It’s a nervous time of year for many in the property industry as the goal of Chartership is within grasp. Your submission is in, your documentation is all in order and cue cards are at the ready. The day of the Final Assessment is now approaching….
Having placed a number of newly qualified property professionals over the years, here are some tips directly from them on how to get through to the other side unscathed (and qualified!):
Practice public speaking
The importance of rehearsing your actual presentation again and again is obvious. But you also need to brush up on your skills in speaking confidently in front of people generally; thinking on your feet and articulating yourself intelligently. Take every opportunity to speak in a public forum, sign up for a public speaking course, don’t be shy in work meetings, offer to do a little speech at family celebrations, whatever it takes. And don’t forget, a last minute Q&A session with a colleague might just make all the difference.
Think before you speak
During your interview, be sure to pause and really think about what you’re going to say before you answer a question. Part of the impression you are hoping to make as a professional will be based on your communication skills. Don’t let your mouth run away with your brain, which could lead to tripping yourself up and a potential diversion trying to backtrack in the interview that you simply can’t afford.
Don’t be a robot
Again, practice, practice and more practice is essential. But don’t sound so rehearsed you have lost any display of personality! The rapport you build with the panel will go a long way in the decision for you to pass or fail. Keep things professional at all times but ensure you stay relaxed and don’t be afraid to let some of the real you shine through. Maintain eye contact and an appropriate smile never goes amiss. Treat the process as you would a job interview.
This is not the time for blagging. If you are unsure about something that is asked in the interview, just say so. Put yourself in the same situation as you would with a client; ‘having a stab’ is not the best way to demonstrate your competence. As long as it doesn’t happen too often in the interview, you’ll be fine.
Don’t show off
On the flip side, if you’re feeling supremely confident, don’t be an idiot about it! Keep your answers simple and concise. You are not there to ‘wow’ the panel, but moreover demonstrate you are competent. Over-confidence is akin to arrogance and this might well rub the assessors up the wrong way no matter how well you have prepared or think you are performing.
The Day Before
Iron your shirt before bed, get a good night’s sleep, make sure you have breakfast and know your route/allow plenty of time to get to the interview. It’s easy to be complacent with google maps and city-mapper at our fingertips these days but the stress of being late is not worth risking.
No matter how much preparation you have done, how strong your submission is, how many study groups you have been to or mock interviews you have passed, the day of the final assessment is make or break. The final assessment is a very personal experience, try to enjoy it and good luck!
Melani King, Heron Partnership