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Estimator Interview Questions
Estimators calculate all costs involved in a project and produce estimate reports. They work most commonly in construction and engineering firms but may also be found in other industries such as manufacturing.
Qualifications vary across companies and projects. A bachelor’s is an asset but a college degree or mere industry experience can also characterize a successful estimator. Requirements also depend on whether you’re hiring for a junior or senior position. When screening candidates, you can look for specific field experience. Certification may help you find those who have more extensive and structured knowledge of estimating processes.
Excellent math ability with an inquisitive and analytical mind are the basis of success in this profession. Look also for signs of excellent organizational ability, attention to detail and communication skills by asking behavioral questions. It’s also a good idea to present them with a sample case and ask them to walk you through the estimating process.
Operational and Situational questions
- Here’s an engineering drawing. What information does it give you? What other documents do you need?
- If you discovered that the project’s expenses start exceeding estimates, how would you act?
- Imagine you work with a team of estimators on a large scale project. If you disagreed with one of them on the process or a cost, how would you handle it?
- Walk me through the estimating process
- What are the most important factors that affect overall costs?
- Which metrics do you use more commonly in your estimates?
- Are you familiar with the tender process? What information does an invitation to tender give you?
- What software do you find most useful?
- How do you prioritize tasks?
- Have you worked with any of our suppliers before?
- How do you ensure accuracy in your work?
- What’s your experience in contractor management?
- Describe a time you made mistakes in the final estimate report. What did you learn?
- Tell me about the most complicated project you’ve worked on. How did you analyze its aspects?
- Recall a time you fell behind schedule. What did you do to catch up?
- Describe a time you managed to reduce costs for a project