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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.

Georgia O’Keeffe at the Tate Modern London

Running from the 6th July – 30th October

The popular Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate Modern London is on show over the summer and has so far received good reception. This week I decided to make the visit myself.

My early recollections of this female pioneer in abstract art were at 14 studying Art; her successful depictions of flowers and carcasses are both realistic and abstract.

The exhibition is organised chronologically, and focuses on work between 1910 and 1960. There are twelve exhibition rooms; each room focuses on an event in the painter’s life or a particular interest. This makes it easy for both those with an art background as well as an enthusiast to appreciate the relationship between events, themes and painting.

In my opinion,  the exhibition rooms would have benefited from being bigger, and the work spread out as I did occasionally feel that the overcrowding made it difficult to appreciate some of the paintings. Nonetheless, I did view all of them and even study a few. (See below for a list of my favourite paintings)

What makes this a great exhibition is the range of paintings go beyond the poplar flowers and carcasses which have become the iconic symbol of her art.  There are less commonly known paintings, smaller sketches, books as well as photographs by Alfred Stieglitz. Whilst some may argue that the paintings deserve to be displayed on their own, I feel that the combination gives the work context and a story.

The exhibition runs until the end of October and I would highly recommend everyone to take up this rare opportunity to  see the work of such a renowned American artist at the Tate modern London.

Link to the Tate Moden Exhibition:

List of favourite paintings:

Line and Curve             1927 Oil paint on canvas National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe, 1987(Click here to view)

Abstraction Blue          1927 Oil paint on canvas The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the Helen Acheson Bequest, 1979. (Click here to view)

New York, Night          1928–9 Oil paint on canvas (Click here to view)

The Tate Modern prohibits the use of cameras in the exhibition. Links have been inserted to other sites for reference only.

2015 in pictures

2015 has been a hectic year for me; with both career and personal challenges; but I have pushed through and I feel that I have learned a great deal. I am one step closer to becoming the Architect I wan to be.

A picture is worth a thousand words. So here its, my 2015 in Pictures.


I started my year in Seoul, South Korea with two of my very good friends. One of my favourite photos of Gyeongbokgung with the guard show.


Back to Reality, a picture taken in Greenwich after a quick lunch with an old University friend.  Greenwich Power Station, completed in 1910 stands in the background.


A Short but intense weekend when a friend visited from Germany, we went to Hever Castle in Kent. The castle was the home of Anne Bolyn before her marriage to King Henry VIII.


An office walk around the South East of London. We visited Canada Water Library, it was impressive to see how the Architects designed the interior spaces to create a balance between open and private spaces.


The free Birwick Music festival was a fun summer event that filled the streets wit people from across London. it is interesting to see the multitude of uses for ‘the street’ as a component of the city. London city is particularly good at this with street markets, marathons and strikes!


A family trip to Hyde park gave me the chance to see the annual serpentine pavilion in 2015 was designed by Selgascano, a spanish duo.


Farewell drinks with friends as the summer ends and I start to prepare for my studies at Liverpool University. The less time I have in this city, the more I things notice about it.


My ‘Holiday’ consisted of 5 days at Bestival.


I had to change at Crewe Station on my way to Liverpool Lime Street Station and noticed what looks like a Victorian wall carrying the new roof structure.


Liverpool City, the docks.

A study of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House

This essay will look at Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth house. The 1953 house is located in Illinois, USA, facing the Fox River and is set within the ten acre land outside Plano purchased by Dr. Farnswoth. The house contains strikingly modern features and an advanced use of materials. The architect’s approach to designing and constructing Farnsworth house sums his idea of Modernism at the time as well as marking the historical change in 20th century Domesticity. The house looks into the relationship between the individual and the environment through Mies’s exploration of nature, material and body.

Read More : A study of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House.

My London

For me, one of the most remarkable aspects of London is how honest it is. Layers upon layers of what this city was, is and what it hopes to be in the future are all intertwined to make a complex network of systems that all work together symbiotically. For every step this city takes towards the future, consideration of context, history, culture and art means that we carry the old version to the future, morphing it into something else rather than creating a new one. Perhaps this is why London, and other similar cities(Rome, Venice, Paris,etc.), are so successful in creating that “impression”, because they have grown so organically and with out force or haste.

Buildings have evolved from cottages to terraces to estates to high rise complexes and now to barricaded constructions sites, covered like present to the city. But London is not only expanded out and up but also from the inside. Existing buildings/structures that were perhaps factories or industrial sites have been renovated and given a new lease of life as homes and offices. The “warehouse conversion” craze is perhaps justified for a London lover, someone who wants to inhabit a place that was something else once.

Warehouse conversion(Telegraph)

Transport  Infrastructure is perhaps more telling, as more people move to London, the center finds itself under strain to meet expectations, and this has given an equally strong drive for many central stations to be renovated. St Pancras stations is a great example for the hybrid design that both appreciates Victorian Engineering feat and meets current demands.

St Pancras Station Completed in 2006
London Bridge Visualisation
Paddington Station Visualisation

About a month ago, I stumbled upon a set of railway arches that ran in parallel to a path. I had taken a detour from my usual walk for lunch one afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to find these arches. Each the size of a small hall, intimate, calm and spacious.

20150402_150701 20150402_150736

There are many similar arches like this one around London, varying in scale. Many have been built up to create offices, storage, parking, others are so wide that roads run under them. I have also spoken on numerous occasions to a colleague about such spaces as we were preparing for a competition. What are they used for? how else could they be used? why do they need to be used? what do they represent?

Overview map

Perhaps the mistake we made the first time round was that we started with a theme from which this site was selected when in fact the space created by the arches was a concept in itself. The space created by the arches was a result of an engineering feat by the Victorians. A method of building a continuous bridge on which the train could be carried along with out resulting in a solid wall being built up and separating two sides. The spaces are as much perforations as they are paths or tunnels or rooms. Closing them is perhaps not the right thing to do, especially if the connection between the two sides is still important today.

Just as London progresses and improves but still carries its past with it. Perhaps the same can happens here. The site is used as a travel route for many but is not well lit in the evening/ at night and is quite desolate during the day..The space under the arches (and the adjacent path) has the potential to be occupied occasionally or even as a one-off intervention and to be celebrated as a small part of what makes London.

It can be gentle reminder for its temporary inhabitants that it too was something else once.