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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 5th Oct 2012, 12:41
  #8421 (permalink)  
 
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Hi,

I applied for NATS when the applications reopened back in July. I waited about a month and a half until I heard back inviting me to the online assessment at the end of August. I sat that and heard I'd passed the next day and was invited to sit a Stage 1 assessment on Monday 3rd September. Sat that, then heard that I'd passed the assessment on the next day. On the Wednesday of the same week, I was invited to take part in a Stage 2 assessment the following day. So I obliged and threw together some plans to get down to Fareham, about 100 miles away, the very next day. I sat the Stage 2 assessment on Thursday 6th September.
Since then, I haven't heard anything back and I've been sat in limbo for a month. I've sent in a couple of emails which haven't been replied to, and I'm getting frustrated after completing 3 stages of the application within a week, and then it all having stalled completely.
Does anyone know about the likelihood of me getting in after such a long time? Or is it that they're just very busy?

Thanks,
NATShopeful
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 13:00
  #8422 (permalink)  
 
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I had my stage 1 on 4th Oct at 3.
I'll admit the first test was not what I thought it would be. I was 100% sure I messed up on the maths and the a to b questions. I was so surprised that I passed it! Now I'm just waiting to see if I made it to stage 2 - fingers crossed.

@bainzy boy - in the Nats email for stage one they say "Travel expenses are not reimbursed at this stage."
I agree with rr9 that you just need to try again and smash it next year.
@The Many Tentacles: lol!
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 13:14
  #8423 (permalink)  
 
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Bainzy Boy: As opposed to others who have manifested their opinion in this forum. I'm fully with you.

Personally, I do not think it's a question of sympathy or moaning, but just telling facts. Complaining about how NATS does not keep their word. They say they will test you on one thing, and then you find out they are asking you questions which answers are not in the content of the booklet, which is where they are supposed to be.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:22
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Really???

i too had my test yesterday at 2pm and made it through so am waiting to hear. A few things i noticed, they are never going to give you up to date info to learn, they simply give you info and see how you retain it! as for the paper, the majority of the questions were in the booklet including airspaces that you raised, but having read the booklet 50 times then you should know that! as for the distance questions i bet pretty much everyone who got through didn't no before they went in what the answer was but from the options given if you couldn't make an educated guess then you didn't deserve to go through! its pointless moaning about it, as you have posted on here i'm pretty sure you would have seen that people said to brush up on maths, if you chose to ignore said advice then whos to blame! also if your dad has been a controller for 30 years i'm sure he would have an idea on what types of things they ask so would of prepped you for it! rant over!!!!
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:35
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Thought id sign up, been reading this for a week or so now. Congratulations to those of you who have passed, and sorry to those of you who haven't. I did my stage 1 on Wednesday, and i, like a lot of people on here, am slowly losing hope as it drags on. Im thinking if i have not heard by end of play today (48hrs) then ive not made the cut.

I thought the first ATC test was pretty straight forward. The diagramming i hit 40 questions, and i am almost 100% sure on everyone except the last which i think i got incorrect. The cubes were a different story. Wow. It was very difficult. I honestly believe you can either do it or you cant, so we cant be too down heartened if this is how we go out. Some people can look at them and do them, and others cant. I did 38, but i struggle to see how i even got half correct.

As for the test, we cant have any complaints whatsoever. Just because we are told to read the document, if you really want something so badly you will read other material. I was desperate to progress so i researched everything on the web, which is why i found the test quite straight forward. If i had just stuck to reading the material given to me rather than also doing my own revision at GCSE or A-level, id never have passed. A bit of forward thinking and initiative is required for these things.

Good luck to those still waiting to hear. I know the suspense is killing me!
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:53
  #8426 (permalink)  
 
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@Sarah_Lou, @chrisbeckett2004,

Thanks, sorry to hear that chris, good luck to you both, ill post again when i hear back
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:56
  #8427 (permalink)  
 
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I did my test and seriously, the 1st stage was not hard at all. I was suprised that so many people failed it (probably just over half). I accidentally forgot to answer 1 question and then they said pencils down before I decided on an answer so the pass mark must be lower than 100%.

Most of the answers were in the test material, apart from a few basic maths and geography questions which, tbh, weren't hard given the range of answers. Some were even common sense questions. I only read the material a few times and the answers generally jumped out at me, you didn't need to memorise it at all. And tbh, they are probably looking for candidates who are able to deal with slightly unfamiliar situations and make good judgments than ones who can only memorise a load of facts.

On the other tests I answered 43/50 diagrams and only 32/40 cubes, got a bit muddled between some questions which slowed me down. Think I got 95% of the diagrams I answered correct which were alright but maybe only 80-85% of the cubes. Judging by others here I don't think I answered enough so will probably fail, but oh well, was a fun experience.

As for travel expenses, they make it pretty clear that you only get reimbursed for stage 3. And it says on their website that only 3% of applicants get places, so you know you are gambling you money a bit if you are spending 200 getting there.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 15:12
  #8428 (permalink)  
 
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Actually , my opinion about the motivational paper is this :

- asking things that are not in the booklet is a wonderful choice . You want to be an ATC because you love the job or because it's a lifetime job with lots of money? Obvious reason shall be that you love the job . They give you something to read and learn right? The questions in the test that don't have an answer in the booklet are there to see you if can do some extra research ! Yes the material is outdated ! Read on the web about updates if you are really interested . Yes they ask you about something about basic geography and YES you should know those basic stuff !

They want to assess people with a real interest not robots who can learn 22 pages in 1 month ! Even my little brother which is 11 yo can do that !

Those questions are there to assess your interest . The other ones assess your ability to read and digest !

In my opinion the motivational test is VERY easy ! I can set 30 questions from those 22 pages and 2% of people attending will pass it .


Im not judging anyone , God forbid , BUT if you go there and attend a test and all you do after is to come and whine on forums about it and it's "unfairness" , I'm sorry to say but you have applied in the worng place !

You cannot please everybody in a group , you never could and you will never be able to .

In case you think I am someone who passed stage 1 , well I didn't , i failed the cubes or diagramms , I don't know which and never will . But the second i figured that i failed , the first thought that came to my mind was never judging tests or anything else . I knew that next year I will go back and give a lot more , because "I'd rather die behind the wheel than in a bus stop" !

Last edited by malakajin; 5th Oct 2012 at 15:18.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 15:21
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Must say if I hadn't been aware that there were some basic maths questions I may have struggled on the first test - it's something that I just haven't had the need to do for many years but only took ten minutes to remember how to do. If those ten minutes had been during the first test then, well..


I think the other questions are expected to be general knowledge and I don't really see how they could be too much of a problem. People, you're applying for an ATC training course and a basic understanding of major cities geographical locations is going to be useful! Bain, adjacent control areas is in the literature. Although I do agree the literature desperately NEEDS an update and basic checking and the like put in their correct places.

I would suggest learning the basic facts about the aircraft by tabulating, re-writing or some putting into some other form. My brain couldn't remember even bits and bobs by just reading & highlighting.

Second stage on 17th. Looking tricky to prepare for. :X
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 15:28
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Hello All,

I sat the test on the 4th at 13.00. The first paper was a breeze, but then again I do have my pilots licence so I read the booklet once and it was just a recap for me.

To the person moaning that the information is outdated - yes it is but I don't see how that really changes things. I think there was only 1 question where it had any relevance.

The diagrams test seemed ok - work fast is the best advice.

As for the cubes...wow, I thought I was doing really well...until the second page. Just couldn't "see it". I answered around 30 of them but I am only confident about 20 or so. I won't get through to stage two after that paper but at least I know what to expect next time.

Good luck to all those waiting to hear back.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 16:03
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Lets clear one thing up..

From my post above I'm not looking for sympathy or trying to make myself out to be better than anyone, I was just stating what I thought of my experience down there and hoping to give others who are going down a few pointers.

There is nothing I can do now except apply again next year, and for one you dont need to tell me that , you dont know me , so dont question my methods or what I have or haven't done.If you found it easy, good for you and best of luck in phase 2, As for my father I was just using him as an example, as a current ATC he's going to have the best response to any questions that I had, and if you think different that's your opinion.

I personally feel I wasn't given the best opportunity to pass the test ,had I of being presented with all the necessary revision, maybe things would of being different.

Even If I had of passed , I would of still questioned the system.

Thanks

Bainzy
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 17:46
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Hi all,

Does anyone know if you need to accept one of the dates when invited to a test, or if you can wait for more dates to appear with no penalty?

If so do you know how long you can wait? Just got an invite with dates in the next 10 days which will be hard to get time off work for, and I'm out of the country soon after that for two weeks.

On another note, is a visit to a control tower still required for stage 3? It would be very hard to fit one of those in and get time off work to go to it when the invites are all within 10 days.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 08:07
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The motivational paper was a piece of cake for anyone who is at all interested in all of this.

The whole process is most likely designed to test your initiative. It's very obvious almost immediately that the paper is very out of date. What would someone with initiative do? They would go and look up the up to date information. What would someone with a true interest and passion the aviation industry do? They would go and learn more about it. Not just what was in the paper. I for example, made trump cards for each of the aircraft with the exact seating arrangements, speeds, cruising altitudes and examples of airlines and routes. It turned out to be not very useful but I literally learned exactly how many seats every aircraft had because I'm interested and I wanted to learn the information as comprehensively as I could. I also figured that as an ATCO, we would need to have an understanding of the relationship between speed, distance and time, a rough sense of geographically where and how far away everything is, how some of the technology actually works and how aircraft use it to navigate etc etc.

I prepared very extensively and I'm confident that I got 100% of the first test right. If I can do it, so can anyone else. So stop moaning and try again next year!!

In terms of the phychometric stuff... a lot harder than I thought!! I only completed 37 from the diagramming paper and 28 from the cube nets paper. I think I totally under prepared for these tests. I put too much time into learning about the role and the information in the paper and not enough into practicing the psychometric stuff. I'm quite sure that I won't get through to stage 2 because of these tests unfortunately. But now that I know what's involved, I will definitely try again next year!! And this time I'll practice loads and loads of times!!!

Good luck to everyone else and thank you all for sharing your experiences!

Mike
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 09:14
  #8434 (permalink)  
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@bainzy/mike

there you go bainzy, listen to mike. his attitude doesn't stink.
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 09:48
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Stage 2

Sat my stage 2 yesterday 5th Oct.

It was very difficult!

Find out monday
Good luck to everyone who was there

Last edited by KRepton; 6th Oct 2012 at 09:50.
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 12:54
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Stage 2!

Krepton - Good luck for your results.. I have stage 2 next week and am very nervous!

Looks like I can't really prepare for stage 2, so i'm just making sure I get a good night sleep and give it everything on the day.

Let us know how you get on! You must be desperate to find out
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 13:12
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Oh dear....ATCO with 31 years in.The first thing I would teach my offspring is when to use 'have' and when to use 'of'.

Then I'd tell them to dry their eyes and get on with it.
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 13:28
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It's very obvious almost immediately that the paper is very out of date. What would someone with initiative do? They would go and look up the up to date information. What would someone with a true interest and passion the aviation industry do?
in fairness.. I don't think it's deliberate.. it's probably just nats HR not keeping up with it. I am not surprised if the recruitment process is shambolic (mine was 5 years ago, and it was as such). A lot of internal processes in nats are, so you might just as well get used to it from the beginning
True interest and passion have got nothing to do with making a good ATCO, it's about keeping the blips apart and doing so safely and efficiently. The tests are (should be?) about retaining information, quick thinking and accuracy.
Good luck to all applicants
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 13:44
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KRepton

I did stage 2 yesterday too! The blonde one left dangling til the end about getting past the morning session. Good luck! Hope you feel more confident than I do
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 13:49
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Sat Stage 2 yesterday - morning session really fun, afternoon session horrific. Combination of exhaustion and pressing the wrong keys without realising for a good 5 minutes - what a donkey! Good luck to everyone, just enjoy it
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