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Preparing for the Aptitude Test and the Interview PDF Print


The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Commitee has launched a website to help applicants prepare for application to a NECA-IBEW Apprenticeship.  The website can be found here: ElectricPrep.com.  This website offers courses on resume writing, preparation for the aptitude test, and interview preparation.  Completion of these courses is optional.  



Aptitude Test  *The aptitude test applies only to the Inside Electrician and the Limited Energy Technician apprenticeship programs*


 

  • If you have turned in a qualifying application you will receive a testing date and time for your aptitude test, which will be scheduled for the month following your application.  You will also receive a booklet with a sample test.  It is a good idea to make sure that you are comfortable with Algebra and Functions.

 

 

  • The Algebra and Functions section will consist of 33 questions within 46 minutes.  The Reading Comprehension section will consist of 36 questions within 51 minutes.  There will be a short break between the two sections.  

 

 

  • There are no penalties for guessing. Your score will be based on the number of items you answer correctly.  You will not be allowed to use a calculator for the test.

 


  • If you will need special accomodations during the test, make arrangements with the training center before you report for testing.

 

  • Tests are scored by an independent facility.  The training center will receive the results approximately two to four weeks after you test.  The training center will then notify you of the results by mail. 

 

  • If you do not obtain a qualifying score on the test battery, you must wait six months before re-testing (you will need to reapply).  

 

  • If you receive a qualifiying score on the test battery, you will be scheduled for an oral interview to occur the month after the month you tested.
 
For a comprehensive review of Algebra, the NJATC offers a Tech Math class through the University of Tennessee, click here.  This online math class is self-paced and starts off with whole numbers and works through Boolean Algebra fundamentals.  This class offers three main benefits:  
  1. Successful completion of the class satisfies the math requirement for the Inside Electrician and Limited Energy Technician apprenticeships
  2. It offers good preparation for the aptitude test
  3. The stronger your math foundation is, the less challenging the apprenticeship curriculum will be

 


 It is suggested to review the topics covered by a College Algebra class: 

 

  1. Systems of linear equations in two variables

    1. graphing method

    2. substitution method

    3. addition method

    4. applications

  2. Working with algebraic expressions

    1. add, subtract, multiply, and divide by a monomial

    2. factoring polynomials

  3. Solving quadratic equations


    1. square root property (includes - simplify and approximate numeric square roots)

    2. factoring property

    3. quadratic formula

    4. graphing (includes - interpret vertex, axis of symmetry and vertical/horizontal intercepts)

    5. applications


  4. Relations and functions


      1. function notation

      2. evaluate

 


For some sample problems, visit pages 3 and 4 at this link.

 

Online Resources for Algebra Review

www.khanacademy.org- videos and practice algebra problems

 

 www.analyzemath.com/algebra.html - samples with solutions
 www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/int_algebra/index.htm - interactive math lab 
 http://mathcenter.usf.edu/courses/intermediate/inter_tests.html - practice tests and answers
 www.purplemath.com/modules/ - pre, beginning, intermediate, and advanced algebra help
 Online Resources for Reading Comprehension Practice
 www.cdlponline.org 
 http://college.cengage.com/devenglish/resources/reading_ace/students/index.html 

 




 Interview

 


  • The interview is the most important factor of the application process. 


  • The interview is approximately 10 minutes long and takes place in front of a panel of 4 -10 interviewers.  These will be representatives from IBEW 48, the Training Center, and the National Electrical Contractors Association.


  • Your interview score determines how well you rank on the ranked list of eligible candidates. 


  • Your score is valid for 2 years, and you cannot reapply within that two year time period.  You may, however, qualify for a re-interview and therefore receive a new rank.


 

Re-Interview 

 


The committee shall consider, on an equitable basis, a request for re-interview from the Ranked Pool upon the following terms:



At least six months, 180-days, has passed since the date of the initial interview and in the interim the applicant has either

    1. Gained at least 1000 hours of trade-related work experience (trade-related work experience hours should not be a continuation of previous employment in a non-construction type of work) OR
    2. Successfully completed two or more 3-credit or more college-level trade-related classes, one of which must be electrical in nature.
    3. The applicant has submitted a completed re-interview request form, provided by the training center.
The committee will consider the request and determine whether or not a re-interview is justified.  There is no guarantee that a re-interview will be granted.
 

Click here for a list of suggested trade-related classes.  Be aware that at least one of the classes must be electrical in nature.  These are highlighted in yellow.  Completion of one of the pre-apprenticeships found here can be considered electrical in nature upon staff approval.  It is suggested to contact the training center for approval before enrolling in classes other than the ones listed on this website.



Survival Tips for Your Interview


Remain calm. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview, and arrive 10-15 minutes early to calm pre-interview jitters. A good first impression includes being calm and confident.


 


Be respectful of everyone. Often times the way you treated the office staff (or others in the building who are not directly involved with your interview) will be conveyed to the interview panel. Avoid loud cell phone conversations and other impolite actions.

 



The first impression. The interviewers are invested in the future of their industry. Enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview will go a long way.



The panelists have ten minutes to form an opinion of you. Make those ten minutes count. Practice good posture and eye contact. Smile. Avoid nervous nonverbal cues such as crossing your arms, tapping your fingers, nodding hurriedly, and making tense facial expressions. A good way to avoid fidgeting is to keep your hands folded on the table.


 


Attire. Nice pants and a button down shirt are appropriate. Avoid cologne and perfume, as well as excessive jewelry and tennis shoes. Practice good hygiene and be well groomed. Avoid extremes such as a suit and tie, well-worn work clothes, or high heels.

 



Behavioral Interview Questions. These are questions like “Why should we choose you?” or “Tell us the most challenging project you’ve ever completed entirely on your own”. There are no right or wrong answers to behavioral interview questions. The way you behaved in the past will give interviewers an idea of how you will behave in the future. It is suggested to do an internet search of behavioral interview questions. This will give you an idea of the types of questions to expect.

 



Prior to your interview, brainstorm life events or experiences that illustrate your knowledge of the electrical industry, your interest in the apprenticeship, your ability to work well with others as a team, and your ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and dependable. You can draw from past experiences on a job, at a volunteer event, or anything else that seems relevant.

 



Now that you have a list of situations, prepare a response for any question that you may be asked about each one, utilizing the following structure: Situation… Action… Result…

 



When you are answering a question try to determine what area is being assessed. (Such as safety, interest in the field, ability to plan and organize, ability to work with others, ability to work as a team). Formulate your answer using the following steps:

 


 


    1. Situation - Describe the event or task, taking care to use enough detail for the interviewer to understand but not so much that you burn up a lot of time.
    2. Action - Describe what you did to complete the task or to resolve the situation.  If it was a team effort, keep the focus on what you did effectively.
    3. Result -  Conclude your answer with a description of the result of your efforts.  Include lessons learned if you learned something from the situation.


Application Portfolio. The panel will review anything that you included with your application such as a cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, photos and certificates. If you have additional material to include you may bring those with you to the interview. Due to the rapid pace and the high volume of interviews, the interview committee does not have a lot of time to examine your materials in great detail. Therefore it is important to draw their attention to your application materials that emphasize your work ethic and your skills - management and organizational skills, working under pressure, any type of hand or power tool skills.

 



Be concise. Keep your answers positive and specific, and avoid rambling. You have ten minutes! Make them count by being succinct, to the point, and focused.

 



But not too concise. Avoid one or two word answers. It makes the interviewers uncomfortable when they feel like they are pulling teeth to get answers. If you really don’t know how to answer a question, ask for clarification.

 



Do not badmouth past employers. Even if you hated your last job and couldn’t wait to leave, do not say so. Not only is it a small world, you don’t want the interviewers to think that you may speak ill about them in the future. Being a positive person rather than a negative one will make a huge difference in the way that you are perceived.                 



IBEW Electrical Worker. When interviewing, explain why becoming an IBEW electrician or technician is important to you. The selection committee is looking for team players and leaders who have a strong desire and drive to be an asset to the IBEW workforce.

 



Practice. Practice interviewing with your family and friends as much as possible. The more you rehearse answers, the more relaxed and confident you will be in the interview.


 

 

 


 
Interview Scoring Factors
 
 
1. Character and Attitude
  • Punctuality
  • Dress
  • Presentation (friendliness and enthusiasm, confidence, etc.)
2. Work Experience
  • Trade related? (use of hand and power tools, physical work, etc)
  • Length of service
  • Documentation (letters of recommendation, awards, etc)
3. Education and Training
  • Trade-related? (welding, blueprint reading, shop classes. etc)
  • Math and science classes
  • Grades