Architect Selection Process - General Notes on Interview Committee Procedures

1. The Interview is the second step of a two-step Architect/Engineer (A/E) selection process. It follows the initial "short-listing" by a separate Screening Committeecomposed of architects and engineers with facilities management experience plus representatives of the user group. This initial screening is based purely on technical qualifications.

2. The Interview Committee is chaired by the Architect for the University, and normally includes the Chief Facilities Officer, the Project Manager, and members of the user group. Following the formal presentation, each panelist will be given an opportunity for questions. Follow-up questions are encouraged, but panelists should always look to the Chair before continuing.

3. The Chair will start off each interview by introducing each of the committee members. Each A/E team will be allotted the same amount of time, and will set its own pace, but will be expected to allow sufficient time at the end for questions and discussion with the panel. Time slots for each team are assigned on a completely random basis.

4. Several days prior to the interview, each firm will submit a fairly detailed "proposal" highlighting the specific strengths of its own approach to accomplishing the work. Each member of the Interview Committee will receive a full set of these proposals, together with an assignment to become particularly familiar with the qualifications of one of the firms. After the last interview, each panelist will be asked to take the lead in discussing the strengths and weaknesses of his or her assigned A/E firm.

5. All of the firms coming to the interview should be assumed to be technically qualified to perform the work. The face-to-face interview offers an important opportunity to look behind the glossy marketing materials; to observe the team's ability to interact with each other and with the user group; to determine their understanding of scope, management, and schedule issues; and to make a judgment about the team's ability to contribute positively to the underlying ideals of this place. By its nature, this will be a fairly subjective undertaking. Committee members should reflect on the fact that they may be spending a significant portion of the next three or four years with individual members of one of these A/E teams.

6. At the completion of all the interviews, each team will be discussed in order. After the general discussion, committee members will individually rank all of the candidates on secret ballots. After the ballots have been collected and tallied, the committee may discuss the top two or three candidates (as appropriate) and vote again until one firm emerges as a consensus choice. Committee members are enjoined not to discuss any matters taken up during this process outside of the committee room.

7. The Interview Committee's recommendation will be reviewed by the Vice President for Management and Budget, and will become final upon the approval of the University's Board of Visitors at its next subsequent meeting. Following this, each of the A/E teams will be notified as to the outcome of the selection process, and offered the opportunity for a post mortem discussion with the Architect for the University.

For more information, please visit the Professional Services page on the Facilities Management website.