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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 25th Sep 2009, 21:01
  #4381 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Berkshire, UK
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don't beleive for a second that the failure rate for stage 1 is 90%, i didn't do 90% of the cubes and i passed!

Reckon its more like 60% overall or similar.
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Old 25th Sep 2009, 21:02
  #4382 (permalink)  
 
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Andrew1991,

You are right but more of the latter where you don't get a simple s=d/t but need to work a little more. So expect a 3 - 6 sentence questions as opposed to straigth for s=d/t questions. Also check my posting to ianb87 on another type of question on page 227.

The time is exactly 15 minutes for 20questions for SDT
20 minutes for 40questions for cubes
20 minutes for 50 questions for diagramming
18 minutes for 30 questions on ATC motivation paper
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Old 25th Sep 2009, 21:15
  #4383 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Seriously pugwash?

When I told people afterwards that I'd only done 20/40 of the cubes, they looked at me with pity and I thought I was toast!

If you only completed 5/40 cubes, there is no way they'd let you pass stage 1, even if you got them all right! Otherwise, I'll be doing that next time...
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Old 25th Sep 2009, 21:25
  #4384 (permalink)  
 
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no one knows (well apart from HR- maybe ) what the pass mark is, but i was told by HR that the tests were weighted- ie you were expected to do very very well in some, and not so well in others.
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Old 25th Sep 2009, 22:33
  #4385 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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SKOS, I sat my stage 2 on 11/09/09.

I have noticed that after going in to book my stage 3, there were no dates available.

Has anyone else noticed this?
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 08:17
  #4386 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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EGT1 Im going to try and explain it to you. Im unaware how much of the s/d/t formula you know so to be safe i'l take it like your a complete beginner!!
I apologise in advance as my keyboard is sticking
S
DT


SPEED=DISTANCE X TIME
DISTANCE= SPEED/ TIME
TIME = SPEED/DISTANCE.

So back to the question you were asking about.
T = 30/ 900

This is too difficult to do so we simplify it. divide the top and bottom by the same number to get a smaller number so

t= 3/90

We divided it by 10. The denominator (the 90, the bottom number wont divide into 60( how many minutes into a hour) so we carry on.

t= 1/30

Can you see we divided it by the same number! We can now do the sum as the denominator goes into 60!

We now take denominator (30) How many times does it go into 60? The answer is 2 times.
So we then take the top number (1) and times the bottom number by it (2)
so
1 x 2 = 2 minutes.

This seems really complicated at first but the only way is to keep practising.
Sorry if I made it more complicated.
Im going to do a couple more so you can practise with another.... let me know how you get on and good luck!

A car is travelling at 120 mph for a distance of 40 Miles. How long does it take?

Okay so t=distance/speed
40/120
20/60
20x1= 20

As this was a simple one you could also work it out that 40 miles fits into 120 3 times. Divide a hour three times and you get 20 mins.

A car is travelling at 240 mph for a distance of 20 miles how long does it take?

t=d/t
20/240
10/120
5/60
5x1= 5 mins

Hope this helps.

20
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 12:41
  #4387 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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i remember reading/hearing somewhere that the motivation paper had a 75% requirement as a minimum. If you get less than that you fail S1 tests, even if you ace the diagramming, cubes and numeracy.

don't ask me for a reference for that though - i think it may have been the nice HR lady on the day.

as for the other 3 tests, I think they'll be looking for a mixture of speed and accuracy. No point answering all 50 questions if you get half of them wrong...

I was also under the impression that the pass mark came from all the tests they'd given previously. ie. they get the spread of marks and take the 90th percentile as a cut-off point.

-A
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 17:02
  #4388 (permalink)  
 
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Stage 1 marking

Regarding the marking of stage 1:

Firstly, NATS don't publicise the pass marks or any other info on how they mark the tests, so no-one really knows apart from the HR bods...

That said, based upon a little speculation and various reported comments from HR my understanding is:

1. Each paper has a pass mark - no idea what this is, but I get the impression it is unique for each paper, so it is not just a matter of it being 75% percent for all papers (for example I believe it is actually very low for the cube paper)
2. For some of the papers you are also expected to get a certain way through in the permitted time - it may be that you are able to get the pass mark but still fail the test, for example if you are expected to answer 75% of the questions but the pass mark is only 50% then if you answered 60% of the questions and got them all right you would still fail the test because you hadn't worked fast enough (this is based upon a comment someone reported being made by someone in HR somewhere miles back in the thread).
3. You have to pass ALL the tests, if you fail one you've failed, you can't make up for it by doing super well in all the other tests

Last edited by Pat42; 27th Sep 2009 at 14:11. Reason: grammar
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 17:22
  #4389 (permalink)  
 
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Also, unless things have changed in the last few months, the people who attend the Stage 1 days are not NATS, they are from a third party recruitment company to whom NATS contract out the Stage 1 days.
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 18:12
  #4390 (permalink)  
 
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Also, unless things have changed in the last few months, the people who attend the Stage 1 days are not NATS, they are from a third party recruitment company to whom NATS contract out the Stage 1 days.
I think since earlier this year (May/June 09 onwards) stage 1 dates were only available at NATS CTC, Hampshire for a short period when previously they were held in London, Manchester and Glasgow.
I presume NATS HR administer all stage 1s at CTC.

I believe since then, stage 1 dates are now held at CTC, Heathrow and Prestwick - not sure if Heathrow and Prestwick are contracted out?
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 19:40
  #4391 (permalink)  
 
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The lady administering my stage 1 certainly didn't seem to be a contractor, she had NATS ID and seemed to know a lot more about the company in general than an external assessor would. My test was at the CTC so that may have been a contributing factor though.
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Old 26th Sep 2009, 20:38
  #4392 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, I forgot that NATS locations were used now...
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 06:48
  #4393 (permalink)  
 
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HN09,

Just saw your question regarding the questionnaire, to be honest the opinion of the other candidate you mentioned sounds like rubbish to me. I say this for a number of reasons:

1. I answered the questionnaire honestly and certainly did not put "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree" to all, or even the majority of the questions... but I did get through to stage 2.

2. I think the OPs opinion, whilst initially seeming to have some merit, is in fact very simplistic. You can waste your life away trying to second guess what people are looking for on these kind of tests, but I'd be very suprised if it was something so simple as "we want people who show decisiveness". Answering all the questions "strongly" could also show a number of other things, for instance that you are very opinionated, which might suggest to NATS that actually you may not be a very easy person to work with (so you are decisive, but not prepared to be corrected if those decisions are wrong, for example).

3. NOT answering the questions honestly seems pointless to me anyway. The entire reason that NATS have such a comprehensive selection process is because they are looking for people who have certain aptitudes and character traits which they believe are important in an ATCO. Being an ATCO is not, from what I can ascertain, and easy job. NATS are looking for people they believe are the right kind of person to cope and perform well in that job. If you are not that kind of person then pretending to be (by lying on the personallity questionnaire, or in any other way) won't actually be very helpful, either to NATS or to you. Its worth noting that even after this selection process a considerable number of candidates fail either at college or OJT before validating. It costs NATS a lot of money and wastes you a lot of time if you only get so far before failing because you've misrepresented yourself during selection.
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 10:21
  #4394 (permalink)  
 
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Pat has hit the nail on the head with that. I dont know why people get bothered by the pass marks and what the answers to the personality tests are. Surely you should aim to get 100% in every test. Getting stressed about pass marks can only ever be detremental. If you knew the pass mark was 75% would you only strive to get 90%. Just do the tests to the best of your ability, dont worry the guy next to you is flying through them, and hope you have done enough.
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 20:08
  #4395 (permalink)  
 
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For the motivation paper for S1. It might be a good idea to do all the factual questions first then start the SDT questions. Because you either know the answer to the factual questions or you dont, so they dont take up too much time. Wheras the SDT take time to work out.
just an idea
olliey
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Old 27th Sep 2009, 22:52
  #4396 (permalink)  
 
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I completely agree with aaaabbbbcccc1111 (I wish you had a shorter name LOL) you should strive to do your very best in all of the tests, preparing as necessary. If you are made out of the right material you will pass and if your not, its no big deal, there are plenty of other jobs out there which require a different skill set.

Yes we all want this job more than anything else, but anyone thinking that they can kid, wing or cheat their way past their selection tests, is simply kidding themselves.

I myself have Stage 3 coming up, I am so nervous its unbelievable. I will prepare for it to the best of my ability but I will not pretend to be someone I'm not. I am a genuine, hard working, consciencious and diligent worker, I love learning new techniques and am a very fast learner and I hope that I will show that to the recruiters on my stage 3, thats all I can ask for!

Good luck to anyone at whatever stage they are at!

Peace Out!
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Old 28th Sep 2009, 07:28
  #4397 (permalink)  
 
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Yes we all want this job more than anything else, but anyone thinking that they can kid, wing or cheat their way past their selection tests, is simply kidding themselves.
Well said. Particularly poignant when we remember what is actually at stake here (i.e. peoples' lives). Certainly the next time I get on a plane to fly somewhere I'd like to think that the person on the radio making sure I'm safe is there because they have demonstrated that they are suitably skilled and equipped for the job - not just because they really really wanted it.

Like everyone else here, I want this job quite a lot, and I think I have what it takes to be good at it. But at the same time I'm actually quite glad that its not just down to me to assess whether or not I have "what it takes". As someone who flies quite regularly I find it very reassuring that NATS have such a rigourous process for choosing those who are suitable based upon their many many years experience training and employing ATCOs, and if they don't think I'm up to the job then I am actually quite happy to be told that. I'd certainly much rather that than waste several years of my life before failing, or worse: potentially get myself into a situation where I could make a mistake that could cost people their lives.
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Old 28th Sep 2009, 08:55
  #4398 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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the stage 3 selection interviews are far more in depth than at stage 1- you won't pass stage 3 if you aren't the right person- and its a dead cert that passing the personality questionnaire at stage 1 is a requirement.

to be honest very very very veyr few people fail the personality questionnaire- not sure when you do it now, but 6 months ago you had to pass stage 1 tests before doing the personality Q- and most of those people on here who pass the personality Q went to stage 2.

There's no point trying to blag it- there are so many questions that you will forget what you said for the earlier quesitons (they repeat a lot of the same type of question). I was told that they look for consistency rather a certain personality, so it will probably be better to give similar answers rather than get caught out!
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Old 28th Sep 2009, 11:43
  #4399 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Seb, Olly and Paul

I was also at Stage 2 with you guys - I have only recently remembered to check on here!

Congrats for getting through. I passed too, and have my Stage 3 on 19th Oct. That means it's 5/6 passed out of that group, and we don't know about Katy.

Good luck in the next round.
Alex
------

Also, thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences - it really helps to have at least an idea of what to expect.
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Old 28th Sep 2009, 11:55
  #4400 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Hey Pugwash I remember when you first done your stage 3 I was just going through my Stage 1. Do you have any pointers for me, I haven't booked online yet because there are no dates available as of yet but I would like to be very well prepared. Did you sell the book you were selling? Also would it matter if I went to a non NATS tower for one of my visits?

I was thinking about going to either Swanwick or Prestwick for one of them to get a feel for Area and then going to somewhere a little closer to home for my tower visit. Do you think it would stand me in better stead if I was to visit Manchester tower than a non NATS unit?

Thanks
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