For a downloadable PDF of this information click


Preparing for the Aptitude Test and the Interview

The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee has launched a website to help applicants prepare for application to a NECA-IBEW Apprenticeship. The website can be found here: 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 approximately a month following your application. You will receive a booklet with a sample test. To view this sample test online click here. 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 accommodations 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 qualifying score on the test battery you will be scheduled for an oral interview approximately one month following your aptitude test.

For a comprehensive review of math, 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

Oregon and Washington WorkSource offices may be able to provide assistance with brush-up on workplace reading and math. To locate a WorkSource location in Oregon visit To locate a location in Washington

Test Anxiety

Online Resources for Algebra Review videos and practice algebra problems - samples with solutions - interactive math lab - practice tests and answers

 Online Resources for Reading Comprehension Practice


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.



 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

a. 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)


b. Successfully completed two or more 3-credit or more college-level trade-related classes, one of which must be electrical in nature.

The applicant shall submit 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. A re-interview is not guaranteed to improve your rank.



Interview Tips

◦ First Impression.The interview committee is invested in the future of their industry. Enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview will go a long way. Leave yourself plenty of time to arrive at the interview and to calm pre-interview nerves. A good first impression includes being calm and confident. Make your ten minutes count. Smile and practice good posture and eye contact. Avoid nervous gestures such as crossing your arms and tapping your fingers. A good way to avoid fidgeting is to fold your hands on the table.

Attire. Nice pants and a button down shirt are appropriate. Avoid excessive cologne, perfume, jewelry and cosmetics. Practice good hygiene and be well-groomed.

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, it is important to draw their attention to your application materials that emphasize your work ethic, ability to work under pressure, and any experience and skills that transfer to the construction industry.

Behavioral Interview Questions.These are questions like “Why should we choose you?” There are no right or wrong answers to behavioral interview questions. The interviewers are getting a sense of your past experiences and how they will translate to your role as an apprentice. Do an internet search of behavioral interview questions - this will give you an idea of what to expect. Prior to your interview, think about life events or experiences that illustrate your knowledge of the construction and electrical industries, your interest in apprenticeship, your ability to work well with others as a team, and your ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and dependable. Now that you have a list of experiences, prepare a response for any questions that you may be asked about each one. Use the structure: Situation… Action… Result.

Situation or task - 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.

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.

Result - Conclude your answer with a description of the result of your efforts. Include lessons learned if you learned something from the situation.

Be concise but not too 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. Avoid one or two word answers. Ask for clarification if you don’t know how to answer a question.

IBEW Electrical Worker. Explain why becoming a union 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 practice the more relaxed and confident you will be in the interview.


Interview Scoring Factors

     1. Character and Attitude



        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