It’s good to start with phone interviews. When doing the interview you should remember that architects are highly paid professionals; therefore, you shouldn’t waste a lot of the professional’s time.
To be on the safe side you should have a list of questions that you would like to ask. A good architect will take his/her time to answer your questions. You should ask questions on experience, design principles, and anything else that you feel necessary.
After doing the phone interview, you should narrow down your list to three or five top candidates who answered your questions correctly. You should then schedule time to meet in person. When you meet, you should ask more questions that touch on services offered, design principles, fees charged and insurance.
To save money, you should work with an architect who offers a full range of services. For example, he should offer schematic design, bid assistance, construction documents, design development, and construction administration.
When it comes to the fees charged, it’s good to note that some architects charge an hourly rate while others have a fixed charge. If the professional charges an hourly rate, you should find out if there is a maximum guaranteed cost.