Passing The SQ Interview

*This is part 1 of a 5-part series of my journey as an SQ girl.

Much has been said about the iconic Singapore Girl since the sarong kebaya made its debut nearly five decades ago. But, nobody makes a better storyteller than a true-blue Singaporean girl who has donned the figure-hugging uniform for over five years.

Before I joined the airline, I had many preconceived notions about the Singapore Girl. In my fervent and naive imagination, I envisioned flying as a fun-filled career that could satiate my wanderlust, pay the bills and grow my savings altogether.

It sounded too good to be true, but I decided that the nature of the job would allow me to live my dreams every day.

Taking a leap of faith

Fresh out of university, I attended the walk-in interview to be a cabin crew at Suntec City convention centre.

When I reached the venue early for my 8.30am interview, there was already a snaking queue ahead of me. With at least a thousand of other cabin crew hopefuls, nervousness crept in but I tried to remain calm.

Less is more

During the SQ interview, I was assessed on my personal grooming, eloquence, poise, and attitude.

While some female interviewees slapped on blue eyeshadow and red lipstick, I sported an au naturel look.

As much as makeup enhances our features and conceals our flaws, looking presentable and dressing appropriately for the occasion should be your priority. After all, it is a formal interview for a job and not a beauty pageant.

The way you speak

Consider it half the battle won if you’re able to articulate your thoughts clearly in proper English. You don’t have to possess a perfect pitch or execute the perfect diction to impress the interviewers. I, for one, cannot boast of either gift.

In the initial stage of the interview, hone your public speaking skills when giving a short introduction speech or answering basic questions. Among nine other candidates and a panel of interviewers, it’s important to answer with clarity and confidence, in order to stand out.

I was posed the question, “Why do you want to be a Singapore Girl?” whereas another interviewee was asked what was his favourite movie.

If you advance to the final round of the interview on the first day, you’ll undergo a more in-depth, one-to-one interview, where you’ll be given a random scenario to assess your skills as a service provider. At this stage, you have to pitch yourself and show how you can add value to the company.

Mind your language

The interviewers will observe your body language closely, so mind your body posture and gesticulation.

They will even read your facial expressions, so convey your confidence by maintaining good eye contact and smiling a lot during the interview.

If smiling doesn’t come naturally to you, you might want to rethink your decision to be a cabin crew because you’ll be surprised by how your million-dollar smile will allow you to get away with mistakes made on the job.

You are how you act

SQ cabin crew are highly lauded for their immaculate image.

While in uniform, we observe strict grooming guidelines and put on our best behaviour. We know we’re under the watchful eyes of naysayers and busybodies who are quick to pinpoint our faults, even outside of our working hours.

You’ll be surprised by some of the trivial complaints we’ve received, while in uniform, from smoking at a designated corner to talking loudly over the phone while walking around the airport.

Beauty on the surface

To maintain the highest level of grooming standards, there were various rounds during the interview where my skin condition and physique were assessed.

There is a height requirement imposed for its cabin crew: 1.65m for male crew and 1.58m for female crew. Contrary to popular belief, this requirement exists for more than just vanity’s sake to look sharp in our uniform.

Cabin crew who are vertically challenged will struggle to close the heavy overhead compartments in the cabin.

Needless to say, your weight has to be in the acceptable range too.

On the second day of the interview, I was asked to put on a kebaya and instructed to stretch out my arms.

The interviewers then scanned my body for scars and tattoos which could not be concealed by the kebaya. Sporting the latter is definitely a no-no, whereas leeway will be given for facial and body scars.

A Second Chance

Having undergone a surgery on my wrist previously, I sport a visible surgical scar on the underside of my wrist. I was led to another interview room for ‘secondary clearance’, no thanks to the discovery of my scar, which I did not declare on the application form.

I had a casual chat with a departmental head from the management about the origin of my scar and my aspirations to be a Singapore Girl. Thereafter, I was made to wait for the interview result, which turned out to be good news.

With my parents’ blessings, I accepted the job offer because it was the most natural thing to do to delay my entry into the rat race, and avoid unemployment woes that my Millennial peers faced.

I was excited to embark on a journey most young girls could only dream of; I was going to earn my wings.

 

Cover image: Source