Let's say you're a recent architecture school grad and just landed an interview for the dream job you've been applying for.
At this point, you must get ready. Some architect interview questions may be broad in scope, but the vast majority will be focused on the design industry.
Preparing to effectively answer these architectural-specific questions is crucial. This article will give you the best possible architect interview tips!
Going through the architect interview tips, we have gathered a great way to touch base with the architect you will hire. It will enable you to get the architect's perspective on the position and your own.
So, stay tuned till the very end of the article because we will present everything you need to know about architect interview questions.
What Does an Architect Do?
The term "architect" immediately makes you think of someone sitting with a big drawing book, sketching and rubbing out the sketch over and over until s/he finally draws her/his desired project! The depiction is somewhat accurate, but an architect's job is much more! You must know the hierarchy of architectural job responsibilities to answer architecture interview questions.
Constructions ranging from private residences and businesses to public landmarks are all designed by architects. Before drawing up blueprints and construction plans for clients' approval, they study the project's feasibility. They might do environmental impact assessments(EIA) and find other forms of research such as cost analyses and design needs.
After placing a plan, an architect goes straight to work, drawing the proposed building, including plumbing, heating, electrical, and air conditioning. All programs must follow local and state building laws, fire restrictions, and disability access codes.
Architects are responsible for many things. Architects work primarily in offices but may travel to other places.
They also interact with contractors and clients to verify that projects are built to standards. They manage personnel, estimates, and building contracts. They provide presentations and promote new clientele. An architect working for a large company may attend business plan meetings.
Architects nowadays use software like CAAD, AutoCad, SketchUp, etc., but they sometimes rely on hand-drawn blueprints and designs. Architects also contribute to a house's interior design, fulfilling the client's expectations. When a project is under construction, they may visit the site to confirm it meets the authorized plan's standards.
From designing a sandcastle to building a skyscraper, we need architects everywhere!
The Basic Skills Needed for an Architect
You must first earn a degree in architecture and then gain experience in the field. Both education and skills are strongly required in this sector.
Proper knowledge of the skills and degrees required for an architect would help you precisely answer the core architecture questions in an interview.
So, let's shed light on it one at a time.
You must first earn a degree and then gain experience in the field. The profession relies heavily on math and physics and includes design, architectural art, and history. These are the most common qualifications of an architect:
(a) Bachelor’s and Master’s in Architecture
A bachelor's degree takes four years, and a master's degree requires one year or two. A total of five years of academic education and training.
History of architecture, design of buildings, neighborhood studies, AutoCad, etc., are common in a bachelor's curriculum. Master's programs require thesis research.
Most institutions of higher learning require students to complete either an internship or a residency as part of their educational experience to get a degree.
If not, you must complete an internship to understand the corporate culture of architecture.
States in the U.S. certify and licensed architects. States also recognize each other's licenses. The Architect Registration Exam(ARE) is offered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
State requirements vary. Three years of work experience and state standards are required to take the ARE. Licenses require passing all nine sections.
Architects need a variety of talents and skills to flourish in the field. With academic knowledge, knowing the process of application is crucial. Some skills, like imagining future projects, are easier for a visionary. You can master most of the skills with training and experience. Some of them are:
- Architectural design drawing talent
- Skills to analyze project needs
- Understanding buildings and their environmental impact
- Creativity in three-dimensional sketches
- Excellent oral and written communication
- Ability to design a valuable and attractive project
- A knack for business and negotiation skills
- Good at quantitative aptitude
- Interacting with various groups
- Excellent project management and organization skills
- Firm grip on computer skills and use of technology, especially, CADD and construction program knowledge
- Client, contractor, and business associate interaction skills
Common Questions Asked in the Interview of an Architect
At this point in our discussion, we have tried to gather some of the most commonly asked architecture interview questions you may encounter on your quest to become an architect.
We will try to give an idea of where the question is coming from with each query. Also, an insight into what the interviewer wants to hear from you. We hope our sample answers will help you to practice designing your solutions properly with your personal touch.
So without any further ado, let's get started.
Question#1: Why do you want to be an architect?
(The answer to the question reflects your interest in architecture. The best way is to show your passion for architecture with a personal narrative and/or a person or situation that affected you. It also allows you to share your compassion with the interviewer.)
Answer: As a person, I have the same amount of enthusiasm for the people I work with as I do for the building designs I make. One of our primary responsibilities as architects is to design and construct livable spaces that satisfy the requirements of our clients. We need a solid understanding of our customers, which is what drives my enthusiasm for the industry.
Question#2: What makes you interested in the role?
(The interviewer now wants to know why you are interested in working for the company as an architect. It is in your best interest to discuss the possibility of improving the talents you have already acquired through practice and gaining knowledge from the prospective employer. Show them how this role will add value to your career.)
Answer: I applied for the role because my passion for this field strongly drives me. I have enjoyed designing as a career. I've seen your wonderfully designed buildings and heard great things about your business services. However, I would like to use my expertise to make the company even better and learn from your staff. Also, I'd like to leverage my academic skills and experience to improve this company's performance.
Question#3: What are the qualities an architect must have?
(The interviewer wants to hear your stand on the qualities of an architect. What you can do is navigate him through your skillset and finally show him that all these are the qualities an architect must have.)
Answer: Several skills and traits are necessary to become a good architect. First and foremost, becoming a successful architect requires excellent creative ability, as many design projects call for out-of-the-box thinking.
Second, comes the ability to operate in a team. It is essential for architects because they frequently need to consult with specialists. An architect must know the art of communicating effectively with a client. I do need to mention my solid artistic sense and drawing abilities.
Lastly, an architect must constantly think like a business person. These are also some of the skills I possess, and I'm confident I can put them to good use for you.
Question#4: Why should we hire you as an architect?
(This question can be your trump card because you can showcase that you are the best fit for the job. Do your homework at the company. You will try to show them why you would be a great fit. Your thoughts about their firm will determine your response and how the company treats you.)
Answer: I am getting a positive vibe from your company's goals, and my enthusiasm for architecture of all kinds will mesh well. I happen to be a fan of your firm's culture and practice the same values in my own life. I have a sound grasp of AutoCad, SketchUp, and other software you use for architectural drafting and design.
I do not have the audacity to say I'm at the peak of my career, but I must say I am near. I am confident in my ability to succeed in this position because of my knowledge and expertise with the company's software. Let's grow above and beyond together.
Question#5: As an architect, what challenges do you hope to face?
(The interviewer should have a cursory knowledge of your experience and credentials at this time. The next phase, dealing with difficulties at work, is where the rubber really hits the road. In your response, emphasize your ability to perform well under pressure and express your desire to gain knowledge from experience.)
Answer: I have always been an adventurous individual. I like the challenges that motivate me; they make me think hard, push me to the edge, and encourage me to learn more. In architecture, even an inch can lead to disastrous results.
So, I guess staying focused and motivated is always going to be a challenge. But I believe I can do it. Also, after I successfully finish my challenge, I like to look at it as a learning experience and take notes for future endeavors.
Some additional questions
Then come the questions that require a little briefing. The answers will depend on your experiences and perspective. 2 to 3 lines of description will be good. Do not be too diplomatic; be precise and to the point. The questions will include:
- What are the projects you have worked on so far?
- Tell us about one of your successful projects. What made you succeed?
- Have you ever failed in designing any project? Why did you fail?
- Tell us about a time when you had to bargain with a building constructor.
- How would you approach a client who is adamant about adding a feature that could have a harmful effect on the environment?
- Do you think time management skills are required for an architect?
- What makes a building beautiful?
Along with the broad and descriptive questions, you will also face questions that you can simply answer with yes or no. Some of those questions are:
- Have you used CAD before? Any experience with 3D modeling?
- What is your area of expertise? Residential/commercial/industrial?
- Can you handle the pressure if you are assigned multiple projects simultaneously?
- Are you a team player? Can you work on a team?
- Do you hold all the required certificates to legally perform your job and duties as an architect?
Try to be confident with your answer. Don't be startled if something out of the book comes before you. Remember, the company wants to hire you for your credentials. If you can show them that you tick the boxes, you'll get the appointment letter for your dream job sooner than anticipated!
The Career Path of an Architect
There are many sectors where there are fewer jobs than ever before, such as architecture. It may sound like architecture is a job for only those who can draw, and there are no prospects for it.
But in recent times, architecture has brought a revolutionary change, so the possibilities are also better for the architecture industry. Because of the development of new technologies, more people are attracted to the field, and more job opportunities have come into being.
Architecture is a multidisciplinary approach. You can switch to many fields without losing the main essence of being an architect.
The possibilities are endless. We tried to curtail some jobs related to architecture for you. Have a look.
There is a vast sector of innovative architecture for architects, and we discussed it throughout this article. Now, architecture can be of many types, and each holds responsibility for different kinds of tasks. As knowing the types and styles is a must to answer architect questions, we will try to give you a brief idea of them. Let's find out about them:
(a) Landscape Architect
Landscape architects should have knowledge of various disciplines, such as industrial design, horticulture, environmental psychology, soil sciences, geography, etc. All the areas, such as urban, suburban, and rural, benefit from landscape architects' multifaceted approach to the planning and construction of parks, private dwellings, and other open places.
(b) Residential Architect
Residential architects consult with customers interested in having a custom home built, helping them to imagine what the finished product will look like, the cost of materials and labor and the timeline for the project.
(c) Commercial Architect
Commercial architects create commercial structures, whether public or private, adhering to safety rules, building codes, and other specifications mandated for public buildings.
(d) Industrial Architect
Industrial architects build structures that take into account the needs of various commercial sectors to fully utilize the building's potential in the long run.
(e) Restoration Architect
Restoration architects restore and preserve old buildings and structures. They know how to protect construction materials and fix them when they deteriorate or break down. Some designers and architects are self-employed.
2. Interior Designer
While architects are thought to only decorate the exterior, they can also become interior designers. Nowadays, architects turning into interior designers is a common phenomenon, and in that case, knowing what an interior designer does will definitely give you an upper hand in answering interior design related interview questions.
An interior designer's duties include a wide range of specialized talents to merge form and function. Creating rooms that are not just aesthetically beautiful is quite challenging. The best interiors are practical and efficient for residents.
As an interior designer, your duties include picking the right design tools and interpreting the design blueprints. Also, choosing patterns and colors according to the color palette and harmonizing them according to the client's choice. A trained interior designer must also know
- inspection requirements
- construction codes
- accessibility standards
Interior designers, like architects, create indoor spaces.
3. Urban and Regional Planner
Architects can also switch to a more giant arena to show their creativity as planners. Urban and regional planners evaluate land for development.
Planners also handle renovations and repurposing of land. Governments, engineering firms, and consultancies employ them.
They provide land use plans and initiatives for community expansion. They plan and develop
- towns and villages
- rural and agricultural land and parks
- water resources
- drainage and sanitation
- waste management system
- environmentally noteworthy locations
Urban planners revitalize villages, cities, counties, and metro areas.
Current and Future Market Demand of an Architect
The job market for architects is on the rise now. With technology and much better facilities available to the buildings and related technology, it's straightforward to get a job as an architect.
However, architecture is not for everyone. And if you want to get into this field, you need to be more creative than just following the traditional way.
Some of the reasons for the increased demand for architects are:
1. Green Architecture
A sustainable aspect of architecture that has been getting more attention worldwide is a concept known as "green architecture." This word represents eco-friendly or sustainable design concepts.
It should be no surprise that green design continues to gain popularity across various platforms, emphasizing the effective utilization of resources. It includes the conservation of energy and water, the reduction of pollution and waste, and the utilization of eco-friendly materials and designs.
With people being more cautious about environmental pollution and degradation, they are now more mindful about using renewable energy, reducing their carbon footprint, and using organic resources. So, architects face more challenges than ever before because they must simultaneously be modern, aesthetic, and environmentally friendly.
2. Tiny House
If you follow social media, the topic "tiny house" has surfed around your timeline.
Tiny houses are usually relatively small, measuring between 100 and 400 square feet. There isn't a hard and fast rule, but a tiny house is often less than 500 square feet. Outside of that range, they're just, like, little!
These houses are multifunctional, less cluttered, and efficient because they are very well designed. And who else other than an architect will do the house design job?
The tiny house is perfect now, so the demand for brilliant architects is rising.
3. The Retirement of a Considerable Population
A slower-than-average (compared to all other professions), 3 percent increase in demand for architects' services is predicted between 2020 and 2030.
Despite slow job growth, it is expected that there will be 9,400 annual opportunities for architects during the next decade. Most of these vacancies will arise directly from people retiring from their jobs. Generally, people are more prone to building their own homes after retirement; thus, the requirement for an architect is evident.
4. Home Renovation Trends
The trend of house renovation is skyrocketing right now. Architects are responsible for a wide range of planning and design tasks, including interior designing, from the renovation and/or construction of private homes and apartment buildings to the design and construction of commercial offices.
The more people renovate their houses, the more job opportunities there are for architects.
5. The Rise of Technology
With the advancement of technology, tremendous opportunities are being created. Never before has the industry been so into using technology; thus, timeless works are coming to life.
There is no debate that architects deal with a whole lot of software and tools to get their work done. Thanks to the development of new and improved technologies, it is now much more straightforward for architects to share their work and engage in other forms of collaboration with their employers. They can also be connected to fellow engineers and contractors.
In addition, architects can anticipate an increase in productivity due to current technological innovations and advancements in software. They will also be able to take pleasure in a more streamlined workflow.
The Salary Range of an Architect
Most architects are either self-employed or work either for a significant firm or a medium-sized firm.
Architects' salaries vary by location, experience, and degree. The compensation for each category would vary. As of March 2021, the average U.S. architect's salary was $86,500.
Architecture internships pay $27,000 annually on average. Newly licensed professionals average $60,000 annually, but experienced managers might make approximately $160,000 in large markets.