Architect Job Interview Questions
How does it feel to be a part of one of the oldest professions in the world? If you’re an architect, the answer may not be very easy.
An architecture school graduate has to go through numerous interviews for getting admission into an excellent architecture colleges, and then for getting admission into a reputed architecture company.
They already know that when one becomes an architect one needs to possess a lot of skills. Apart from being a good designer, one needs to be someone who has a keen sense of aesthetics; who becomes tedious about accurate measurement of materials, and someone who loves to build stuff.
Once you are an architect, it is necessary that you show your talent and prove to your clients that you have the skills to create amazing buildings.
There are certain standards that every interviewee is required to fulfill to get a job in the architecture industry.
Note that the questions may vary according to the job profile, the requirement, and the company.
A firm interviewing for Interior architects or Commercial architects may have a different set of questions from an Architect who is into Residential architecture.
Let us look at some of the basic questions which are asked of most interviewees.
Why should we hire you?
(10 Great Answers)
A common interview question that can throw a lot of job seekers off.
Since this is an industry where you have several years of experience, you should be able to tell the interviewer why you are a good match for the position.
Just make sure that you are speaking about what is best suited for the job because you are applying for. You can include qualifications and certifications but don’t talk too much about your past jobs.
You should also speak about your past successes, how you got to where you are and even plans for the future.
Tell the interviewer that you want to take this new role and make it a part of your future.
One example of this is to tell the interviewer that you see yourself working for them and growing with the company for a few years.
Why do you want to work here?
The interviewer wants to know how passionate you are about the company and the position. You may have heard that it’s important to be passionate in a job interview, but we don’t mean you need to gush over the company and try to flatter the company and the interviewer, just to get the job.
The interviewer also wants to know how familiar you are with their company and the industry in general. Companies sometimes hire people who they believe can represent the company well, and can better help the company grow. You’ve probably heard the phrase “Go where you’re needed.” In addition, the interviewer wants to know if you understand the company’s goals and vision, and you can demonstrate how you will contribute to those goals.
What is your greatest strength(s)?
Job seekers in the architecture field spend a considerable amount of time and effort crafting a perfect resume that emphasizes their unique strengths and abilities. However, the interviewer may ask a question to test how well you sell yourself. This question is usually about an applicant’s greatest weakness turned into a strength.
What was your greatest accomplishment(s)?
This is a good general interview question because it’s interesting, and it allows the candidate to discuss a topic they feel passionate about. If the candidate has no experience, then disregard this question.
If the candidate was experienced, then they should be able to recall their greatest accomplishment. When it comes to this question, be aware of the difference between accomplishments and being great at a job. They are not the same thing.
If they were good at a job and great at a job, then draw the distinction. Tell them about the label maker in the world of the eighties. You worked for XYZ corp. in the accounting department, and they needed an honest person in the office. You were honest and truthful. You were good at your job. They needed a great person. You were great at your job.
It’s okay to tell stories. It’s okay to open up about things you care about, and to show them who you are.
What things do you not enjoy doing?
By now, you’ve almost certainly heard about the importance of answering questions about what qualities you look for in a job candidate. For example, when it comes to sales positions, questions around customer service skills and the ability to network are frequently posed. For more technical roles, questions around ability to learn new skills as well as work collaboratively are asked.
However, the next time you walk into an interview, take the conversation one step further by asking yourself the above question. Why? Because it will allow you to highlight important qualities about yourself and how you manage yourself in a work environment. Plus it does make you look good here, too!
For example, if a receptionist position entices you, say that you don’t enjoy calling a frustrated customer. Instead, you would rather try to work through the issue over email or the phone.
The idea here is to insinuate that you’re eager to collaborate and solve problems with your peers.
Who do you manage?
Many architects are involved in managerial positions, even at the beginning of their careers.
Choosing the right responses to this question is important because it shows the interviewer whether you are able to be respectful in your workplace, whether you’re involved in decision-making, and whether you have an understanding of the role of senior stakeholders.
It’s important to remember that, as an archi- ty, your success is largely based on your ability to work effectively with people and maintain your relationships.
Are you LEED Accredited or planning to be?
LEED, the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification program for buildings and communities. Their mission is to demonstrate the value of going green. LEED certification is based on 6 principles: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in green building. Sustainable construction is becoming more and more popular as people become more environmentally aware. Energy conservation and excessive water usage are two things any architect will be interested in.
If you are hired for a job that requires LEED certification, it means you’ll be responsible for making sure the construction follows LEED’s standards, including choosing the best materials for each project. That’s why some architects are LEED accredited. If you haven’t come very close to the LEED certification yet, but you’re learning all about LEED standards and you’re getting your energy certifications, that can show you’re interested in going the extra mile and possibly a good candidate for LEED certification.
What are your Revit / AutoCAD / Sketchup skills on a scale of 1-10?
Let’s be honest. Most companies don’t have Revit/AutoCAD/Sketchup in mind when they post architecture positions. Most architecture job interviews are really about getting to know you, seeing how you think, and seeing if you have a passion for architecture.
Are you licensed? Do you plan to be? If so, when?
In many states, to practice architecture you need to be licensed. This is true even for designers and drafters. Every state has its own regulations, but in general and licensure takes four years to obtain. In most states, you can work as a designer or draftsman or even design some projects before you’re licensed. So if you are in high school or early in college, you will probably start your career as a draftsman …
So the question is straight forward: “Are you licensed, and if not, when do you plan to become licensed?”
Many people love this job because they love designing and drawing. But let’s be honest: You love it for the money …
If you don’t show through your job you love it for the money, you probably won’t love it long enough to become licensed.
Money is always a good thing to talk about. Don’t use it to try to duck a question, but don’t be afraid to talk about it in a positive context. By doing so, you will show you are straightforward and have nothing to hide.
What do you like about your present job?
The question may seem easy enough, but giving a good answer is no walk in the park. This one is notorious for being particularly difficult because you have to be careful to not slight your current employer. If you put down your organization, you’ll come off as disloyal and could end up with no job at all.
Your answer to this is going to come from the way you present your answer. Give a solid answer that highlights something positive about your employer while also making sure that you show off your strengths. The most important part is that you show respect for your current employer by focusing on the positive aspects of your job.
What would your ideal job be?
It’s a common interview question that can tell you a lot about a person. Asking what your ideal job is will usually get you a positive response. For example, you might ask:
“Tell me about your ideal job; what would it be, what would you do, what kind of environment would you be in, etc”
If the individual responds that his or her ideal job would be working in a small office, or with independent contractors, he or she might not be the best fit for your company. However, if the person responds with something along the lines of:
“My ideal job is to be part of a successful team where I’m able to use my expertise and knowledge to create the best designs for [insert non-profit/charity here].”
That tells you that he or she is a strong team player and likely a very good candidate.
What do you dislike about your present job?
The interviewer is asking you this question for several reasons. First, it helps the interviewer to eliminate you as a candidate. If you respond that you dislike your present job for the following reasons, then, in all likelihood, you’ll dislike your new job for those same reasons:
You have been with your current company for a short period of time.
You are too young for the position.
You set your sights on something in the field that is much more prestigious.
Are you happy with your career to date?
We are all guilty of imagining a future that rarely resembles the life we end up living. We dream of grand adventures and amazing accomplishments, all with the understanding that these things won’t make us happy.
The people who have jobs we covet don’t spend their days pursuing dreams. They’re busy. They’re making compromises. They’re often miserable. From the outside, there seems to be little difference in the lives of game designers, lawyers, and bankers. But the people in those professions actually view their work in very different ways. We’ve talked to hundreds of professionals from many different fields and discovered that some common trends emerge. These are the things that make us happy and keep us happy, whether we’re working in a cubicle or just dreaming about it. We learned the answers to these questions, and applied them to our own careers.
How do you handle stress and pressure?
Everyone gets stressed out from time to time. When it happens, your body is flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. When you manage stress effectively, you can take control of your life to produce good results. When you don’t, you might regret a lot of things.
So, managing stress well plays a big part in every aspect of your life. When you’re going to an interview, it’s very clear that you handle stress well.
When you’re asked about it, make sure to:
- let your interviewer know that you handle stress well;
- describe a time when you’ve handled stress well to your interviewer;
- explain how you’ve handled a stressful situation successfully in the past to your interviewer;
- mention that you are open to improvements and learn new ways to reduce stress.
What are you currently earning?
You might think this is an easy one as the hiring manager would surely already know what you earned at your previous job. But this is the one question that I would not answer honestly as it is a way to trip up the candidate.
The question of compensation is tricky because it’s not illegal to ask the question, but it is illegal to use that information as a basis for determining your future compensation.
Another reason not to answer this question is that a departure from your former employer is not a great reflection on your ability. It also suggests you weren’t an important part of that organization.
I’m not sure what the standard salary cut off is for a position like this. I also suspect many candidates will lie and exaggerate what they earned.
The most important part of the answer is to convey that the amount was based on the value they received from the services rendered.
What are your salary expectations? What’s minimum salary you’d consider right now?
This is one of the tricky job interview questions and you need to handle it in a very convincing way.
Think about it. Why would any employer want to pay you more than you are worth?
Not to mention that salary is probably the last thing you want to discuss in a job interview.
In reality, you’re not paid for the skills you have, but for what you and your employer expect from each other.
And the fact is that if you don’t mention your desired salary at the beginning of the process, you’re going to discuss it when you’d probably prefer to move on and dazzle the interviewer with your technical skills.
So the trick to answering this question is to offer a range instead of a single number.
Will you relocate?
Find out if the position is open nationally or is a local position. If it’s local and they don’t offer travel and relocation assistance, nor will they give you an allowance for temporary housing or moving expenses, then not relocating is an option.
What You Really Need to Know about DIY Screen Printing
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Take it from someone who has owned a business for many years – if you want to make a profit from screen printing, this isn’t the hobby to start with. But if you want to add a special personal touch or create a unique promotion for an event you’re involved in, there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself.
Here’s what you need to know about making your own screen printing at home.
Will you travel? What percent of overnight travel?
Any architect job will likely require overnight travel. Sometimes it may only be a few hours in a car, but generally, you will be spending the night out of town. Some firms will not consider a candidate who is unwilling to travel. Ask the interviewer what the average percent of travel is, if not an exact number. Most firms will not require you to travel more than 50%.
When could you start working here?
How soon can you actually begin working? When can you finish another interview with one of our competitors? Can you do both in the same day? That would be amazing, but in reality, our help will be needed here straight away. I suggest that you set up this meeting at the beginning of next week, since we still need to finish interviewing other candidates, and that we can discuss everything during our upcoming Monday meeting.
What is something NOT in your resume or portfolio?
The answer is a learning experience, an accident, completing a process, or becoming a volunteer for a cause.
A prime example might be seeing the renovation of an old building into a new library and how the materials were reused.
You should be able to relate a lot of your past experience (that is normally listed in the resume) to each of these items.
Download The 82 Architecture Interview Question and Answer Flashcards
The Architect Interview – Architecture Job Questions.
Bonus Question: Do you have any questions?
This is your opportunity to ask questions (Preferably intelligent ones) of your own.
If you are faced with a long list of questions, select interesting ones that you can ask about. Choose something that tells about your working style, your motivation and something that tells him something about your personality.
Good questions to ask include:
- Tell me a little bit about your company culture?
- Can you give me three qualities you look for in an employee?
- Do you have any concerns with my credentials?
- What would a typical day for this position entail?
- Where is the position located?
- Will I get to meet with people in other departments?
- Can you tell me a little about the culture?
- What methods do you use to check employees’ productivity?
- Why should I hire you?