How To Answer: Why Do You Want To Be A Pilot?

If you’re applying for a pilot job, there’s an almost 100% chance that you’ll be asked the question, “Why do you want to be a pilot?” in your interview. Usually, it will be the first question you are asked. This is a crucial question that requires a thoughtful and well-crafted answer. In this post, we will explore the key considerations when answering this question, and provide some tips for crafting a strong response.

Why Do You Want to Be a Pilot?

Before we dive into crafting an answer, it’s important to first understand why this question is asked in the first place. This question is designed to assess your motivations and suitability for the role. By asking why you want to be a pilot, the interviewer or panel of interviewers are trying to determine whether you have a genuine passion for flying, whether you understand the challenges and rewards of the job, and whether you have the qualities that are necessary to succeed in this demanding role. Especially considering the requirement for constant study all the way throughout your career.

Tips for Answering the Question

When answering this question, use a basic formula: Reason A, Reason B, Reason C, and then a summary. This is because the human mind cannot remember more than four pieces of information, and droning on for hours on this question will bore the interviewer and make you forgettable. Also, be very clear when you have moved from Reason A to Reason B. E.g. I’ve always been interested in flying, there are three reasons. FIRST………. SECOND……….THIRD ………. SO IN SUMMARY etc.

Whatever your reasons are, here are some key points to consider when formulating your answers. Be sure to make your answer individual, I have many years of experience interviewing people and it is VERY obvious when a candidate has memorized an answer.

  1. Show your passion for flying.

The most successful pilots are those who have a deep and abiding passion for flying. Demonstrate that you share this passion. Talk about how you have always been fascinated by aviation, and how you have pursued this interest by learning about planes, taking flying lessons, or attending air shows. Personally, I went gliding at every opportunity I could.

  1. Explain the rewards of the job.

Being a pilot is challenging and rewarding, and it’s important to convey this in your answer. Talk about how you love the feeling of being up in the air, the excitement of taking off and landing, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from mastering the technical aspects of flying. Also highlight how every day is different, even if you fly the same routes. The weather, the crew, the aircraft issues, and air traffic will all be different from day to day.

  1. Highlight your skills and qualities.

Being a pilot requires a range of skills and qualities, including strong communication, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities, as well as a high level of technical proficiency. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight these qualities and demonstrate how they make you well-suited to the role.

  1. Be specific.

Finally, when answering this question, it’s important to be specific and avoid vague or generic answers. Use concrete examples from your own experience to illustrate your passion for flying, your understanding of the challenges and rewards of the job, and your skills and qualities.

Sample Answer

Here’s an example of a strong answer to the question “Why do you want to be a pilot?”:

“I’ve always been fascinated by aviation, there are three reasons why: First, I love flying. I have a strong passion for flying, from a young age I sought out flying opportunities, I’ve had a trial flight in a C172 in Coventry and have gone gliding at least once a month. I also visited Air Traffic Control towers and spoke to Pilots from all over the world to get as much insight as I could. The view is astonishing, breathtaking, and something I want to experience every day.

Second, every day is different. I love variety. I have worked office jobs, and I have worked shift style work in my younger years and without a doubt, I prefer the variety of shift work. Every day as a pilot is different, the crew, the weather, the route, technical problems, and fuel decisions. No two days are the same and I find that prospect incredibly exciting and motivating.

Third, I love learning. As a pilot, you never stop learning. As the most tested profession in the world, my skills and knowledge will be put to the test every 6 months for the rest of my career. An incredible motivator for constant learning, I take pride and responsibility in being good at what I do, and being a pilot is a tremendously rewarding and fulfilling career.

In summary, the views, the variety, and the constant learning are why I want to be a pilot and I’m excited about the opportunity to be part of this dynamic and exciting industry.


Crafting a strong answer to the question “Why do you want to be a pilot?” is an important step in preparing for your job interview. By demonstrating your passion for flying, explaining the rewards of the job, highlighting your skills and qualities, and being specific in your answer, you can make a strong case for why you are well-suited to this challenging and rewarding career.

For more examples on how to answer pilot interview questions, click here.

Good luck!

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