Top 10 Urban and Regional Planner Interview Questions. Voted by our users!
Top 10 Urban and Regional Planner Interview Questions. Voted by our users!
1. When have you provided an excellent presentation? Describe it to me, and why it was successful.
The best presentation I have ever made was in a group of 3 including myself as our idea was very well delivered to the listeners and it got appreciated by everyone and my synchronization with the 2 other members was very well.
Presented a couple of different projects to the Planning Commission. A good example would be presenting the project for a new 90,000-square foot commercial center. I was able to explain the project to PC members, addressing the site layouts, on-site circulation, building architecture, discuss the development hardships. The reason it was successful, it was because I was prepared and discussed the project with the applicant. As a planner, I try to think outside the box, and think of questions or concerns the commission may asked.
I was given Cornmarket Street as an open space to redesign. I took a bigger picture approach to this redesign. I knew that the construction of an events centre was beginning at one end of a road in close proximity to the site I was redesigning. I also knew that this open space had key connections to a high street retail area and had a great deal of permeability. I had noticed there was an area of this open space that was derelict and I asked myself what I would put there. After careful observation, I determined that moving a bus stop from along the river was a perfect solution. It removed the physical barrier of the river from the flows of passengers who were coming to Cork City. It also provided more foot traffic through North Main Street to the events centre and other areas. It also condensed the city centre. I was given a great deal of positive feedback for this redesign.
2. When have you had to explain a process or idea, to someone who was either stubborn to the idea, or just did not understand the idea or process?
I encounter this issue on the daily while working at the city planning counter. Often the process is confusing and frustrating. The best way to explain the process is to go over the procedures slowly, I like to give them the city flow chart for time lines and explanation.
I guess knowing how to work in a team is very essential one should know how to get maximum out of someone's strengths and weaknesses.
Yes. For example overseeing the Planning Counter and working with the Planning Technician, she explained to me that the person she was assisting at the counter was not understanding the process or requirements to setback the fence in order to meet the sight visibility for a wall along the alley.
I will try to understood by my self and give him/her good knowledge with me.
I think I was fortunate to be a part of Project Saarthi- an initiative by RTE Centre IIM Ahmedabad. The project was meant to help and spread awareness among economically weaker sections of society about their kids' rights to study in good private schools with their tuition fee borne by the state govt. And those schools. The whole project was divided in three phases. In the first phase we were suppose to go and meet the parents in anganwadis and explain them about the Section 12 of the RTE Act.We were also given the task of collecting the details of the families. In the second phase, I was given the task to help five parents through telephonic conversation in applying the form, gathering the documents, submitting the filled form at the right place within the deadline. Initially I found it very difficult, since some were not open to this very idea of help being offered cause of trust issues!!But slowly after a couple of calls, everything thing went smoothly. In the third phase we were suppose to keep a track whether parents who had applied earlier received any letter from the govt. Or the school.
3. When have you worked with difficult individuals? For example, people that may have very poor communication skills. How do you handle these situations?
I believe everyone shall be given equal opportunities. I have worked with a group of 17 totally different people for an urban design project which taught me how to enhance the strengths and deal with weaknesses of people and self.
Always keep in mind that you are there to facility and help the community. In situations where the individual had poor communication skills, I explained the regulations or requirements in different terms or simplify the requirements/process. If necessary I can also provide examples of similar projects or submittal requirements. People want to feel that they are respected and are being served in a polite, courteous manner.
I had a supervisor while on an internship who was ineffective at communicating issues that upset her. She had a great deal of difficulty directing her feelings towards the right place and instead directed them at anyone and everyone. One day she did this to me, and began yelling at me in front of other people for an issue that was not my doing. I remained calm, though this was difficult, and when she was done, I asked her if we could speak in private for a moment. Once we were alone, I explained that it was highly inappropriate and unprofessional to speak in such a manner to an employee in front of other people. I also calmly addressed the concern she clearly had in such a way as to bring a different perspective to it. She thought about my words and apologised for her inappropriate direction of anger towards me, explaining that no one had ever taken the time to explain what she was doing.
4. What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
Remembering dates, numbers and names. Rehearsing data when discussing topics and issues through verbalizing the specific data.
My greatest weakness is sometimes putting too much attention to detail. How I fix it is by making sure I look at the bigger picture as well as all the details because sometimes there are too many details that are irrelevant and could lead to wasting time.
Confidence in public speaking.....
My greatest weakness would be a tendency to second guess decisions I have made. I am trying to correct this through reminding myself that I have considered all options, and the pros and cons of each, before a decision is made.
Too focus on details. Look at big picture.
5. What is your greatest strength? How does it help you as a Urban and Regional Planner?
I am resourceful. I like being able to find out as much as possible about a topic given. Speak to the right people. Ask the right questions. Work with people well as I believe in sharing knowledge.
My greatest strength is customer service. I feel that I am able to connect with customers at a level that makes them feel that I understand their situation and am working towards a solution.
I can very well work in a team, I would be a very strong contributor and provide quality in the work as individual.
I am really good in working as a team which is very important in this field and I can prove to be a very good and quality contributor.
Reliable, well rounded worker. If you ask people I am a hard worker, willing to stay late and do what's needed to complete the task at hand. This helps me become a better urban and regional planner because I am an asset to the community in terms that I will do what needs to be done in order to complete the project, which may require to stay late, collaborate with other departments and agencies, and the community to provide a quality project.
6. Why are you the best candidate for us?
I am qualified, having the necessary skills and experience that would make me an asset to this organization.
I am motivation, passionate about strategic planning, feel strongly about being part of the team to shape the city. I am resourceful, analytical, have good written and verbal skills. Able to adapt in situations. Diligent and able to work independently as well as a team. Being a formal staff member, I have established relationships with people and that can help me in the work.
Besides gaining knowledge I can provide quality service in all terms.
Besides gaining knowledge I believe I can provide quality work and benefits to the company.
I feel that I bring a great deal of strengths to your team. Not only am I a graduate planner, but my previous work experience encompasses finance and financial analysis. I also have a bachelor in social science which helps me understand people. Utilising the unique combination of financial, economic and social skills I have gained, I believe I would be a great asset to your company.
7. What area in this city do you believe has the most potential?
The peripheral area has got so much potential as it is emerging as a counter-magnet of this city. I strongly believe that in terms of quality of life, that part is better off.
The areas that have not yet developed and most it found in the periopherly.
Vision of Santa Ana, for higher density. The downtown area has drastically changed in a positive way, where it has become a more destination area, and attracts more people.
I believe that the North Main street area of the city has the most potential at this time, as it is underdeveloped but is vibrant. Simple and careful interventions could clean up the dereliction in the area while maintaining and possibly enhancing its vitality.
8. Why should we hire you?
I believe I can make a positive impact to making our environment better and am also a very dedicated and hard working individual.
You should hire me because I am pro-active, self-starter, research-oriented and creative to work on various planning projects with a holistic approach and I will be an asset to this prestigious organization.
I have a willingness to learn, quick adaptability and have demonstrated ability to perform under deadlines and responses to the public with composure and professionalism. Like to make a difference in the community I live in.
I believe I can be a valuable team member. I am very driven and hardworking. I am a quick learner and think that I can help take some stress off of the team.
Well I have the experience, knoledge, and trust of the organization,
9. Why is urban planning important to you?
Urban Planning is all about creating healthy and livable communities.
Drives towards building better communities, more over it enhances the built environment through socioeconomic developments. Creates the opportunity to shape a connected, organized and productive communities.
it put different types of urban land use in order so that the available land (scarce resource) of space is effectively utilized for both short- to long- term run. it is important to intergrate three pilars of sustainable development which are social, economic and environmental aspect of the area, which means that proper urban planning promote for the urban areas which are socially, economically and environmentally just.
Urban and Regional consist of several field of studies which give and individual a wide range of knowledge. In addition, it is a field in which you are part of the development of something that will perhaps influence peoples lives hope fully in a positive manner. The end results are exciting sometime unknown.
It is my passion since i was a child, and my ambition is to make a great building to people livi in it.
10. Tell me about your education. How has it prepared you for a career as a Urban and Regional Planner?
My education was very valuable and I was lucky to have professors how had knowledge of all the specialties and areas of planning. Everyone of my professors emphasized the importance of comprehensive planning making sure one accounts for all the elements of planning without leaving any out and ensuring adequate public participation in the planning process. The plans we write has effects on everybody within the city some more than others. But it is important to not leave out important stakeholders or the public in the process.
The subject content of the various subjects has ensured that the theoretical element of being a planner is embedded within me. This will include the understanding of various legislation plans ad strategies. However, the real lessons are those which came in respecting set deadlines, working in groups to produce a product and overcome issues as well as understanding that handwork is imperative to the final outcome of a product.
My education provided me with the theoretical and practical tools to enter into the modern planning world. In this, I not only learnt how to work on large projects alone, but also to work efficiently with large groups. As well, it equipped me with the knowledge of what the best practices are in numerous fields, from economics to environmental management. Along with this, I was also taught facilitation techniques, including how to construct a community engagement session and how to determine which method of community consulation should be used in each situation. Allowing me to better work with a community.
I graduated from the Bachelor of urban planning. During that time, I learnt about the importance of planning, the role of the government, planning principles, expose to urban issues, wrote essays that helped improve writing skills. Prepare for real life planning.
My education has prepared me because it has given the foundation of skills ill need to be successful in the field.
11. Tell me about a project you studied in college that impressed you the most.
carried out a study on the cost benefit anaysis on the public projects in order to deternime the feasibilty of publicly funded projects and the impacts such projects usually have on the communities. The project was very interesting to undertake yet challenging
A budget analysis of the expenditures for the City of Pensacola for a ten year period. The analysis compared the Annual Budgets to the Annual Budget Report at the end of the year. The most interesting result was how the Annual Budget was a political tool and the Annual Budget Report identified the actual city priorities or lack thereof.
Well I studied in nigeria so technically am not impressed by any project so far.
I studied about an Aerotropolis which is a city designed based on an airport. I have been very passionate throughout various design stages to make the city a sustainable one in every aspect.
Delevoe Park, Florida. Neighborhood revitalization plan.
12. How have you incorporated public transportation into your past designs?
I am a pro-Transit Oriented Development. And in my previous designs, I have integrated various modes of transport for eg. Train for inter city movements and bus for intracity movements.
I believe in the notion of sharing the roads and making the road for all types of people. In my plans I give equal important to different modes of transportation including automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Bike racks, trail connections, park and ride, kiss and ride parking lots.
Indirectly. I was part of a team of classmates that conducted a SWOT analysis a public transportation location.
13. What is most important to you, something quick and flashy, or something that is timeless?
Things that bring the most joy to ones face is seeing they product come to life so something timeless is more important. Spatial planning is exactly that a depiction of plans a policies in which development is required to take place. One that has an impact on the populace it will forever be important to everyone as well.
If I have to choose, timeless as with changes, it will stand the test of time, example a design. But quick and flashy is usually iconic and has its purpose.
Something quick and flashy.
I believe our communities are built of both, quick and flashy has its place as most developments these days are based on this concept, however, something that is timeless has marked its place in society, and lasted the test of time, but with our ever changing environment we risk for example outdated buildings, or networks. But timeless definitely plays its part in our urban and regional environments.
Something which is timeless.
14. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I read and research on what is happening in the world, in the country I live in.
I get my insipiration thoght rerading and research.
Growing up I knew little about the planning industry, but I always carried an interest in "who decides what goes where, or why are land uses grouped together?" this curiosity led me to many more questions, and as I grew up these questions has not only inspired me to further my education after school and enlist in the program. So in short I could say my inspiration for the industry is from my childhood and the many questions I would ask myself about the built and natural environment.
Dedicated and passionate people be it of any field, one of which is my family.
For projects, research and look at other projects, what has been approved and built before. Look at other similar projects in the community or surrounding areas and how it can improved. Personally in my career I look at my supervisors, observe their management skills and see what works and what dosent work and try to aquire or implement in my life and career.
15. What projects have you worked on in the past?
I have spent 30 years in the planning field. During that time I have been fortunate enough to either be directly responsible for or worked on a team in many areas. Projects which include: 30 Capital Improvements Programs, The Comprehensive Plan, Countywide Local Mitigation Strategy, Citizen Needs Surveys, The local Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan aka the Hurricane and Disaster Plan.
Ive worked on various projects which have required various engagement with various stakeholders. The 2 that stand out for me is the management of the Youth Jobs in waste in programmes which includes the deliverable of site office and weigh pads. The second was the drawing up of a risk management policy for the company which I work.
Master planning of a district and local planning areas. Help to administer the land use plans.
I did the project concening the preparation of diofferent district master plan and city master plan.
Route I-81 through the greater syracuse area.
16. What would you begin to change about our community if you were given full access for planning today.
Aesthetics, accessibility and overall safety of the community physically.
If I had a change to change my community I would make it a highly walkable area with access to public space.
The spatial fragmentation of communities. This could be achieved through infill development and using economic nodes to give access to services.
I would curb urban sprawl and formulate policies that increase intensification. Provide transport infrastructure to areas lacking as this will help with accessibility and equity. I will encourage public transport use.
I will make sure that nmajority of the community would be able to access different sevices.
17. Tell me about your portfolio. What do you like about it? What would you change?
I am aspiring to be an urban planner, which is mainly to make our environment a better living state, I would like to further my education to broaden my knowledge in doing so.
I have got a portfolio of Architectural design projects as well as public policy projects. I would like to do more Development Plans as well as Town Planning Schemes.
Apart from urban and regional planning I am exiperienced in project planning, archictectaral design, public policies.
As I recent graduate, my portfolio is limited, I am extremely happy with my graduate position in the environmental field, as it gave me an insight into other area sof the industry and other aspects of the application process. I also like that when in discussion with clients/developers and they have more broad questions regarding their land or proposed developmemnt, I have the extra knowledge that some planners may not acquire about specialists report requirements, and even property constraints. However, I think my time in university could have been further benefited from more work placement/experience in a planning organisation earlier on (say second year).
I like the projects that I chose for presenting as I think I have enjoyed and learned the most out of these projects and though I like my portfolio but I would work on some graphics if had to change something in it.
18. What do you believe makes a happy community?
Aesthetics, healthy and easy accessibility within a community increases social interrelationships which in turn creates sense of well being thus increasing happiness.
I believe that people should have access to services, infrastructure as housing. Be able to obtain basic needs - clean water, fresh air, job opportunity. Have a sense of belonging and community.
Full acess of social services.
There are - I will start wit amenity; I think amenity plays a large role, whether it be environmental (air, noise, health, visual) the health and well being of residents as they go about their lives, raising families etc can definitely affect peoples lives and happiness in living locations. Visual amenity is also a major aspect, this comes down to land designation, ensuring that intrusive land uses are not located in residential or recreational areas, design and streets-cape, and community services! together the above mentioned items can drastically change peoples perceptions and happiness in a community.
A healthy, positive and fresh environment socially and physically .
19. What cities have you studied that impressed you the most?
Baroda city, the city deais with the all aspect coveriong socially econamically all the aspects.
Tokyo. It is a metropolis city and from my experience has an excellent balance of creating areas where people can work, play and live or alternatively their transport network is unlike anything I have seen and is a very well connected city.
Pompano Beach, Florida. Integrating grey water redistribution network.
Rome - road layout that forms the skeleton of land use. Melbourne - strong emphasis to conserve and preserve important and historical sites and reserves.
Njombe town and iringa municipality.
20. Have you studied a poorly planned city project? Tell me about it and what went wrong.
The city of Miami and a lack of Transit Oriented Development. The south Florida region relies heavily on personal vehicles and does not have a robust public transit system to ease congested highways and streets.
I studied a poorly planned city that was magaoni and mabatin on mbeya city that was poorly planned and I wanted to upgrage that seltlement but the communinty did not show their participartion.
Different mindset. I believe dealing with urban sprawl. Many of the surrounding communities deal with infill development. Therefore, a municipality should be able to focus and create the necessary standards and being able to uphold the line and encourage projects that meet the intent or vision of the surrounding community.
I have been examining the cork city bike scheme and believe that much of the city's bicycle lanes are put in as afterthoughts. Many cycle lanes are contraflow and difficult to use, especially with the number of one way roads in the area. I feel that this could have been implemented much better.
21. Where do you see yourself in five years?
City planner in a large city or city management work.
I see myself as a knowledgeable project manager and team leader in this organization in five years.
I am hoping to be doing policy work, have lots more experience in the area of strategic planning.
Urban planner in a great city.
In five years I aspire to be a well established and respected urban and environmental planner within a proactive and positive organisation with a well managed and forward thinking team such as Cardno, where I can use my skills and attributes to better my their workplace and move forward in this ever changing world.
22. What civic organizations do you belong to?
American Red Cross, DPZ-DCC softball team, trivia team.
American Panning Association Urban Planning Association.
Currently, I volunteer in a foodbank in the City of Azusa and used to be in the board as the Coach Administrator and coached AYSO in Pico Rivera. I have worked with the Uptown Whittier Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
None now, but I was involved in the student union at the college, representing equal rights for mature students.
23. Describe a time where you worked well under pressure.
That will be during my final year project dissertation and studio design work, there was limited time due to circumstances in my country as at the time.
Chairperson for a critical business/ project management meeting was called away due to a family emergency. I was tasked with conducting the meeting and coordinating the efforts of each discipline involved.
Tender project, time pressures, internal pressures. I take time to analyse the scope of the task, realistic about constraints. Communicate with bosses about the deliverables, how to go about undertaking task and execute it as fast and well.
During the final year where my dessertation surpevisor desagree with me most of the time but I did well in my last presentaion.
I believe its working and time management. Processing two different entitlements such as the 55-unit town home project while processing a another residential project of 32-units. Time management and having clear communition with the supervisor letting them know the status and any issues that may come up with projects. Currently, processing a plan check for a new small shopping center and completing CC reports for another separate center, while managing smaller projects.
24. How are your communication skills?
Excellent. I enjoy public speaking and always respond to communications as fast as possible.
Use visuals to present to a board daily emails memorandums.
I will say I am good both in written and verbal.
Confidence in public speaking, good in written and speaking.
I can be really good as a presenter.
25. Are you a detail oriented person?
Yes I am, I believe in order to show what an individual is capable of one has to be detail oriented.
Yes I can be but not forgeting why I am doing certain things.
Yes most ofd the time I used to concentrate in a big things so as to undestand each detait that found within it.
Yes I believe my work shall have detail with quality.
Yes. Focus on the details, make sure that the items submitted are addressed. As part of the preparation, may take a little longer to process. Examples include during the Planning plan check process or obtaining the necessary information from the applicant is very important.
26. What do you know about our company?
Public sector, completes development review, analysis and makes recommendations to public boards on cases that do not meet the requirements outlined in the zoning ordinance.
It was established in 1968. Comprises 5 counties (Marshall, Limestone, Madison, De Kalb, Morgan)
Authority to undertake the long term planning, facilitate development, sell land, prepare infrastructure etc.
Being a pioneer this company doesn't need an introduction, I have heard about it through seniors and internet ofcourse.
I saw the flyer in the APA website.
27. The planning process involves input from numerous groups, which requires great communication skills. When have you exemplified such skills in past work?
Yes I can work very well in a team.
For example a new 72-unit apartment complex at a former Mitsubishi auto dealership. The applicant hosted a comm. Mtg, reached out, public hearing, exteneded the raidous from 300 to 500 square feet. Concerns included the potential traffic impacts, alley and security measures. CC incorporated restrictions on the use of the parking structure and require security cameras. However, some of the concerns included issues that are currently existing, not a result of the proposed project. Attended meetings, met with people at the counter, explained the process and discussed the project with them on an indivial process.
As the mature student officer in UCC during a period when public consultation was gathered for the new student hub, I utilised my diplomatic skills to facilitate greater understanding between interesting parties.
28. How well do you know this market?
I have a lot of interest in this field so this makes me search and learn about it more and more.
I know that is competitive and there are allot of talent looking for employment. However, my experience and previous expeiericen with the community I feel that I would be an asset to the deparmtne and the community.
Not as well as I would like, as I am a graduate. However, I would like to learn more.
29. How would your former employer describe you?
Knowledgeable, easy to like, and having well rounded experience.
Responsible, diligent, result oriented, creative and passionate.
Responsible when given a task, communicative, analytical, able to deal with stress.
Knoweldgable, full participated in group work.
As a creative, co operative, amateur and sedulous person.