Quick report from Day 1 of MEM PEPC

airkiwi

New Member
I'm writing this from the MEM airport waiting for my flight, so i'm trying to write this as quickly as possible.

First off, you don't need a suit. I know there's another thread about this, but dress pants/tie is more than enough. The interviewers and FAA people do not care about how you're dressed. They care about what you have to say, and you'll find that out when you're there. In Memphis today it was about 98-99 degrees, and while most of it is indoors you're wasting energy in a suit.

My assigned time was 12pm. I got there at about 11 in hopes of finishing early but quickly found out there's no real way to start early. At 12pm there was a group of 10, the FAA overseer for the event gave a little synopsis and we were each taken into a room for the interview. It was 21 questions, all of which can be found on the sticky post. Nothing difficult, it's designed just to hear about experiences where you've had to react or lead.

After that came the cattle adventure. I say that because everyone scatters; some people are taken to do their security, others go to medical, some go to psych. At 12:45 I was taken for the drug test, pee in a cup and that's it. After that came the EKG, took my shirt off and laid on a table. Then a Dr. came in and did some routine stuff, no turn-your-head-and-cough section. Next up was a little bit of a wait, but I was taken to do hearing/vision in a trailer outside. The hearing is VERY difficult; that was the sentiment of everyone I talked to. It's hard and the sounds are very faint. Focus on your breathing, do not make any noises. From what I can tell a lot of people didn't pass, and had to go through something else. Vision is also a bit tricky, read letters on a line and they test your depth as well as color blindness. Just stay focused - it really is designed for you to do well.

At that point I was done with the physical stuff, there was some waiting around for a flight surgeon to sign off on your medical packet. Next was the psych exam, 370 computer questions where you are repeatedly asked (in true/false fashion) 'Someone has control of my thoughts'. Only took about 30 minutes, apparently some others were there for much longer.

Next up was the longest portion, which is the security section. The short version is that you have to manually input into a computer everything that you've filled out on the SF-86 or 85. It takes a long time because it's so much information. At the end, if you have any felony stuff, they (I heard) take you into a room and ask you to elaborate. Guys with DUI's were okay, I think.

My start time was 12pm and I was out at 4:45; with that said, I was incredibly lucky and had no red flags and failed no tests. There were still people with 9am start times there at 4:45. Everyone is different.

What I would recommend to everyone is that if you're sitting and not doing anything, explore another area to expedite things. I rushed because I had a flight to catch, but the FAA as well as medical staff that's running things seemed to have a hard time keeping track of individual needs. Guys were sitting and waiting for 20 minutes for things that had already been done. I was shuttled off and told to take my shirt off for an EKG even though it had been done the hour before. Also, it was a 12pm start time but they got our group started at 11:45.

That's it, time to fly.
 

Fidelity

New Member
Hey newbie question here real quick. I've been trying to get an impression of the interview and I wanted to know two things. First off since you are already in the door and are going to be tested and all these things, is the interview just kind of a formality as long as you sound personable and professional? Also is it a solo interview or are there a handful of you guys all getting interviewed in the room at the same time?
Thanks
 

bluegrass_gal

Well-Known Member
Just curious...did they offer you a TOL and Academy date? With the rumor of the hiring freeze for the FY I'm just wondering if they are still offering the TOLs.
 

Svirf

New Member
There is not a hiring freeze. The end of the fiscal year has arrived and all the classes are filled up. We are just waiting for next years list to come out for what classes are going to get what people. When this happens the HR people can then start filling their 2009 quotas for their areas by filling those classes with people who have TOL's.
 

serenitynow

New Member
So is there time to eat snacks that we bring or how does that work? Seems like it would be easier just to not bring them...I would also hate to have a bulky powerbar in my pocket half of the day too...
 

airkiwi

New Member
Hey newbie question here real quick. I've been trying to get an impression of the interview and I wanted to know two things. First off since you are already in the door and are going to be tested and all these things, is the interview just kind of a formality as long as you sound personable and professional? Also is it a solo interview or are there a handful of you guys all getting interviewed in the room at the same time?
Thanks

The interview does feel like a formality, that may depend on who you get. My guy was relaxed (said he was a manager for the DC Center) and it was said to us that virtually everyone passes the interview.

It's a solo interview, everyone in different rooms.

I can't believe I forgot to mention this, regarding the TOL. It was presented as soon as my interview was over - meaning I started at 12pm, was done with the interview at 12:45, and had signed the letter (which states salary, placement, etc) by 1pm. Obviously I still had to go through everything else but they get that out of the way at the beginning.

Additonally - everyone today was told to expect January 2009. They, of course, mentioned that "spots may open up earlier and we'll let you know" but continuously said Jan was the earliest they expect our group (I think meaning Memphis) to get in. Everyone there had the same desire to get there, with some asking to get on 'priority wait lists', to which they were told to contact their HR person in OKC.

No food at any time. I ate right before and was glad that I did, there's no time for a break. I imagine if you brought your lunch you could at some point step away but the people around you are fairly focused on getting through the process.
 

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
First off, you don't need a suit. I know there's another thread about this, but dress pants/tie is more than enough. The interviewers and FAA people do not care about how you're dressed. They care about what you have to say, and you'll find that out when you're there. In Memphis today it was about 98-99 degrees, and while most of it is indoors you're wasting energy in a suit.
My point exactly. I have been posting this for a while.
 

Justin538

New Member
The suit should be a level of personal pride. The people running the PEPC don't care, but you should. Granted, if you don't already have a suit, and it would be a strain financially or otherwise to get one, then no worries. But put a tie on, you don't want to look like you're not taking it seriously at least.
 

Slushdoot

New Member
Hey newbie question here real quick. I've been trying to get an impression of the interview and I wanted to know two things. First off since you are already in the door and are going to be tested and all these things, is the interview just kind of a formality as long as you sound personable and professional? Also is it a solo interview or are there a handful of you guys all getting interviewed in the room at the same time?
Thanks
The interview did seem like a formality for me at the NYC PEPC two weeks ago. The woman whop interviewed me asked the standard questions with a few follow-ups, taking notes all the while. It was over and I went to HR to get my TOL. It seemed a lot like the interview could only damage you if you made an extremely poor presentation of yourself and your communication skills.
 

deshazo19

New Member
My interview was not in a room by myself. There were 2 of us being interviewed at the same time by different people, but most of the other rooms I saw had just one desk.

And...

No, a suit is not necessary, but everyone in my group and most people I saw were wearing one. If not a full suit at least everything minus the jacket. If you don't have a suit there is no need to buy one.
 

Slushdoot

New Member
At NYC my interview was in a big room where there were about 15 concurrent interviews. The cordial but was extremely soft-spoken Texan who interviewed me required of me great deal of concentration and lip reading to even discern what she was saying amidst the din. Not cool.
 
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