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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 19th Nov 2017, 12:31
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Hi Guys,

I recently attended Stage 2 and passed! I just thought I would drop a few observations about the day as I know I was confused about it beforehand and can see others are too. I won’t go into detail about the testing as everything you have access to already explains this - google search FEAST/DART for decent enough info, though stay away from the totally pointless smartphone apps. Ultimately you can’t prepare for FEAST/DART – your brain either works that way or it doesn’t, and it’s the point of the testing day to figure this out, so I wouldn’t stress about that side of things. You have no excuse to not pass the Multiple-Choice Questions though – that’s 100% in your control.

Anyways, this is my experience and may well differ from person to person/group to group, but should hopefully give you an idea:

Arrival Time – the stage 2 email confirmation isn’t explicit about what time to actually walk through the door of NATS (interestingly the stage 3 invite is). To confirm – you should arrive at 7:30am. They have an airport security style reception where you need to empty your pockets, put bags on a conveyor belt, and you walk through to be scanned by a machine and patted down by security – just like in an airport. The reason they ask you to arrive that early is because reception can get very busy at that time (as it was when I was there) and it takes a long time to get everyone through. Save yourself the stress of potentially missing the start time and get there in good time. The local taxi number is 01329 282 282 – get that in your phone now as if you don’t drive, you’ll be needing it.

Toilets – go to the toilet whenever they offer it, regardless of whether or not you need to go – squeeze whatever you have in you out. Seriously. The security level at NATS means that the testing group is on an ‘accompany at all times’ pass. This means that a member of staff must go with you everywhere and at all times. Now, as there’s only 1 member of staff that starts the day off with you, you all have to be escorted as a group. So if you need the loo – everyone’s going with you, or they will have to find another member of staff to take you out of the room. Either doesn’t look great for you, and they don’t pause the test once it starts so you would be screwed. So once you have been collected from reception and go up to around the testing room, they will offer you a toilet visit before going in, and you won’t be out again as a group for another 2.5 hours – so go then (let’s just say I regretted not taking them up on this offer – I was about ready to burst, as were others).

Phones/Belongings – you are asked to turn off your phones and put them, along with any bags etc in a box at the front of the room. You won’t have access to these for the rest of the day. You are however allowed to keep a bottle of water with you if you bought one, though it must have a screw top lid.

Removal from the process – once you complete the multiple-choice questions AND FEAST, is when the group is told who has passed and who hasn’t. It is a bit brutal – someone (who is monitoring what you are doing in the next room) comes in after the last person finishes (everyone in your group will finish at different times) and reads out who needs to leave the building with them. I’m sure it feels a bit sucky for those who are asked to leave, but there’s no other way of doing it.

Breaks – If you pass the MCQ’s and FEAST you will then get a break of around half an hour. At this point we all scrambled to the toilet, were taken for a glass of water, and sat with the member of staff who had just escorted the failed candidates out. This is so the person doing your tests can set up DART. This is your opportunity to eat if you want to, and we all just had an informal chat about NATS/our backgrounds etc – nothing scary. Grab something to eat at this point if you like, and don’t be frightened to ask to go to the loo again if you need it – you won’t be out for another couple of hours.

Refreshments – when the email says there is only 1 vending machine, they mean it. The vending machine doesn’t have anything like sandwiches etc in – it’s just crisps/chocolate bars, and theres no canteen or anything. One guy in our group hoped to grab some lunch whilst he was there – no dice. So either bring something with you, or be prepared to live off salt and sugar for the day.

Finish – once DARTS over with, you have a little debrief and are escorted from the building. We finished about 2pm, but this would vary depending on the group and everyone’s finish times. There’s a large shopping mall/cinema across the road – perfect to go and grab some food and calm your brain down after what is an incredibly challenging, however thoroughly enjoyable day.

Apologies for the length of this, but hope that helps some of you. I’ll be back to let everyone know how stage 3 is laid out (I won’t go into detail about actual testing). But feel free to drop me a message if any of this needs expanding on.
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 12:40
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NATS interview

Hi all!
I am invited to an interview for ATCO-job with NATS at Prestwick.
Anyone here from NATS that I can ask a few questions about the job, company etc?

Thnx
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Old 19th Nov 2017, 21:56
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I'm turning 18 in January, and I'm definitely applying, however small the chance of success is. But I want to ask, how many younger applications are there? And how much of a disadvantage is it being straight out of college?
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 10:54
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@ ATCOnoob1 - Very sound advice there re Stage 2! In particular the toilets part! I'd add that parking in Whiteley shopping village is limited to 6 hours, whereas the day is 7-8hrs if you pass everything. I did manage to talk myself out of a ticket by going to the Whiteley village office afterwards. Not being able to use my phone to avoid a potential parking fee added stress to the FEAST/DART though!

I've got Stage 3 on 22nd Nov. If anyone else is in the same boat, good luck to you and see you there!

As a summary of the last 20 pages of this forum:
- Plenty of sound Stage 2 advice.
- Pretty much zero info on Stage 3.

@Tawnyyy - I'm 37 and was pretty much the oldest in my Stage 2 group. Most people were around 25, at a guess. There was one 18 year old guy from Brighton there but he failed the multiple choice bit and was sent home early - nothing to do with his age. You can re-apply after a year now, anyway (see NATS Careers FB page). Getting some more "life experience" may help at the Stage 3 interview stage, for real life problem solving examples, I'd guess.
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Old 20th Nov 2017, 17:38
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Stage 3

I was lucky enough to pass the stage 3 assessment only last week. For anyone else who has got to this stage, how long was it before you were allocated a course date?

Regarding stage 3, I would second what others have said regarding long periods of waiting around, I was waiting for 2 hours before the first part of the day so take something to read. Get a good nights sleep the night before is my advice! I think the key is not to panic or rush yourself; give yourself time to think of answers during the interviews. I came out without a clue which way it had gone, infact I was more sure that I'd completely messed it up.

Good luck to everyone whatever stage you are at.
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Old 23rd Nov 2017, 10:21
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Passed my stage 3 (attended 1st November, found out on 6th). Was told to expect start in March but not yet confirmed. Medical in Jan.
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Old 23rd Nov 2017, 16:18
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Does anyone know how long they waited to find out they passed stage 2? I did mine today and got through to DART. Slightly concerned as had a few errors...
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Old 23rd Nov 2017, 16:58
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Originally Posted by Kirsteneg
For anyone who has not been successful recently and unable to reapply due to the 'one chance' policy, NATS have now rescinded this and you can reapply after 12 months of being unsuccessful. I'm sure this is welcome news for some here.
Hi,

I read with interest Kirsteneg's post mentioning that you can now reapply after 12 months of being unsuccessful. I failed at stage 2 almost a year ago and am very keen to apply again.

Is this change of policy in place yet? On the NATS website it still states that you can only apply once but I guess if it's a recent change they may not have updated the website yet.
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Old 23rd Nov 2017, 19:58
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Originally Posted by TOM787
Does anyone know how long they waited to find out they passed stage 2? I did mine today and got through to DART. Slightly concerned as had a few errors...
A week or so was how long I had to wait
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 18:03
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Originally Posted by Prototoes
A week or so was how long I had to wait
Perfect thanks.
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Old 25th Nov 2017, 14:23
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Originally Posted by wpg83
Hi,

I read with interest Kirsteneg's post mentioning that you can now reapply after 12 months of being unsuccessful. I failed at stage 2 almost a year ago and am very keen to apply again.

Is this change of policy in place yet? On the NATS website it still states that you can only apply once but I guess if it's a recent change they may not have updated the website yet.
NATS posted this on their careers Facebook page on 14th November:

"You may be aware we’ve been reviewing the application process for Trainee Controllers. It's part of an ongoing review and as such, is subject to change but if you've not been successful in your past application, or decided that the time wasn’t right and you withdrew, you can now re-apply after 12 months 🎉 Don’t worry if you forget, we will send you an email to let you know when you are able to apply. If you choose not to, we have lots of other opportunities all around the business, so keep an eye out!"
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Old 26th Nov 2017, 09:44
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Thanks Kirsteneg!
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Old 27th Nov 2017, 11:37
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Originally Posted by TOM787
Does anyone know how long they waited to find out they passed stage 2? I did mine today and got through to DART. Slightly concerned as had a few errors...
I passed mine the other week and found out the next day so hopefully you won’t be waiting long.
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Old 27th Nov 2017, 11:43
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Good write up ATCOnoob1 but just a little amendment to the post. I was there the other week and I was directed to a vending machine that has a good selection of sandwiches... it’s in the same area as the chocolate vending machine and drinks.

Last edited by Tracker400; 27th Nov 2017 at 18:33.
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Old 27th Nov 2017, 16:38
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Originally Posted by Tracker400
I passed mine the other week and found out the next day so hopefully you won’t be waiting long.
I found out the morning after! Just waiting for an email about dates now!
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Old 27th Nov 2017, 18:32
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Originally Posted by TOM787
I found out the morning after! Just waiting for an email about dates now!
Ahh nice one mate. I had the email about dates almost straight after too. Don’t forget to check your spam folder just in case it’s hidden in there because I know a couple of my messages from them ended up in there.

I’m now booked on for Stage 3 on 29th Jan as I can’t make any in December and the 29th was the only Date they had available.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 13:08
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Originally Posted by mashman156
Passed my stage 3 (attended 1st November, found out on 6th). Was told to expect start in March but not yet confirmed. Medical in Jan.
Hi, Congratulations on passing. I've also passed stage 3. Attended on 1st November and found out on 6th.

How should we get in touch? I'm unable to send pm here. Let me know.
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Old 28th Nov 2017, 15:27
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Originally Posted by Tracker400
Ahh nice one mate. I had the email about dates almost straight after too. Don’t forget to check your spam folder just in case it’s hidden in there because I know a couple of my messages from them ended up in there.

I’m now booked on for Stage 3 on 29th Jan as I can’t make any in December and the 29th was the only Date they had available.

Thanks mate! I’m still waiting on an email about dates.... sounds like they are maybe planning on releasing more so maybe I’ll get it in a day or two...
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Old 29th Nov 2017, 07:40
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Originally Posted by ahmad221
Hi, Congratulations on passing. I've also passed stage 3. Attended on 1st November and found out on 6th.

How should we get in touch? I'm unable to send pm here. Let me know.
Congratulations, have you had any further information since submitting your reference forms etc? All I’ve had so far is a medical appointment booked. I had a March start date quoted but nothing in stone yet. I can’t pm on here either.
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Old 29th Nov 2017, 14:55
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Hi all, congratulations everyone who recently passed their stages 2 and 3.

I was hoping that someone here could tell me how long does a medical assessment day in Swanwick take? I am booked for 14th of December, but the timeframe (apart from starting time) is not mentioned in the email. It would help me to know what time I will finish so I can plan my journey and other things too.

I know I should just ask them directly, but I thought I would ask here first anyway

Thanks!
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