Architecture Interview Questions (and How To Answer Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're preparing for an architecture interview, you may benefit from learning typical interview questions. Knowing the questions hiring managers often ask candidates can offer you an opportunity to think about your responses before the interview. This can help you answer confidently, which may improve your chances of getting your target job. In this article, we explore common architecture interview questions and learn how to answer them successfully.

General architecture interview questions

The first questions hiring managers ask are frequently general interview questions, including:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.

  • What are your hobbies?

  • How did you hear about this position?

  • Do you know any architects who currently work here?

  • What do you most enjoy about architecture?

  • What would you say is the most important aspect of architecture?

  • What is your favourite style of architecture?

  • What are your strengths?

  • What are you interested in learning in this position?

  • What are your career goals in the field of architecture?

For optimal results, consider responding in a straightforward manner. Honest, polite responses may also help you to make a good first impression. This can help an interviewer recognise that you're a great fit for the position, which may motivate them to give you the job.

Related: Interview Question: Tell Me About Yourself

In-depth architecture interview questions

In the next part of an architecture interview, the interviewer typically asks about your experience and previous work as an architect. This can help them understand whether you're a good fit for the type of architecture on which the company focuses. These questions might include:

  • Where did you train as an architect? What are the most important things you learned during that time?

  • What other experience do you have that makes you a good fit for this role?

  • What made you want to become an architect? How has this influenced your style?

  • Describe your design style.

  • Have you completed any professional development courses recently? Tell me about what you've learned.

  • Tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle while working on a design. What did you learn from the process?

  • What aspect of the job do you find the most rewarding?

  • What types of designs do you most enjoy working on?

Related: Job Interview Tips: How To Make A Great First Impression

Architecture-specific questions

In the next part of the interview, the hiring manager may ask questions that relate directly to architecture. Some of these questions might include:

  • Tell me about a project you worked on that you're especially proud of and explain why you're proud of it.

  • What are the recent trends in architecture, and how do these trends affect your designs?

  • What responsibilities have you had in previous architecture positions?

  • Tell me about your project management experience. How do you lead an architecture team effectively?

  • What are some typical problems you're likely to face when working in architecture? What's your process for overcoming them?

  • Have you ever received criticism for your work? If so, how did you adapt your work to meet the needs of the client?

  • Tell me about a time when you missed a deadline. How did you overcome this obstacle?

  • Tell me how you plan a design. What's your process?

  • How do you solve mathematical problems with designs? Tell me about a time when you solved a problem like this.

  • What contemporary architects or designers do you most admire? Why?

    Related: What Are Competency Based Interview Questions?

Technical architecture questions

During this part of the interview, the hiring manager may ask technical questions, including:

  • What are the opportunities and challenges you expect to find when working as an architect?

  • How does traditional architecture affect your personal design style?

  • In what ways do you innovate when working on a design?

  • How do you expect architecture and design to change in the future?

  • Tell me about a time when you managed a project. How do you lead your team effectively and what might you do differently next time?

  • Could you describe the types of columns and explain the differences between them?

  • Tell me about a time when you explained a technical design to a client. What's your process for simplifying technical terms?

  • What's your process for making a functional building aesthetically pleasing?

Related: Video Interview Tips: How To Prepare for and Succeed in a Video Interview

Questions you can ask the interviewer during an architecture interview

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager may provide you with a chance to ask some questions of your own. Asking the right questions can help you understand the position more deeply and show that you're interested in the job. You may ask:

  • How does the company handle holidays and annual leave?

  • Can you tell me about the team of architects?

  • What kind of project is the team of architects working on at the moment?

  • What kinds of employee appreciation events does the company do?

  • What types of clients does the company typically work with, and what types of projects do they generally order?

  • If hired, on what types of projects would I be working?

  • Does this company offer any opportunities for professional development or additional training?

  • Is there an opportunity for advancement in this role?

  • If I advance to a managerial position, how might it affect my salary?

Related: What To Wear To An Interview

Common answers to architecture interview questions

Here are a few common questions you may encounter in an architecture interview and the ways in which you can answer them:

How do you collaborate with other architects? Tell me about a time when you compromised with a colleague and how you did it effectively.

Sometimes, other architects may adjust your design to ensure that it follows a client's needs and meets safety standards. In situations like this, an ability to collaborate and compromise is important to the success of a project. Your response to this question can show the interviewer that you're flexible and can work with other people successfully.

Example: Once, I created a design for a modern building. When I presented the plans for the project, the client asked another architect to evaluate them and provide me with professional feedback. I reviewed the feedback and my original design. Then I compromised on a few aesthetic design elements and added a few functional elements to adjust the design based on the client's guidelines. The client approved the final design and decided to work with my company for future projects.

Tell me about a time when a design didn't go to plan. How did you overcome this obstacle?

Like any workplace, architects often encounter and overcome obstacles when drafting designs. When hiring managers ask this question in an architecture interview, they're typically interested in learning how you solve and learn from problems. They may want to know that when a problem arises, you're able to adapt effectively and complete the project successfully.

Example: I once designed a building but there was an error in the initial measuring of the design, meaning that the final drafts and blueprints didn't work to fit the actual available space. To solve this problem, I edited the design by updating the measurements. Then the construction team began building. As a result, my company was able to create a building that complied with safety protocol and fit the available space. After that project, I began to double-check my measurements before submitting a building plan, which has improved the overall accuracy of my designs.

Tell me about a time when you worked with a team effectively.

This question can provide you with an opportunity to show that you can collaborate and cooperate effectively. Hiring managers may ask this question to discover whether you can work within an already established team, so consider this when formulating your response.

Example: Depending on the team I'm working with and I always show respect and courtesy to my colleagues. When I first started my career as an architect, I was the most junior member of a team. On that team, I always asked for advice and shared what I learned, which helped the team improve as a whole. This helped create a positive team culture, which improved our overall productivity. This also helped us cooperate more effectively, which motivated more clients to choose our team to draft designs for their buildings.

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