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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 11th Mar 2009, 11:47
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I feel for you Dave Z. Just bug them until you can get some proper feedback. Although I'm pretty sure you probably don't feel up for that at the moment.
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 12:24
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Hi

I've a couple of quick questions.

I've just been for my first stage which I thought went well, however you never can tell. I am annoyed that I revised every plane, speed, flight level seating capacity etc and don't think it was really all that necessary.

Obviously the selection process is pretty gruelling and would imagine only about 1% of applicants actually make it. If you are unsuccesful is there any other way of becoming a traffic controller?

I've noticed that you can do it in the RAF, would you then be able to transfer to a civillian based role (such as NATS) after you'd served your time???

Cheers
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 13:24
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Hi all. I'm just revising for stage 1 and have found this post incredibly helpful so first of all a big thank you to everyone who has made a useful contribution.

I've got a couple of queries if I may. I hope these are new but I apologise if they've been on here before. I don't remember reading them though.

Firstly, with the dreaded cubes is there always a triangle on one of the sides? I have made up a load of example questions using different nets and patterns and have found them much harder when the triangle is not there. If there are questions without a triangle on the net somewhere then I'll bias my practice more towards those questions.

Secondly, are the questions for the motivaton paper set from the motivation document irrespective of whether they are accurate? For example page 2 talks about the London Terminal Control Centre being located in West Drayton and page 3 says that the aviation industry is just pulling out of the recession caused by September 11th 2001. I would argue that neither of these statements are true any more but they are both things which have the potential of being asked on the paper. As it is a multiple choice test there is no way to state what your answer is based upon.

Thanks in advance to anyone able to help clarify those points.
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 13:58
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Ok, thats fair enough. As long as I know. Thanks for the reply.

I've just thought of something else. I know learning the distances between major european destinations has been highlighted as something worth learning a few times. Presumably the most useful unit for an ATCO is nautical miles, but are options given for the answers in nm or statute miles? I could convert them in my head but that's precious seconds lost.

Thanks again.
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 14:28
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Ok, nm it is then. Many thanks!
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 14:36
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Hi,

I'm through to Stage 2 (haven't booked a date yet) and was wondering if anyone knew the criteria for travelling expenses reimbursment. It says in the email that overnight accomodation will only be reimbursed in exceptional circumstances. I will be travelling down from the North East so realistically would have to stay overnight. Would this be classed as a valid reason?
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 16:30
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A mish mash of answers...

Trying to answer multiple questions in one post... look out for your name!

Marco888: There should always be some dates on the system for Stage 3, but not for all locations. I was in a hurry to have my Stage 3 since I'd already been offered other jobs, so went to Manchester instead of waiting for a Glasgow date 4-6 weeks later. NATS are ok with this, and you can claim expenses wherever you choose to go.

Abz217: http://natscareers.co.uk/docs/test_materials.doc is what you're looking for.

Dave Z: Sorry to hear you didn't make it. Have you had any feedback from HR? I understand it's usually pretty helpful.

Jacka27: I know it might seem that you wasted a lot of time on the aircraft info for Stage 1, but questions get more specific as you go on and it's easier to learn this stuff over time rather than cramming (for me anyway). And if you make it, you'll need to know this stuff anyway. If you feel confident how you've done, the next stage is to start learning what the aircraft look like - useful for Stage 3 although included in Stage 2 pack.

As for other ways to become an air traffic controller, read this thread: http://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/361...ough-nats.html. Your profile seems to indicate that you're over 24, so unfortunately Eurocontrol is out. For going into the RAF, I don't think selection is any easier and you are an officer first, ATC second, so no guarantee you'll spend all your time controlling. See http://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/361...ing-civil.html and http://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/362...g-raf-atc.html for more info and lifestyle stuff etc. And I think you need to go to the NATS college even after being an RAF controller if moving from military to civil, but I'm sure someone else can confirm that.

Gingerpaul: I can't honestly remember if there's always a black triangle, but there is always one shape that is the 'marker' - ie. your reference point. It might change shape, but there is always one there that helps you the same way the black triangle does.

And finally....DaleyDFC: Expenses are a funny thing with NATS since if you progress further, you'll discover the expense form is the same at each stage but the emails often contradict it! Basically, whatever you spend on travel, you must pay the first 50 (or all of it if your claim is less than 50). As far as I know (from HR) the limit is around 150 return for flights/trains/etc, and 50 for overnight accommodation. HR recommend the Premier Inn Fareham (64 a night) so essentially the 'excess' above the 50 limit (14) is paid by your compulsory 50 contribution. Confusing, but that's how it works. If you get through to medical and travel for all your stages (and it costs more than 50), expect your application to cost 150..... I always called HR out of courtesy to check they'd be ok with me staying overnight (it was always unavoidable as I live in the middle of nowhere) and they were always fine about it.

Sorry for mammoth post!
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 16:48
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Thanks Paperclip.
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 16:52
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Abz217

Just got your email. The link is the one Paperclip lists above.

Last edited by gingerpaul; 11th Mar 2009 at 16:52. Reason: Forgot to say who I was talking to!
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 18:20
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With regard to the landing order question a few posts back;

I got asked the same question in my interview when I went through, started with C172/737/747 in that order. It definitely wasn't posed as a question that had a 'right' answer, more testing your reasoning and thought processes behind decisions, and how you reacted to new information or a change in the scenario. I can't quite remember what was brought into the picture to change it around though.

They are looking for the scope to learn a lot of information and then apply it quickly when the situation demands it. In truth, this scenario doesn't really have a 'right' answer as cases can be made for most orders, as long as the order is safe in terms of separation.
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 18:22
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I always called HR out of courtesy to check they'd be ok with me staying overnight
There was one from HR I would have been more than ok to stay overnight with
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 20:07
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As folk have said regarding the sequencing question, there isn't really a correct answer, moreso for someone who hasn't trained to be an ATCO. The best sequence I have personally heard is:

IF the aircraft were all equal distance from establishing finals, let the 737 down first, closely followed by the 747 and finally the Cessna.

End of the day, the wee Cessna won't use anywhere near as much fuel when it's up there doing it's thing circling. Also, the airliners give a helluva lot more money to the industry with their landing fee's and all, so essentially they pay more to land. And finally, the 737/747 crew and pax are already exhausted from what could be a 3-14 hour flight... The Cessna was probably up for fun, and they'd enjoy staying in the sky that little bit longer
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 13:06
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Cheers paperclip for the info re expenses.

Also, is there a limit to how long you can take between stages? I passed stage 1 at the end of Feb but due to there been no dates left in March and me getting married and therefore out of the country for most of April it's gonna be into May before I can do mine.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 14:04
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If I were you I'd phone them and make sure they know - otherwise they may withdraw your application.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 14:29
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Thanks paperclip and ginger paul for the info
Jus wanted to no if that is everything i need for stage 1 and what else do they require you to learn????????
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 14:43
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DaleyDFC: I considered waiting for a date closer to home and was told if oyu don't select a date with 2 weeks of receiving an email inviting to to book a date, your aplication can be withdrawn. However, a quick call to HR will sort that - if you know you can't do much for a while, they 'suspend' your application until you come back and are ready to continue.

Abz217: That's all the learning info - the rest of your time will be spent practising the tests I guess!
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 14:46
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What type of tests??????
Yea i no they will probably ask me questions on this information i just downloaded but is there anywhere i can find practice tests???
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 14:49
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Abz... have you applied yet? All the info is sent to you when you confirm a stage 1 date.
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 14:55
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No man i havent applied yet but will apply in april
i just thought if i cant get my hands on the information now then i can get a bit of a head start if you know what i mean lol
so is there anything else i need to know or is that the only document i need??????
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Old 12th Mar 2009, 15:07
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Right ok thanks

Apptitude test????? What does that consist of???
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