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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 7th May 2008, 12:07
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shugs,

I got in on my third application, and there were ten years between applications 2 & 3 for me. Now I'm counting the days until July.

If nothing else, it shows determination that you have tried and not given up.

Stu

Last edited by stu_h; 7th May 2008 at 12:08. Reason: typo - doh!
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Old 7th May 2008, 16:04
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Just found out I failed the online personality questionnaire.

Anyone know if its worth ringing NATS for feedback on why? Or do they really not give any feedback at all?
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Old 7th May 2008, 18:19
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Shugs,

I passed second time and I've no doubt it ticks the motivation box.
Be ready for questions along the lines of "Why do you thin think you failed last time, why will it be different this time, what have you been doing during the 12 month wait to prepare etc etc"
There are plenty of other people around who failed once or twice. When you get to the college it makes no difference at all how many attempts you had.
Good luck
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:55
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Just found out I failed the online personality questionnaire.

Anyone know if its worth ringing NATS for feedback on why? Or do they really not give any feedback at all?
I'm in the same position, failed the online personality questionnaire. It was the one stage I didn't want to fall at because it's difficult to tell where I went wrong specifically. Has anyone on here failed this before and been successful in a further application? I don't want to give up but should I really be pinning all my hopes on a different outcome next year? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11th May 2008, 22:00
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hi all,

with regards to the motivational paper in the first stage of selection is the format multiple choice like the other tests? and how specific/technical are the questions ie. do I need to be memorising the date that Swanwick became operational or aircraft seating capacities/cruising levels?? I've tried searching this but couldnt find much... thanks in advace for anyone who can shed some light.

pre3sg.
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Old 12th May 2008, 09:57
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motivation paper

Hi pre3sg,

I did stage1 on friday. The motivation paper was 30 multiple choice questions (four choices). There was only one question regarding the airplane data and that was what speed does a 737 cruise at. Although I could not remember exactly what the speed was there is only one logical answer ,450. All the others were way out. There were no dates Q's but couldnt hurt to memorise them as there are only 4 dates in the info.

The questions will presumably be different when you sit yours but i would imagine roughly the same so concentrate more on the first 13 pages of information and then gain an overview of airplane data.

Also have an understanding of how far different airports are from each other as there may be DST Q's to work out. eg how long would it take a plane to travel from eg london to Prestwick.


One word of warning though the Spatial Awareness test is a "NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!". I thought i would be ok at that but no. I dont want to scare you too much but everyone i spoke to afterwards said they had not completed it and really struggled.

There are 40 Q's split between three cube nets to be done in 20 mins. You have to look at a cube net then it will show you four cubes and you have to decide which one could be made from the cube net ( answer A - D ) or if none of them could be made (answer E) The first is reasonably straight forward as it is the standard cross pattern but nets 2 and 3 are more complex ( see below ). I seriously recommend you prepare by cutting out paper nets, drawing patterns and looking at from diff angles. Do not underestimate this test!

The nets are in the following patterns ( to the best of my memory)
* * *
**** , **** and *** (last one may be slightly different
* * ** as brain was dripping out of head at that time!)

Hope that helps. if any more questions dont hesitate to ask. All the best
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Old 12th May 2008, 10:13
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correction!

Ooops my diagram of the nets was incorrect.

Quite ironic seeing as i struggled in the test!!



So here goes again :-

(Ignore the 0's Just there for spacing. hope it makes sense!)



1) cross pattern

0*0
***
0*0
0*0
2) Snake pattern
000*
****
*000
3) More complex pattern ( cant remember exactly)
00*
***
**0
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Old 12th May 2008, 11:55
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thanks a lot for the information.

Here, I have one question though.
I'm French. Here in France we have this ATC school called ENAC (ICNA) and the exam selection process is REALLY tough 'cos it's all about advanced maths and physics nothing to do with aptitude tests and such.

Anyways, I failed it for the 2nd time at the written part.
I js received the results.
But fortunately I heard by some guys about NATS and I wonder how the maths and physics parts are like!
I bought some books on aptitude tests, like training books and some on mental calculation skill (in which I really suck at the moment lol)
but do you think they'll be a good help for me at least for stage 1 of the test process?

Hum, as you know, this thread has 50 pages and going through the whole package is long so could you js summarise for me the selection process that NATS uses?
like ca you give me some details about what I should expect on each stage please?

I wanna know, after applying on their website, how long should I wait 'till I receive from them confirmation of the date of my fist interview (stage1)?

I haven't applied yet BTW.

I have another Q : I read through some pages of this thread and people were talking about some aviation knowledge questions or such that we're supposed to have in one of the stage, could you confirm?
Are these questions specific questions for the airports/aviation information of England? Are you given a kinda book to study before the exam?

I still have loads of questions, but I think that's all for the while.
Could you then reply asap please.

Thanks.

Chris
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Old 12th May 2008, 12:44
  #969 (permalink)  
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Chris...

Theres no advanced maths or physics at all, its all reasoning and awareness testing.

As far as the 1st stage goes, if you get invited you usually get to choose when and where you attend, they hold them on different dates in a variety of locations (London, Manchester, Glasgow etc) and you choose one via a kind of email booking system. as i remember they then send you a pdf document of info to 'learn' which will contain all the stuff you need to know. as mentioned previously it is handy to know roughly how far certain places are apart, hard to be specific but general geographical knowledge will get you through that bit.

in my case i applied april 19th last year and was through the whole process in 7 weeks but i understand there may be longer times atm. i took my first stage on april 29th i think so 10 days time then...

any other q's pm me, but there is a lot of helpful stuff in this thread if u get time to read through it

adrian
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Old 14th May 2008, 06:07
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Just got an email to say I passed the beastly 2nd stage computer tests - yay!!! SERIOUSLY thought that I had failed them! Thanks to everyone here for their help so far - fingers crossed for stage 3!

Btw, really quick turnaround on results - only took 24hrs from tests to email results.
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Old 15th May 2008, 00:25
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Stage 3, Fri 9th May.

Just wondering if any of the 4 guys from last Fridays Stage 3 in London have had any feedback from H.R.? I'm still waiting myself to see if Sir Alan's gonna hire or fire me!! Besta Luck guys!! -Irish Steve

The best advice I can give anyone about to go through the Stage 3 interview is make sure you visit at least 1 control tower and 1 area centre... I visited Manston (kent), Stansted, Gibraltar (when on holiday) and Swanwick all in the last 5 weeks and it gave me so much scope and material (15mins. worth) to talk about during the interview- PRICELESS!!

Also, it's well worth reading "Air Traffic Control" by Graham Duke which I borrowed from my local library. I only read this once and the chapter about the Uberlingen Air Collision really stuck in my mind which gave me 2-3 mins. of material to talk about! My interview was 75mins long!

You will be asked some very awkward questions regarding hypothetical A.T.C. workplace scenarios including "What would you do if an A.T.C.O. friend came to work with a strong smell of Alcohol on him?" or " what would you do if a senior A.T.C.O. forced you to do a procedure different to the way you were taught by your trainer who was now on leave?" these indeed are tough questions but if you keep a cool head and answer as rationally as poss. maybe trying to think how you'd deal with these problems in your current job or workplace........ you'll be fine!

Even though I was'nt asked one single technical question other people at the same interview were so it's vital you read over the online technical notes N.A.T.S. provided you with at the earlier stages, make sure you know the basics!

Make sure you remember what you wrote on your online application as I was grilled on all previous employment and education history some of which I could barely remember which raised an eyebrow or two!!

Finally, the H.R. person will ask questions like "Have you ever been under pressure? Give me an example of a time when you failed something badly? Give me an example of a time when you worked in a team to achieve a common goal? Has someone ever made you change your mind?" ...... some of these type of questions are there to try to draw your weaknesses or faults out so when you do give an example (of say when you failed an objective) always try to finish on a positive note by saying something like "it was an invaluable experience which has given me a greater presence of mind".... blah-blah-blah!

Well I hope this has been some help, I'm still none the wiser whether I got through to the college so fingers crossed!!

Watch this Space. - Chedchenko.
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Old 15th May 2008, 04:06
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You don't seem to have been mentally scarred by the interview....I guess I will have to come up with some even more cruel questions!
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Old 15th May 2008, 12:29
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Hi all,
i am having trouble finding numbers/addresses to contact anyone in regards the tower visits. I have been attempting to visit Birmingham airport and MACC prior to my stage 2 but for the life of me cant seem to get in touch. Does anybody have any advice as to how i could contact these guys?
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Old 15th May 2008, 19:20
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Gonzo Doo-Dah

Gonzo....... The last person I was expectin' to respond to my post was "The ATCO Maestro"..... Danke. While I have your attention what's your true feelin about people posting advice and experiences for others on these forums and is there anything you'd object to? Also, what's it like working in the worlds busiest International Airport? Do "The powers that be" look for any specific characteristics or attributes when choosing Heathrow Controllers? -Chedchenko.
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Old 15th May 2008, 20:40
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The ATCO Maestro? Finally! It's only taken ten bl**dy years!!!!

Anyway, to your questions...

I don't object to it....not at all. Because each interview will be unique. Once you've done a few you get pretty good at ferreting out the evidence needed, and the questions I ask I can always twist them round in reaction to what the candidate says. One gets to enjoy that sort of thing after a while.....

On a serious note, does anyone here think that my wonderful and talented colleagues in Recruitment don't bother to occasionally skim through the largest and most popular topic on the ATC forum of the largest and most popular aviation website in the country?

You might have gathered that one of my disappointments is when I'm faced with a candidate who hasn't prepared. Those who ask on here 'How much/what sections of the document (for stages 1 and 2) do I need to learn?' grate somewhat too; Learn it. Full stop. It will stand you in good stead. If I was meeting a trainee fresh from the College at Heathrow Tower and as I handed them their copy of the Heathrow Manual of Air Traffic Services Part 2 (about two inches thick) they asked me how much/what sections of the document they had to learn, they might find themselves stuck in the outside lift for 4 hours on a freezing December morning on their own.

As to your second question....yes; a God complex or at the very least a massive ego, arrogance, lack of integrity, that sort of thing.....

Oh yes...chiseled jaw too, gotta look good in the regulation issue Ray-Bans when walking through a packed arrivals hall on the way home....
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Old 15th May 2008, 20:52
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1000th reply Gonzo - does that mean you get a prize?
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Old 15th May 2008, 21:44
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Cool Ray bans

Gonzo,
I'm sorry to say but the first mental image you provoke when you say " Chisled Jaw too, gotta look good in the regulation issue Ray-Bans" is Charlie Babbet (Tom Cruise) walking through Departures with Raymond Babbet (Dustin Hoffman) holding his portable sony T.V. "Yeah Quan-tas...... Qantas never crashed-Qantas never crashed!!" By the way Gonz do you know if any Qantas aircrafts have crashed since the Rainman Wrap Party????

P.S. Regarding "a God complex" (he-he), I'm trying to get "Tom" to become the first celebrity member of My Church Of A.T. mind-Control...... I believe he likes his cults!!

Chedchenko.
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Old 17th May 2008, 17:12
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Hurn... Baby....Hurn.

Well, I've been successful in getting a place at the college..... Officially! I'd like to thank all the people who posted invaluable advice about the Nats Interview process and the Controllers for their hints, tips and informative posts on pprune!! Besta luck to everyone during the N.A.T.S. interview rollercoaster ride! I might see some of you in October or Jan. '09.

Chedchenko.

Last edited by chedchenko; 17th May 2008 at 21:45.
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Old 17th May 2008, 20:18
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Someone's merry I think!

Is it me, or does very little of that make sense?
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Old 19th May 2008, 11:32
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Just to pick up on Gonzo's earlier post lack of preparation is one of my biggest gripes at interview as well. From starting at the college to validation and beyond is a steep learning curve with a lot of book work and it baffles me how some candidates expect to get onto that road without even bothering to read the stuff they are sent.

Gonzo is also correct that both HR and ATCO interviewers have no problems at all with people using this and other sites to trade hints and tips and exchange ideas. What is interesting though is the cloak of secrecy that applicants seem to think they have to draw over ever having been on here. Believe me it is usually obvious who has and who hasn't so mention it ! It is worth a couple of ticks in the preparation box.

The caution though, as I have said before, comes with people who think that information on here will help you to "beat" the process. There's loads of good stuff on here and my advice would be to focus on the info relating to the job (highs/lows, goods/bads what we do etc) and not allow yourself to get too bogged down in the "what questions did they ask" kind of stuff.

As for what we look for in Heathrow controllers we leaf through a psychology textbook - find some new and interesting personality disorders and then look for people with as many of them as possible
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