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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 23rd Sep 2008, 15:51
  #1461 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
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The fact that you have a degree, or do not have a degree, is immaterial during, and after, the selection process. If you meet the standard, you are in. You are not competing against others in the selection process.

As to whether you'll succeed at the college, that's down more to your hard work and ability, rather than academic grades.
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Old 23rd Sep 2008, 16:08
  #1462 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Tam-the-merry,

Funny you should bring this up. The other day whilst having a de-brief after a simulator run (that had gone pretty well, but there's always room for improvement), the rather charasmatic instructor said "You know what your problem is? You have a degree. Degrees make everyone think too much before they actually do anything."

And he has a point. Whilst doing the sims, there's not a lot of time to think and deliberate over your plan......you just have to do it. He's right, I did intially try to think about everything and double/triple check my thoughts before pressing that footswitch to transmit. I've literally had to retrain my brain and my confidence to "Just Do It", and if it initially goes wrong, who cares, you can fix it later so it's right.

So on the practical side, degrees mean nothing, apart from sometimes it hinders people from making quick decisions to start with.

As for theory learning, again, degrees pretty much mean nothing, except for MAYBE (I emphasise) for people that would be used to high pressure learning, but it's not usually the case, as all universities differ. Our TATC course currently is so diverse, you have people who have Oxbridge degrees, first class degrees from top unis, college people, people who left school the earliest they could, people who have had well paid professional jobs in other career areas, ex-student "bums", chefs, bankers.......you name it.

As a graduate myself, I can honestly say I have never in my life had to learn so much new stuff in a short space of time. My degree was a piece of piss compared to this (and no, I didn't do something pointless like Social Anthropology). But everyone, no matter what background of education, is on a level playing field with regards to the learning on the course. Please don't think because someone has a degree, they will do better, because there won't be any difference. If anything, the degree holders could fall into a trap of complacency if they end up thinking like that, and then end up failing.

As for A levels, correct me if I'm wrong, you only need GCSEs for this (5 at C or above). Any A levels you have is a bonus. Also remember, they don't end up "deciding" between two good candidates. If you pass the standard, they take you. You compete against the standard, not others. (Currently).

WTB
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Old 23rd Sep 2008, 18:46
  #1463 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Thanks for the quick replies! For some reason I just assumed that I'd be competing with others for a place on the course.. I suppose I'll have to scrap my plans to sabotage the other applicants' interviews!

Watch_the_birdie- very interesting to hear your thoughts about degrees- I certainly feel a lot better about being degreeless! In an age where you need an NVQ just to blow your nose, the NATS recruitment process is rather refreshing!

Also.. Do most people get through first time? I have read on here that some people got through on their 2nd or 3rd attempt, is that relatively rare? For example, on an average course, what percentage would have got in first time, what percentage got in second time etc..

I've got my stage 2 coming up and have found all the information on here very useful- thanks to everyone who has contributed.
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Old 23rd Sep 2008, 19:25
  #1464 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know myself the actualy figures, but going on the people on my course, we have a large percentage of first-timers, yet there are also a significant number of 2nd attempts. Not sure about 3rds.

On the whole it appears that most of the 2nd attempters initially failed at the 3rd stage interview, for a variety of reasons. I think mainly down to preparation/apparent motivation.
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 12:19
  #1465 (permalink)  
 
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Watch_the_bridie,

If people fail at the thrid stage interviews, how did they manage to get into the college in the first place? Surely they have to pass the interviews at the selection stage!
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 13:21
  #1466 (permalink)  
 
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Uordom, the first time they applied they failed at the 3rd stage, so they reapply a year later and pass all 3 stages.
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 15:13
  #1467 (permalink)  
NeoDude
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I think Uordom is asking what the pass rate is at the college, not the selection process. Pass rate at the college is around the 50% mark I reckon. If you just fail then you might get a recourse/mini recourse. Once you are out though there is no second attempts. On my aerodrome course 18 started and 12 passed, 2 of those were dropouts though.
 
Old 24th Sep 2008, 17:22
  #1468 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sandbach
Age: 40
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Priorities

Just a quickie guys. I have my Stage 3 in Manchester on Friday and I'm having a minor panic about one part of it.

Do they feed you or should I take a packed lunch? Coz I don't want to be hungry when I'm trying to think of answers to their questions.

Any info gratefully received.

PS This is a serious request!!
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 17:27
  #1469 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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We had a buffet lunch thing at my one, so I think you should be fine without a lunch. Maybe some brain snacks though?
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 21:22
  #1470 (permalink)  
 
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WTF??
"Brain snacks, Brain stuff, Bread and meat, Staying cold"?
Hell, that's where I've been going wrong!

Last edited by ZOOKER; 24th Sep 2008 at 22:15.
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 11:11
  #1471 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Hi all

Firstly thanks to all you experienced ATCOs out there for your help.
I find the advise here to be very useful and I have passed stage 1 recently but want to know what i can do to prepare for stage 2. I have no idea what is involved in the computer tests and interview. Is there anything i can read? should i look at the Air traffic control manual part 1? Should i go over some brain training on my DS?
Any replies much appreciated.
Cheers
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 12:55
  #1472 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Thanks for the food tips guys... good to know I won't starve.

nickhopkinsjnr, re. Stage two, the best thing to read is this thread. It's a bit laborious but start at the beginning and go through it all, it helped me loads.

I read everything I'd had from NATS for stage 1 and 2. There's 3 parts to the day:

Part 1
A motivation interview with an HR person where they ask you loads of scripted questions and you give as much or as little detail as you feel, but the HR person can't deviate from the script so you have to judge it yourself.

Part 2
A knowledge test where you answer some multi-choice questions based on the booklet they provided you a link to for Stage 2. Remember things like a/c types and NATS airports, codes etc. but also be prepared to do some simple maths re. headings, airspeeds and flight times etc. No rush on this as there's more than enough time to complete, unlike the Stage 1 tests.

Part 3
The infamous and dreaded computer tests. Using an old BBC type monitor and a task specific keyboard (which has similarities with the keyboards used in Area Control Centres) with abcde buttons for each hand, a numberpad and some selection buttons. You have a few different tasks, all simple in theory but made complex by the high workload and quick speed required. Things like making moving numbers avoid each other by selecting one to 'destroy', categorising objects and numbers depending on a set of rules, but these rules can change mid game so be observant. Also, they might ask you to do this with one hand whilst at the same time answering maths questions with the other (sadly you only have one brain to use and very limited time)

My advice is to stay calm and relaxed through it all. You will make loads of mistakes in the computer tests so accept that now and just do your best. If you let yourself get upset or angry you'll make more mistakes. I don't know how true this is, but when i had to make planes avoid each other AND do maths i prioritised the avoidance and only did the maths if I had time, and I got through to Stage 3 so it worked for me.

Good Luck
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 14:26
  #1473 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Meh...I didn't get through my stage 2

I believe the computer tests were my downfall - The last bit was ridiculous, eventually I got to the point where I just ignored the maths questions cos I wasn't getting any of 'em right. Although I think I did pretty rubbish on my interview aswell - Probably because it was only the 2nd interview I've ever had
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 15:35
  #1474 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Question for ATCO's

Can anyone answer me this question?

How does a Nautical Mile relate to one minute of latitude?

Think I've got the correct answer, just want to make sure I understand it.

Cheers!!!
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 16:35
  #1475 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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A nautical mile is defined as the length of arc of a great circle subtended by an angle of one minute at the centre of the Earth.

i.e. 1 minute= 1 nautical mile.

1 degree = 60 minutes

and so on.
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 16:39
  #1476 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Im not an ATCO, YET, but i'll take a stab at it

1 nautical mile = 1 minute of latitude
thus 60 nautical miles = 1 degree(of latitude not longitude)
1 nautical mile per hour = 1 knot

hope this helps
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 16:44
  #1477 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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WTB beat me to it

oh well I guess i'll have to await another oppurtunity to appear intelligent
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Old 26th Sep 2008, 02:33
  #1478 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jacksonville
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Does anyone know if the motivational paper is multiple choice? Like the bit you get the information from on the airoplanes, RVSM's and such that NATS send? What kind of questions is it?

Does anyone also know if you can get in with a criminal record (not been in jail or anything) ?
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Old 26th Sep 2008, 14:31
  #1479 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Jacksonville
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What does the security clearance consist of, I take it just checking you're not a terrorist?
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Old 26th Sep 2008, 15:50
  #1480 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South East
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One of the questions is "Are you a member of any terrorist organisation?"
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