How I became an Emirates cabin crew.

How I became an Emirates cabin crew.

Hello everyone!

So ever since I joined the Emirates family and became active on social media I’ve had many requests to share with you guys my tips and advice on how I became a cabin crew, the open day process, cabin crew life and insight of the career in general.

Because there is so many topics that I would love to share with you all I’ve decided to break them down into seperate blogs.

I know many of you are in the process of applying for Emirates and other airlines for that matter so I thought it would make sense to start with the topic of the open day process.

A small disclaimer before I start … I absolutely love and cherish the opportunity I have been given by Emirates therefore if you are looking to read about anything negative towards the company or flying in general then this is not the page for you and secondly I have now been with Emirates for three years so my experience in the open day and interview may not be exactly what you will experience.


Okay so all the serious stuff is done, lets get started on the interesting part.

So back in 2013, I was still flying for Virgin  Australia and saw a advertisement for Emirates cabin crew, I was going through a bad stage in my life so I looked at Emirates as a way out to start a new life.

The open day that happened to be in my hometown of Sydney was on a date where I actually had a duty for Virgin so obviously I couldn’t attend. I looked at the other states and found that the open day in Adelaide was actually on the following morning of my flight to Adelaide which is very coincidental obviously, but hey I call it a sign. 😉

I landed into Adelaide around morning and the open day began maybe two hours later so i quickly showered and got changed. Because of the time restriction I didn’t think it would be smart to take off my makeup and reapply it and so my hair and make up was literally what I had applied to go to work that morning. Convenient huh?

My hair was in a neat bun with a ribbon and I had basic makeup on with red lipstick of course. I wore a black pencil skirt that just covered my knees, a maroon button up blouse with a black blazer, a stand out necklace from Accessorise and plain black heels.

Now I’m no expert on hair and makeup but personally I wouldn’t go to the interview with over bright coloured clothes because this is a professional brand who truly looks for people with the right personality to join Emirates. I always tell the ladies to make sure that their skirt is an appropriate length, it is a middle eastern airline so you must respect that.

Also don’t go crazy on the makeup, they want to see your pretty face so let it shine.

Anyways, I quickly ran downstairs to the lobby, oh and I forget to mention that Virgins layover hotel was The Intercontinental Hotel in Adelaide and yes you guessed it! The open day was there too!

I remember running down this huge flight of stairs and tripping on one of them and falling slightly, it was so embarrassing and I looked around to see if anyone saw me but only a few of the hotel guests did. I continued walking down carefully and saw a huge group of beautiful looking girls.

I was instantly intimidated and if I could go back now and tell myself something it would be to not let them intimidate me. It only let my nerves expand and stress me out because i was constantly comparing myself to them. So don’t do that to yourself! Be confident that you look beautiful not only today but every day in life!

We all stood outside together and exchanged names and stories until one of the recruiters came out and called us all inside. We all sat down in front of a big projector and the recruiter introduced herself and played a short video on the life in Dubai.

Thats when I thought to myself ‘Wow this is actually happening, this could be my life’. I had no idea it would actually come true.


The world renowned training facilities Emirates has to offer.

She then split us into big groups for the group discussion and gave us a scenario.

I honestly don’t remember it exactly but it was something to do with us working in a hotel and we all had different issues we had to resolve. We all discussed it together and shared ideas. I later found out that your answer is not really what they focus on but more how you work in a team and how you behave with people that you just met.

If you know me well, you will know that I’m quite a shy person when it comes to talking, so I remember being not that outspoken as much as some others but I did contribute and share my ideas with the girls in my group.

It goes without saying that you need to have a balance, don’t be too quiet and just listen but then don’t overpower people and become too much of a leader. When discussing what to do in your group use phrases like, ‘ What does everybody think?’, ‘Do you all agree with this?’, ‘ Anyone want to add any idea?’. It shows them that you are considerate to everyones ideas and opinions and also you are taking that role of a leader by making sure everyone contributes.

Following this group discussion we were each given small papers that told us whether we had been successful to the next round or not. The stress I felt at this time, oh my god, but then the relief of knowing that i passed was incredible.

After that, we were called individually for the height test which is where you just have to show them that you can reach the hatracks. The recruiter asked me one simple question which was ‘What is one word you would use to describe yourself?’. Everyone before me said the regular answers such as professional, friendly, ambitious etc.

I was so scared and nervous that I couldn’t think of anything so I laughed and blurted out ‘Bubbly’. Everyone in the room laughed including the recruiter and she gave me a genuine smile. Obviously saying you’re ‘Bubbly’ does not guarantee you a spot, but I do believe that standing out and doing or saying something within reason to make the recruiters remember you is really important to your success.

Then we were given that piece of paper again and before I knew it the group was down to 12 people from 330. The recruiters then sat us all down at the same table and gave us back our resumes. They discussed what would happen next and if everyone could make it to tomorrows final interview.



So the big final interview, well that was a day i’ll never forget.

One thing I want to say to everyone who is thinking of applying, please don’t think you need to study to become a cabin crew or take a course or waste money to learn what to do or say. Its not like that, it is purely down to you as a person. You might know exactly what to say at the exact time but at the end of the day if you’re not an open minded, happy person the recruiters will see straight through you and you would’ve spent all that time and money for nothing.

I’m saying this because, I came into this interview with no knowledge on what they were looking for, I knew a bit about the airline but I actually had no clue where Dubai was on the map as I had never traveled overseas. Now I’m not saying I’m a genius because I’m not, I only completed Year 12 high school but do you know what I did have? Customer service experience. And lots of it.

Back home in Australia we tend to focus more on work experience than degrees and certificates and so iIstarted working at the age of 14 as a waitress at numerous Thai restaurants, at the age of 17 I worked after school 5 days a week and on weekdays from 11am to 4pm at a cafe and then at a 4 star restaurant from 6pm to 11pm. Once i completed my HSC from high school I applied for Virgin Australia and flew with them for three years before moving on to Emirates Airline.

So my point is if you really want to be ‘prepared’, then gain work experience, mainly customer service experience. Lots of the questions that they ask you in the final interview is based upon your past work experiences.

I sat down in front of the two recruiters, one had a laptop the other a notepad and she immediately began asking me questions such as:

  • How was it working for Virgin Australia?
  • What do you think you will bring to Emirates as an individual?
  • Tell us about a conflict you had on board that you resolved?
  • Was the outcome positive or negative?
  • What do you think will be different about Emirates from your previous airline?
  • Why did you want to be a cabin crew?
  • What do you not like about flying?
  • What was your most stressful moment in your career and what did you do to resolve it?
  • Do you think you will be able to adapt to the lifestyle in Dubai?

These are just some of the questions I received from the recruiter and obviously inside each question was a series of smaller detailed questions. I remember being very honest with my answers and not making any of my opinions warm and fluffy if you know what I mean. And honestly I think they respect the honesty. It shows a lot about you as a person.

Overall this was my open day and final interview experience, the recruiters told us that we will know the outcome in up to four weeks but actually I got my golden call ten days later. However I have spoken to some crew who waited for up to three weeks.

Whatever the time frame, don’t be discouraged and just have a little faith. Worst thing that could happen is they say no to you this time. It just means that you will be better prepared next time you apply. So stay positive and don’t give up on your dreams, whether it be flying or any other occupation.


To conclude I really hope that this has helped some of you and I hope that if you have any questions or want to ask or clarify anything for you all to come to me and ask either here on my blog comments or on my instagram jesscairney_ek

I’m here to help as best I can and I will blog more about the other topics soon.

Happy day and safe flying everyone!

I love you guys.


  1. Shane October 24, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    Thank you so much Jess it’s really helpful tips…

  2. Uni Bayyinah October 24, 2016 / 11:22 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your time to share this with us! The customer service part was hit me right because i was working in a duty free shop after finishing my year 12 high school. I thought it was 2 years of wasting my life because most of my friends are on their final year when im just starting to continue my degree. Those two years most of my saving goes to pay my study and travel also the customer service experience that i wouldnt get in university.
    Now, Emirates requirement is to finish diploma or degree. Or is it just in Indonesia?
    Anyway you just open my eyes to always be positive.
    Thank you! Have a great great day and safe flight 🙂


  3. Apeksha Khera October 25, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    ThankYou Jess for sharing this.
    I have a simple question. I am 5″2′. Will I be eligible to apply for Emirates?

  4. PK November 13, 2016 / 12:58 am


  5. ruari November 20, 2016 / 7:04 am

    Really glad I red that and I would of saved you when u nearly fell down the stairs and how did u prepare for questions your not sure on and where do you go for the uniform fitting

  6. Ruari Allen November 28, 2016 / 7:44 am

    Hey jess just want to thank you for your hard work as cabin crew you have been simply the best and always appreciate wat you do

  7. laurenshields1 December 13, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    This was really helpful, thank you. Do you know if they have stopped hiring cabin crew? On the website isn’t any open days? X

  8. THshy March 17, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Thank u so much for sharing it.🌿🌿🌿 Can you give me some tips to improve english speaking skills? I’m really not good at it

    • Jess Cairney
      August 10, 2017 / 3:42 am

      Hi I’m so sorry for the late reply!
      Well I would buy some English books to help you study ones that have activities and an audio is great
      Also start watching movies in English with subtitles very important
      And whenever you have an English speaking friend use them to help you 🙂

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