Air Wisconsin Interview (Oct 24, 2013)
All previous interview gauges are spot on. I flew into ORF on Wednesday October 3, 2013. When I arrived in ORF I drove to the place where the interview would be just to make sure I could find the front door. Good thing I did too because the Chesapeak Regional Airport is literally in the middle of nowhere. Give yourself and hour and a half to get there in the morning just to be on the safe side with rush hour traffic and generally the routes that go to the airport go through multiple school zones. Spent my evening in the hotel when I got back studying previous gouges as well as some of my own material. Big thing is study the gouges!
I was one of the first applicants in the parking lot in the morning outside the FBO. The doors don't open till 7:55 am or something like that so if it's cold outside don't waste your time standing around. I just sat in the car and read some of my study material. There were 11 applicants total that day, but supposedly we should have had 14 or 15. The Air Wisconsin recruiters walked in shortly after we were let into the FBO when it opened & the recruiters took about 10-15 min to get settled and organized for the day. After socializing for a while with the other applicants we were all escorted into the secure area of the FBO and led into a conference room & sat down. All the recruiters & Air Wisconsin personnel introduced themselves & told us a little about what they do for the company. The lead recruiter, Scott, does a very good job of letting you know what to expect for the day & the general order of the days activities & introduces the Air Wisconsin personnel that are there with you because some of them actually will interview you. Scott did a great job on giving us a history of the airline, why it's great to work for them, as well as a bunch of benefits a pilot can expect working for AWAC. After staff introductions Scott asked us applicants to introduce ourselves one by one saying our name, flight school or University, and what we've been doing the past few years to build our flight time. In my group we had a lot of Embry-Riddle (ERAU) graduates & a Comair Academy graduate & a mix of 135/121 guys. There was a big emphasis on being yourself and that there are no tricks to this interview it is very straight forward. They want to see what you know...if you've made it this far and gotten an interview the airline is very interested in getting to know you and wouldn't have flown you in for an interview unless they thought or knew it would be worth their while.
After the various Air Wisconsin staff took turns telling us what specifically they did for the airline and why they were interested in us as applicants we were all escorted out of the conference room and into a pilot rest room where we waited for our order of who was doing HR/Tech/Sim first. We ended up doing the activities in pairs. Make sure YOU volunteer to go first for everything...I think they like seeing you take initiative. Me and a girl volunteered to do the sim first. The profile is given to you in advance along with the various speed/throttle/prop settings for a Redbird Motion Simulator that is configured as a Beech-76 Duchess, which I actually had about 30 hours of flight time in thankfully. The girl did sim first...it only lasted about 15 min so nothing big. I was nervous for the sim because I was worried about the holding. Took off in the sim and got into IMC i think around 500 AGL. Runway heading up to say 5000 then 2 Left turns to headings then given direct the VOR and I was told to expect holding instructions. The evaluator never did give me holding instructions so I asked for them 0.3 miles prior to the VOR and I think he forgot cause he was just like "Uhhh" so I just did the entry that I thought was correct for my position. Fortunately I was flying the profile EXACTLY so it was a direct entry but I briefed it as I was crossing over the VOR and called "established in the hold" after passing over the VOR after the entry turns were complete. After that vectors to ILS...evaluator configures all frequencies & navaids so all you have to do is literally FLY THE PLANE. I think I might have busted altitude on the climb or descents once it all went so fast for me cause I was nervous. The one stupid mistake I made was not putting down the gear on glideslope intercept (I fly mostly Cessnas with non-retractable gear)...I can't believe I forgot that. I was wondering why I was still so fast on final after having gradually decreased power below the recommended setting for final & having flaps in. I think the evaluator took this into account. "Runway in sight, landing", "Flaps 20" landed full stop and that was it. I still couldn't believe I forgot to put the gear down. Evaluator said "Ok we'll see you in Wisconsin" on my way out of the sim and I'm thinking I just blew my interview oh well I might as well try to keep thinking positive & make the most of the rest of the interview.
Back to the pilot rest room & most of the other guys were there most of them hadn't done any other portions of the interview process. I was in there maybe 30 min and Scott came back in asking who hadn't done what yet and I got pulled out to go do the HR/Tech portion. Apparently that day they were doing a 2-on-1 HR combined with Tech interview so there were 2 interviewers questioning me. We started with some HR questions first. Don't remember exactly which questions I got asked but I had rehearsed my answers well in advance so I had a well thought out response for everything based on my history & education. Next I got asked Tech...specifically I got asked a LOT of approach chart questions. NOS or Jepp? NOS. Airport Signs. Airport Diagrams. Very straight forward no tricks. They want to see what you know. If you've been flying regularly and been using charts & instrument stuff regularly you will be fine. After that we went back to HR questions about where I currently work and how my skills there would transition into working for the airline. I felt my total time in this portion of the interview was like 30 min maybe even more. We ended up carrying on a conversation about it for a while, which made me feel easier about the interview process.
After HR/Tech I went back to the crew room and I wasn't there even 10 min before Scott took me and 3-4 other guys out and asked us to come with him. We went to a back room of the FBO and sat us down and said "we want to make all of you offers!" I couldn't believe it. We got finger printed & filled out our drug test paper work and got sent into town to go to the drug test. After that back to ORF and took the last flight of the night out!