If you have ever considered working as a gate agent, you might be wondering how you would go about getting the job. If you have never worked at an airport, it can seem like a busy and confusing place so many people might not even be sure what a gate agent does, what the requirements are, or how to get hired.
This article is a complete guide to getting hired as a gate agent and will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.
Step 1: Meet all the Requirements
In order to work as a gate agent, you’ll first have to meet all of the requirements to qualify for employment.
Here is a list of the requirements to work as a gate agent
- You must be 18+ years old
- Have a High School diploma or equivalent education
- Currently hold a valid driver’s license
- Ability to lift heavy objects (think of passenger luggage)
- Pass pre-employment drug screen
- Have a neat and professional appearance
- Work well under pressure
- Be able to work non-traditional shifts (nights, weekends, and holidays)
- Fantastic customer service skills (even when passengers are upset)
We also put together an in-depth guide to gate agent job requirements here.
Step 2: Apply for Jobs
If you meet the above requirements and would like to attempt to get hired, the first step will be applying for gate agent jobs with the airlines.
To begin, start by looking online for each specific airline you want to apply with. They have the process for how they want applicants to apply on their website. These days, most of them will have you apply on their website although you should be prepared to also apply in person in the airport.
Here are some things to keep in mind for when you are applying with airlines for a gate agent job:
- Make sure your resume is professional, free of errors, and highlights the skills and experience you have that would apply to being a great gate agent (focus on great customer service skills, and the ability to learn quickly!)
- If you do apply in person, make sure to dress as if you were going on an interview just in case you end up meeting a hiring manager or getting interviewed on the spot
- Make sure you are applying to airlines/airports that you are able to reliably get to when it comes time to interview and eventually go to on a daily basis.
Step 3: Prepare for the Job Interview
The next step in the hiring process is going to a job interview. It is very important that you put the time and effort in to prepare for this interview. Below are the key things you’ll want to do so you have the best chances to get hired:
- Dress for Success: It’s usually a good idea to dress in business attire for any job interview. It’s especially true here since the appearance of employees is very important to airlines
- Plan Ahead: If you have schedule or transportation issues, make sure to find solutions before the day of the interview.
- Prepare Answers to Common Interview Questions: We made an entire section on this since it’s so important. Make sure to take the time to do this!
Step 4: Prepare For Interview Questions
Something that is very important when it comes to getting hired is making sure you are prepared for the questions you’ll be asked at the interview. Having these answers ready will impress the person interviewing you and give you an advantage over other applicants.
Here are some of the common questions you can expect at the interview:
- Why do you want to be a gate agent?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How do you provide outstanding customer service?
- How do you handle dealing with people in difficult situations?
- What are your goals if you are hired?
- What are your long term career goals
- Can you give a specific example of times you’ve gone above and beyond to help a customer/passenger?
This should give you a starting point for the types of questions you can expect to be asked. You should take the time to think of answers to each question and then practice saying them. Some people get nervous at interviews, so having already figured out the answer makes you not have to think of them on the spot and will help make you feel more comfortable.
Step 5: Do GREAT at the Job Interview
Job interviews make a lot of people nervous. They can be stressful and hard to predict. The best way to do great on a job interview is to be prepared. This includes having thought about the questions you’ll be asked (see above) as well as preparing for the interview itself so you are ready to go when the time comes.
Here are some tips to ace your interview:
- Plan to be 15 minutes early: Showing up a few minutes early to a job interview makes you look well-prepared and professional. You do not want to show up barely on time and look/act flustered or stressed out. Giving yourself 15 extra minutes will also prevent you from being late in case something unexpected comes up.
- Smile: The role of a gate agent will require you to interact with a lot of passengers and make sure they have a great experience. Make sure to smile often during the interview to show the person interviewing you that you are a friendly and positive person. Studies show that people both like and connect with people better when they smile. Don’t forget to do this.
- Make eye contact: Making eye contact will help you connect with the person interviewing you and is always a great way to look engaged and professional.
- Ask Questions!: At some point during the interview, they will ask you if you have any questions. Many people just say “No” and move on. This is a mistake. Make sure to take the time to ask questions about the job and the airline. This shows that you are engaged and really care about the job. Some great examples of questions to ask include specifics about training, schedules, and other aspects of the job you want to know more about.
- Follow Up: When the interview is over, plan on sending the person who interviewed you an e-mail or handwritten note to thank them for their time. This really shows you go the extra mile and hiring managers love it.
Once you’d completed the interview (and remember sometimes there could be more than one) the next step is to get a job offer and go through training.
Step 6: Get Hired and Complete Training
Congratulations! If you did all the previous steps and everything went well you should be getting a job offer next. This is when the airline will tell you the exact pay they are offering and give you specifics on your training program, start date, and schedule. You are well on your way to being a gate agent!
The training you take will include:
- Airline specific policies and procedures
- Airport procedures
- FAA required knowledge of the industry
- And much more!
Get ready to learn a lot. Once you’ve completed this training you will officially begin work as a gate agent.
If you think you’d love working in the aviation industry and enjoy working with people, you should consider applying to be agate agent. It can be a very rewarding career with opportunities to move up to other roles in the future.
Make sure to read through these steps carefully before you begin your journey so you can be prepared for each step as it comes your way.
Good luck and hopefully I’ll see you the next time I travel!