Architect qualities

A couple of weeks ago I had to do a week of interviews of very senior architects and it was a very interesting experience. I came into it with a fair amount of cynicism but actually it worked remarkable well.


The format was that people applied and sent in a resume along with documentary evidence of their work. There were then 4 architects on a board who reviewed this massive amount of documentation and interviewed the candidates. This took the form of a 30 min presentation about the project evidence submitted and then 30 mins of questions on the evidence (both written and presented). There was a 5 minute break with the interviewee not present whilst the board discussed what areas the interviewee should be examined in more detail. Then there was another hour of more general questions. Finally there was 30 minutes private discussion and a go / no go vote.


The areas assessed were:


Strategic thinking

Process and result focus


Organisational understanding

Technology Breadth

Technology Depth


Even though the bar was extremely high a number of interviewees passed but the things that stood out in my mind were how well these categories assessed what qualities architects need and how architects are generally very much in agreement on what makes a good architect.


It was a very high pressure week for everyone and every interviewee caused a huge amount of debate and discussion, in different areas every time.


Interestingly I put down in the first 5 minutes whether I thought someone would pass or not and was 100% correct both with my own final opinion and the boards final opinion.

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous says:

    original post on October 26th, 2005

    Just some links for future reference:

    Enterprise Architecture,…

  2. Johnny Campbell, Jr says:

    Hey Michael…your 100% success is due to your acute thin slicing skills. That is the subject of <a href="">Blink</a&gt;, which I just finished and thought to be a pretty good read.

  3. mike says:

    Interesting link and by the looks of things book. I will go and read, thanks

  4. Morgan Tiley says:

    First impression is always extremely important.

    And I wonder, will I face you in 2 weeks ?

  5. mike says:

    🙂 I’m afraid you wont!

    Good luck, it’s incredibly tough.

  6. Morgan Tiley says:

    I dont expect it to be easy.

    Im curious, how was the success/failed rate ?

  7. mike says:

    No Comment 🙂

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