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Thread: Interview questions

  1. #1

    Interview questions

    I am interviewing for my first "real" planner position. They called today, and I am interviewing tomorrow (yikes!).

    Up until now, I have held several internships, all in the private sector doing GIS, economic and market analysis. I am currently interning at a public sector redevelopment agency, but not doing very "planner-y" work (mostly property acquisitions and grant writing). This planner position is entry level, and not a lot of experience is required aside from a basic understanding of urban planning.

    Here are some buzz-words from the job posting that have me wondering what they are looking for in an entry level position:

    1. Research & Analytical Methodology
    I can think critically, identify issues and stakeholders, consider alternatives and make recommendations, do they want to know more than that?

    2. Statistical Techniques
    I have taken one statistics class in my life. I can understand what numbers mean and how to apply them. But am I supposed to know advanced statistics like regression analysis?

    3. Architectural and Site Design Review
    As an entry level, non-designer, I am familiar with different approaches to urban design at the macro and micro level; TOD, TND, New Urbanism, Smart Growth. Is this sufficient?

    Thanks ahead of time for the advice!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Without being them it's hard to know what they want. But here's a few thoughts:

    1. Research & Analytical Methodology -- Do you know how to look things up, like relevant state statutes (may be on line)? Do you know where to look things up, such as census info?

    2. Statistical Techniques -- It seems likely that knowing how to do basic correlations, rolling averages, and that sort of thing, and understand what Excel will do for you, generally would be enough. Being able to do linear regressions has come in handy exactly once in my career in planning (and I'm 57).

    3. Architectural and Site Design Review -- Knowing how to read a map, plan, elevation, etc. should be a big part of this. Understanding the importance of what you are reading also is important. Can you translate the plan to TOD, TND, etc. concepts?

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