How to be your most authentic self when interviewing as an architect?

Make sure you enter your next Architecture interview being yourself and understanding how to approach different situations that might throw you off of your game. We have got some tips and ideas for you to be proactive and prepare, so you are less likely to make some of the common mistakes that young professionals make.

You always want to make sure that you are connecting in a meaningful way when you are in an interview for any opportunity. Within the Architecture space it is even more important that you are true to yourself and to your craft. In order to make sure that you are present and truly representing yourself at an interview, we have compiled some great tips and ideas for how you should approach your next interview.

  1. Keep in mind the interviewer’s mindset! They also want you to be the one they hire, they have an incentive to hire you and avoid having to look for more candidates. Not only this, but they also want to reach a mutual agreement that you are the correct fit, so they want to make sure you are on the same page.
    • Be personable and do not be stiff! Be yourself!
    • Speak in different ways that make the interview a memorable moment, so that they have your stories to share with their HR and/or other counterparts.
  2. Get in sync with interviewer, and try to take your time to think about your response before responding. Show them you care and are interested and making sure the response you give is well thought out. This means you should try to notice the ways in which the interviewer responds to your answers and do they put in the time to ask you meaningful questions. Roll with what they give you!
    • Try to stay calm and avoid ignoring your gut feeling.
    • Use future forecasting phrases (i.e. If I were fortunate enough to join you and your team, I would work on this…)
  3. Learn how to organize yourself and your stories in an effective way! It is ALL about presentation and proper communication.
    • Create a matrix with three columns: Job Description, Specific Instances, and PAR Stories.
      • Job description: What are they looking for?
      • Specific instances: Stories and situations where you have been able to take on similar challenges that they want you to tackle, if hired.
      • Problem, Action, Result (PAR) Stories: Help you to make it clear how you have solved key problems and the individual success. Makes your stories more interesting in this way.
        • Profitability
        • Reach
        • Time to market
  4. Discover how to become more memorable by being more specific than general.
    • For example, try moving away from vague and general statements towards, something like “Ive run over 15 different design projects in the last 3 years from 50,000 to 3 million in project value.” Also make your stories visual, almost like a movie, you want to take them to where you were.
    • For example, “We brought in 5 people into a rented meeting room, with strategy and plan boards of our biggest projects at that time. We looked at the graphics and the messages side by side and used different color markers to indicate types of problems.”
  5. How you should handle unexpected situations?
    • If you are nervous, just admit it! Be real. They will see it either way.
    • You dont know the answer to the question…
      • Take a pause.
        • Say “Wow… thats a tough question. I would like to take a moment with that question.”
          1. Bring a pad with pen and paper, so you can write down ideas and concepts as you go
  6. How to end the interview powerfully?
    • For example, “If there are any concerns or reservations you have about my candidacy, let us talk about this now.”
    • Make sure that you let the decision makers know where you stand and that you are willing to compromise and outline how you plan to improve in the areas that they might see weaknesses.

When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-USand improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.


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