Who's Online

We have 1300 guests online

Live Traffic Feed

Life in the Skies

'A Local Bestseller!'

What Tony says
(See here)
and Book Launch video here
What others say

Les Posen

Yvonne Lee

Louisa Lim & Allan Koay

Aireen Omar, Asran & Bo Lingam

38 Readers' Comments
(See here)

Get an autographed copy here

AMAZON.COM  -  To Order, please Click here 

(eBook) Kindle edition - please Click here

Latest Comment

Myths vs Reality
Theoritically it should not have happened because

Myths vs Reality
My husband was recently on a flight where there we

A successful SIA Cad
If anyone could answer to Imene's query that would

Can I be a pilot if
Anybody that has seizures can be a permanent stude

A successful SIA Cad
the deadline i guess it's the end of this februry,

Singapore Airlines P
Hello captain Lim , I am Ray . I would like

What are the eyesigh
sir i have -0.25 in my right eye and 0.75 in left

Spontaneous Pneumoth
I'm not a doctor or anything, @chinmay, so I can't

What are the cruisin
The idea that the earth is spinning is plain bulls

Singapore Airlines C
Hello Captain Lim, I am an Indian citizen, Engine

Paperback Version

 For Local Availability - Check Here
Home > Aptitude Tests > Singapore Airlines Interviewing Process
Singapore Airlines Interviewing Process
Pilot Career - Aptitude Tests
Written by Capt Lim   
Thursday, 22 November 2007 05:41
Airline Pilots - The Dream Job

Hi Captain Lim,

This is an update on the interviewing process as well as some other issues of the cadet pilot program that were raised in the past FAQs. In my brief description of the recruitment procedure, I have not included detailed questions asked. I think the aspiring pilots should make it on their own merit.

The sequence of the interview process differs slightly from that of Arif. I had mine in 2004. The HR could have made some amendments to the process. I submitted my application in early 2004 and was called for the first round interview around 1 month later.

1st round

The panel consists of a psychologist, HR manager and a chief pilot. 1st round is rather easy to clear. Just show some keen interest and you should get through. Some questions asked were:

1. Briefly describe yourself.

2. Why do you want to be pilot?

3. Why only now that you wish to embark on a flying career? (for those who have been working in commercial sector for a few years before trying for a pilot job). For Singaporean, it's almost certain that will go into detail as to why you didn't join the Air Force.

4. Do you have any preference as to which airline to join? (I said 'no' of course! I guess it meant to test if you are genuinely interested in flying or just merely choosy about which airlines to join. Note that you may end up in SIA Cargo or Silkair for the rest of your career)

5. Briefly describe the theory of flying.

I did fairly well and was invited for the next stage. About 2.5 weeks later, I was informed to attend the 2nd round interview that takes 2 full days. Don't attempt to call in to change for an alternatively appointment. It will not work. It's a case of take it or leave it. After all, there are plenty of people willing to attend and it will add unnecessary administrative burden to the officer. Any case, it is another indicator (in my opinion) about how willing and keen you are about flying.

2nd round, 1st day

1st half of the day is for administration (certifying of certificates, etc). 2nd half, I attended the Psychomotor Skill Test and Psychometric Test. The day ended about 5.30 pm. You are required to sound out if you are not feeling well. No result is given.

2nd round, 2nd day (1st half )

I attended the leadership/ reasoning test. You are divided into group of about 5-6. A tester would describe a scenario (aviation related) and by the given time, I am required to develop a solution. I shall not reveal the question. The questions are recycled and I believe at this stage, aspiring pilot should make it on their own merit. They are not expecting a perfect aviation solution but rather a rational and logical one. Everyone is given 10 minutes to present their solution. Thereafter, discuss with the team and come to a consensus on whose solution is the best and improve on it. A member is nominated among the team to give a final presentation.

The 2nd exercise is about playing with building blocks. With a given perimeter, I am required to participate with the team to come out with the best solution to obtain the highest points while observing the given criteria. The purpose is to test our ability to communicate with each other effectively.

The 3rd exercise, just before lunch, they rushed me through an essay. Apart from testing your writing skill, I think the purpose is test how fast you can develop a reasonable and logical solution, given a limited time.

2nd round 2st day (2nd half)

I attended the final interview with a panel of interviewers (5). They asked fairly similar questions as the 1st round interview.

Then we are invited for the Tea Party. During the tea party, beer is served. We were told by the HR not to drink beer (in case you say the wrong thing or your face turn red). Coffee or tea or a can of soft drink would be fine. An interviewer is around the corner observing how we conduct ourselves.

Results will be known a few days later. Medical test is about the last hurdle. Do note that even making it to the medical (and passing) does not guarantee a place. The medical test is about half a day - traveling to 3 clinics. Again, do not bother to change the medical date. It's not welcome. You would not know if you have passed the medical until they call you, either to reject or offer you a place. How soon SIA offers its potential cadet a place depends on a complex matrix of score (based on tests and interviews). The higher the score, the faster the call up. If a potential's score is low (but enough to make the cut) and consistently there are people outscoring him, he will always remain at the back of the pack until a place is made available to him. That explain why there are some people who waited long.

Regarding your FAQs on 'Aspiring to be a Pilot', here is my humble contributions to part of the answers:

Aspiring to be a Pilot 1.

How long would it take to progress from a Cadet to First Officer?

I have been selected as a cadet pilot for Singapore Airlines! Thank you for your tips and all those information in your web site. During the final interview with the 3 airline Captains and the Vice President of Flight Operations, I was asked about my favorite airplane. I told them, Boeing 777 and I gave them a lot of details on the airplane, like the TAC system, the ETOPS and the joke, etc; all from your web site. The panel was really impressed with me. I guess that was the main reason I was selected.

I will start the training on the 18th of September, 2003. Do you know how long it will take to progress from cadet to First Officer?

Answer: A cadet in SIA starts his training with a 3 weeks OBS course in Lumut, Perak or Singapore. He will then spend about 6 months in local flying school clearing the ground papers and do some basis flying. Next is to Perth for about 8 - 10 months. He returns home to do some ground duties while waiting for the next available 3 month course for Lear Jet in Brisbane. After returning, he will undergo aircraft type course conversion. Thereafter, he will be promoted to 2nd officer dong line duties. Typically, he will be promoted to 1st officer within 6-12 months (though 6 months is quite a norm). The whole duration from cadet to 1st officer will take about 2.5 to 3 years.

Would a laser eye surgery disqualify me from the cadet pilot program?

Just a quick question from a wannabe commercial pilot. As with many others, it has always been a childhood dream of mine to fly. However, I am held back as I have poor eyesight (short-sighted +6.0 degrees). However, with the advent of corrective laser eye surgery and lower risk due to improving technology, I am seriously considering the procedure.

I was just wondering whether the Airlines (perhaps Singapore or Malaysian) would accept candidates for the cadet pilot program if they've had corrective laser eye surgery done?

Would I have to disclose that I have had the surgery done, or would they able to tell anyway through the screening process?

Answer: I have a friend who attended the same interview rounds with me and has not been granted a place (but has made the cut). He was told to wait because they wanted to ensure that his eye sight has 'stabilize' before taking him in. He went for laser surgery in the States less than a year ago at the time of interview.

How long would the entire process of the cadet pilot program takes?

Do you have any idea of what are the stages that all potential SIA cadet pilots follow in the recruitment process? I have only been to their preliminary interview (panel of 3) but not their psychomotor and aptitude test. Somehow, the sequence is not as what is described on your web site. Likewise, can give me a rough estimate of how long will the entire process take?

Answer: My experience is largely the same as Riff. See above.


I would be attending the tea party very soon this week, together with the tests/final interview. From your web site, I have gotten a good idea of what to expect for the tests/final interview. However, I do not know what to expect for the tea party.

I know that it will be a test of social interaction. I would be myself that day as I am active socially. Do you have any advice on how to approach this and what the panel is looking for at the tea party?

Answer: During the tea party, beer is served. We were told by the HR no matter what, just don't drink beer (in case you say the wrong thing or your face turn red). Coffee or tea or a can of soft drink would be fine. An interviewer is around the corner observing how we conduct ourselves.

Aspiring to be a Pilot 2

Would I be short listed if I do not have Pure Science subjects?

I have gone through the pre-requisites for the program, that is, one must have Pure Science (Physics) and Mathematics "O" levels. I do not have Pure Science for my "O" levels but in combined science (Physics and Chemistry) instead. My highest qualification is Diploma in Electronics and Communication from Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. I have applied for the cadet pilot program once but was not short listed.

Answer: As the position is very competitive, it is highly unlikely that a potential who does not have a degree be short listed unless he is previously an Air Force pilot. Sub-science in physics and chemistry or biology will do since Tan has a Diploma in Engineering .

Will I be granted a second chance if I had failed the final interview?

I applied to SIA (Singapore Airlines) in 1998 to be an airline pilot just after a year after my Bachelor of Engineering degree from the National University of Singapore. I am a Singapore citizen and have always dreamt of flying for the national airline as a commercial pilot. However, I was rejected after the 3rd interview although I had completed the first 2 rounds with good marks.

I was very disappointed and was wondering why I was not selected as they mainly asked very simple questions which I answered to the best of my abilities. It still puzzles me as to what went wrong. I would like to know the following :

Is it still worthwhile for me to keep applying for the cadet pilot program with SIA even though I had gone through the final interview? It seems that they do not give any second chances to those who have failed the final interview.

Are there any other avenues to pursue and fulfill my dream? I am 32 years old this year.
I am still very keen to join the airline and have applied to them a few times again, and most recently, to the Singapore Flying College as a cadet pilot.

Answer. SIA will not not grant a second chance to a candidate who didn't make it for the final interview as most of the questions and tests are recycled.

What would be the cadet pilot's allowance be like?

I am a military serviceman on conscription and will be completing my service in December this year. I'll be returning to Australia to continue with my studies. Whilst doing my degree, I'll be continue with my training. Currently, I'm a PPL-R holder and will be getting my CPL and Instructor Rating soon.

My intention is to work as a part time flight instructor to accumulate the 1500 hours requirement for ATPL. I'll probably work with an air charter company to clock flight hours on jet or turbine planes for about 2 yrs. Thereafter, I should attain the minimum qualification age of 26 to join Singapore Airlines.

Seniority is a factor. At the age of 26, most people would have earned an average salary of $S3000 plus, while I would be paid about $S1300 a month as trainee.

Answer: The latest cadet allowance has dropped to $1,140 a month for new joiner. This is due to the across the board pay cut during the SARs outbreak. There is no upward adjustment for new joiners even the airline reported record earnings. The purpose of the minimum qualification age of 26 is to ensure that the government (Air Force) has the 1st cut of the cadet potentials before the national carrier. Most people joining SIA are in their late 20s and early 30s. They are likely to be drawing between $3k-$4k and are doing well in their respective field of work.

Would my combined science subject - Physics and Biology be acceptable?

I am a Singapore citizen, 25 years old and will complete my degree course in June 2004.The pre-requisite for the cadet pilot program states that one should possess a pure science subject at 'O' Level standard. However, I only have a combined science subject which is Physics and Biology. Another criteria is a polytechnic diploma. My Business diploma is from Spring Singapore, formerly known as Singapore Productivity & Standards Board. The degree I am doing is a validated program from a U.K. University.

Answer: It is fine that David does not have a pure science in physics. I did sub-science in Physics and Chemistry and got through.

Regards, Robert.

Hi Robert, Thank you for the additional information about the SIA cadet pilot program. Your updates and account of the interviewing process will be a great help to other aspiring pilots.


TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (40)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
How they notify u after 1st interview? , Low-rated comment [Show]
cadet pilot , Low-rated comment [Show]
qst abt recruitment in singaporeairlines , Low-rated comment [Show]
Singapore Airlines Interviewing Process
Hi Dhamothar,

Please make use of the Singapore Airlines Forum in this Site. You should be able to get all the answers and resources there...
Captain Lim , 09 Jun, 2008
SIA cadet pilot programme india
Dear All,

Is SIA planning to come to india again for CADET PILOT PROGRAMME.
Lloyd , 21 Aug, 2008
Latest SQ Cadet Pilot Recruitment Proces
Greetings Capt Lim and others,

I had just went thru the 6th Sept 2008 SIA Cadet Pilot Interview. I noticed that there had been numerous changes to the intake process. Just like to share my piece.

1st Interview.
There were 3 interview rooms, each room with a panel of 2 judges, a senior Captain and a HR/Psychologist.
As i had my fATPL already, i was bombarded with tough technical questions. However, because of my back ground, no questions were asked about SIA's fleet nor routes. In fact, i didnt get any 'common' questions.

I had been called up for the Final Interview cum Aptitude Test.
WingsOfLight , 14 Oct, 2008
2008 SIA cadet recruitment
Lets just say, SIA combined the 2nd and 3rd interview together. We have to be in SIN from 21-24 Oct for the final round.

21-Arr and check into hotel.

22- Psychomotor and Psychometric test from 8.30am
- Confirmed Tea Party in the Afternoon

23- Final results

24- If you make it on the 23rd, You have have to go for medicals. Once you are done, you may return home.

I will be going for this final round next week. Wish me luck guys! Hope the info was useful to all.

BTW Capt Lim, I do not know how to make a post into the topic. So i have to post it as a comment. Good Day to all!!!
WingsOfLight , 14 Oct, 2008
Ms , Low-rated comment [Show]
Re: MS
Hi Megha,

As far as i know, you can apply ...

....SIA has advertised for their cadet pilot programme at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai....

.....Times Ascent, 16th Oct (Mumbai)

All the best!
KHM , 27 Oct, 2008
Cadet pilot
Hi there,
so lets say that you get accepted as a cadet pilot. and as far as I know it takes max. 3 years to become a first officer, and you are changing places all the time! so is there any time off to come back to Singapore to visit your family?!
jimmy , 03 Mar, 2009
cadet pilot
Does singapore airlines accept other people like bruneian or malaysian?
Nicholas , 08 Jul, 2009
Please advice where we can get psychmotor and psychometric software for self - practice
cadet pilot , 06 Aug, 2009
is it too late
hi there,
I am curently with the SAF as a regular. Think of quitting and would like to give SIA a shoot as Cadet pilot. i am 34 years old have had serve the nation for 15 good years. Will i too to try? Hope to hear from you soon.
Simongoh , 09 Aug, 2009
diploma and degree
i was just wondering...i have done my UNSW foundation Year in Physical Science and also done my CERT IV in aeronautics(piloting) in perth and i am currently clocking up my flying hours in aelaide....i know that this is not similar to diploma or degree, but do think with this qualification i stand a better chance...tough i muz say that i am a malaysian who have a strong interest in flying, but not with sufficent funds
ajun , 24 Aug, 2009

Can anybody please advice when will be the next SIA cadet pilot (Malaysia) intake will be as there were no intake this year
N.Naveen , 18 Sep, 2009
Web Design Perth
I want to be a pilot ever since..I hope someday I will be called Captain.
Thank you.

Visit this site Web Design Perth
goodgood , 13 Jun, 2010

Please let me know how would be the gross salary, to be put in the application form .
Subbu , 10 Aug, 2010
Dear Sir

I am so sorry if this message disturbs u, I just need help.

I have been applied Flight attendant with online (Thailand) and I got e-mail concern they submitted my application but my status did not showed “application received” as other person then i did not got the invitation for interviewing On September (Pan Pacific Hotel) because all applicants got the e-mail . Not only me had some person also got this problem. I'd like to know May I walk in interview because someone wants to give up one’s right and I firmly believe I have experience and property suited with this position.

I know you re pilot might be not know about cabin crew position but u r working

same company because I don’t know how to let them know another way and I really to be part of your good company

Waiting for your kindness

Poo ( Thai woman)
poo , 27 Aug, 2010
Singapore Airlines
Does singapore airlines recruit female pilot?
Herman , 16 Jan, 2011
yes pls apply again online
hi poo, it must appear online that you have submitted a resume

it will state "your application has been received on xx/xx/xx" (or similar)

there are a few thai girls in SIA training now. they will officially start to fly soon

Best of luck
sq boy
sq boy , 04 Feb, 2011
sorry poo

the application for thai girls is closed

walk-in interviews are only for singaporeans, malaysians and PR.

you can try the walk-in interview but chances are small

dont give up, maybe walk-in is possible? or maybe the online application for thai girls will start again?

i know there are a few thai girls in SQ traning now. they will officially start to fly soon!!

all the best poo!

sq boy
sq boy , 04 Feb, 2011
Hello , Low-rated comment [Show]
SIA cadet Pilot India
Dear sir,
I have applied for the cadet pilot programme India March 2011.I am FAA and Indian CPL holder with multi engine and IR and also type rated on E 170.Unfortunately I do not hold a degree.Would I be shortlisted by them for the 1st round?
Warm Regards....
M KP , 29 Mar, 2011
cadet pilot in singapore airlines
I wish to apply for entry as a cadet pilot(india) in singapore airlines 2011. I want to know what is the approx. expenditure during the training period?
vaibhav jindal , 30 Mar, 2011
I do not have a science background.Is it possible for me to apply for this program or is there any other way i could take up some course to be eligible
satish , 02 Apr, 2011
Back Injury
I had an operation for a slipdisc injury when I was around 16. Is it still possible to try for the interview or should I just forget about it? Has there been cases of people with back injuries becoming pilots?
Hoping , 01 May, 2011
height holding me back :-( , Low-rated comment [Show]
height issue
hi all,
i have applied for the sia (india) program even through i fall quite short on the height criteria.
anyone here who knows if they are stringent about this??
is it possible that they consider me on my other qualifications as well and give me a chance for the interview?
dang , 02 May, 2011
Cadet Pilot
How much does this cost?the whole flying ?
Vivasvaan Bhatnagar , 14 Jun, 2011
hi captain.i am an indian,i will be finishing my engineering soon,i have always wanted to be a pilot,now my parents are in singapore,,how can i apply for the cadet program,or else is there any program where you can train and then get placed in sia,
varun iyer , 26 Jun, 2011
wants to join the Airline as there is a requiement of b.tech graduates 2010....contact on rishabhkhanna31@gmail.com
rishabh khanna , 30 Jun, 2011
Singapore Airline
I want to join the program/ training of Pilot. But the height the sg airline require is 165cm. However i just 161cm. So can i join them?
yuhpey , 06 Jul, 2011
What should be the Application Format for sia cadet pilot program
Hello captain Lim,
I am Science (Mathematics) Graduate
Reside at Pune, India.
I want apply for sia cadet pilot program.
My academics History is Quiet unsatisfactory
But i have passion to fly.
is it ok to apply sia cadet pilot program.
Further please give some idea of Resume Format.
Hridaynath , 10 Jul, 2011
Regarding Eye standards
hi Captain Lim,
my one eyesight is 4/6 and other is 6/6
is it ok for sia cadet pilot program
Hridaynath , 10 Jul, 2011
... , Low-rated comment [Show]
Cadet Interview on Oct 2011
Hi Cpt Lim,

I would like to check with you, is there a cut off date for application to be a cadet pilot? This is my third application. The first two round are in year 2008 and 2009 respectively. I only make it to the initial round. I am determined that Flying (as Pilot) is my career and I really wish to get it. Any advice?

My email: ericpok80@yahoo.com.sg

Eric Pok , 18 Oct, 2011
I dream to be a pilot
Hello, I am 16 years old this year and i am find the best route to be a pilot of an airline like SIA. I have plans to finish my O level, Poly, NS and University if possible. I am very interested and i do also have a flight simulator at home. What is your best advice?
My email: Hafizdragon@hotmail.com
Hafiz , 05 Jul, 2013
Really need advice
Hello, I am 16 years old this year and i am find the best route to be a pilot of an airline like SIA. I have plans to finish my O level, Poly, NS and University if possible. I am very interested and i do also have a flight simulator at home. What is your best advice?
Email: Hafizdragon@hotmail.com
Hafiz , 05 Jul, 2013
Cadet Pilot programme - South African
HI there,

Do you recruit for cadet pilot training?
Kayla Niemand , 08 Jul, 2013
How to ace and pass the apptitude test
Hi Captain Lim,
Could you advice me on how to ace and pass the aptitude test? Could share some tips on how I could pass the test and how do I prepare for it,thanks
Raj Mohammed , 13 Apr, 2016

Write comment

smaller | bigger


Paperback Version

 For Local Availability - Check Here

Recommended By..


'A Local Bestseller!'

Recommended by

Patrick Smith
Boston USA

Capt Meryl Getline
ex-United Airlines USA

Capt Doug Morris
Canadian Airlines

Capt  Robert J Boser
ex-United Airlines USA

38 Readers' Comments
(See here)

Get an autographed copy here

AMAZON.COM  -  To Order, please Click here 

(eBook) Kindle edition - please Click here

View Book Launch video here

Follow me


Like What You Read?

If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim or Facebook here

MH 370 Interviews

Click here to View

10 Most Popular Posts

Disclaimer | Privacy
2004 - 2011 © AskCaptainLim.com | Site Concept by eQuilec.com