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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 24th Jun 2009, 14:38
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And I posted a link to the relevant thread with all the links on the previous page!

Not that there is much more around for diagramming or cubes other than the examples in the PDF provided by NATS (it's in the message asking you to book Stage1 I believe!)

Anyhow, Imran, if you previously held an ATCO licence is there any merit in applying from scratch? Would you not be able to sort out a conversion course and be taken on as experienced hire? (assuming it was an ICAO compliant licence)
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 14:56
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Plus there are plenty of people who get through Stage 1 without any other information other than provided by NATS, me for one.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 15:14
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Me too!

I booked my stage 1 with just two weeks to prepare, and my preparation was:
  • Reading everything in this thread, most posts are about stage 1 anyway!
  • Using the 'search' function after reading this thread to find similar threads, (which I did find!)
  • Using my initiative further by PMing a few members here
  • Using the details I found on here I made my own practice tests which helped enormously in my stage 1.
Oh and here's the best bit, guess what.....I passed stage 1!

My advice (to all new applicants!) is to complete the checklist above, or at least part of it, before asking questions, as it gets very tiresome having the same questions over and over again, there have been changes to the selection process however these are also explained and documented in this thread so there's no excuses.

A bit of initiative goes a long way, and surely shows your motivation/enthusiasm?
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 18:59
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Stage 3

Hi Whitelighter - I think you were at the same stage 3 as me on the 11th June....I still haven't heard yet....just to let you know you're not the only one! Harriet.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 20:00
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Just got back from Stage 1 tests.
Must say I am disgusted that there was no information on the NATS confirmation emails regarding speed, distance, time and maths tests.

I was only told:

1. Learn the 'motivation' test materials... waste of time learning the whole document as i would have performed the same if i had only read the material two or three times. Very easy multi choice. Dissapointed it wasn't challenging and i wasted my time learning everything. Anyway...

2. Basic checking four, five... digits matching. Why did i not do this test??? The speed, distance, time 'MATHS' paper i did do... of which there was no 'official' mention of apart from on here. Where was the basic checking??? that was on the practice leaflet??? I would have smashed that to peices!!
Anyway...

3. Practice personality Q's....err no such test given. Not even a mention.

4. Cubes and diagrammatic Q's. Fine.

If i don't get through it will only be because of Nats HR giving out of date information on the tests to expect. If they have changed the formats, why don'y they tell you?
If everything came up that they said was going to come up. I would have averaged in the 90's.

Its a damn Shame!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 20:24
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Just got back from Stage 1 tests.
Must say I am disgusted that there was no information on the NATS confirmation emails regarding speed, distance, time and maths tests.
Disgusted were you? I bet you will also be disgusted if you got through and they PAY for all of your training and then once validated after 3 years you would be disgusted by earning 45k plus...? Why would they need to tell you that they would be in the tests? Is it not obvious that those skills would be required by an ATCO. If you go for pilot aptitude tests would you learn the rules of the road or would you learn hand-eye co-ordination tests? No wait, you would expect them to tell you before - sorry! If you can do SDT questions then you should be fine, if you can't then you shouldn't really be suited for the position so don't blame NATS if you fail! YOU TOOK THE TEST, NOT THEM!


I was only told:

1. Learn the 'motivation' test materials... waste of time learning the whole document as i would have performed the same if i had only read the material two or three times. Very easy multi choice. Dissapointed it wasn't challenging and i wasted my time learning everything. Anyway...
You are a 'Wannabe ATCO' but you think that you 'wasted' your time learning information that you would need in the future anyways? This doesn't make sense! Have you read Graham Duke or any other ATC books? If so do you feel that you wasted your time with those too because they weren't in the test? Not a very good attitude for someone trying to become an ATCO, especially when the company assessing you will be PAYING you to do it!!

2. Basic checking four, five... digits matching. Why did i not do this test??? The speed, distance, time 'MATHS' paper i did do... of which there was no 'official' mention of apart from on here. Where was the basic checking??? that was on the practice leaflet??? I would have smashed that to peices!!Anyway...
Maybe this test wasn't done because it is EASY! Next time would you like a full breakdown of what's in the tests? That way everyone would get through and make it harder for you to progress through to the next stages!

3. Practice personality Q's....err no such test given. Not even a mention.
Trust me, you will have plenty of personality questions to answer if you pass this stage - I wouldn't moan about it! You can't really 'practice' personality questions unless you were planning on practicing how to have a personality...

If i don't get through it will only be because of Nats HR giving out of date information on the tests to expect. If they have changed the formats, why don'y they tell you?
If everything came up that they said was going to come up. I would have averaged in the 90's.

Its a damn Shame!
If you don't get through it will have nothing to do with NATS HR. That is just YOUR justification for it. The first time I did the test they didn't tell me ANYTHING about the tests I was going to take and I got through them. If you can do what they test you on then you can do it, if you can't then you can't! And how would you know how you would average if you everything came up was what you were expecting? I did the tests 3 times, and on the 3rd interview got in and not once did I get ANY results!
You seem to have opposing views about the tests - one was too easy and wasted your time and the others you weren't expecting so it's not your fault if you fail...

The shame is in the fact that you have such a bad attitude towards the process and you haven't even passed the first hurdle. If you think this was difficult then wait until the second stage and even more so the final one. Would you like to know exactly what questions are coming up in the interview, and what the group exercise is too? This is just another example of the british school system spitting out kids who have been spoon fed for most of their schooling life - pathetic!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 20:52
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As an ATCO friend of mine said when I told him I'd got through the selection process: "That's the easy bit done then!"

It wouldn't surprise me if they do start changing it randomly a lot more now that they're running it in one location at CTC. If you can cope with whatever they throw at you, then that's a good test!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 21:08
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ATCNoob...thankyou for writing that post because if you hadn't have done, I would have....you've saved me some finger acheage! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

WannabeATCO...you need to have a good hard think about whether you really want this job or not. Whilst you may have the impression that NATS aren't doing a very good job with their 1st Stage in the recruitment process, NATS are particularly good at wheedling out people who are not any good for the job and with an attitude like the one you have at the moment.....need I say anymore?
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 21:26
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Hey Harriet,

Yep, I was with you on the 11th of June . Sort of glad to know you havent heard either, but I really expected to know by now. I guess its a case of sitting on my hands and just waiting it out.

I dont think we did ever ask them how long we should expect to wait, we all got a bit pre-occupied with escaping form the 'room' at the end of the day. Reckon we were lucky, if we handnt been found we might still be there.

Anyway, best of luck and I will keep all apendages crossed.
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 21:47
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Listen to what I am Saying!
I agree TOTALLY that it would be a better test if they gave you no prep material at all. That would be completely fair and a much better process to find those with the right aptitude!
money or no money it is a great career with an awesome responsiblity to have and yes very important to get the right people for the job.
However, in this case... what I am saying is that in the tests i sat today, someone who only read the material given once could have passed the motivation paper- which is why i felt it was a waste..
why tell people you are going to be assessed on basic checking when in fact you are going to get long division and multiplication?
why tell people you are going to do personality q's when you're not?

This process as a result could in fact penalise those who have put a great deal of effort and are Highly motivated to be an ATCO, yet miss out due to being thrown off by an unexpected turn of events...

Its just trickery - which is fair if that is the purpose intended (which i doubt)... or incompetence by distrubuting out of date information on HR's part..
either way it is disgraceful..
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 22:06
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Wannabe, I got the same info you did and passed, as did many others. I don't have any issue with the stage 1 exams, just grateful for the opportunity to sit them. As for the motivation paper, multi-choice it may be but you still need to understand the content to answer the questions and as the above poster stated it's something you'll need to understand anyway so not a waste of time as far as I was concerned.

You could also argue that a good ATC candidate is able to adapt to unforseen events and just get on with it. "I wasn't expecting AFR215 in my airway at this time, making changes and ensuring safe passage was a total waste of my time".
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 22:44
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WannabeATCO

I put in a huge amount of effort revising and making sure I knew my stuff at stage 1...was more relieved to know that a lot of it was indeed not required for stage 1 and that I knew the answers to the 'easy' motivation paper rather than feeling it was a waste of time.

It may come easy to you reading material and knowing it all after having read it only once or twice. This in itself will be a bonus for you as if/when you get into college you will have to learn the MATS 1/2 verbatim...there are tests to make sure you know it verbatim...probably something you'll excell at no doubt. However there are people out there who, like you say, put in a lot of time and effort and are highly motivated in order to become an ATCO, but some of these people won't necessarily learn like you do. If they don't learn like you do they would have to spend a lot more time learning the information they were given and probably have to put in a bit more effort than you did, hence why NATS cover it all and say 'learn it all'. If they said 'read the info a couple of times over, don't bother learning it all because you won't actually need all this for your stage 1 tests' then why bother sending it out?! Besides which, you will need to know the information later on and I'm not just talking later recruitment stages.

As for tests that weren't/were included in your stage 1....things change....you'll find that a lot as the recruitment process goes on so all I can say to that is be prepared. Aren't ATCOs expected to be able to adapt to change? I think you'll find that one of the key personality traits of an ATCO is the necessity to be able to deal with unforseen situations and circumstances...it makes no difference how much or how little you have prepared/revised.

Furthermore, you will be given an online personality questionnaire to do...it's just not at the psychometric testing stage.

Be careful who you make comments to on here, (in particular...ATCKnob as you kindly put it)...he's a lot further on than you...in fact, he could one day end up being your superior. Not doing yourself any favours. Also, try not to slate the company you are so desperate to work for...if you really think they're doing a bad job of it, why not tell them? I'm sure they'll appreciate the feedback rather than just seeing it posted on here.

We all like to give eachother a hand and advice...some of us just read the posts, others get involved more than the next person...I hope you find what you need on here and I wish you good luck with your selection process

Last edited by CJayne; 24th Jun 2009 at 22:57. Reason: Typo!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 22:49
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@CJayne - Someone had to do it...if not for his sake then for others who may agree with him!

OMG ATCKnob you r such a brown-nose!
You are seriously showing your school-kid attitude again. I bet you were the 'class-clown' at the back of the class laughing at people getting good grades and acting as if everything in life comes easy to you - because you have probably had EVERYTHING given to you on a platter! 'ATCKnob' has been used before by other pathetic individuals trying to 'get one back' after showing the same kind of childishness. Where's the originality...? PS Text speak, the word brown-nose and the not-so-funny play on words with my screen name says it all!

Listen to what I am Saying!
I agree TOTALLY that it would be a better test if they gave you no prep material at all. That would be completely fair and a much better process to find those with the right aptitude!
money or no money it is a great career with an awesome responsiblity to have and yes very important to get the right people for the job.
However, in this case... what I am saying is that in the tests i sat today, someone who only read the material given once could have passed the motivation paper- which is why i felt it was a waste..
why tell people you are going to be assessed on basic checking when in fact you are going to get long division and multiplication?
why tell people you are going to do personality q's when you're not?

This process as a result could in fact penalise those who have put a great deal of effort and are Highly motivated to be an ATCO, yet miss out due to being thrown off by an unexpected turn of events...
What then is the problem with them giving out 'easy' prep material? You would shocked at how many people don't find it that easy. There is no way you could have prepared for basic checking anyways, so I don't see how that would cause anyone to be "thrown off"! They tell you just before the tests which test you are doing so how could you be "thrown off" anyways? If anything it sounds like you did FEWER tests than I did when I did stage one!

Its just trickery - which is fair if that is the purpose intended (which i doubt)... or incompetence by distrubuting out of date information on HR's part..
either way it is disgraceful..
You say it's trickery and it would be fair if that was the purpose intended. But you then say you doubt that that was their purpose. Surely trickery implies deception and intent? So if you don't think that was their purpose, then how could it be trickery? Can you see why some of us feel the way we do about your posts? They are paradoxical!

I would suggest you go back to temping or whatever it is that you are doing at the moment. Oh, and by the look on your other posts you are also looking to lie about gaps in employment. Just a word of advice, NATS HR read these forums. If you have any problem with their methodology or process I would suggest a simple (and polite!) feedback email would probably suffice whereby you would probably receive another email from them apologising thereby causing you to realise that NATS is only made up of people, who are actually HUMAN, who ACTUALLY make mistakes - like you!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 22:50
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ATCNoob:
Very well said!!!

Wannabe ATCO:
OMG ATCKnob you r such a brown-nose!
Wow, I doubt if you actually pass the stage 1 tests, (which your ego seems to reckon is highly likely! ) then I doubt you'll pass the OPQ, hopefully it'll weed you out as a previous member stated!

someone who only read the material given once could have passed the motivation paper- which is why i felt it was a waste..
Unfortunately that is the way that NATS are conducting the ATCO selection now, much less emphasis on actual ATC knowledge/content, more on raw aptitude and competencies, however its something you have to accept, oh of course, that is if you want the job!

This process as a result could in fact penalise those who have put a great deal of effort and are Highly motivated to be an ATCO, yet miss out due to being thrown off by an unexpected turn of events...
Surely anyone intending to become an ATCO should expect the unexpected?? Or put it another way, one key quality of ATCOs is adaptability/flexibility so why not practice such a quality now??

Its just trickery - which is fair if that is the purpose intended (which i doubt)... or incompetence by distrubuting out of date information on HR's part..
Ermmm, no not trickery exactly, just adapting the tests so that NATS HR find the very best candidates with the best aptitude. To be honest, I would not care if they varied the tests at stage 1 as if you've got the aptitude you'll be fine....maybe as you're so concerned you don't?
You'll also find that many years ago, NATS HR provided very little information about what tests to expect - so be grateful you knew anything prior to your tests!!

either way it is disgraceful..
I'm sure a lot of members/candidates in the selection process right now feel the same way about your outburst!
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 23:49
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There are currently 182 pages to this thread and I have to confess to not having read most of them. What I have done, though, is successfully passed the NATS selection process and spent a good few weeks now in Hurn learning all sorts of stuff - some interesting, some downright tedious and seemingly irrelevant - about ATC. I've skipped through some of the more recent posts and thought I'd add my tuppence worth. Any questions, please PM me as I don't really have time to read the forum any more.

To the poster who complains about outdated and inaccurate information from HR - get used to it! A great deal of the information you pick up from here and the automated emails received from NATS will be, at best, questionable. For this reason I spent a long time having a low opinion of the recruitment process. Now that I'm "in", I have to say that I think NATS may be doing something right...

The training is intense beyond belief. I came into this with so called evidence that I am more intelligent than average but, having witnessed the ability of my colleagues to digest the barrage of information thrown at us, I now have to consider myself the epitome of mediocrity. To the person who asked a few pages back about whether having a PPL will help, my answer is mixed. Whichever discipline you end up doing (area or airports), you will spend a total of about 4 weeks in the classroom studying theory, of which I'd say 80% is covered in PPL exams and you will have a much easier time of it than most. Once that's done and they sit you in front of a radar screen, you'll suddenly realise that you're all in the same boat, and in fact the terminology and shortcuts you learnt for bimbling in Class G airspace is actually counterproductive, although thankfully not to an excessive degree.

Back to whoever complained about 'needlessly' learning the motivation paper inside out. If you think that's tough, don't bother asking for a position doing Area. 8 weeks into the course we sat a written exam which requires learning 30+ pages (8,000+ words) of text verbatim. That's word for word recital of a pseudo-legalese document. All being well, the next course of training sees that increase to more than 100 pages of text. This is to be learnt in our own time: be under no illusions, it's hell and you will have no life for the next 3 years. Personally, I am self doubting, but I'm finally coming to accept that if the NATS selection process saw me through then perhaps I can do it after all. If you fail the application process and your reasoning is that you were told to learn stuff that didn't come up, then this isn't the career for you. To the rest of you, give it your best shot and if you really want this opportunity then you'll probably get it. National Minimum Wage awaits you!
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 00:00
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I can't even believe some of you passed the way you don't seem to understand what im saying! and KNoob enough with the personal insults.. in simple terms...if they could just have told me to expect a little long division and multiplication - which I havnt seen for years. I could have practiced a little and been fine - even if I did get it wrong today doesn't mean I can't do it!! half an hour revisiting gcse sums... or two weeks memorising A/C FL's and carrier routes!why send you any practice tests at all then if they just wanted to catch you out?
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 00:11
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We got through with some of that hard work and determination we've been mentioning...we got through because we have the right attitudes. People are insulting you because of your attitude and the way you are speaking to people on here...treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.

The point we are trying to make is they are not trying to catch you out, only trying to work out who will be suitable for the job and if you can't hack it at stage 1 then the writing is on the wall...or in the test results..

I was in a similar position to you...GCSEs 12 years ago, no DST for longer probably and all of a sudden there is was in the tests, but guess what? I completed the tests and now I'm through to college. So what if it comes up in the paper and you didn't know! If you completed it then what's the problem?! If you can't do the simple DST questions then the job isn't for you...


Simples.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 00:35
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its not about wether you can do the DST questions or you can't. why should somone who wants to be an ATCO learn material never seen before, and allocate a fare amount of time in order to do so... to be told sorry you cannot be an ATCO because you couldn't remember how to do somthin you were taught 12 years ago?cubes and diagrams absolutely fine! as they test a completely different aptitude wether you prepare or not. these are the ones they should not tell you about.
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 00:54
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Somehow I don't think you'll back down on this arguement and I believe it's because you feel you've performed 'under par' when it comes to the DST questions...if I were you, just so you know, (because that's what half this problem is about, so I'll give you the heads up to stop the complaining later on) there will be MORE DST questions at Stage 2 so start practising now. Just in case NATS don't tell you to.

As I mentioned before, I was in the same boat! Funnily enough, everyone who has been through this process has been in the same boat. We ALL had the questions sprung on us, not one of us would have known the DST questions were there (unless we'd been through the recruitment process before), so why should it be any different when NATS have succeeded in getting the TATCOs that they wanted in the first place? Their process is working.

Of course it's about whether you can/cannot solve the DST questions! You'll be doing that every day in your job to work out speeds, distances and funnily enough, times! But that goes hand in hand with all the other information that you were told to learn in the Stage 1 handout. Plus all the stuff for Stage 2....then there is Stage 3 and so on and so forth.

why should somone who wants to be an ATCO learn material never seen before, and allocate a fare amount of time in order to do so
The reason why someone who wants to be an ATCO should learn material never seen before is because the information is related to the job they are hoping to be selected for!!
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Old 25th Jun 2009, 02:27
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WannabeATCO

I'm not going to go into your ranting post as that has been done by several people already. (Rightly so as well!)

I just hope, for your sake, you are having a bad day and this is a one off, otherwise if you do pass stage 1 - the Personality Questionnaire will bite you in the a$$ !

To everyone else that's reading this to prepare for the selection stages - good luck..

P

Last edited by PDF; 25th Jun 2009 at 03:30. Reason: fat fingers
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