Revit Testing for an interview....


After months of polishing and sending out my work/ resume with endless coverletters interviews are now pouring in, but one firm caught me off by wanting to test me on AutoCAD (I laughed) and Revit (oh snap)! I was a wiz at CAD butnever really used Revit so after brushing up on some basic stuff and online tutorials I feel a little better going into this interview. Has anyone else been tested or conducting tests for Revit? And if so aside from knowing what skill level one might be at, what are they ideally looking for?


Mar 7, 13 9:00 pm

proficiency in producing documents in revit. in short, they want a cad monkey. (i've told my staff that, in addition to ever ordering a logo polo shirt for our office, they can shoot me if we ever 'test' anyone during an interview. although, sometimes, i'm really tempted to do bruce mau's test just for fun...)

Mar 7, 13 9:09 pm

I've been asked very specific questions about programs, but no one has set me in front of a computer for an interview.  It was a "rate yourself" on photoshop, illustrator and revit, with question tailored to where I placed myself.  My revit is sub-par (I'm running through tutorials every night now), and I told them that, but here are a few things I had to describe (either what these things are used for, how to perform the tasks, or both); Design options, schedules and material take-offs, creating custom curtain wall grids, making a new family, and using phases.

What you have to do in this "test" is likely going to be specific to the type of work they do.  For example if they do much renovation work, you'll likely want to make sure you're fully comfortable switching between construction phases, and maybe having different design options within one model.  Consulting work might have you doing some energy modeling and HVAC reports form the analyze tab.

You're probably on top of this already, but I'd recommend knowing your shortcuts for navigating the workspace, and don't leave windows open that you won't be using.  WT and ZA shortcuts are my two best friends in revit.

Best of luck!

Mar 7, 13 9:33 pm
Rick Feineis

Carlos, I co-wrote the certified examinations that Autodesk sells.  You can contact me directly for tips on how to prepare for their certifications.  I have several free videos that you can watch to prepare.

You can also go here to take self assessments or to find a local certified testing center


Mar 8, 13 12:36 am

You know, I totally understand that. This kid we hired the other day said he's been using AutoCAD for 5 years, so I'm thinking great...but only few days into it I realized he uses one hand and the mouse and uses only the menu for commands, no shortcuts no nothing. His left hand was mostly in his pocket. When I asked him why he wasn't using shortcuts, he tried to convince me that menus were more efficient.

He no longer works with us!

Mar 8, 13 6:00 pm

gotta use custom shortcuts... even the default shortcuts are not too helpful.. they're all scattered all over the keyboard which requires you to take your eyes off the screen to locate the keys.  You'd be faster using the menus.  Key is to customize shortcuts to the left hand (or vice versa) so you don't have to look down to press keys or use two hands to press shortcut keys

Mar 8, 13 6:15 pm

When I was using Maya - we had to use shortcuts + marking menus - "we don't hire button pushers" 

firm principal

Mar 8, 13 6:20 pm

I have had to take Revit tests on 6 different occasions - I always bring in a copy of my kbd shortcut file on my stick - I am usually tested for speed and accuracy - that's all that counts in most places, somebody else does the design anyway.

Mar 8, 13 6:34 pm

Xenakis, are you crazy....from all these discussions nobody wants to be a "cadmonkey" and everybody wants/is the next greatest architect haha.

Not sure how many on here are realistic, but most architects still draw, or whatever you want to call it, and are cadmonkeys!

Mar 8, 13 6:38 pm

How many can realistically aspire to be actual architects anyway? I think BIM expertise offers a more realistic alternative to aspiring to full fledged architecture - I don't want to discourage people from wanting to be an architect - it's just not realistic for most of us.

Mar 8, 13 6:56 pm

I want to dig up this thread as I've been offered an interview with a Revit test at the end of it. While it's not shocking considering the firm's work, it was a little unexpected. I'm pretty strongly inside the 'intermediate' group with it; about one year of decent experience, although only about 2 months of prior firm experience. I am now in the process of brushing up heavily, but I wonder if people out there have done any of these recently, and what they typically involve?

Apr 13, 16 5:08 am
Non Sequitur
1 year =/= intermediate.
Apr 13, 16 6:38 am

Every firm is gonna be different aren't they?

Apr 13, 16 9:06 am

I took a Revit test at HOK once - it was very in depth - with a lot of subtleties that only power users would know 

Do you want to be a designer or a production person - once you go into production with Revit - you will have a tough time ever getting back into or into design - the upside is there is more job security for Revit production - better sustainable career options - its a more pragmatic career choice - therefore I would really do what it takes to be good with Revit 

Apr 13, 16 11:52 am


Are you also saying there's no point in obtaining you license?

Apr 13, 16 1:16 pm

that's a different matter - its always a good idea to pursue licensure

Apr 13, 16 1:28 pm

Right, somewhat helpful replies. Fair enough NS, I would classify myself in the end-beginner/approaching-intermediate area. Just based on knowing my own background, I am at least comfortable with where i am. I believe there is an up-front acknowledgement that as a Pt.2 in the UK I still have much to learn; I don't think anyone with this interview is under false pretenses.

That being said - for a very junior member, what might be the expectations for knowledge base and competency? I should preface that this firm works heavily in both RH/GH and Revit, with my strengths firmly in the former and my skills catching up for the latter. That being said, Im beyond happy to improve my skills on my own time to make up the difference.

Apr 13, 16 2:31 pm

I'm really sick of the idea that "Designers" don't need to know the tools with which their designs will be documented. Fucking prima donna bullshit.

Apr 13, 16 2:33 pm
Sneaky, but do they really? They're on the SD/DD side. Maybe some additional details. Or on the shop drawing side of things they could be very specific in knowing exactly how they want something to be built. But in between all that. Yeah, so what.
Apr 13, 16 2:50 pm

I've heard those on the SD side saying "don't learn Revit" or you will end up in production

"Fucking prima donna bullshit." indeed - they just don want to go through the rigors of putting a building together.


all us B.archs and M.archs are put into production whereas the B.A.s do design - we have to take a apart their Houses of cards to make them work

Apr 13, 16 3:04 pm

Agree with Sneaky - The next generation of architects should be fluent in Revit.  This idea that production is somehow disconnected from design or architecture with a capital A is bullshit.  Production is where all of the decisions get made that turn a schematic into a success or failure and the more architects know on the technology side the more control they will have over the process and the end result.   I know there are larger corporate structures where people get stuck in limited production roles, I see that as a career choice.  If you want to get involved in all aspects of a project from schematic design to CA work for a small company, take anything they will throw at you and run with it.  You gotta be multifaceted in this field, those that are stagnant fall by the wayside.

Apr 13, 16 3:41 pm

there were some offices I worked at where we would use Revit for everything from concept to CA - this is far more connected and versatile than some firms where they do design in Skp and acad then do "production"(re design) in Revit - far better to do it Revit, also your staff doesn't get pigeon holed in either production or SD

Apr 13, 16 4:53 pm

How are you doing concept in Revit? Using the building maker tools?

Apr 14, 16 4:05 am

I don't mean to hijack this thread but I actually have to create a Revit test for candidates for entry level and mid-level designer positions that we are hiring in the near future. 

What do you feel is a fair test of skills? 

Apr 14, 16 4:37 am

The ones Autodesk issues.

Apr 14, 16 5:01 am

lits4 - depends on the kind of work you are doing.  I would show them a 3d image of something you created and have them generate the same thing as closely as possible - model a wall with a raked top window and door (curtain wall with mullions and curtain wall family) - raked roof with exposed steel, give them a specific assemblies for the roof wall and floor (finish, ply, stud, gyp) - critical to model foundations also.  have them generate an enlarged wall section/details (see what is modeled vs. what is drawn)  - tag and schedule the window and door, maybe a second vignette with stairs/ramps/sloped slabs - have them modify an existing family - switch a double slider to a triple or something like that, or just generate a family from scratch - something simple.  have them put all drawings on a single sheet.

Apr 14, 16 11:30 am

and stairs with enlarged plans and stair sections - also view range - its amazing how many "experienced" Revit users don't  know how to use this - the test HOK uses weeds people out who don't have a thorough knowledge of View Depth

Apr 14, 16 12:04 pm

What do you mean when you say enlarged plans and sections?


The problem with "Experienced" Revit users and most program users is that we're pushed into only the necessary functions needed to model and produce drawings, if you haven't needed to do something then you most likely won't know how to on the spot.

I've been using Revit for only As-Built models cause that's been my job for the last 2-3 years so I haven't got any experience with actual design models, other than cleaning them up when clients send them.

Apr 14, 16 12:17 pm

"The next generation of architects should be fluent in [architecture, including relevant tools of the profession].  This idea that production is somehow disconnected from design or architecture with a capital A is bullshit.  Production is where all of the decisions get made that turn a schematic into a success or failure and the more architects know [about buildings and are familiar with the relevant tools to communicate that information,] the more control they will have over the process and the end result."

Now I can agree with that statement. The idea that being good at Revit makes you a good architect is stupid. The same can be said for any piece of technology. There is much more knowledge necessary than simply how to create enlarged plans and stair sections with view ranges in Revit to be a good architect. 

The issue with a Revit test (or any technology test) in order to get a job is that it is very apparent that the employer is primarily concerned with production and less concerned with training an employee to use the tools properly. This is probably fine if that is what the employee is looking for (I'm assuming most independent contractor relationships would be this way). But most recent grads and emerging professionals want to be well rounded professionals, and being stuck behind Revit all day is not the way to get that done. You can do plenty of Revit and still be well rounded, but it takes an employer willing to teach and train you in all aspects of the profession.

If they won't even hire you if you can't pass a Revit test (most likely tailored to their specific needs which you probably won't know), can you really expect them to teach you and train you and help mentor you in your career?

Apr 14, 16 12:35 pm

enlarged plans and sections? 1/4" scale mebee 1/2"

Most places are fast paced and the teams do the basics - "just bust it out" for SD - have the more experienced people in DD,CD clean it up

for DD,CD and CA, you really need a more in-depth knowledge - like I said HOK rigorously tests to make sure the people on CD and CA really know Revit in depth - 

Apr 14, 16 12:40 pm

I believe that the main benefit of revit is to differntiate architecture jobs from all the various software architect jobs

Apr 14, 16 2:31 pm

I have been tasked with trying to determine a way to evaluate new hires.  One of the areas we need to evaluate is knowledge of software.  We have fully transitioned to Revit and knowledge of the program does matter for productivity.  Even the more seasoned people in our firm are looking into learning Revit because they realize it is important to be able to use the tools. 

Unfortunately, there is a trend of people using Revit, or other programs, causally and then claiming proficiency because they don't realize the full capabilities of the program.  Small firms can't afford to hire too many people who are still learning basics.

If anyone has a simple office Revit test they could share with me please let me know.  

Jun 7, 17 3:09 pm

I typically try and keep it easy for the hiring party by telling them exactly what I have done, what im great at, what I prefer to do, what I want to do, where I want to go and what I can and cannot do. and then I back it up with samples of work. many times I dumb it down a hair which leaves room for a wow factor

I once had a "firm" show me random abbreviations and ask that I define them. SW for example. People can be really strange. Thankfully I did no work with that firm. I mean abbreviations? That is usually on the cover sheet because not everyone uses the same ones. Idiocy.

Jun 7, 17 3:44 pm

Even after 7 years exp I still have to take Revit tests - at some firms, it's both autocad and Revit tests - Too may people just learn the basics - there's a lot more than just pushing walls - Part of my job is to teach the designers Revit, integrate them into a BIM team

Jun 7, 17 3:49 pm

I do consulting for various firms. Ea one has it own peculiar ways to do documentation. So leaning heavily on just one program, Revit for example, doesn't work. 

Jun 7, 17 3:54 pm

When I was an intern, my friends and I thought any place that asked for a CAD test couldn't possibly be a good place to work.

Now that I hire people, I really see the value in it.   Too many applicants these days (especially recent graduates with scant office experience we can verify) fail to accurately represent their computer skills on their resumes or in interviews.

Jun 7, 17 4:07 pm

you mean like the graphic skill level chart that everybody uses on resumes now.  Skill:  MAX level 100% doesn't mean shit?  Who woulda thought.  

Jun 7, 17 4:15 pm

Yes! Who the hell invented those things? And who told the grads they were a good thing to put on a resume?

If a firm isn't willing to train a person somewhat, then avoid that firm.

Jun 7, 17 7:13 pm

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