What To Expect During Practical Assessments

VIP Cabin Crew Interview

As with all interviews, preparation is key and knowing what to expect will give you the confidence to face the recruiters with the undaunted belief that you are exactly what they are looking for.

If you are scheduled to interview with a private airline for a VIP cabin crew role, you might be asked to undergo a practical assessment during the face-to-face interview.

The tasks are different depending on the company and can include (to name a few):

  • Doing a table lay-up for a minimum of 2 VIPs
  • Opening a (dummy) bottle of wine in front of the VIP and demonstrating (or at least explaining) wine service etiquette
  • Simulating a dialogue with a high ranking VIP (like a royal family member or a head of state)

It is important that you remain calm and composed throughout the interview, and especially during the practical assessment.

Nervousness can easily be sensed in a candidate’s voice, facial expression and overall body language. During practical assessments, it is that much more obvious as hands can get shaky and that can ruin your demonstration.

We recommend that you do your best to imagine you are already in your VIP cabin crew job and are serving a VIP. You are in your workspace and are fully confident with what you are doing; so own it without being nervous!

If you are asked to do a table lay-up, take a second to scan the items provided for the task and use them all.

If you have a silver tray and a tray liner, line your tray and neatly organize on it all the lay up items for at least 2 passengers at once.


If you don’t have a service tray, organize all your lay-up items on a main course plate (if available) and use that as your tray.

You might also want to ask what type of service you are expected to layup for before getting started.

If you are laying up for silver service, your appetizer and main course plates must be included in the lay-up. (photo with lay-up including plates)

Do the lay-up for each passenger and only move on to the next when you are completely done with the first. Your aim is to minimize movement in front or around each passenger as much as possible.

Pay attention to symmetry as you go and make sure each layup mirrors the previous one perfectly. You need to be very observant for that because moving the silverware, chinaware or glassware once they have been set on the table is a No Go!

The recruiter might try to engage you in discussion while you are doing the layup. Stay focused on both tasks and don’t loose sight of the final look of your table, which must be perfect!

If the practical assessment task is to make a dialogue with a high-ranking VIP, you need to be aware of the correct title to address him/her with and the formal protocols relevant to the VIP’s rank.

Dealing with very high-ranking individuals can be very intimidating, even stressful. Many recruiters will try to push your limits to understand what is your threshold.

You must remain professional, graceful and think on your feet throughout the interview. Be a good listener, irrespective of the scenario presented, and take a few seconds to think twice before reacting to any situation.

Do your research before the interview so you can understand the type of operation your prospective employer is running. The types of aircraft operated, whether it is a charter or owner-only company or any insight from a fellow crewmember already flying with this airline would all be very useful in making sure your pre-interview preparation is a thorough as possible.

If you would like to find out more on the above subject and practice it in order to increase your chances at any VIP Cabin Crew position, join us at our seminars in Dubai where you will learn everything you need to know in order to be successful at the interview.