Technical Interview

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    I interviewed for a playground designer position.

    If I make it through to the next round, I will have to go through a 30 min. technical interview.

    I have no idea what to expect.

    Does anyone have any tips on how I can prepare?

    I’m pretty sure they are autoCAD based…

    Christopher Patzke

    I don’t know if this will help you Jo-Anmarie but I thought I would pass it along.  There is such a thing as a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI).  Who knew right?!  A useful website for review materials could be this one: .  It is the website for the National Recreation and Parks Association’s CPSI page.  Check out “Related Information” and then “CPSI Candidate Handbook” on the right side of the screen.  Good luck!


    Elizabeth Renton

    Get to know the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s playground safety standards.


    Safety is a HUGE factor when it comes to playground design. I doubt they’re going to ask you how well you know Autocad commands…it seems more likely that they’re going to want to see how well-versed you are in safety standards.

    Trace One

    Are these guys out on Long Island, a place that designs and builds  wooden play structures? That was a really fast paced job, I interviewed for years ago – the designer needed to be a real director, it was a very intense position – felt I didn’t get it because they needed someone who would be at the center of a  very dynamic process, so maybe think about your best qualities that contribute to that type of job.

    Good Luck!

    Nic Wurzbacher

    Go and observe and even play in as many as possible. Ask kids what they like about each one and what they don’t. So much gets installed and never used, but you see the same thing everywhere. While there are standards to follow, innovation will always get you farther.


    Thanks for the advice!

    CPSI was actually mentioned in the job listing. I am definitely going to look into that website.

    If I had known this existed and only took a few days to accomplish, I would have had it done already!

    Craig A Raines

    Know you fall zone heights for the different play surfaces, resilient, sand, chips, etc. Know the different types play and be familiar with the universal accessible play requirements (ADA). 


    I work for the city of los angeles department of recreation and parks so i deal with playgrounds alot.




    This position is actually based in california.

    Based just off of the 6 step hiring process, I can see how this might be an intense position.

     My last position as a sales and marketing associate for a landscape contractor really helped me develop more leadership skills and confidence. Playground design and children’s landscapes has been my passion and drive since the moment I applied for the LA program at UC Davis, I hope I can convey this to them.


    Thanks for the advice!

    Luckily for me, my nephews have just reached the tot lot age, and I get out there and play with them as much as possible!

    Thomas J. Johnson

    Why don’t you ask them?

    Try this:

    “I’d really like this position and want to be well prepared for the technical exam. Can you recommend any areas that I should concentrate on? Is it technical in a software sense or in a construction/standards sense?”

    Frankly, I don’t understand how you left the interview not knowing what the subject of the technical exam is (or what software they use)… or why we would have any idea, if you don’t.

    Also, if it’s the playground manufacturer down by Escondido, they do most of their work in SketchUp…

    Good luck…


    In retrospect, I really should have asked for more information about the technical interview, but it was mentioned during a 15 minute phone interview and he wanted “to quickly go over the time line of the hiring process.”

    He mentioned that the technical interview would be done with the design director. Upon scheduling the in person interview, I asked if I should prepare to meet with the design director as well, but I am still waiting for a reply.

    I just wanted to get a little bit of feedback from other people who may have gone through a similar situation. I asked former classmates of mine for their experiences, but all they had to offer were horror stories about being left in front lawn of the building for 30 minutes to redesign and draft a completely new irrigation system.


    So far, this discussion has helped me out a lot, and I’m glad we have this social network to bounce off ideas!



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