[Sticky] SkyWest Interview Gouge  


Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 39
06/09/2018 4:38 am  

This is a collection of SkyWest interview reports from fellow RTAGers collected over the last several months. It is anonymized, but if you would like credit please just shoot me a message and I would be more than happy to attach your name/username to your gouge!

May 2018:

  • The only book from the list that I actually already had was the "Everything Explained" one. It does a great job of using plain English and focusing on the important stuff. It's a lot of material to cover, but has almost everything they asked in it minus the Jeppeson chart stuff. I'll do my best to remember the topics on the interview. I was interviewed by Captain Larry Crafts. The interviewer did a great job of trying to make me feel comfortable, and at no time did it ever feel like a stump the chump session. He stressed from start to finish that this is just to get an idea on what areas you might need additional focus on in ground and sims, and that I basically already had the job as long as the interview wasn't a complete train wreck. Total interview time was about 2.5 hours. He said they tend to run around 2.5 to 3 hours for him. To be honest I don't remember a single HR question. It seemed like the majority of it was technical stuff. We built a pretty good rapport off the bat, and the entire interview was mostly conversational and situation based.

    Briefing a jeppeson chart.
    91.175 (when can you descend below MDA)
    91.169 (1-2-3 rule)
    He asked basic cloud clearances in Class G (airplane not helicopter lol)
    Lost comms procedures on instrument approach (M.E.A., A.V.E.F., when to leave clearance)
    When is the final approach fix on a precision approach jep chart (one used had no lightning bolt only cross. Minimum altitude at glide slope intercept NOT the Maltese cross.)
    Part 121 fuel requirements
    Max holding speeds
    What is V1
    Max speed below 10,000' and in Class C/D inside of 2,500' and 4sm, and underlying class B.
    Runway markings (black sign with yellow text vs yellow sign with black text, draw hold short lines, what color taxiway vs runway lines, what does a perm/temp displaced threshold or stopway look like and which can you take off or land on)
    High airspeed aerodynamics (critical mach, mach tuck, coffin corner, swept wing good and bad, center of pressure vs center of gravity where does center of pressure go during critical mach or stall)
    Purpose of flaps, types of flaps, and inboard vs outboard ailerons and when they're used.
    Turbine theory (basic understanding of sections of turbine engine, overall performance, etc specifically turbo fan since that's what most airline jets are. I drew a very rudimentary picture of what I understood.)
    Pick a system on the aircraft you're most familiar with and describe it. (I went with electrical on the AH-64D. Started from battery and worked my way around the system talking about buses, alternators, transformer rectifiers (difference between AC/DC, expanded on what 115/200V 400hz 3 phase AC was when he asked what kind of power alternator made), etc and he stopped me about halfway into my explanation when I started drawing out what 3 phase AC looked like in a sine wave and why.
    Asked me to look at a dispatch from skywest that had a bunch of stuff he didn't expect me to know like equipment type etc, but had a fairly complicated METAR and TAF. Asked if we needed an alternate based on that and the plate he asked me to look at.
    Looked at the alternate and WX there to make sure it was a viable option for an alternate.
    Talked about derived alternate minimums for Part 121 based on their specific OPSPEC more as a discussion than asking about it. It was something along the lines of if you have one straight-in instrument approach available at your alternate, you have to add 400/1 to the minimums on the approach. If you have 2 different straight-in approaches, using 2 different navaids, to 2 different and suitable (consider wind, braking action, slope, length, etc) runways then you can take the approach with the higher min's and add 200 & ½ to those min's. These numbers usually get you less than the 600/2 or 800/2 from the CFR. Apparently it might vary based on the approved OPSPEC for each airline.

    That's everything I can remember off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm forgetting one or two things, but those are all the specifics I remember. If you asked to get enrolled in the Pilot Pathways program you'll become a "Cadet" and get assigned a RTP/Pathways guy who will be able to help you along the way. They can link you in with mentors who are actual pilots that are supposed to help you prep for the interview. I went in mostly cold for an interview at the Fort Hood Job Fair. I was the only one with a scheduled interview that day. Being a cadet also starts your clock for 401k and other pay benefit seniority, gets you better seniority in training, and a few other things.

August 2018:

  • 1. Basic HR stuff, tell me about yourself, strengths, weaknesses, do my weaknesses interfere with my daily life. What am i doing to fix my weakness.
    2. CRM: scenario: ur a fo, the cpt is out getting the crew lunch. Flight attendant says 2 passengers have an issue with 1 other passenger who is speaking arabic on the phone. They want this passenger off of the flight. How do you handle it? Right answer is assure the 2 passengers that the person went thru the exact same tsa screening as they did. There is no danger.
    Part 2 of that same question. The Cpt shows up and he/she agrees the person needs to be kicked off of the plane. Do u blindly follow the cpts orders? NO! This is where u need to have a discussion with this cpt. This cpt may be racist, they may have lost someone in 9/11. Dont blindly follow when u know its the wrong choice. Call the Chief pilot if necessary.
    3. Systems: know bleed air and what it does. Know jet engine and how it works. (All of it)
    Know coffin corner and mach tuck
    4. Know IFR enroute charts and what symbols mean and altitudes along the route. Know shelves and airspeeds in Bravo airspace.
    5. Know your star, when can u step down and what air speeds you need to be at.
    6. Know how to brief an approach plate. If ILS. When do u begin descent, where will u intercept glideslope, when will u go missed.
    7. Know 91.175! All of it, when can u descend down to 100'
    8. Know how to brief a TAF and METAR. Know all the abbreviations.
    9. Know the electrical system of your current aircraft.
    10.Know phases of a thunderstorm and how far we must fly from them (20miles)
  • SkyWest interview was the hardest of the 4 that I had. I'm in no way saying the others were cake but it would be in your best interest to know the gouge. I was asked the same except the CRM portion.

    I was asked what I would do if we were at altitude and headed towards a thunderstorm and the CA did nothing to correct course after you told him about the weather. The answer was to call atc and tell them that you're changing heading for weather. And what would you do if the CA lit you up because you did it without his approval. In the end, it boiled down to letting the chief pilot know.

    EDIT: Also, on which side of the storm would you pass it...anvil side or not. Opposite the anvil.

  • I was asked how far from thunderstorms should we fly. Answer 20 miles. 3 phases of a thunderstorm, which phase is most dangerous to fly thru? Answer mature
  • They also asked about swept wing aerodynamics, critical Mach, and Mach tuck. Also exemption 3585, and some weather scenarios. Definitely a tough interview!
  • Know how a jet engine works: 
  • The day actually went better than expected. There were only 5 candidates being interviewed so it made it a little more intimate than my previous visit with SkyWest they call "Employment Center" with close to 50 people. (Note: RTP cadets DO NOT have to go to Employment Center in person. There is an online option so make sure to ask about it.)

    The interview consists of three parts for all candidates: HR, technical, and CRM. The HR and technical can be combined depending on who your interviewer is. Larry Crafts did my interview and combined them.

    CRM was first for me and it was with two other candidates one sat CA, one sat FO and I sat jump seat in office stairs in front of a whiteboard. The interviewer gave us a scenario involving adverse wx which we were given 7 minutes to discuss as a crew and work through. The focus of this seems to determine if you can "play nice with others."

    No TMAATW questions with Larry. He says being in the military almost ever time we fly is 'a time when' something or another requires critical thinking. He prefers to focus on setting us RTP guys up for success in ground school by asking questions about 121 operations. Questions asked:
    What are your alternate wx requirements?
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of a swept wing?
    What are maximum speeds for holding?
    Explain compressor stall and what causes it.
    What are the sections of a turbine engine?
    What accessories are found on the accessory module?

    He also had me brief a Jeppesen approach and then we briefly discussed FAR 91.175, and Exemption 17347. During the interview he emailed me a study guide (topics to study) and told me to share it around. He seems very interested in having all who interview with SkyWest succeed.

Post any new/additional SkyWest interview gouge in this thread and we can add common points to this top post.

This topic was modified 1 year ago by Lindsey

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 39
07/09/2018 12:25 am  

Intro to Jeppesen Charts

Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 6
05/10/2018 5:31 pm  

Hello Folks Paul here.  I’m a new hire at Skywest flying the E-175.

I would concur with the above statement. I also interviewed with several regionals. The technical interview was the more challenging part of the process. 

Having said that, it is not unmanageable.  I used the site http://www.aviationinterviews.com for prep.  It is a paid subscription, but it allows you to use the database to prep yourself with the kinds of questions you can expect.  In my experience about 95% of what I was asked came from their database list.  I did a 1 month subscription for under $20 and feel it was more than worth it.  

HR and Intro portions are straight forward, just smile and be yourself.

The CRM exercise was the first task for the day. I was partnered with another interviewing candidate. Assess the scenario, use good judgement and communicate with your partner to formulate the best plan.  There aren’t really wrong solutions to the problem.  The wrongs come from poor communication and hazardous attitudes.  

Overall they do their best to provide a relaxed and professional atmosphere.  They want to hire you, just don’t give them a reason not to.  

Victory103, dwaynetippie, RojoPito13 and 1 people liked
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 3
23/10/2018 3:01 pm  

Here is a study guide provided to me from Larry Crafts, the recruiter that interviewed me, to share with the group. as far as the technical side of the interview goes, this is all you will need. 

(P)0001, Victory103, GHawk and 1 people liked
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
07/11/2018 10:23 am  


Thanks for the study guide. 

Attached is the study guide with answers. I hope this helps others as it has helped me to get back into the books. 

Victory103, GHawk, Mike Nettleingham and 1 people liked
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
13/11/2018 7:10 am  

Wow, this was probably the most useful thing anyone could have done for anybody that's going to have an Interview with SkyWest (or probably any other Airline)! Great job!

Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 14
19/11/2018 6:13 pm  

Bravo on the gouge, although they seem to base the questions on an individual’s backgrounds, the gouge was spot on today with many of the questions asked. No CRM for myself or Navy person.


Tutvilla liked
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
28/01/2019 4:41 pm  

Skywest Interview Ride Report - 1/28/2019

SkyWest was doing interviews after a FAPA job fair down in San Diego this past weekend (1/27 – 28). I had applied to SkyWest about two weeks prior and got the call and invite to interview, literally, the very next morning. They were going to fly me up to SLC, but since I knew the job fair was going on, asked if I could just go there instead. She was very pleased with that option and it definitely worked out much better I think.   

Overall, the interview process was absolutely zero stress. They started off with round table introductions, a little on their personal histories that brought them to SW and finished with a 15-minute presentation with some questions and answers afterwards – really selling the brand outright. They truly hit all the key buzz words though – more money (relatively speaking), $7500 bonus after training, great benefits, great profit sharing quarterly, privileges on all the major airlines – blah, blah, blah. One key point I picked up was when they stated the majors have REALLY looked favorably on guys coming from SkyWest due to the training program and general pilot pool personalities – “high fun factor.”  Mentioned that upper level management for recruiting and hiring for Southwest and FedEx were both prior SkyWest guys and they have been seeing a lot more people going there recently.

After all questions were answered, we broke off into the individual interviews. There were 3 guys there from the Navy flying CH-53’s and interested in the Rotary Transition Program. They left with one of the interviewers who was prior military, so I don’t have any further information on that program. But, they did seem VERY pleased with their results so far and made it sound like that’s not going away anytime soon. Moving on . . .

All interviewers were super nice guys, all FO’s, and all really happy with the company and their place in it - my guy had been with the company for about a year and half. We started off BS’ing about my history, Army flying, Afghanistan, and looked at pictures of the Dash 7 and KW on his company iPad. He flipped through my logbook – which I had printed out and presented in a nice binder and paper format from when I had Logbook Pro (I have LogTenPro now.) He was blown away by how neat and professional it looked. I think I scored some major points there and also gave me some confidence for presenting it for a major airline interview. He casually flipped through it (I had major events tagged) and asked about different locations/countries I had logged time. We then talked (not necessarily in this order, just when I remembered it) about jet engines and how they work. I drew out a basic turbo-fan engine and stepped through it as a molecule of air and labeling the parts as I went along. He asked questions about N1 and N2 and what they measure and used for. He said it was the most detailed and thorough engine discussion he ever had – and thanked me for it. We discussed Mach Tuck, center of pressure, coffin corner, dutch roll, and the high speed aerodynamics overall. Talked about parasite and induced drag and how it’s related to airspeed and got into L/D Max (threw me a curve ball on that one – hadn’t read or heard of anyone getting into that subject – had to really kick off some rust – think he was impressed when I quickly sketched out the chart to recage my memory though – impressed myself more that I actually remembered it). Talked about Va – maneuvering speed and what does it represent. Had me read and decipher the gibberish in a standard weather brief – looked at the SPECI line and especially the numbers at the very end. Briefed a Jeppesen chart, talked about different parts of the approach and then more of a discussion rather than an inquisition on weather minimums, alternate minimums, and the 121 world. Wrapped up with what is situational awareness and how do I employ it “OUT” of the cockpit – I thought that was an interesting twist. Then finished up asking about my strengths and what I can bring to SkyWest. I mentioned varied background, experience, calm headedness, and mentorship for the younger aviators. He seemed to like that answer. 

I was actually really enjoying the tabletalk and digging more into some of the rusty areas. I think I asked just as many questions if not more than he asked. I would’ve gladly talked more and he was eager to teach and even guide me towards some of the answers, but we were out of time. In the civilian world, there really isn’t much opportunity to just sit down and BS about rules, regulations, and aircraft systems so I was pretty rusty on some/many things. Even after studying for a few days, there was much I still needed work on to solidify in my head, but in no way did I feel my screw ups/lack of knowledge during the interview were looked at too negatively.

Afterwards, he asked me what I thought I would have the most trouble in during training. I felt pretty good about systems with my background, but thought I could definitely focus much more on rules & regulations, the FAR/AIM, and putting them into practice, etc. He agreed, but not negatively, said everybody is and reiterated that we will spend the first week or so going through all the ins and outs of weather planning, alternates, and the associated rules, so not to worry about it.

After congratulating me on a successful interview, he asked what aircraft I wanted to fly – CRJ or ERJ. I personaly have a bit of a struggle on this one. The CRJ would work better for me due to bases/low seniority and a slightly shorter reserve time, but the ERJ has auto-throttles– and the training is in DEN –  and looks cooler – you know important stuff. So, I chose the ERJ. Next available class date is in May, but did say with already having an ATP, I should expect a phone call at any time with a sooner date.

In the end, there is no doubt in my mind that we as military pilots are coming to the table with so much more experience and know-how – even with knowing NOTHING about 121 world – that he flat out admitted from the beginning that we are already hired once we walk in the door. The interview is more of seeing who we are, what our personality is, what areas we might need extra help on, and can we spend 4 days on the road together.

Now, if I can just figure out how I’m going to pay the mortgage come training start day . . .

Edit: Remembered a couple other questions. 

Runway markings, hold short lines, non-movement areas, enhanced taxiways.

When can you descend below MDA and can you continue the approach prior to FAF if ceiling (not visibility) goes below mins.


This post was modified 12 months ago by Fernweh


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