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Part 1 Placement - Interviews & Expenses

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    • Thread Starter

    My boyfriend is currently applying for Part 1 placements, and he has been offered an interview in London. Trouble is, we live in Aberdeen, and because it's quite short notice, flights are ridiculously expensive. Does anyone know whether expenses are paid for these type of interviews?

    Also, he is debating what to wear. With it being a more creative industry, would it be appropriate to wear a suit and shirt but no tie?

    The things they don't tell you in uni end up being the things you need to know the most!

    The expenses won't be covered. Not in this industry. There might be one or two practices in the entire country who may just entertain the thought but even that's pushing it. Architects are under the impression that it should be a privilege to work for them. When I was doing interviews I just wore black trousers and a shirt. Don't wear a suit and tie, no architects dress like that. Take a look at the practice's website which may show people working there to see what they are wearing.

    Something as trivial as what to wear for an interview seems like it shouldn't be a big deal but I understand in some industries if you're not dressed as a corporate clone they'll reject you off the bat. Architecture isn't very corporate though compared to other industries.
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for your help, although it wasn't entirely what I wanted to hear! I did think they wouldn't pay expenses because it wasn't an advertised job, he just sent them a speculative CV and they asked to see him. Oh well, he'll have to fork out for the flights or take the Megabus down!

    That's what I thought about the clothes - on the website they all look pretty casual so I assumed he could get away with being smart but not overly trussed up.

    Thanks again!

    This is the sort of thing Skype was invented for, I know two people that did their Part II interviews web cam.
    • Thread Starter

    Skype would certainly be a lot easier and cheaper! I'm hoping that the fact that they've asked him to come down when they aren't even advertising for a part 1 assistant is promising...

    I wondered whether anyone could shed any light on what might happen at the interview? Boyfriend is preparing a portfolio to show them but wonder what sort of things they might ask him?

    Also, I wonder if anyone knows how much these types of job pay? I've read that RIBA recommend a wage of just over £10/hour in London, but is that commonly offered? Hoping he gets that because otherwise living in London is going to be very difficult!

    They'll probably talk mostly about his portfolio. Will then also ask him about how good he is with computer programs. Might ask who his favourite architect is. When I was doing interviews I had a long discussion with one firm about how **** the state of the industry and the profession is so it will most likely be pretty informal. One of the key things is that they're probably looking for someone who is interesting or a laugh to work with.

    The pay will be absolutely dire. I was on 15k a year ago when I was on a Part 1 placement in London. Practices don't give a monkey's about the RIBA recommended wage, they'll try to squeeze as much as they possibly can out of Part 1s. As far as they're concerned they think it's an 'amazing opportunity' to come and work for them so therefore they can get away with paying peanuts. What will probably happen is that at the end of the interview they will try to negotiate a wage. He could say to them that he wants a wage in line with the RIBA guidelines which, of course, sounds pretty reasonable but as soon as they interview someone else agreeing to less than that, the other person will immediately get the job. It really depends how desperate he is to get a Part 1 placement and how much he wants a career in architecture. If I was being completely honest with you, I would say it isn't worth it at all.
    • Thread Starter

    Wow...sounds like your experience hasn't been great Ex Death!

    He is one of those people who has always known what he wants to do, and he's incredibly dedicated to it. Besides a couple of people who've got placements through knowing someone, he's pretty much the only one in his class who has started applying. I do remain optimistic that, if he gets this job, the company will pay okay, based on the fact that they are a young practice but have quite a few members of staff, which suggests to me that they are doing okay financially. Their current part 1 guy has been there for 5 years or something as well (I guess he isn't going on to part 2) so he must think it's okay! How big was the practice you worked for?


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