Even with the A380 hoopla that’s going on, Emirates looks like they’re still hiring in full force: Open & Assessment Days schedule
almost 10 months since I’ve left Emirates, and the only times I’ve regretted it are when I’m paying full fare for my plane tickets. The travel benefits were awesome except for the standby bit – absolutely nerve-racking. Otherwise, I don’t miss a moment to be honest, except for my friends there and payday.
Tonnes of people have asked me how I got into Emirates. Frankly, I don’t have much of a clue, but with
4 Open Days in May in North America (LA, NYC, TO, and Van – where I did mine a number of years ago), I guess it doesn’t hurt if I tell you what I looked like (I’m not vain, I’m just a make-up artist) and what I observed from my own experience. Maybe it’ll help someone out there.
The point of any interview is to exude that you’re confident you can do the job. And to help you get that across is by looking CLEAN and POLISHED – like you know how to groom yourself. True, once you get accepted and pass SEP, you get a day where they teach you how to groom, but it’s good to not be too far off. Seems pretty obvious right? But trust me, they don’t like any sign of stubble.
To start off, it seems like women in Arabia love dramatic eye make-up, super glossy lips, very plucked brows, and SPARKLE.
DON’T. DO. THAT. None of that.
All the women left at the end exuded natural beauty, but not so natural it looks like you just came back from camping. Here’s a breakdown:
1. Polished skin. You’re thinking, duh, but I’m serious. If you don’t know how to properly clean and moisturize your skin, start now. Airplane air is dry and nasty. You’re going to have to figure out how to clean the crap out of your pores and slap on a lot of hydration. Otherwise, say hello to acne and wrinkles galore. Do you really want to look like you’re 40 when you’re 25?
Don’t pile on the foundation for your interview, you can see that stuff from a mile away. Lightweight foundation, a little concealor where you need it, some blush on the apples of your cheeks, and you’re good to go – to the next step.
2. Bring out your eyes a bit, but no smokey eyes. Yellow asian girls: Curl those lashes, because we have the straightest ones out of everyone else on the planet.
This is what I was told during our Grooming day: Mascara is a must when working. As well, you have to apply either neutral shades of shadow, and/or liner. No smokey eyes. And no false lashes. Tonnes of girls wear falsies to work, and your pursers and sfs’ usually don’t give a damn (unless they truly want to be awful), but for your interview and during training, it’s probably best to leave them on your vanity table.
3. The reason why I wanted to join Emirates was very simple. 1.) Travel. 2.) An excuse to wear red lippie. I looove red lips! So naturally, I used the interview as an excuse to go out and buy myself a brand new Makeup Forever lipstick. If you think red lips is too vavoom for you still, just wear a lipcolour that’s close to your natural colour. Nothing glittery or crazy glossy.
Try these: Russian Red | Wild Child | 8 | Icon |
4. Wear a suit. Don’t have an expensive matching suit? Neither did I, but I had a white collared shirt, a black pencil skirt, and a black suit jacket. If you don’t have suit jacket, do yourself a favour and get one. They’re a good investment. Thing I was asked to improve on was the length of the skirt. At EK, the uniform skirts were hemmed to an inch below your kneecap. At the interview, I was asked to bring it up to just above my knee – no minis honey. You’re not interviewing for Virgin, are you?
While I’m at it, wear a nice pair of neutral coloured (black, brown, navy or nude) pumps too – doesn’t mean ballet flats won’t get you in the door (because we know of a lovely EK girl who only wore ballet flats), but it doesn’t look quite as put together, does it?
5. If you wear a skirt, wear hosiery. Period.
6. You don’t need to tie your hair into a tight bun, just make sure it’s neat and out of your face. I had streaks of blue in my hair for the first two interviews (with the third party recruitment agency – I don’t think they noticed), but once I found out I made it to the interview rounds with actual Emirates recruiters, I dyed it all back to black. Natural-looking hair colour is a must, says the grooming day ladies.
7. Nails – stop biting them. I didn’t pay attention to my nails at the interview, but admittedly I have healthy ones. Not too short, and not claw-like. At grooming, they expect you to always have nail polish on at work. Shades accepted are red (obviously), dark red and nude. Learn to take care of your cuticles too – as I’ve mentioned before, it’s super dry on a plane, and peeling cuticles just get worse up in the air.
8. Jewelry: keep it simple. Leave the long dangly feather earrings at home. In EK, you can’t wear necklaces or bracelets, only simple stud earrings and a silver or gold watch with a white face.
Try these: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
9. Nitty-gritty miscellaneous stuff: Take care of your facial hair. If you’re a girl with a moustache, it’s probably good to stop denying it and do something about it. And groom those brows – I didn’t tell you to over-pluck though. Over-plucking adds age. As well, weight matters. You have to be within a healthy BMI according to your height.
I’m not going to talk about the 4 or 5 interview rounds or the types of questions we had – you can find that plenty online, plus, I can’t really remember. What I will say is don’t be pushy or too talkative. There were a number of Air Canada crew with us, and almost all of them were eliminated. Two of the girls were beautiful and amazing, so I don’t know why they didn’t want them, but this one guy was so ANNOYING. Just kept talking and talking, taking over the group discussions…Here, we tend to like seeing candidates who are gungho, display leadership potential, blah blah. Not in EK. They just want to see you getting along with everyone. Don’t be so submissive that you don’t talk, but don’t take over. Just be easy-going! And when it’s your turn to talk in front of the whole group, don’t mumble in your beard. Everyone’s gotta be able to hear you. Stand straight, and smile with eye contact. Remember the point of interviews? Exude confidence.
When the EK recruiters came, the first thing they did was do a presentation to sell us on Dubai, and give us a chance to ask questions.
DON’T ASK A MILLION STUPID QUESTIONS.
Two girls that sat in the front asked so many insanely stupid questions, it made our ears bleed. Who said you got the job? A million questions about what our apartments will look like, how much layover allowance we get, amongst at least 20 other stupid questions each. Wow, what a waste of my time. Needless to say, they were sifted out immediately. Thank goodness. Imagine if I had to sit on a 17 hour flight to go to Dubai with them…*shudder*.
As I said, this is just based on my observations. These pointers in no way guarantee you the job. But once you get in, you pretty much have free rein to do whatever you want (they don’t say that, it’s my observation). Case in point: this beautiful Chinese girl who started around the same time has now overbleached her hair, plucked her eyebrows pencil-thin, and is grossly overtanned. Kinda ganguro-like, though I suspect she’s just been lebanized. I don’t mean lebanized in a political way at all – can someone write a nice urban definition of ‘lebanized’ for me please? I don’t know how she passes grooming every year. This other girl my room mate flew with was healthy-thin when she started, but after a year, she had gained so much weight, I thought she was 6 months pregnant. Whoops. She couldn’t button the last button on her uniform jacket. I wonder how she passes grooming every year too. They say that weight-gain means a happy life though, right?
Good luck, hope you don’t regret it if you do get in ;) I didn’t stay very long, but I have no regrets about going. Being a North American automatically makes you pretty ignorant towards the rest of the world, simply because we’re so far away from everyone (same goes to the Aussies and Kiwis I’m sure), so this is definitely an eye-opening experience. And if you’re from Perth or Liverpool, there will probably be no one that understands a word you’re saying either, even though you’re speaking English :) Just FYI y’know.