Monday, 23 April 2012

Interview for Architecture

The Interview: Your first step to architectural glory  
Written by Azari Mat Yasir     
Tuesday, 10 April 2007  
This article is written with UTM's BArch and DipArch interview that is conducted as a final selection phase for prospective students. 

The first step you take on your journey to become an architect. It is one of the most crucial steps in architecture education, where the exposure begins as soon as you sit yourself on that chair in that god-forsaken room, in front of two (or more) supposedly pleasant looking interviewers already waiting in there.

However, this is neither a job interview nor language oral exam. Although it抯 set in a formal setting, it抯 pretty much semi-formal. Forget the setting, forget your attire, forget that folder you hold by your side containing all your genuine certificates of education and co-curriculum as well as the made up or exaggerated ones. It抯 not like any other interview. It抯 more of an audition. 

The UTM interview is divided into 3 parts:

The aptitude test
The drawing test
The oral interview 

The aptitude test is where you will be tested on your general knowledge relating to architecture, art and design. No, I won't tell you what the questions will be, but I can tell you that you don't have to memorize who is UTM's vice chancellor or when the school of architecture was institutionalized. We want to see how far you are interested in architecture and related fields, as well as testing your IQ for anything extraordinary.

Moving to the next one, the drawing test is exactly what it is: a drawing test. Your drawing skills are put to the test where you will be given a scene which you抎 have to mostly imagine or pull from memory. Pencils, erasers and rulers are your tool, and you'd be better off bringing your own than to borrow from the guy on the next table.

Finally, to the climax of the test: the oral interview. You will be tested on your language skills, both BM and English in a very light and casual conversation manner. You would do well to be able to converse eloquently and honestly throughout the session. This is not a question and answering session. It's a CONVERSATION. Remember that. 

Some of the interviewers easily get bored when the students are more interested in answering questions that are non-conversational. The situation gets awkward quickly, and that is not the way to go. This is where you should take over the conversation. Be confident and talk casually. You don抰 have to make things up to impress, though. Speaking honestly from experience or opinion would suffice. 

Remember, the interviewers have interviewed so many candidates before you. You might be just another kid trying to make it big, and frankly, it's very hard to keep an interested face to kids coming and going. Make your presence. The interviewers are architects, they are mostly visual people. You need something to burn the image in their mind when they go back and discuss whom to select.

Wear something different from your usual wardrobe. If need be, shop for it. Get your hair done. Not by a barber but by a hair stylist. Get a facial while you抮e at it. Shoes are important too, because you抣l be sitting in quite a considerable distance from the table of the interviewers. No, you won't get a table for yourself; hence the interviewers will see you from top to toe.

If your palms are sweating, they can see it. If your feet fidget, they can see it. If you're shaking on the verge of a nervous breakdown, they can see it. If there's a place in your head where you can seek solace, go there. 

The interview will probably last about 15 minutes. But for some, it'll be the longest 15 minutes in their lives. Be confident, casual and relax. Don't bother if somebody tells you to be yourself. If you're a shy, introvert and soft spoken, being yourself will kill you in there. 

Also, try to remember the objective of the interview. They need to sort the good from the bad ones. The really interested I've-been-dreaming-for-this-since-childhood from the I'm-here-because-my-daddy-made-me candidates. Some interviewers will be blunt and borderline rude. Some will bombard you with extremely provocative questions to measure if you're worth it. Some WILL MAKE YOU CRY. 

Bottom line is, are you worth it? This is the first test in your path to architectural glory. If you're not strong enough, not good enough, not impressive enough, chances are there's no glory for you in this field. Prepare yourself for the worst. What can go wrong will go wrong. It's an audition, yes, but it's an audition to prove your worth. Keep that in mind.


because got one of this student was interviewed and he failed! No UTM!
Then he entered to UiTM. But architecture too. 

Pray for me guys. 
Allah is always with me.

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