Top 10 tips for a successful Interview

Individual Portfolio Tiles
Architecture Summer Exhibition, AA 2017

Top 10 tips for a Successful Interview

Attending interviews can be a nerve wracking time. Here are my top ten tips for interviews, compiled from conversations with number of colleagues, researching journals and my experience of attending interviews.  I’ve split these into two parts.

Before the Interview


You will be spending the most amount of time preparing this document. Your portfolio is your single most important part of the interview. It should be clear, concise and focused. It  should show evidence of what you claim to know.

2.Look at yourself from the perspective of the employer.

You are an investment to them, you will be trained, provided with access to company protocols and resources. So you have to show that you will be worth being hired. What will you add to the  practice? Are you a fast learner? hard working? knowledgable? good with people? good at time management? 

3.Research about the company you’re being interviewed by.

This is as much to impress the interviewer as it is for you. There is no point getting a job somewhere  that you will come to hate three months down the line. Research the company and work they do to see if you would like it there.

4. Prepare answers for the difficult questions.

What are your weaknesses? why do you want to join our practice? Why did you resign from your previous practice. turn these seemingly negative questions into tools to strengthen your profile.

During the interview

6.Be there 15 mins early.

Leave early, get there early. You do not want to set a bad impression before you arrive.

7. Eye contact, hand shake

.. the first 5 seconds say it all.

8.Talk with confidence, be concise and don’t blather. 

Excessive talking dilutes the point you are making and increases the risk of confusion  and miscommunication.
“The more you talk, the more you need to clarify, which leads to more talking, because you’ve not explained clearly that talking too much  results in….” You get the idea!

9. Salary talk?

 A difficult topic to broach. The answer to this is it have to sense the situation but generally Speaking:
a. You had a good interview and the interviewer says they are interested-  Discuss Salary and open negotiation
b. You had a good interview but they are still considering other candidates. Either wait till they contact you or if use it as an advantage.
c. You didn’t have a good interview-don’t discuss salary as this will leave this discussion open for another time should they choose to approach you.

10. Be yourself at the interview,

After all you’re likely to be working with the very same people interviewing you. Show them what you enjoy to do and how you can benefit the practice.

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