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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 6th Feb 2008, 11:58
  #741 (permalink)  
zvezda
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Stage 3

Hi there to All!
Well, I'm new in this forum, though I visit it a lot. Congrats for it!
I have passed 2nd stage at NATS and will have my final interview by the end of february. As I live in Spain, it's really hard to visit an ATC facility in UK. I hope it's not an absolutely necessary thing to pass the final interview.
I still have several doubts about this final stage. For example, about the HR interview: what kind of questioins shoud I expect from them? Other doubts are what else do they ask us to do that day. Are there any other tests or exercises that day?
So for all of you who have passed, congratulations. For all of you who are having selection tests, good luck. And for all of you who haven't passed this time, no sadness, and try again!.
 
Old 6th Feb 2008, 12:55
  #742 (permalink)  
 
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The HR part of the final interview, I found, was quite similar to the one I got at the second stage. In this I mean that the questions were quite similar, such as "When have you worked well under pressure" or "Have you ever worked with a team in conflict?" (which I had to think about at first as I have an army background and briefly thought they were on about serving in a war zone like Iraq or something, but no, they meant a team that argued or had differences :P )

So on the whole, be prepared for those types of questions, so think ahead and try to think of skills you have gained from anything you have done in your life (doesn't have to be work related - I waffled on at one point about an trip to Jamaica, but it was the first relevant example to the question that I could think of! It got laughs). The main difference is that the HR person should hopefully be much more chatty back compared to your stage 2 interview, and will also have your application in front on the desk, and therefore know what you have written about yourself, past employment, hobbies, etc, and will probably partially aim questions around those. So if in doubt, re-read what you wrote, because on the whole, those will be the main things they know about you, as you have told them!

As for other tests or exercises on that day, there is only the group exercise, which is basically a board game, complete with dice and cards and stuff. Actually quite fun, you'll never finish it in the time they give you (about 20-30 mins I seem to remember), and don't panic about it. Everyone is in the same boat - you're working together, and there is no need to feel "in competition" at this stage. If you're good enough, they'll take you. All I can say is, don't just sit there and say or do nothing. Just play along in a chatty way, laugh about things getting difficult (but still try to overcome them), don't get worked up, and you can't go wrong.

You'll probably have a buffet lunch/tea after your interview, talk to the people there, and that's it. No sweat. I found stage 2 more daunting than stage 3. Easy peasy! Haha....I'm sure all will be fine. Good luck!
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 13:36
  #743 (permalink)  
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Agree with everything said above. There was 3 of us at my stage 3 and we were useless at the board game but we all made it through. It's more a test of communication skills and teamworking than anything else.
 
Old 6th Feb 2008, 16:39
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Hi All,

Apologies if this has already been covered on here but I've been unable to find anything.

Have been considering ATC as a career for little while, and this site has proved invaluable in finding information on it.
Having read my way through this thread I have heard many mentions of the personality questionare taken after stage 1.

Problem is that while Im sure I have the intelligence and apptitude learn what's required and do the job I don't have the first clue what the correct personality type is for the job.

Any suggestions?
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 16:48
  #745 (permalink)  
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Thanks a lot for you answer watch the birdie!
It's been really useful. I hadn't found a lot of info about 3rd stage. And those tiscali pages don't work.
 
Old 6th Feb 2008, 17:21
  #746 (permalink)  
 
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prowle - personality types

In regards to the type of personality you need to have, personally I don't think there's a definitive answer. I've met some great, and entirely individual, people when I've visited units during my selection. All you can do is be yourself, and answer honestly.

Sure, if you go through the questionaire, you know the types of responses that wouldn't be brilliant (eg - I tend to flee from the first sign of a problem), but there are so many variations and check questions that you cannot really bluff through it.

Even with answering honestly, there will still be things that come up. In my stage 2, one part of my results apparently said I was optimistic. In my stage 3, the summary said I was totally a pessimist and could never see the positive in anything!

I guess there are certain traits that can be useful, but this is just my personal thoughts:

Do not fear the unknown, just be mindful of it and prepare for what you can. Be strong enough to know your own limits. Try and keep calm, and if things aren't going according to plan, come up with a new plan, not panic.
Be able to think logically ahead, rather than only being able to focus on the now.

There's no doubt tons of others.

Good Luck, and remember, even if things don't work out the first time, there's always the second (or third for me).
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 17:41
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not sure if its still in the tests but there used to be a flat cutout of a square with different patterns on the pieces? is there an example in the tests they send to you? If there is then a little square rubber and a pencil can really help in the actual tests themselves ...not sure if thats cheating or using your noggin?
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 18:23
  #748 (permalink)  
 
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I was sent this link in one of my emails from NATS for stage 1, and therefore I feel it's fairly important and relevant! :

http://natscareers.co.uk/docs/NATS_P...e_Leaflet2.pdf

and apparently there are similar ones on: http://www.shlgroup.com (seeing as this is the company that makes the tests used)

(If these links are not allowed to be posted due to copyright or privacy or something, then just please just remove it, but I assume it's public access if it's on the net and requires no login....)



As for the cubes and using a rubber...genius? - possibly. Practical? - no. I don't think you'll find in the test on the day you'll have enough time. You might though, I don't know - you might be some super human. Or it might be cheating and your rubber will be taken off you by the nasty supervisor ... heehee
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 18:47
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as i remember they only use 3 or 4 patterns and after each there is a series of different built cubes (only one/none of which can be built from this pattern) with something like a b c d or e none of these. Obviously the colouring in doesn't have to be to exact or to van goghs standards and should only take a couple of mins and then its just a case of rotating it to answer about 6 or so questions. just my two pence worth but those sites look useful!

Anyway don't stress too much if you don't pass first time as I don't believe they make the best assessment of what a controlled needs. So if at first you don't succeed...try again!
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 18:48
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Cheers Stu_H,

Probably good advice all round I feel!

Fact is if I wasn't extremely confident I can do the job I wouldn't even be thinking about applying!

Prowle
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Old 6th Feb 2008, 20:23
  #751 (permalink)  
 
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zvezda, why not try to visit a Spanish ATC unit...as an interviewer, I'd be far more interested in the fact that you did visit somewhere........
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Old 7th Feb 2008, 18:39
  #752 (permalink)  
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Hi.
Yes, I actually visited Valencia APP and Alicante TWR. I think the procedures are actually the same (though with much less traffic to manage), but the thing is that if I'm gonna be an ATC in UK, I should know the facilities there. The Spanish ATC facilities may be considered just as an anecdote, instead of a practical thing for the job in UK. Anyway thanks a lot for pointing that out.
Just as a curiosity, I tell you that ATC in Spain makes comm in Spanish, which may result in a lack of info towards those pilots who don't speak Spanish. I think that happens everywhere in Europe, in countries in which English is not the first language. And don't try to convince Spanish ATC or pilots to speak English all the time, because they will go on a strike!And also, that there were 8000 people just for 150 vacancy.
In my experience, the only advice I will give is to be oneself. Just as one is. Honest. And above all, be relaxed.
I remember the first time I did ATC exams in Spain. I was so centered in passing those tests, that I was more focused in which I thought they were expecting from me, that the actual way I would have done things. BIG MISTAKE. In the second stage at NATS, during that rough test with numbers floating by while doing additions and math ops, I began to laugh, just to see how bad I was doing it. I focused in the numbers, not letting them to crash against each other, and practically forgot about the maths. What's better? to let airplanes crash or to make some maths?... Then I noticed I had passed. And it was because I was calm. Sure.

Last edited by zvezda; 7th Feb 2008 at 19:19.
 
Old 7th Feb 2008, 19:26
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Does anyone know what happened to the first half of this thread?! A friend of mine is applying and I'm trying to find my initial posting! Admin, any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 8th Feb 2008, 19:44
  #754 (permalink)  
 
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Who is your friend Ricky? Anyone I know??.. She could have been so happy with me.... Ahhh
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Old 9th Feb 2008, 00:08
  #755 (permalink)  
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For those looking for tiscali pages - neither of the two versions (2001 and 2005) are still online but... we have web archive!

http://web.archive.org/web/200609010...at.co/home.htm

Enjoy
 
Old 10th Feb 2008, 11:46
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Never you mind Sacrigger, never you mind! Actually, it's Roz from the college!
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Old 10th Feb 2008, 21:21
  #757 (permalink)  
 
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Info on Stage 1

Lots of gen on stage 1, found here:

http://www.mattieb.110mb.com/nats.php

Too late for me, though, as I've already done that stage...
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Old 11th Feb 2008, 12:52
  #758 (permalink)  
bgabka
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How 2 Become CD Rom

I'd like to ask your opinion whether it's worth to purchase this:
http://www.how2become.co.uk/air_traffic_controller.htm

I'd be grateful for your advices.

Last edited by bgabka; 12th Feb 2008 at 12:47. Reason: Title added
 
Old 12th Feb 2008, 11:32
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How 2 Become CD Rom

Hi,

I bought this as I was trying to get my hands on as much info as possible. To be honest, its pretty basic. The info it contains is the same as the info in the booklets NATS e-mail you at stages 1 and 2. There is also a lot of info on how to go about actually applying to NATS, which is a waste of time reading if you are already going through the process.

It would be worth your while to buy a book entitled "Air Traffic Control" by Graham Duke. Again, this book is pretty basic but goes into more detail than the NATS booklets. I also made two visits to NATS centres, I visited Scottish area control centre at Prestwick and also Glasgow control tower, both were amazing and gave me a real insight into the job itself.

I have my final interview this Friday and I hope I've done enough, time will tell I suppose.

Anyways, I hope the above helps you out and best of luck. If you have any other questions about any part of the process so far, just give me a shout.

Kevin
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Old 12th Feb 2008, 12:46
  #760 (permalink)  
bgabka
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How 2 Become CD Rom

Hello,

Thanks for the information and your impression about how2become. As for the other advices, I have the book of G. Duke and I've already made a visit to Stansted Tower, while at the moment I'm trying to organize a trip to Swanwick. Indeed, it's very much useful.

Good luck with your final stage, I keep my fingers crossed for you to get in.
 

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