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!

4 thoughts on “Mock Interviews – Lessons Learned by Candidates

  1. Dear Jon,

    I am targeting to sit my APC in 2016 as I have just started the process, however I am tremendously keen to be prepared as quickly as possible. You mention in your conclusion about online masterclass but I am struggling to find this on the website. Is there a link that you might be able to add ?

    Many thanks


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