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RICS APC Lifeline - Final Assessment Preparation

RICS APC and AssocRICS mandatory competency business planning

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What is today's blog about?

This blog article will focus on how you can best prepare for your RICS APC final assessment interview. Essential reading for RICS APC and AssocRICS candidates.

You can also listen to our CPD podcast on Anchor for more free AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.

Why is this relevant?

A key component of your RICS APC is the final assessment interview. 

The interview lasts 1 hour and is structured as follows:

  • 3-4 minutes - introduction by the chairperson

  • 10 minutes - your case study presentation

  • 10 minutes - case study and presentation questioning

  • 25 minutes - assessors' questioning

  • 0 minutes - chairperson's questioning, with a focus on mandatory competencies, ethics and Rules of Conduct

  • 1-2 minutes - chairperson closes the interview, including your opportunity to go back to any questions - you have the last word!

In this article, we will focus specifically on how you can prepare for your interview.

How do you know what I'm going through?

Trust us, we've been through the RICS APC process and understand exactly what it's like to prepare for your final assessment interview. You can read a bit more about Jen's experience of the RICS APC and her career path here.

Will I be nervous?

Without a doubt, you'll be nervous because the RICS APC is important to you. This isn't a bad thing as you can use some of your nervous energy to perform to the best of your ability. 

How can I deal with nerves?

The trick is to calm yourself down when you feel overwhelmed - try taking a few deep breaths, pause or ask your assessor to repeat their question. 

What else can I do?

We really like some of these tips to mentally prepare for your interview:

  • Visualise your interview - go through the process from arriving at the assessment centre to leaving after your interview. You know what to expect in terms of the process, so think about what could go right and wrong and work out how you might react. This will allow you to work out strategies for dealing with unexpected questions, things you don't know and curve balls!

  • Know your why - remember why you are taking your RICS APC. It should be a positive experience at the end of relatively long process. You will have done all of the hard work in gaining your experience - the interview is really only there to verify that you have reached the required competence of a Chartered Surveyor. Think about all the reasons why you want to become Chartered - this might actually be one of the questions that you get asked during your interview.

  • Try to talk positively to yourself - be kind and give yourself your best shot at success on interview day. Even if you don't know the answer to a question, you can deal with it positively by telling the assessors where you would go to find the information. You can also make yourself a note to readdress the question at the end of your interview, if you recall the answer later on. Remember - you always have the last word, so make the most of this.

  • Review your successes and lessons learned - reflect on what you have learnt throughout the APC process. No doubt you will have attended job interviews, client meetings and development reviews in your team/office - these are all similarly stressful to the APC and you will have picked up skills that work for you. How would you respond if a client asked you a difficult question? Apply this to your APC - act professionally, competently and be a safe pair of hands.

  • Being in 'the zone' - listen to the assessors' questions and focus on what you are being asked. Ensure that your answers are coherent, succinct and to the point - elaborate as necessary, but don't tell them everything you know about a subject. Be present in the interview and be responsive to questions - pay attention to your body language, verbal speed/tone and how you present yourself to the assessment panel.

What should I do 4 weeks out?

  • Make sure your revision is underway

  • Book in mock interviews (as many as you can arrange!)

  • Think about questions you might be asked

  • Identify potential weaknesses and address these now through your revision

  • Presentation being prepared and practised

What should I do 2 weeks out?

  • Hopefully undertaken a mock (or 2!)

  • Revision well under way

  • Weaknesses being ironed out

  • Hotel booked if you have an early interview slot and/or transport and car parking arranged

  • Practice your presentation

  • Prepare hand outs for the case study presentation

What should I do 1 week out?

  • Focus on any remaining areas of weakness or uncertainty

  • Final mock interview to give you a confidence boost for assessment day - we can provide online e-mock interviews at short notice

  • Check you know what will happen on assessment day and make sure you know when to leave, what to take etc

  • Read through your submission again and again - make sure you are familiar with your experience

  • Get that presentation nailed! Remember - 10 minutes on the dot.

What should I do the night before?

  • Relax

  • Stop revising - you've done the hard work now

  • Sleep well - get an early night

  • Eat well

  • Drink lots of water

  • Spend some time with loved ones and take your mind off the next day

  • Pack your bags and prepare for the next day (or leave if you are staying overnight!)

  • Remember to take your notes and handouts, if you are using them

  • Plan what you are going to wear

What should I do on interview day?

  • Arrive in good time and prepare for bad traffic/delays

  • Remember to take everything you need

  • Dress smartly - shoes shined, shirt ironed etc.

  • Take someone with you for moral support - I'm very glad that I took my Dad with me to Bolton when I sat my RICS APC

  • Try to relax, drink lots of water and have a decent breakfast. Nothing worse than being hungry when you need to concentrate on your interview!

What will happen during my interview?

Go and have a look at the interview structure on the RICS website - this is what we, as RICS APC assessors, have to adhere to.

If you want to know how you are assessed and what guidance the assessors have to follow - the RICS publish all of the guidance here.

If you can better understand what is being asked of you, then you can tailor your performance to meet these standards! 

How can we help?

  • Head to our blog archive to access even more free CPD and AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support.

  • Download your free AssocRICS and RICS APC resources, including e-books and revision quizzes.

  • Find out more about our bespoke AssocRICS and RICS APC training and support, before booking your free 15 minute consultation and signing up for your services online.

Not sure about signing up? Make sure you read what our recent successful candidates have to say in our Testimonials.

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal or financial advice.