Today I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a story about Luisa. Luisa is 23 years old and grew up in the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires.
Ever since she’s been a small girl, Luisa has dreamed of being cabin crew. She would watch in wonder as planes flew overhead and dream of the day she could take to the skies. When she was 7 years old, she flew for the very first time and when she met the friendly flight attendants on-board, she knew this was the job for her.
Luisa’s cousin, Valentina, also dreamed of becoming a flight attendant and, when she become 21, she applied to become cabin crew with Aerolineas. She was turned down at her first attempt, but being very determined, she worked incredibly hard on her application and at last, she was successful!
She flew with Aerolineas for a couple of years and then decided to apply for Emirates. She was successful and headed off to start her new life in Dubai.
Luisa loved it when her older cousin came home to visit and would sit rapt as Valentina regaled them all with tales of walking on the Great Wall of China, shopping in Fifth Avenue in New York or snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. And, as for the photos! Oh my, they were amazing! Luisa knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this was the life for her.
So, she decided she would apply for cabin crew with Emirates as well. But, she encountered a problem as Emirates were not recruiting at the time! No worries, she knew from Valentina that it was important to get a lot of customer service experience, so she would focus on that until the day came when Emirates started recruiting again.
And, so the day came when Emirates re-opened their cabin crew recruitment and Luisa knew her time had come. She applied online and waited. And waited. And waited. She read blogs and joined Facebook groups to try and work out why she hadn’t had a response.
She reached out to Valentina who told her there were technical problems with the recruitment process and it looked like Emirates would return to open days.
So, she waited. And she waited. And waited some more.
Then the day came when Emirates announced that they were going to hold an open day in Buenos Aires. This was it- her very big chance! She rushed off to buy a new suit, some new shoes and the all-important red lipstick.
She had a CV she had written in school, so she knew she had that covered.
So, she booked herself an appointment with a local photographer and got her formal and casual photos done. My goodness, this was costing her a lot of money, but surely it would be worth it to get the chance to wear the famous red hat?
Imagine her horror when that evening, Luisa got a message from her friend, Sofia- who had planned to attend the Emirates open day with Luisa- to say the open day had been cancelled.
Surely not? With a sinking feeling, Luisa logged on to Emirates website and sure enough, where just the day before the open day for Buenos Aires was listed, was now a total blank. This was a nightmare!
But Luisa, was not anything if not determined. She looked at all the open days that were still available and one caught her eye- Madrid. Luisa knew she could get a flight from Buenos Aires to Madrid so decided to go for it.
Surely Emirates couldn’t help but be impressed that she had flown across the world to attend an open day? Seeing someone this committed had to work in her favour right?
So, she went on to the Aerolineas website to book her flights. Unfortunately, the open day was only 4 days away, so the flights were very, very expensive. She had some savings, so she decided to go for it. After all, Luisa was convinced no-one else would do such a journey, so this had to put her at the front of the queue. Right?
Luisa quickly realised, from reading cabin crew blogs, that the assessment day was often the day after the open day and the final interview the day after this. So, she was going to have to stay for at least 4 nights in Madrid. My, this was all starting to add up, but It was all going to be worth it right?
So, off Luisa headed to Europe. She had never left the Americas before, so it was a big adventure, but nothing ventured, nothing gained right?
The following morning, Luisa made her way towards the hotel where the open day was being help (thanks Google maps!). It was due to start at 9am, but she couldn’t sleep for excitement, so she arrived at 7am. She was pretty sure she’d be the first one there, but no, there were hundreds of people there already. All of them dressed in a navy suit, a white blouse, hair in a bun, wearing the all-important red lipstick.
The exact same as Luisa in fact!
She started to feel worried. This wasn’t going to be as easy as she thought it was.
She joined the very long queue and two hours later was in front of a recruiter.
The time she had spent queuing had made her increasingly nervous and she felt her legs shaking as she took a seat in front of the recruiter.
The recruiter asked for Luisa’s CV and then asked her why she wanted to fly with Emirates.
Oh no, Luisa had not been prepared for this question.
She mumbled something about them being a brilliant airline and waited for the next question.
It didn’t come.
The recruiter simply thanked her for coming and told her results would be posted in next two hours.
Luisa simply couldn’t believe it.
This was it?
No-one has asked her how she got here, what job she currently held, and she hadn’t had an opportunity to tell them that she had flown all the way from Argentina to be here.
She felt sick to the stomach as she left the room and prepared to wait.
However, when she thought over it all, it hadn’t gone too badly.
After all, she knew she looked well-groomed, her teacher in school had told her her CV was good and ok, she had made a bit of a mess of the question, but that wouldn’t matter would it?
The two- hours felt interminable as she waited for the result, but then the moment came when the recruiter came and posted a list of those who had been invited to attend the assessment day.
Luisa waited until the crowd had dispersed before approaching the list. Her heart was hammering in her chest as she scanned the list desperately for her name. It wasn’t there- she had failed to get through.
She had flown all this way to spend less than one minute in front of a recruiter.
And she wasn’t due to fly home for another 2 days.
Luisa spent the next two days wandering morosely around Madrid, taking in nothing as she despaired over her situation.
She flew back to Buenos Aires the following day, feeling deeply saddened and several thousand dollars poorer.
Had it been worth it?
Not at all.
And, do you know the saddest part of Luisa’s story?
It’s actually a true story and Luisa did fly over to Madrid from Argentina to attend an Emirates Open Day.
Luisa reached out to me after discovering my blogs last week and asked for help.
I was so saddened by her story and asked if I could share it with others and Luisa was happy to let me do this.
Why do I want to share Luisa’s story?
I don’t want ANYONE else to make the same mistakes that Luisa made.
You see, here’s the thing. Emirates simply DON’T CARE that you have travelled many, many miles to see them.
They are only interested in TWO things.
ONE- that you look the part.
SECONDLY, and far more importantly, that you can do the job and the way they decide this is by looking at your CV and noting down your answers to any questions that they ask you.
Now, I want to give you a bit of a reality check here.
It’s easy to book flights and hotel accommodation. It’s fun to go shopping for a new suit and shoes. It’s enjoyable to spend hours in front of the mirror checking out different colours of red lipstick.
It’s exciting to have your friends round and practice putting your hair-up for the big day.
But, and here’s the reality check for you.
Doing these things will NOT get you the job.
Remember, Emirates have a HUGE pool of candidates to choose from.
In fact, over 97% of those who apply to become cabin crew with them will ever be successful.
So, of those 1,000 people who attend an open day, only 150 will be invited to an assessment day and only 30 will be offered a job.
Those other 970 will be rejected!
And, here’s the thing!
I know why those 30 will be successful.
And you probably won’t like the answer but here it comes!
The thing that makes these 30 stand-out from the others is simply
Yep, that’s the secret.
They know that there is more to getting this job then shopping for shoes or trying on red lipstick.
They know that the secret of success is working on their CV, practising for the group activities, preparing SAR answers for the competency -based questions they know they will be asked at the final interview, or improving their video skills in preparation for their Skype interviews.
They know that competition to become cabin crew with Emirates is fierce and they know that they have to put the work in to ensure success.
They’re prepared to put the work in.
PS- wondering what happened to Luisa?
Well, she decided to become a member of New2Crew Academy. We have been working hard on her new CV, she’s stuffed it full of Emirates keywords and it’s looking good. She’s spent ages in our Emirates Executive Lounge learning all about the airline so next time she’s asked about why she wants to work for Emirates she’s got a sure-fire answer at the ready!
In short, Luisa is now putting in the work she should have done the first time round and next time, we’re determined to give Luisa the happy ending she so surely now deserves.