Three Architecture Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.
Architecture firms and how they interview can vary a lot. Some will treat it like a very casual conversation, perhaps over a coffee, while others will prepare a list of questions and discussion points with multiple panel members.
Whatever the vibe is, there’s a good chance that the conversation will cover a version of these three questions.
1. Why do you want to work with us?
This question sometimes catches young architects off guard, as they’ve usually been preparing to talk about themselves and their own skills and may not have put a lot of thought into talking about the firm they are approaching.
How to answer:
When you’re asked this question, they are really wondering whether you’re a good fit for the firm. It’s also a good opportunity to test how much you know about the practice. So, your response can demonstrate what you know and like about them as well as help paint a picture of how you might best fit in with their team.
2. What do you like about architecture?
This question may be formally asked or may just be covered during background conversation or while flipping through your portfolio. Again, it’s not a question directly about your skills so it catches some people by surprise.
How to answer:
Firms aren’t just looking for someone with useful skills - they’re also looking for someone who is motivated, enjoys their work, and has potential to be a long term team member. Your answer to this question should try to show enthusiasm for architecture, some personal insight into the type of architect you want to be, and can even overlap with the first question by reinforcing shared philosophy/interested between yourself and their practice.
3. Do you know (insert drafting software that the company uses)?
This is an obvious question; as a student or graduate your primary role is probably going to be drafting. However, it may not be essential that you already know their software.
How to answer:
If you do know the software, explain this and try to give examples that demonstrate how much you know, i.e. show drawings you’ve produced or talk about courses you’ve completed. Try to be positive about your experience but also be modest and explain that you understand that using a program for University purposes is often quite different to using it for work, especially in larger commercial firms.
If you don’t know the software, explain your willingness to learn and perhaps discuss how you’ve effectively learned similar programs in this past.
The common theme across all of these questions, and any others you will be asked, is demonstrating your potential in a way that is specific to the firm you are talking to. Researching the firm, as well as practising how you will talk about yourself are the two most important steps when preparing for your first architecture job interview.
If you’d like further advice on this topic, please check out our Job Interview Preparation Workbook. For the price of a cup of coffee, it can help you
Prepare answers to 15 common architecture interview questions.
Understand necessary background information about the architecture firm you are visiting.
Know your personal strengths and weaknesses and how you can talk about these in a way that promotes your suitability for the position.
Be able to improve your body language in an interview situation.
Have return questions planned for your interviewers.
Cover all logistical preparation elements to help the day run smoothly.
Be confident in following up the position and seeking feedback.
If you’re not yet at the interview stage in your job hunt, you might enjoy or FREE Job Seeker Workbook instead.