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The Interview

Interviews are a vital part of any Standard or Advanced level Professional Simulation Engineer Certification. The purpose of the interview is to assess the applicant’s suitability for the certification in the Technical Areas claimed by the candidate. 

When applications are processed by NAFEMS, applicants will be invited to attend an interview. The PSE Administrator will contact the applicant to arrange a convenient time. When an organisation is putting a large number of applicants through PSE Certification onsite certification sessions may be arranged 

What is it?

The interview is based on the information provided in the online application and is used to determine the level of competency demonstrated. Applicants should prepare for the interview by reading through their application form thoroughly. Interviews will also include questions to verify that the applicant possesses the competencies claimed in the   PSE Competency Tracker.

Judgements will be based solely on the information provided in the application form and the applicant’s performance and discussions during the interview.

Who will be there?

Two trained and experienced assessors will conduct the interview. The PSE Administrator may also be present. Assessors are experts in numerical analysis over a broad range of topic areas and disciplines. They will be professionals with many years of experience in FEA, CFD and related disciplines. The assessors will give a very brief introduction of themselves for the applicant’s benefit before the interview.

The PSE Administrator is an experienced representative assisting with the co-ordination of applications and the smooth running of the interview process and will ensure that standards are maintained and interviews are conducted fairly and consistently. The Administrator will have been in contact with the applicant prior to the interview and will answer any questions they have regarding the process.

How long does it take?

The majority of interviews will take between 45-60 minutes. Candidates applying for a large number of Technical Areas will either require an extended interview or multiple interviews. A maximum of 4 Technical Areas can be assessed during the course of a normal interview.

What is the format?

The interview will take place by via video call over the web or in person, depending on the location of the applicant.

The interview is a discussion between peers, designed to evaluate and assess the applicant’s level of competency. It should be noted that answers to questions must be based on the applicant’s individual contribution as opposed to the overall contribution of a team or department.

Applicants are expected to play a leading role in the discussion, and to provide detailed and specific answers about actual events to demonstrate their competencies. They may also be asked to expand on some of their answers, and highlight how processes or tasks might have been done differently.

Applicants will be encouraged to develop answers and should explain things clearly and concisely. Applicants should also avoid the use of acronyms, company jargon or slang.

Applicants can expect a level of technical questioning. The assessors may take the opportunity to develop a particular technical issue or aspect of their responsibilities. This could take the form of an in-depth question-and-answer exchange of the engineering principles involved, or the development of an innovative process review to establish the applicant’s theoretical understanding of the issues concerned.

Applicants may wish to also provide samples of work at interview; this will supply the basis for exploring experience. This information should be uploaded to the PSE application form so that it can be made available to the assessors prior to the interview.   A portion of the interview will be set aside to explore each of the technical areas the candidate has claimed in their application. A candidate can get an expectation of the topics that are likely to be covered during the interview by reviewing the competence statements found in the PSE Competency tracker.

The final few minutes of the interview are thrown open to the applicant. This is their opportunity to talk about anything that they think is important to their application that has not yet been mentioned.