Architecture & Construction Interview Questions

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  • Graduate Project Management Scheme (Architecture Technology Grads)

    4.0/5 | Interview date: September 2016 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The application process started with a CV and cover letter upload; I was then contacted via email about a month after to do a psychometric test, which then two weeks after passing was invited to an assessment day at their HQ in London. It was a group interview with just 4 of us there for one role.

    Most difficult question

    The negotiation tasks- haggling prices and timing.

    Interview tips

    The cover letter is what gets the managers attention so really express your knowledge of the company and their discipline; also practise the psychometric test and especially touch typing as it comes up!

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    It was a very small group being interviewed- just 4 people, all of which were highly qualified candidates. The day started with a short presentation about the company and their work; the role was then described in detail which was within the pre-construction team for this interview.
    There was a series of tasks throughout the day- it started with a group task to build the tallest possible structure to a budget from materials provided, this was more about how you work in a group but a knowledge of basic structures and loads would be helpful. During this each candidate had a manager watch how they interacted with the team and contributed, this was the most difficult task of the interview.

    There was then one-to-one interviews with senior managers with 6 very easy basic questions ( why this role? why this company? what you tell us about you we can't get from your CV? biggest disappointment? best achievement? ) only about 15 minutes long and laid-back atmosphere.

    There were two different data analysis tasks to be done alone- one to review the company's progress reports and make recommendations for improvements; another was a series of mock emails to prioritise including calculating costs, customer complaints..in which half way through you were given more and then asked to re-assess your order of priority.

    The most difficult was a mock negotiation with a manager acting as a building contractor, in which you had to negotiate price and time frames for an over-run project.
    The day lasted from 11.30am to 4pm with a short lunch break; overall it was one of the more enjoyable interview processes and the team are very friendly and encouraging.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 2/5
  • HR Graduate Scheme

    1.4286/5 | Interview date: July 2015 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My initial telephone interview was with a member of their recruitment team which lasted 30 - 35 minutes. After a short introduction, we entered into the questions straight away.
    The first question was about what I knew about the company and their strategy. After we went onto around 6-8 competences questions which were based on the criteria they use to ensure that the graduate chosen will fit into their business. The questions were mainly based on your weaknesses and how you rectified what you had done, very difficult as it felt they were trying to highlight what you have done and whether you overcame it in the right manner.

    Most difficult question

    Explain a time where you made a mistake or wrong decision and how you dealt with that?

    Describe a time where you saw someone do or act in a way you felt was unacceptable.

    Interview tips

    Research and prepare questions which highlight your weakness.
    Research the company: products and services, strategy, responses to what they look for in employees.
    Stay calm.
    Speak clearly and slow, and make sure you answer the question specifically asked otherwise smaller questions will be followed to ensure the question is answered.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    N/A

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 2/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 1/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 1/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 1/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 1/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 1/5
  • Cost consultant

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: July 2014 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 0

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I had an interview through an agency. I managed to get to the interview an hour late (I left Leicester and had planned my journey so that I could arrive to the interview in London with an hour to spare but somebody had jumped in front of the train so all trains were delayed and cancelled) but my interviewer was fully understanding as I had informed them throughout my journey. The interviewer tole me about his company. The projects they are currently doing and a brief history about his beginnings. He then asked me to talk him through my cv and a brief history about me - personal interests, ambitions and goals for the future etc. The last stage of the interview involved a few technical questions based upon a scenario about a client wanting to build an office block and what I would do.

    Most difficult question

    How would I be able to get a rough estimate of a typical 7 storey office block.
    If time was not an issue, what type of contract would I use if cost and quality were important?
    How would I select sub contractors for the job and how many would I short list?
    What if materials chosen were sourced outside, what steps would I take?

    Interview tips

    Arrive with plenty of time to spare and if there are delays let your agency / HR know straight away, Don't be nervous - I applied for a graduate job and although I got a few of the questions wrong it was expected as I had little experience of the construction world but he was impressed with my confident approach. Always try to be honest in your answers as they will spot lies a mile away! The interviewer was pleasant and I enjoyed talking to him. One last thing - do research ie past projects, know the company history and share price if possible and finally dress to impress...

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    No assessment centre

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Hilti Centre Representative

    5.0/5 | Interview date: May 2014 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 6

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I initially applied to be a Customer Service Rep on the phones, so went to the first stage of that. There, there was a maths test and a competency based questionnaire to complete. At the end of the interview, I was offered to try for the Account Manager position instead, and went back 5 weeks later to meet the head of HR and Regional Manager for the North. After that stage I was taken for a field ride for the day to see if I would enjoy the job, and then at stage 4 I had an interview with the Sales Manager. Due to my lack of Sales experience he suggested I should fill a vacancy in one of their centres to gain the experience needed for the Account Manager position. So my final stage involved visiting a Hilti Centre with a final interview with the National Retail manager and team leader.

    Most difficult question

    I was asked about my weaknesses, strengths, if I learned any languages, activities I had done I was proud of.

    Interview tips

    Learn the values of the company - Integrity, Teamwork, Courage and Commitment. I met several people from Hilti throughout my interview stage and every single person truly believes and stands by these values. Think of things you have done in your life - whether that be in education or employment that fits these values. Be honest and genuine with them - and demonstrate you are proud of what you have achieved.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Maths test, the rest mainly competency based questions

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Barratt - ‘Aspire’ Graduate Development Programme -Technical

    3.5714/5 | Interview date: April 2014 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 6

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    There were three tasks on the day, after meeting and mingling with other candidates we were split up. We then completed a role play scenario presentation, an interview with a senior member of the company and a critical reasoning exam paper. All the activities were overseen by senior management of the firm.
    The critical reasoning paper seemed a bit formal and wasn't the most engaging of tasks, a calculator was allowed and two 20 minute papers had to be completed, as soon as it was completed there was very little niceties and we were shown the door.

    Most difficult question

    The question the assessors were looking for most research on was 'big picture focus'. How I saw myself within the company in the years to come, Barratt are looking for long time career applicants. Every question was looking for an answer about what I have done rather than what I would do, so preparation of past experiences and the benefits they've offered was key.

    Interview tips

    Research beyond the 'about us' section on the website is important, look at press releases, local community pages, share price. Try and understand all the outside factors affecting a development and demonstrate that in the interview.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The scenario gave us 45 minutes to prepare a flipchart presentation on a case study provided. The problems were to do with a development site and involved the layout of the site, the local residents and specification.
    The interview covered past experiences where;
    -I managed other people
    -I responded to a problem
    -I reported back to a manager to improve a service/function
    -I improved customer service for a client/customer

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 3/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5
  • General Management Programme

    5.0/5 | Interview date: November 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 13

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My telephone interview lasted for half an hour and was with a lady from the Learning and Developing department. She was very sweet and offered to rephrase a question for me when I struggled. She asked several competency questions asking about times I have worked in a team and had to deal with receiving negative feedback. Once I found out I was successful I was invited to an assessment day which was held in a college in central London. The assessment day involved two group activities and a face to face interview.

    Most difficult question

    Tell me about a time you had to deal with negative feedback and how you handled the criticism.
    Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team, what role did you play and what you contributed to the group.
    Being such a big organisation we deal with a lot of foreign clients, tell me about a time you have had difficulty with language barriers and how you overcome the problem.

    Interview tips

    I got the impression they like people with excellent interpersonal skills and people who want to progress. If you are friendly and confident you will make a good impression.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre was for three different job roles, General Management, Finance and Engineering so it had graduates from different backgrounds. There was around 12 graduates and even more people there from the company helping out with the assessment day. We were split up into three groups as there were three separate activities, two group exercises and an interview. I had my interview first and it was with two people from management roles, it lasted for around 20 minutes and i was asked similar questions to the telephone interview. The first group activity was fun. It involved us having a pile of qualities a manager should possess and we had to pick our top five, put them in order and present back why we picked them as the most important. The were obviously interested in seeing how you participate in teams. For the last one we were given six options for investing £10,000 and we had to pick the best one and create a presentation on the one we picked. Each group activity lasted 30 minutes and at lunch we had a chance to meet the graduates from the previous year and ask them about their jobs.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Entry Level - CAD-BIM-Architectural Drawings

    5.0/5 | Interview date: July 2013 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 2

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My interview had been arranged after my CV/Portfolio had been sent to the head of the architecture department. Basically we went through my portfolio, and I had to go through and discuss each one of my building designs. It really helped me with my confidence, as I could just talk about my designs and focus on what I new best, which gradually helped me feel much less anxious as the interview progressed.

    We also discussed my dissertation, which luckily brought up a mutual interest in refurbishment, an area that my interviewer had worked with in the past. That gave me the chance to bring up a personal story of a building that I had studied for a project at university, a conversation point that helped break up the somewhat formal atmosphere if the interview.

    Despite not having a lot of practical experience, I tried my best to show how eager I was to start a career in that industry, and to gain some real,hands-on experience, all of which I felt would help my chances of being hired.

    Most difficult question

    How much time would you need to get back into working with CAD software?

    I.e. Because while I was at university we switched to working primarily with building information modelling software, we relied much less on normal CAD software, that meant that I would need a few weeks to get used to it again.

    Interview tips

    Firstly, just be yourself during your interview, and focus on the points that you know you would feel confident talking about.

    Secondly, don't worry too much about practicing what you want to talk about before your interview, as invariably, the actual conversation during the interview itself may end up being almost entirely different to what you had imagined it would be!.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Not Applicable

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Business Pathway

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: July 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 101

    Sectors: Architecture & Construction

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My telephone interview followed passing a CV screening and verbal reasoning tests. This was conducted by the head of graduate recruitment in the company and lasted for 30 mins.
    This started off with a brief discussion about the details on my CV and why i wanted this job and why this company. There then followed two competency questions relating to success and teamwork skills.

    Most difficult question

    Competency based questions relating to non-academic activities. Need to prepare several examples of both academic and non-academic.

    Interview tips

    They say to act yourself but make sure not to become too friendly and comfortable. This was my problem and i treated the process more like friendly conversations. Doing it again i would recommend treating the interviews formally and making sure you have a good reasons for wanting to work for the company.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre came next and this started at 9am and lasted until roughly 3pm. Throughout this process the staff were very friendly. We had a short breakfast and then went up to a boardroom which was our base for the day. The day consisted of:

    Verbal reasoning test - to confirm your previous results were your own

    A one-on-one interview - two senior members of staff discussing why miller group and CV details.

    A decision making task - three projects that you had to work out financial data for and list advantages and disadvantages. Had to present findings and recommendations to two members of staff at a later point in the day.

    A written report - CR activities of the different divisions, advantages and suggested new activities

    A competency based interview

    All lasting 30-45mins except the decision making exercise which was 30mins of prep and 45mins presenting.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5

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