Mock Interviews – Lessons Learned by Candidates

MocksI have just finished 8 weeks of mock interviews where my team of APC Coaches and I have mock interviewed just over 60 APC candidates, who are all aiming to sit their final assessment this session (Session 1, 2014).

Whilst it has been an intense 8 weeks and physically draining for the mock assessors it has also been a really rewarding time seeing a large number of DeLever clients who have attended various DeLever Seminars, Forums, Masterclasses and Coaching sessions to finally appear in front of us as fully fledged APC Final Assessment Candidates.

The reaction from all involved has been interesting and candidates attending the DeLever mock interviews start to get a sense of just how big the APC mountain is to climb.  That said, we are getting a steady stream of emails from candidates who have used DeLever’s services and so far I am delighted to report they are currently all positive outcomes.

One thing I felt would be of interest to our readers is the feedback received from the mock interview candidates regarding the lessons learned from attending a DeLever APC Mock Interview:

“Ensure you have a number of past projects in mind that cover a host of competencies.  You will need these to refer to when answering questions”
DeLever:  This is so important as all level 2 and 3 competencies that you declare will need real life examples demonstrating the competency and your involvement across a few projects if possible

“How best to deliver your presentation”
DeLever:  This is a constant failing of APC candidates as so few really consider how best to present and then try winging it on the day.  This never works.  The only real solution is to plan and practice meticulously.  A great presentation will make you stand out from the crowd because so many candidates do a bad job

“Highlights areas of weakness for revision”
DeLever:  Whilst we cannot cover every facet of competency questioning in a mock interview, we have been APC interviewers for many years and can pretty much guess what a candidate will be questioned on and we definitely find most, if not all, of the areas of weakness

“Don’t underestimate the depth of knowledge required”
DeLever:  We are always saying that when you think you have done enough preparation, DOUBLE IT (at least) and then just maybe you will have done enough

“Answering techniques”  “Understand the questions, don’t waffle”
DeLever: All too often candidates want to brain dump everything they know about a particular subject.  But what you really need to do is STOP, LISTEN to the question and ANSWER succinctly.  In our feedback sessions we are always telling candidates to listen to what they are being asked and answer quickly and succinctly      

“Practice how to deal with questions you’re not sure of”
DeLever:  This is the ONLY real option for any aspiring APC Candidate.  You need to be constantly revisiting your experience and asking anyone you know to practice questioning technique with you

“Know how you can highlight the complexities of the projects you have worked on”
DeLever:  Uuummm!  You have said in your paperwork you have done it…  EXPECT to be asked about it and make sure you have done enough preparation and are able to discuss all of your project experiences, what role you played in them and what competencies you have covered…
“Don’t neglect level 1 competencies”
DeLever:  Remember Level 2 (doing) and Level 3 (advising) are a complete waste of time if the Level 1 (knowledge) foundation is not present or out of date.  Revisit the pathway guides and discuss the competencies with your mentor(s) to make sure you know what is expected of you.

“Have prompt cards to hand during your critical analysis presentation in case you need to refer to them”
DeLever:  I am concerned about how many candidates turn up at the mocks having memorised their critical analysis presentation and not realising that the increased level of stress at the mock is still very different to just practicing with colleagues or friends and family.  Often stress can cause candidates to lose their way mid-sentence and mid-presentation.  Think about your strategy and coping mechanisms, I strongly advise you to take some notes… just in case you freeze up on the day.  You can pause, review your notes a then just carry on… Simplz

In conclusion:
If you are preparing for the Autumn session 2014 or future assessment sessions, why not pop along to our online FREE to attend Mock Interview Masterclass where the DeLever APC Consultants will be feeding back all of the areas where the DeLever mock interview candidates fell down.  This is a great event and an excellent resource

Miss it at your peril!

Updated Process & Pathway Guides; RICS CPD Smart Phone / Tablet APP

apc guidesRICS Process and Pathway Guide Updates

Just a quick note to update and remind you that the RICS have updated the Process and Pathway guides.
The guides have undertaken various minor updates since January 2014 and mor recently in the last few weeks in April 2014.
It is always worth ensuring you have downloaded and understood the latest version of the guides.  Get them here:
APC Requirements and competencies guide
APC Pathway Guides

My initial thoughts: Don’t worry too much about this.  It is good to be up to date and not huge amounts have changed other than look and feel.

ricscpdRICS CPD Smart Phone / tablet APP  **BRAND NEW**

A sign of the times… RICS Associate and Chartered members online CPD can now be recorded on an APP.  Carry it with you everywhere you go and record your CPD.

Formal CPD: Remember (50% minimum) Formal CPD is training that you can determine a learning outcome.  This can be any form or mode of learning where you feel you have improved and developed your knowledge and experience.

APC Candidates:  Whilst you cannot yet use the online CPD recording system or the CPD APP, it is a great Rules of Conduct and Ethics knowledge base item to be right up to date on for your Final Assessment.

My initial thoughts:  Not bad…  I’m using it and it seems to makes life a little easier…  Takes a few minutes to update on the RICS web site but that’s no problem.

Rules of Conduct – Transparency

Rules of Conduct

Over the next few weeks we are looking at the 5 PRINCIPLES OF BETTER REGULATION which appear in the foreword to the Members and Firms Rules.

It is IMPORTANT to remember that the 5 Principles of Better Regulation relate to the REGULATOR, not how we as members or firms should conduct ourselves with our clients. Therefore we should view the 5 Principles of Better Regulation as a function of how RICS (Regulation) will monitor, communicate and treat us in a professional and open and transparent manner when it comes to issues of monitoring (Regulating) our day to day professional practice.

This week: TRANSPARENCY

  • Regulators should be open and keep regulations simple and user- friendly.
  • Policy objectives, including the need for regulation, should be clearly defined and effectively communicated to all interested parties.
  • Effective consultation must take place before proposals are developed, to ensure that stakeholders’ views and expertise are taken into account.
  • Stakeholders should be given sufficient information, to respond to consultations.
  • Regulations should be clear and simple, and guidance, in plain language, should be issued in a reasonable timescale before the regulations take effect.
  • Those being regulated should be made aware of their obligations, with law and best practice clearly distinguished.
  • Those being regulated should be given the time and support to comply. It may be helpful to supply examples of methods of compliance.
  • The consequences of non-compliance should be made clear.

Commentary from Jon Lever FRICS
Transparency completes the five principles perfectly, making Regulation simple and easy to understand. Ensuring the Member or Firm fully understands the Regulatory function and making it simple to follow and in plain language.
And most importantly if non-compliance is identified, RICS Regulation promotes support and education to bring the Member or Firm back into regulation rather than taking an immediate heavy handed approach.