Top 5 Architecture Job Interview Questions

Sara Mandeed
Written by
Last update:

Architecture Job Interview Questions

If you are going through the same interview process, you will obviously have no clue as you read this post, but we are pretty sure these questions will be nothing new to you.

You will be asked questions regarding sketching, drafting, AutoCAD and similar programs.

There will be a lot of discussion regarding the projects you are working on in school.

Apart from these questions, you will be asked to answer questions about your favorite architectural work and why you like it.

Do not forget that before you get to answer questions, you will have to go through the question part first, and all your answers should be short and sharp.

The point is to introduce yourself and show them what you are capable of. You have to make a short and clear point regarding your qualification and experience, so do not try to go into too much detail, as this may backfire on you.

You definitely don’t want to bore your interviewer with too much information, so try to keep it short, precise and to the point. Do not make them read too much on paper.

Good Fit

Many firms ask this question to get an idea whether the candidate is looking for an opportunistic job or if he/she really has a passion for the job.

Therefore, if you are asked about your interest in the company and how they can use your talents, be positive about the company. Use this as a platform and try to sell yourself.

Let's Talk

Do I have to be an expert in both business and architecture?

You need to have a clear idea about the demands of the business and how architecture can assist in that.

On the other hand, remember that you are an architect, so you also need to figure out how architecture can add value to the business.

The key idea here is that you should never forget that you are an architect. And, you are in a job interview because the organization has seen your talent and has decided that they would like to have you on board!

Do I have to be part of the design team to have an appreciation of how architects can add value to their business?

You do not have to be part of the design but as a strategic partner your inputs are expected to be added during the different stages of the design process.

Do architects build buildings that help a business succeed?

In the broadest sense, yes they do.

Architects define the way in which a business communicates to the outside world. This when done correctly, has a positive impact on business performance.

What matters to architects is to make the world a better place by creating exceptional designs appropriate to their clients, context and circumstances. For architects, this is their contribution to society.

Are architects part of the marketing team?

Yes and No. It is the job of the architect to build the brand image of the business.

Do Your Research

Since you don’t have a lot of experience, this is the perfect time to show your passion and enthusiasm for architecture as a profession. With your limited experience, you may not know how to answer every question. So it’s important to do your research. Find out about the firm, as well as the specific company you’d like to work for.

Do a bit of research on what the company’s current project. It’s a good idea to tailor your answer to the type of project you’ll be working on if you’re interested in that specific firm.

Ask some of the employees you’ve worked with if you can look at their resumes. That’ll give you an idea of what to concentrate on. Look for patterns in the keywords…and come up with ways to show your skills and qualifications for that type of work.

Talking about yourself is a very important part of the interview. The interviewer may ask you what you can bring to the firm. If you didn’t do research about the firm or department, this could be hard to answer. Here are a few important things to consider:

Tell me about yourself.

This seems like an obvious question, and it is, sort of. The question is an attempt to get an idea of who you are, what your interests are, how you communicate and what drives you.

Sum up your achievements, experiences and qualifications in a couple of sentences and then some. Describe what you’re doing now and why you’re interested in the particular position or project.

This is your chance to stand out from the other candidates, anticipate some of the questions and focus on important points.

If you don’t have much experience in architecture yet, don’t worry. Concentrate on your other strengths and experiences.

Why are you leaving your job?

This is always an important question in any job interview. After all, the job you are being interviewed for might not be your dream job. So what was it that made you really want to leave your current job?

If you are honest, this is not likely to come back to haunt you. But please make sure you avoid using any negatives “ you don’t want to end up with a failed interview to add to your list!

This is another question that you will be expecting to answer. But unless you are an extremely memorable employee or are leaving the job in a very negative way, you should hold back on bringing up the negatives of the job if at all possible.

Your interviewer probably didn’t get into this field just to hire anyone … they want someone who can really move the company forward.

Yes, an administration assistant role is primarily focused on administration, but it’s still important to be able to communicate effectively.

What are your weaknesses?

Asked in almost every job interview, this is the single most difficult question you'll be asked. You're expected to be honest in your response, but it's an invitation to tell the interviewer that you can't think of anything wrong. If you claim that you're a perfectionist, or that you care too much, or that you're a workaholic, you will draw attention to the fact that you might actually have some weaknesses.

What's really being asked here is: "What could be improved about your work?" It doesn't matter if your boss doesn't give you the promotion you want or if you're not thrilled with one of your colleagues…you can always find something wrong with your job. Even if you're really perfect, you can be sure that the interviewer will find something wrong for the simple reason that no one is perfect.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This architecture interview question is the king of all architecture interview questions. If the recruiter asks it in the first five minutes of the interview, it might be seen as an easy question that everyone knows how to answer.

However, to give an exceptional answer, you need to be prepared. Be ready, have your answer prepared, and practice giving answers to this question to different people.

Need a few examples?

Answer 1:

I’d like to grow in my role within the firm. I’d like to become a leader.

Answer 2:

In five years, I’d like to have progressed as an experienced architect, with the high level of knowledge and skills that I need in order to continue pursuing my career goals.

Answer 3:

I see myself working towards a senior position in architecture, such as project director, head of the studio, or associate principal.

All three of these architecture interview answers illustrate the candidate’s ambition to progress within their field and will impress any interviewer.

Do you have any other offers? / Are you interviewing anywhere else?

As for why the interviewer would ask this, the answer is pretty obvious. They want to know how badly you want the job and what you'll do if they aren't able to hire you.

Showing initiative is a key candidate trait and if you tell them that you're interviewing for four other architecture jobs but you would still like to interview with them, it is a dead giveaway that you're not really in that much of a hurry to find a new job.

Another reason why the interviewer might ask is because they might be specifically looking for someone with multiple job offers. This isn't as common as it used to be as most firms aren't in the hiring position to be able to afford to be as picky as they once were, but it is still worth considering.

Scenario 1: You don’t have any other interviews

Lined up. What is something you would try to do to help stay busy and to prepare?

This interview tip will help you:

Showing them how busy you are.

Demonstrating that you prioritize self-growth.

Giving them an open door for a future conversation.

This is a great interview tip because it will show the company you are busy. If you are in-between jobs (new grad or experienced hire), it shows that you aren’t sitting around twiddling your thumbs. They know you are valuable and many employers wouldn’t mind having you work for them. This can be a great way to counteract anyone’s bad job market sentiment.

If you are going through a rough time at work (downsizing or new management), you can use this technique to encourage them to call on you when things pick up.

Scenario 2: You have a pile of interviews

Download The 82 Architecture Interview Question and Answer Flashcards