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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 17th Nov 2009, 12:50
  #4801 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southampton
Posts: 5
Found out on Friday that I passed stage 3, so pleased!!! Hasn't quite sunk in yet but no doubt it will soon, especially when they get around to giving me a start date on the course!

Fretwanger - I'm gutted to hear that you didn't make it past Stage 3, I felt certain you would! I'm guessing you couldn't have been far off so all the best for when you re-apply. I don't suppose you heard about anyone else who did Stage 3 on the same day as us did you?
Wild78 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 13:13
  #4802 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 83

I'd have to disagree with you on this. You can pass or fail it therefore it is a test.

one definition of a test is ''Any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality.''

I would, however, agree that you should not try to cheat it. Be honest. Companies are obviously investing in psychometric type testing for a reason. If you somehow answer it how you think NATS would like it answered and pass, you may be found wanting later on in selection. Worse, at Bournemouth. Worse still, and this could have safety implications.
cottam approach is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 14:22
  #4803 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Berkshire, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 8,282
I wonder how some of the old timers would fare in these tests? Most of the people I worked with in ATC were partly nuts and there were some very diverse personalities. I suspect many would not have got through, but they were all excellent controllers.
Old 17th Nov 2009, 14:30
  #4804 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Asgard
Posts: 487
After selection, my course was used to act as guinea pigs for a personality test, both at the start of the 3 year course, and again at its conclusion. We were told it was anonymous, but that didn`t stop a couple of us putting each others names on the answer sheets.
Loki is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 14:35
  #4805 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 1,218
NATS Presonality Test? Is this some jind of oxymoron?
smith is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 14:39
  #4806 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Home
Posts: 177
Cottam Approach,

I guess it depends on your definition...

I would venture away from considering it a test as it is not as if there is a right or wrong answer to each question, and it is not as if there is a pass mark that you are trying to reach by answering the questions "correctly". Instead the way these kind of questionnaires tend to work is that an analysis of your answers allows the company (or whoever you are sitting the questionnaire for) to develop a profile of the kind of person you are, particularly with reference to; your prefered methods of work, how you relate to other people, how you handle stressful or challenging situations etc.

I have a friend who carries out these kind of assessments professionally and it is quite astonishing how accurately they can profile you and understand your behaviours and what makes you tick, even down to issues that seemingly have nothing to do with the questions you were asked to form that profile.

I would generally argue that the questionnaire itself is not something which you can "fail". Its a tool the company use to aid them in their selection process. Depending on the picture of you that this tool gives them they may decide that you are unsuitable, thus you might fail selection as an outcome of the questionnaire, but this is not the same as failing the actual questionnaire itself. All possible results of the questionnaire are entirely valid, although if I had to hazard a guess I'd imagine that there may be a statistical basis for thinking that candidates fitting certain types of profile are less likely to make successful ATCOs and thus NATS may disqualify certain candidates on this basis. I would still suggest that this isn't so much an issue of "failure" as it is of unsuitability for the role or the demands of the job. "Failure" suggests that a candidate is not good enough in reference to certain skills or aptitudes (or something to that effect), where as a candidate may be perfectly good enough and possessive of all the necessary skills and abilities yet unsuitable for a whole range of other reasons (potential to be adversely effected by stress, potentially unlikely to put in the necessary degree of work, personal issues, health issues.... to name but a few possibilities).

I would of course entirely agree with your point that anyone who is successful through dishonesty at this stage is likely doing themselves a disservice and may well be found wanting (with potentially serious consequences) at a later stage.
Pat42 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 14:50
  #4807 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: yorkshire
Age: 36
Posts: 2
Can anybody suggest any reading materials they found valuable before they started out on the application process? i'm goin to apply in the new year and I have read a few books and things but am determined to leave no stone unturned in being succesful!

Thanks for all the posts as well a real help so far!
dowse83 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 15:01
  #4808 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Home
Posts: 177
"Air Traffic Control" - Graham Duke

Quite a nice little introduction, though seems to contradict the material NATS provide for the ATC motivation paper on a couple of points which might be confusing if you read it before stage 1

If you can organise it then the best education you can get would be to visit a few ATC facilities.

What ever you do don't watch Pushing Tin, its wholely unrealistic (though a good bit of fun).
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Old 17th Nov 2009, 15:41
  #4809 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: yorkshire
Age: 36
Posts: 2
Thanks Pat42, I like one scene in particular but we won't go into detail!ha

I've just finished reading it and it is a nice little intro, i'll just do thorough prep for the test and study the material and I should be ok!

congrats on getting through bet your glad you're not at the begining again it sounds quite daunting!
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Old 17th Nov 2009, 15:42
  #4810 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dark side of the moon
Posts: 93
I did this in 1990 for NATS and remember being told to answer truthfully because some of the questions were asked half a dozen different ways and this was spread throughout the 350 or so questions. Do not answer the questions by putting in an answer that you THINK they want you to say, it will not work.

Good luck
WhatMeanPullUp is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 16:26
  #4811 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 83
Good post Pat 42. You sound like one of those fluffy 'modern science' grads with a sociology or psychology degree or suchlike!

I'd have to say it's all semantics. Whether you describe it as unsuitability or as failing doesn't really matter. You wont get into NATS either way so on that basis i'm sticking with it being a test. In the same way that your aptitude might be 'unsuitable' if you don't get through thoses 'tests'!

I refer you back to the dictionary definition of a test ''Any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality.''

Ask someone who didn't get in because of it and see if they thought it was a test or not!
cottam approach is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 18:20
  #4812 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Spain
Posts: 23
Pat42 and DIAF I have been thinking about most of the questions and if you dont care could you tell me what you responded when they ask you "why do you want to be air traffic controler?" Ive thought a lot about it.Thanks a lot.
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Old 17th Nov 2009, 18:22
  #4813 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Spain
Posts: 23
Another one "Can you think of a time when you've broken or bent the rules?"
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Old 17th Nov 2009, 18:35
  #4814 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posts: 317
Well just got some crap news...didnt pass stage 1 at Prestwick on Friday 6th Nov which is totally playing on me big time, after making it to the interview stage last year and because its only stage 1, I cant get any feedback?? So theres my second attempt down the swany
Thats rather disconcerting for future re-applicants like me, did you think you'd performed well or the same/better than your previous stage 1?

cdorricott or any recent stage 1 candidates:
Do they still use the old looking SHL test booklets for the spacial (cubes) and diagramming tests or have they changed? I know the motivation test booklet is made by NATS not SHL.
T250 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 18:37
  #4815 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: far away
Posts: 74

Erm, I think... if there is any question that you have to answer at the interview is that you wrote above... Why do YOU want to be an atco?

For the second post, you can tell for the assessors a story about once a time you did not take back the teddybear to the shelf and you were punished
piqla is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 19:50
  #4816 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On the ground, looking skyward
Age: 34
Posts: 66
Hi Wild78, I guess you're real name begins with an A! Congratulations, I'm really happy you got through I think you'll do really well at the college and wish you the best of luck. I haven't seen anyone else post so I'm not sure. I was told by NATS that I didn't miss the mark by a huge mark and although my interviews thought I was a good guy they had to mark me on the competencies required.

T250, from my experience, my answers simply weren't good enough there wasn't enough substance to them and didn't really tackle the competency they were marking me on - I also waffled quite a lot. I was told this by NATS and to be honest I can see why they marked me the way they did. There was also a point at the beginning of the team exercise where I opened my big mouth before reading the rules, Wild78 you'll remember this - we were given 3 objects each and had to condense them down to 10 common items between all of us leaving 5 spare objects. I asked ' well we have these spare ones here, why don't we use these' to which the other guys said 'because we can only use 10'. I was definately marked down for this so just look before you leap.

Remember its a team exercise, I noticed something that none of my other team mates noticed and although I failed to mention it for the best of reasons - because i thought everyone else had already noticed it - although I never got marked down for this it could have showed me as a non team player.

I would be interested in finding out how the other 3 did.

Anyway I'll not be giving up, Thanks for all the words of support guys, only 9 months to go WOO!!!
Fretwanger is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 19:58
  #4817 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Manhester
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies regarding the personality questionnaire.

What I also want to know is why the test centres have changed throughout the year?
My Stage 1 is at Prestwick in December but reading this thread, I have noticed that they used Manchester as a test centre (where I live) earlier in the year.

Also, is it just Stage 1, they do not pay expenses for?
Andrew777 is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 20:52
  #4818 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scotland
Age: 36
Posts: 235

For a while, only Swanwick was used for Stage 1 - it's a cost-cutting thing primarily. Selection sessions were previously held all over the place but this often involved bookings for meeting rooms in hotels, etc and so this was stopped to save money.

Definitely no expenses for Stage 1, and I think it's the same for Stage 2 now, but get someone who's been through the process more recently than me to confirm that.
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Old 17th Nov 2009, 21:22
  #4819 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
Allegedly, many years ago, 2 SHL bods observed ATCOs for a month with a view to developing 'selection tests'.
At a subsequent presentation, most of the the observed ATCOs (some of whom were ex-aircrew), couldn't do the tests the SHL bods had devised.
ZOOKER is offline  
Old 17th Nov 2009, 23:03
  #4820 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: High Wycombe
Posts: 2
Is it really a good idea to be putting the questions on here from
the Stage 3 interview?
Red-Kite is offline  

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