Photo by Brett Jordan

5 Ways to Practice For Your Next Architecture Interview

Make sure you are exercising your interview muscle every week and improving in the areas that you see fit! Personalization is key to success with any interview process. Find out more ways to practice!

Just like any craft or skill you must practice and sharpen them every day. What is difficult about practicing for interviews, is that you do not know exactly what kind of challenges and questions you will find yourself dealing with. We have some ideas for you to consider when practicing for an interview at an Architecture firm.

1. Set a Goal For Yourself

In order to understand what you want out of a professional experience, you must set a plan out for yourself. Make sure that you have a way to judge and assess your progress in your career over time. Think about where you currently are, and what you do and do not like about your current employment.

If you have intentions to build your own firm, maybe you should start looking at your long term goals, and areas you might need to improve in. For example, you are an incredible renderer and have a great eye for design, yet your administrative and organizational skills are not the best. This would be an area that you could start creating a game plan that is 5 years out, and considers your weaknesses and how to improve.

2. Research Who You Will Be Interviewing With

We have said this before in previous articles, and I am sure that you have been advised to research the team before going into the interview. Yet many do not personalize their pitch and their content they present. You must consider what their weaknesses are, and where they are trying to shore up their talent for future projects. What does this mean?

Not only should you research the team, but also what direction the Principal and leadership are taking the firm in. So that if there is a future need they might have, you can be proactive and let them know the ways in which you can assist them to also take on those challenges in the future. Remember! You want to make their lives easier, not harder!

Research their Portfolio so that you know how your professional interests and experience connect with the firm’s. By knowing what they are trying to achieve as a firm, you will better understand what they need and are looking for. Use your network and try to connect with them ahead of time, or at least interact with other team members to make your presence and interest known. They want passion for the work they are doing, but also skill!

You want to make a strong first impression, so ideally you want to connect with the decision makers, and this will allow you stick in their mind when it comes decision time.

3. Be Honest! Never Lie!

When you are revising your CV and Portfolio make sure that you are not only personalizing for the firm and audience, but that you are also verifying your claims and statements. You do not want to be caught lying or bending the truth on any of your credentials. It would prove to be a bad first impression, as well as a negative impact on the trust in the professional relationship.

4. Make Sure You Have Personalized Your Portfolio and CV

Obviously, as an artist and an architect, you probably have a large catalog of work that could fill pages on pages on pages. So make sure you break down your professional experience into bite sized pieces.

Understand what each project requires in terms of visuals and what it highlights. Some of your projects may be less visual and more conceptual and open-minded. Make sure you have a mix of testing the limits, but also projects that show you understand the basics and do them very well.

Remember! Proofread and spellcheck your cover letter, CV and portfolio. Have your friends and mentors revise and look over the content you will be providing to the firm!

5. Have Interesting Questions Ready and More Than One Story

One of the best ways to show your interest and an area that you can prepare for quite a bit ahead of time, is the preparation of top notch questions. If you can show the firm that you are also interested in what they are talking about and/or working on, then they are more likely to continue working with.

Ask questions that leads the conversation towards stories that outline how you work with teams to solve problems, how you have taken on big challenges before and succeeded, and ideally, a story that connects with the decision makers emotional side.

Consider the following questions to ask, and also questions that provide you with insight into how you might be able to fit in:

Company’s Goals?

Employees recommend the company and experience?

How informal or not is the company? What do you want?

How successful is the company? Do they have space for you?

Diversity of perspectives within the company?

What is a challenge that the company worked on as a team that best exemplifies the professional experience at the firm?

How has leadership dealt with problems before? What kind?

Would you be managing any other people? If so, how many?

Would you be challenged there?

What opportunities for moving up do you have?

These are all great questions to consider, but make sure you personalize the questions you ask according to the firm you are talking to. Always consider the audience when interviewing!

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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