An aircraft maintenance technician(also known as an aviation maintenance technician) repairs and maintains aircraft to meet the required aviation standards. These professionals usually work on several planes, even though some may specialize in different aircraft parts.
In this article, we look at some of the common questions you should expect in an aircraft maintenance interview if your application is accepted. Keep in mind that this is a highly stressful job, meaning that you will be thoroughly assessed before being given a chance.
These are some of the most common aircraft maintenance interview questions and answers:
1. Why Are You Interested in This Position?
This is an opening question to get you talking and pave the way for other questions to follow. It will give the interviewer an idea of who you are in a nutshell and whether you will be an excellent addition to the company’s workforce. Ensure that you sell yourself.
I am a passionate aircraft maintenance technician who believes that his/ her services will be best used here. I have vast experience in this field which can help me perform all the responsibilities listed in this position’s job description. I also love your company’s work culture and would like to be part of this great institution. I would therefore highly appreciate it if given a chance to work here.
2. What Are the Roles of an Aircraft Maintenance Technician?
The interviewer wants to know if you understand the job description or whatever this position requires you to do. When answering this question, you can either use the provided job description or mention some of your roles in the former organization of engagement.
An aircraft maintenance technician performs several duties pertaining to the functioning of an aircraft. They install and remove different aircraft components, conduct aircraft repairs and conduct regular aircraft inspections. They also ensure that all the aircraft are functioning per the required standards and attend to any problem before leaving the ground. (You can mention any other role that you were tasked with in your former workplace if the interviewer still expects more)
3. What Are the Qualities That an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Needs to Be Effective?
Like any other career in this world, aircraft maintenance technicians require several qualities to stay on top of their game. Remember, these qualities fuel success and make you better suited for the role. Mention qualities that have come in handy in your practice. However, be sure to include only role-specific qualities.
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An aircraft maintenance engineer needs to be attentive to details, given that the aviation industry heavily relies on accuracy. This helps in diagnosing and fixing several problems that may easily escape the eye. They should also be good at communication, given that aircraft maintenance projects require teamwork. Good communication skills help in passing and receiving information from one party to the other. Other requirements include a willingness to learn, reliability, and high levels of competence, given that this is a highly skilled field.
4. Mention a Challenge That You Faced During Your Last Role and How Did You Manage It?
Whenever an interviewer asks you such a question, he/ she is trying to ascertain whether you are a problem solver or not. The best way to go about this is to offer an experience that ends with providing a solution. Ensure that you bring your problem-solving skills to light.
When I moved to Johnsons Aviation Company which was my last role, I did not have much experience. I had been an apprentice of a senior aircraft technician who mainly dealt with single-engine aircraft. Johnsons was a different experience altogether since the gist of the work revolved around multi-engine crafts. I had to catch up faster, or else they could have got tired of me.
I decided to approach one senior technician who appeared elderly and requested him to be my mentor. He agreed and held my hand, teaching me most of the things that I had not interacted with one-on-one. Within three months, I had got the hang of everything in the workplace and doing exceptionally well.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine
Your daily routine is the order of all the roles you perform daily at the workplace. What happens once you report to work? The best way to go about this question is to visualize one of the busiest days in your professional life and describe it to the interviewer.
I report to the job early, organize my desk and roll out the plans of the day. I then attend a team meeting with other aircraft maintenance technicians where we brief ourselves of the progress of the days and some of the work that needs to be tackled. I will then go about inspecting aircraft, rigging flight control systems, conducting routine checks, and troubleshooting any malfunction. I may also replace rotary-wing components and, when called upon, report on the activities of the day.
6. Briefly Describe Your Experience
This is usually one of the most common questions in interviews. The interviewer just needs an overview of your experience in this field. Therefore, cease from narrating your curriculum vitae or resume since you had submitted it before. You can talk about some of the positions you have held or unique roles that will convince the interviewer that you will bring value to their firm.
This is my tenth year as an aircraft maintenance technician. I have been an apprentice, a junior technician, a senior technician, a supervisor, and a team leader. I also tried my hands in interim management, which saw me earn the best employee of the year. I have dealt with both single and multi-engine aircraft. I believe that all these experiences have shaped me to be who I am. (You can choose to provide more details. However, do not be too wordy)
7. What Are the Right Strategies and Mindset for This Role?
A strategy is a way of doing things, whereas a mindset is an overlying perspective. This is a common question in interviews usually asked to gauge your method of working the right strategy ensures success, whereas the proper mindset gives you the needed push.
I believe that the right strategy in aircraft maintenance is treating all the processes equally. You should give both the maintenance and post-maintenance processes the same level of seriousness. One should also do maintenance according to the manufacturer’s checklist. As for the latter, one needs to have a focused and open mindset. A focused mindset helps identify and fix problems easier, whereas an open perspective makes one receptive to ideas that may help improve their work.
8. Mention The Main Challenge That You Foresee in This Role
The interviewer expects you to find out more information about the company to help you identify a challenge. However, you are not obligated to point out one if you honestly feel that everything is okay. All in all, try and be honest in your reply.
One of the reasons I applied for this position is your fantastic work policies, the main problem I faced in my previous workplaces. Therefore, I cannot mention a significant challenge at the moment, given that most issues have been sorted. I believe that anything else that comes up in the course of my work can be sorted using my experience and the skills I have obtained in this field. I will also bring up any future major challenge as fast as possible if I get the job.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in This Job?
Aircraft maintenance is a highly stressful field. You, therefore, need some motivation to keep you going. On the safe side, do not mention extrinsic rewards but mainly focus on the extrinsic ones. Desist from answers such as money, leave, and holidays.
I have come to learn that I am motivated by the passion I have for aircraft maintenance. I grew up interacting with planes, given that my father was an aeronautical engineer. I later decided to walk in his footsteps. He could take me through some of his designs and maintenance checklist, which got me hooked to aircrafts. I, therefore, pursued this career out of passion for aircraft, an attribute that gives me the needed push to keep on coming to work every day.
I also love interacting with people and learning from them. Given that this job is heavily vested in teamwork, I get to be around many people with different skills, which is highly fulfilling.
10. What Have You Done to Boost Your Knowledge of Aircraft Maintenance in The Last Twelve Months?
The aviation industry is an ever-growing field. You need to better yourself daily owing to the changing nature of information. When answering this question, make sure that you include the improvement activities that are related to the job.
At the start of the year, I enrolled myself in a course essential for our current project. Here, I learned a lot more about aircraft maintenance, which saw me get nominated as the team leader. I have also attended seminars on personal development, which help me become a better person both at home and in the workplace.
I also got a mentor at the beginning of the year, which has helped me make some of the most complex decisions in my tasks. (You can mention every positive thing that you did to better your career in the last year)
11. How Do You Normally Inspect Aircraft’s Systems?
The interviewer wants to know your process of inspecting different aircraft systems such as electrical, control, and hydraulic. This is an operational question assessing how you go about your job. Ensure that you are direct and concise in your answer.
I use a specific and unique process to inspect aircraft systems as captured in the aircraft maintenance manuals. I usually take my time to conduct inspections on different systems as per the given procedures in this manual which helps me capture everything. I can compare this to the pilot’s checklist where flying an aircraft is involved.
12. How Do You Update the Repair Logs and Document All the Preventive and Corrective Maintenances?
This is yet another operational question that you may be asked in an aircraft maintenance interview. This should not take much of your time if you are indeed an experienced aircraft maintenance technician. You should have a step to step description of how you would attend to this.
Maintaining repair logs and documenting all the maintenances is also an essential part of my job description. I make sure that the aircraft logs are updated after every maintenance or repair that I have conducted. This is in line with the aviation standards, which require the availability of these logs for inspection. These logs also show that the aircraft is ready for flight.
13. Fuel and Oil Samples Should Always Be Harvested for Checking. How Frequently Do You Do This?
This is a general question as it does not have a specific answer. However, you need to frequently perform tests to pipe down the overall maintenance costs and ensure that the aircraft is generally safe. While answering this question, convince the interviewer that you understand all that.
I usually prefer inspecting the fuel and oil before every flight to check for any contamination. This can either be done by the flight crew for private aircraft or the ground and maintenance crew for commercial aviation. Suppose I perform an inspection and note any contamination. I further perform through tests and lastly replace these two if necessary.
14. How Is Your Experience Replacing and Repairing Damaged Aircraft Components?
This is a general question that an interviewer may ask to either get you talking or act as a foundation for future questions. It also helps them uncover your background. You do not need to offer lots of details since these are general questions. However, make sure that your answer is convincing enough.
I have exceptional experience in performing replacements and repair of aircrafts. I first interacted with such when working for a company that dealt with single-engine private planes. After the internship was done, I joined a more prominent company where I interact with aircraft components, performing diagnostics and repairs. We do most of this work using hand tools, manual testing equipment, and gauges. I have also performed the same for complex multi-engine commercial aircrafts.
15. How Do You Disassemble Engines and Screen for Things Such as Wear and Tear?
This is an operational question where the interviewers expect you to inform them about how you go about your job. Your answer will reveal whether you have the right experience for the role at hand or not. Therefore, convince the interviewer that you can adhere to the proper procedures and deliver in your new job if you are given a chance.
I first begin with the external component of the engine before I take a look at the insides. I then organize the components well on a surface near me in the order of disassembly, which comes in handy when it is time to reassemble the entire engine. I then take a look at each component through my eyes and using measurement tools. Lastly, I ensure that any damaged piece is fixed or replaced and then document all the repairs.
16. How Do You Normally Conduct a Test Operation of Engines and Other Systems?
Most of the questions in the second part of our article are operational questions seeking to assess how you go about your work as an aircraft maintenance technician. While answering, make sure that you include the equipment you use to paint a clear picture to the interviewer.
I use a precise method to test the operations of engines, given that this is a highly critical field. I look at the directives and checklists provided by manufacturers and note every step I make. Some of the equipment measures electrical operations, hydraulic compression, and even liquid and gas. I also use vibration analyzers alongside several different types of equipment. Once these tests are done, I update my maintenance logs and record the performance numbers revealed by the testing process.
17. What Is Your Secret When It Comes to Maintaining, Repairing, and Rebuilding Aircraft Structures and Components?
This is yet another operational question that seeks to reveal how you go about specific processes. The interviewers want to know if you follow the proper procedures. Your answer can also help them improve their operations and earn you the job. Do not mention any shortcuts.
I have established that an aircraft maintenance technician should always follow the guidelines captured in the aircraft maintenance manual throughout my career. I use a systematic process where I organize my work for high levels of efficiency. I usually prioritize work, starting with the most challenging before moving to the lesser demanding tasks. Once I am done, I allow my other team members to conduct an inspection, after which I will document all these changes in the aircraft logs.
18. Tell Us How You Read and Interpret Manuals, Service Bulletins, and Any Other Necessary Documentation That Can Help You in Your Job
This is yet another operational question asked by the interviewer to ascertain how you go about your job. Ensure that you offer enough information and convince the interviewer that you are indeed competent. Also, do not stutter or think for too long while answering such a question.
Our Aviation Authority outlines the structure and content of the aircraft maintenance manuals, which makes it easier to read, review and identify the proper maintenance procedures contained in the manual. Also, while doing this, I ensure that I review the service bullet-ins for the given aircraft since the performance of the last maintenance to help me identify any updated issues that the manufacturer views as necessary and therefore need my concern.
19. What Are Some of the Methods You Use to Inspect Work and Certify That Your Maintenance Has Met the Right Standards?
By now, you definitely understand how operational questions are structured. Your answer should be short and straight to the point. Ensure that the interviewer is convinced that you are a good fit for the job based on your eloquence and accuracy.
I usually take all the processes in my job seriously. Therefore, I treat the post-maintenance inspection like I do the maintenance process by using the checklist from the aircraft manager. Through this, I can check any error that was done or escaped during the maintenance process before the aircraft is declared ready for flight. I may also ask any other maintenance technician to conduct a post-maintenance inspection for more accuracy and fix the issues.
20. Can You Work Under Pressure?
Aircraft maintenance will occasionally put you through lots of pressure. You will have deadlines to complete, documents to update, and reports to write. You will also be required to perform regular maintenances, which may take a significant toll on you. It would be best if you convinced the interviewer that you could indeed work under pressure
I understand this field and the pressure it presents to technicians. However, I believe that pressure pushes me to work even harder. It works as a catalyst in my area of work. I love challenges, and clearing what I had set out to do in record time gives me the feeling of triumph that I need. The pressure allows me to refocus my energy on work, which has seen me record some of the best results. You can therefore say that I thrive well under pressure.
These recommendations sum up some of the frequently asked questions in aircraft maintenance technician interviews. I hope that we have exhausted all the areas that may be assessed. Make sure that your answers are convincing to secure you the job.