Air Traffic Controller Interview Questions & Answers

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to maintain safe distances between them.

Interviewers look for candidates that demonstrate excellent skills such as:

In this blog, we discuss commonly asked interview questions during job interviews for Air Traffic Controller positions. We also discuss the qualities that interviewers look for in successful candidates. In other words, we’re here to help you out!

Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Skills Interviewers Look For In Successful Candidates

Below we discuss the skills you can highlight in your answers to demonstrate that you’re qualified for the job.

Communication skills

Why interviewers are interested in your communication skills:

Air traffic controllers must be able to give clear, concise instructions, listen carefully to pilots’ requests, and respond by speaking clearly in English.

Learn more about communication interview questions and how to answer them!

Concentration skills

Why interviewers are interested in your concentration skills:

Controllers must be able to concentrate in a room where multiple conversations occur at once. For example, in a large airport tower, several controllers may be speaking with several pilots simultaneously.

Decision-making skills

Why interviewers are interested in your decision-making skills:

Controllers must make quick decisions. For example, when a pilot requests a change of altitude to avoid poor weather, the controller must respond quickly so that the plane can operate safely.

Math skills

Why interviewers are interested in your math skills:

Controllers must be able to do arithmetic accurately and quickly. They often need to compute speeds, times, and distances, and they recommend heading and altitude changes.

Organizational skills

Why interviewers are interested in your organizational skills:

Controllers must be able to coordinate the actions of multiple flights. Controllers need to be able to prioritize tasks because they may be required to guide several pilots at the same time.

Learn more about organizational skill interview questions and how to answer them!

Problem-solving skills

Why interviewers are interested in your problem-solving skills:

Controllers must be able to understand complex situations, such as the impact of changing weather patterns on a plane’s flight path. Controllers must be able to review important information and provide pilots with appropriate solutions.

Learn more about problem-solving interview questions and how to answer them!

(source: bls.gov)

Air Traffic Controller Job Interview Questions & Answers

During a job interview, the hiring manager wants to discuss several things. Think of your:

Below you find a list of commonly asked interview questions.

Examples Of General Air Traffic Controller Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. How would you describe yourself?
  3. Why do you want to work here?
  4. What interests you about this position?
  5. Walk me through your resume.
  6. What motivates you?
  7. Why are you leaving your current job?
  8. Describe your work ethic.
  9. What is your greatest strength?
  10. How does your experience qualify you for this job?
  11. What is your greatest weakness?
  12. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  13. Tell me about a challenging work situation and how you overcame it.
  14. What are your expectations for this position?
  15. What are your career goals?
  16. Why should we hire you?
  17. What did you like most about your last position?
  18. What did you like least about your last position?
  19. How do you handle stress?
  20. What is your greatest accomplishment?

Learn how to answer these common job interview questions!

Examples Of Specific Air Traffic Controller Behavioral Interview Questions

Learn more about answering behavioral interview questions by using the STAR interview technique.

  1. Tell me about a time you had to adapt to deal with a stressful situation. What did you learn from the situation?
  2. Describe a time you thought outside the box to solve a problem at work.
  3. Which skills do you think are essential for an air traffic controller? Can you give me an example of how you use these skills in your daily work?
  4. How do you stay focused and concentrated while having multiple conversations simultaneously?
  5. Tell me about a time you had to deal with an emergency. What happened? How did you remain calm in the situation?
  6. Describe a time you had a disagreement with a colleague. What happened? How did you resolve the situation?
  7. Tell me about a time you quickly had to make a decision as an air traffic controller.
  8. Describe a time you had to gather information from multiples sources. How did you determine which information was relevant?
  9. Give me an example of a time you made a mistake. What did you learn from it?
  10. Describe a successful teamwork experience. What made it a success? What was your contribution?

Learn more about questions to ask the interviewer during your job interview.