Prepare for your Estimator interview. Understand the required skills and qualifications, anticipate the questions you may be asked, and study well-prepared answers using our sample responses.
Estimators often work with a team of people to estimate project costs. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable working with others and that you can communicate effectively. In your answer, explain that you enjoy working as part of a team and that you’re willing to collaborate with others to get the job done.
Answer Example: “Absolutely. I’ve worked on teams before and I know how important it is to communicate effectively with other people. I always make sure to listen carefully to what my teammates are saying so I can provide accurate information. I also like to ask questions if I’m unsure about something so we can come up with an accurate estimate.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with different estimating methods. Use this opportunity to highlight any unique or innovative methods you’ve used in the past and how they helped you complete projects more efficiently.
Answer Example: “I’ve used several different estimating methods throughout my career, including the top-down, bottom-up and parametric methods. The top-down method is useful for estimating large projects because it allows me to break down the total cost into smaller pieces. The bottom-up method is great for estimating smaller projects because it allows me to calculate the total cost based on the materials needed. Finally, the parametric method helps me calculate estimates based on specific variables like time or material quantity.”
This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of how to estimate costs for different projects. Use examples from past experiences where you used the same process to estimate the cost of constructing a building and how you arrived at that number.
Answer Example: “In my last position as an estimator, I was tasked with estimating the cost of constructing a new office building. First, I walked through the property to assess any existing structures or materials that could be reused for the new building. Then, I met with the client to discuss their needs and preferences for the design of the building. After gathering all of this information, I used cost estimation software to calculate the total cost of the project.”
This question can help the interviewer understand how you use your time management skills to complete projects on time. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for estimating project time, including any tools or software you use to help with this process.
Answer Example: “I start by looking at the scope of work for the project and breaking it down into smaller tasks. Then I estimate how long each task will take to complete based on my experience with similar projects. Next, I add in any unexpected delays or complications that may arise during the project and adjust my timeline accordingly. Finally, I use software such as Timely to track my progress against my estimated timeline.”