Hi CabinCrewHQ readers! Our next cabin crew feature is Monica Lazar, a former Cabin Crew turned Training and Recruitment Director at CabinCrewExcellence.com, an online platform she co-founded to help aspiring cabin crews reach their aviation goals through video-based online training.
We are happy to share Monica’s video interview as she answers some of the most common questions any aspiring cabin crew would ask. Monica also offers a fresh insight on the life of cabin crews including the most common misconceptions when choosing this for a career. The best part about this interview are the tips she shared to fellow and aspiring cabin crew applicants.
What we learned from this interview is knowing the fact that most cabin crew candidates are not aware that they aren’t prepared when they show up on the interview day. This might be evident from the way they dress, how their CVs were poorly written, the bad quality of photos they submit and many more. It’s a good thing that cabin crew experts like Monica exist to help guide and train candidates everything they need to know to be successful at their interview when applying for a cabin crew position.
Cabin Crew Profile: Interview with Monica Lazar of Cabin Crew Excellence
Watch the video to get to know Monica and learn what she has to say about this career.
Thank you for the interview Monica! Continue to help others who aspire to be cabin crews!
Here’s the text format of this interview.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I started my aviation career almost 16 years ago as a ground staff in my hometown airport and got on to flying close to 13 years ago for one of the major airlines in the Middle East. I was a commercial cabin crew for 6 years, then moved on to private aviation and am very happy to say I reached the peak of the profession.
Where was/is your airlines based?
Well, as cabin crew I started off in Qatar, then private aviation took me to the Kingdom of Bahrain, then Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
How did you become a cabin crew? How many times did you apply?
Ah, I’ve always wanted to fly so when Qatar Airways came to my city for a recruitment drive, I jumped at the opportunity. I was very lucky to be accepted from the first try. I remember being overwhelmed by the competition; hundreds of candidates showed up and they only picked 32 of us. But I was so determined to become a cabin crew, that I thought even if I don’t get it the first time around, I’ll keep trying until I do.
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Why did you apply for this job? – Based on your answer, were those goals justified?
I was a university graduate with a certificate that said I was smart and I was already working for 2 years when I finished university. I had a decent paying job at the airport but no real perspective for professional development. I was very young and had a strong feeling that I can do more, see more, learn more and grow bigger, faster if I can start travelling the world, especially as an international cabin crew for such a big airline. I’m very happy to look back today and see all my goals achieved.
What was/is the best thing about the job?
I couldn’t really put my finger on one single thing. Seeing the world is definitely the biggest reward but there are many experiences that you come across when working in such a multicultural environment and that touch you in one way or another and enrich your life more than any other profession could… I often see or hear crew complain about different experiences that are so normal in our profession and I smile because I now know that I’ve gone through those exact experiences and they all taught me very valuable lessons and made me stronger (even wiser), as a person and as a cabin crew.
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What was/is the worst/hardest thing about the job?
The hardest thing for me was being on such a hectic schedule at the beginning. My body was used to a certain routine and when I started flying, the routine was all out the window. I am pretty adaptable though and did my best to find ways to cope with it and make it work.
What were common misconceptions that you found out about cabin crews? Were those misconceptions proven right or wrong?
The biggest misconception is that cabin crews are glorified waiters or waitresses or even slaves (and that’s a misconception especially among crew working for Middle Easter airlines). I have to admit it still gets to me a little bit when I hear these comparisons from active cabin crews. Most people don’t know that a large part of the cabin crew population worldwide is highly educated, many of them speaking as many as 5 foreign languages. Besides their education, they undergo extensive safety, first aid and survival training before they start flying. Most importantly, they are very compassionate people (most, not all); being a real professional in the hospitality industry takes a lot of empathy and patience so it is my biggest wish that everybody acknowledged these facts and the effort involved so the prestige and pride of the profession are restored sooner rather than later.
Any favorite place/s that you always visited in your flights?
There are many places I couldn’t get enough of, but if I had to pick an absolute favorite, I would have to say Malaysia. I’m a bit of a tourism junkie and could go sightseeing in the same destination over and over and over again. Malaysia is the sort of place that constantly offers something new to see or do so I used to love my flights to Kuala Lumpur.
Has your cabin crew background help in fulfilling a career in other fields? How?
It did and it was very unexpected to be honest. When I started flying, I had a period when I gained a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. Eating aircraft food at crazy hours and having a chaotic sleeping schedule threw my metabolism off in no time. I went through some of the crash diets online and it didn’t help me at all so I started doing a lot of research on nutrition and fitness and figuring out what works for my body. As a result, 2 years into my flying career I was getting my license as a Personal Fitness Trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist. J That helped me in more ways than one and I always thought it is a good back-up for additional income.
What are your tips to cabin crew applicants?
Well the tips are many, but I will sum it all up in 2 words: THOROUGH PREPARATION. When you look at the statistics and understand that 90% of the cabin crew candidates get rejected, being prepared to meet and even exceed the recruiters’ expectations is key.
The sad thing is most candidates aren’t even aware they are not prepared when they show up to their interview day. I review countless portfolios of both commercial and VIP cabin crews and I am amazed by the amount of badly written CVs and poor photos despite the clear guidelines provided by airlines in that sense.
So preparation is of the essence and it needs to be done with industry professionals not other candidates just as inexperienced as they are.
How about tips to existing cabin crews?
My biggest wish for existing cabin crews is for them to always remember the excitement they felt when they got offered the job and to go back to that feeling of happiness every time the going gets tough. The job is without a doubt a difficult one. It can get tiring, frustrating and very lonely at times. But it is also extremely rewarding and if you stick with it, it will grow you, as a person and a professional, more than you can imagine.
Can you tell us more about your business? What you do and why you’re doing this?
Cabin Crew Excellence is an online platform that supports individuals of all experience levels achieve their cabin crew goals. We prepare aspiring cabin crew to be successful at their interview, train existing commercial cabin crew to become VIP cabin crew, support commercial and VIP crews to become leaders in their field and offer many resources for personal development along the way.
The project is very young and has many tools and surprises in store for aspiring and existing cabin crew.
Our ambition is to empower and motivate them all to be amazing professionals and exceptional human beings so we can all contribute not only to a better aviation environment, but to a better life experience for ourselves and everybody we come in contact with.
On that note, I thank you for having me and I wish you all blue skies and happy landings!
Monica & Simona started their flying careers at one of the major airlines in the Gulf region. After flying for over 6 years as commercial cabin crews, they moved on to flying for different reputable VIP operators in the Middle East and Europe and have gradually progressed to the role of VIP Cabin Crew Director and VIP Cabin Crew Trainer respectively.
They are the two co-founders of Cabin Crew Excellence, an online platform dedicated to individuals of all aviation experience levels. Our aim is to help people from all over the world enter the wonderful field of aviation, assist existing cabin crew to transition to VIP operations and empower cabin crew of all levels to further enhance their job-related knowledge and skills and invest in their personal and professional development.
If you’re interested in becoming Cabin Crew, www.cabincrewexcellence.com have a range of video tutorials, e-books, workbooks, short manuals and extensive tools and resources available for all those driven by passion and aiming to achieve excellence in the field. FREE Online Cabin Crew Interview Training Video & Ebook
If you’re already Cabin Crew or VIP Cabin Crew, we have a wealth of resources you will find useful for personal and professional development. VIP Cabin Crew Seminar Video