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Bespoke Careers

14 November 2017

14 November 2017

"Diverse Experience" - Bill Dowzer, BVN

What Employers Want - WAF 2017

Filmed by Bespoke Careers at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Bill Dowzer, Principal of BVN discusses being relaxed in interviews, the importance of having a diverse range of previous experiences and gives his advice to candidates looking for a job within the architecture industry.

What CV advice would you give a candidate?

Anything that shows a personality or gives you any sort of insight into the person really helps for us. I think that understanding the type of people we have within the practice, and the diversity of people that we have is important. Also, seeing a diverse range of experience which goes beyond architecture is quite helpful. 

What makes a good first impression?

In an interview situation, the first way to make a good impression is to stay relaxed. We really do want to know about the person, who is going to come into our organisation, who is going to join the group and what they’re going to bring in terms of their own personality. What their sense of self is rather than fitting into a specific idea of what we want, so keeping it relaxed is key. Also, to let their own interests come-out, as well as those beyond the world of architecture. 

What type of portfolio do you prefer to receive?

Both physical and digital work. I think there are different presentation methods of work, and different people have different ways of working so I don’t have a specific preference and we generally use both. I think that technology can fail and there’s nothing worse than when you walk into a presentation and have to faff around because you loose connectivity or whatever, so being able to just have some hard copy as well and the ability to talk through your work rather than rely on tools is amazing. Being able to talk about what you believe in, and what your work represents is more compelling that 50 fabulous tools or 30 amazing videos. 

What questions should people ask? 

I think as an applicant you’ve got to research that. I believe that you need to have researched the organisation that you’re going to have the interview with and need to find out interesting facts or things that resonate with you and then ask questions that highlight those things. 

It shows a level of interest that you’re interested in working for the person that is interviewing you. Why do you specifically want to work for that organisation? That’s what employers want to hear, that a person genuinely wants to work for you, and they aren’t just after any job. 

If you could offer one piece of advice what would it be? 

Being able to get out of your own head sometimes, when all the conversations going on in your head means that you’re not actually listening to the person who’s talking to you. It’s hard when you’re nervous, you end up not listening and engaging with the person who is there. Try and be present, which is something that you learn over a long period of time.

Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers

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