to impress the recruiters forgot for a minute I am a cabin crew... and said I lived with italians, making jokes after (if you guys could know how embarrassed I feel for admitting I did this in a real interview). Instead of saying as a cabin crew I worked and interacted with people from so many backgrounds and it made me really culturally aware, no... managed to give the most idiot answer possible :/. Anyway, to be honest the way the question was made also leaded me to answer the way I did.

Also Read:

Other questions:

What is your leave notice period in your current job?
2 months.

Are you willing to wear the company's uniform as per its standards?
My answer "Pleeease" with big smile and conviction. Recruiter answered: That is what everyone says.

Do you have any restrictions in terms of visas/legal requirements that could impede you from working?
No, I do not.

If you are offered a job with us we can not offer you leave for the first 6 months due to a probation period.
I said: Yes, I know it and I am fine with it.

Did you give us all the paperwork already?
I said I was missing the service letters because of the company stamp. The recruiter taking notes said: "Does not matter", I immediately had a bad feeling about this.


That's it,
Many thanks to Daniella for sharing her experience, If you want to share your assessment day experience, visit our facebook group and submit your experience and thoughts with future candidates.

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