Estimator Interview Questions

The Estimator interview questions given in this template will help you to hire the best candidate for this job.



What is the role of an Estimator?

Estimators are responsible for calculating the budget required for a project by preparing an estimate report known as Bill of Quantities. They are commonly found in the construction industry where their role is to estimate the material, labor and overhead costs for the execution of a specific project. In addition to the construction industry, they are also found in engineering and manufacturing firms.

The qualification of candidates for this role varies with the type of projects they will work on, the degree of accuracy required for them and the type of position they will be hired for. A diploma holder with some field experience will be suitable for junior positions. But for the position of a Senior Estimator, the candidates must at least possess a Bachelor’s degree. During selection, prefer the candidates with relevant certifications.

The candidates must also have a sound knowledge of Estimating software and should have exceptional Math’s abilities. It is also a good idea to present them with a sample case and ask them to calculate a rough estimate. In addition to academic credentials and technical knowledge, the candidates must have good communication skills and a keen eye for details. They must know how to work in a team environment since they will have to work with many people from various departments of the construction industry. They must also have fast thinking and problem-solving skills. To assess the candidates for these qualities, use the following Estimator interview questions.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What information can you extract from 2D architectural drawings? Can you estimate the cost of a project by using them? If not, what additional documents will you need?
  • What would you do if the expenses of a project exceed your estimate?
  • Suppose you are working with a team to estimate a mega project and you have a disagreement with other Estimators regarding anything. What would you do?

Role-specific questions

  • Describe your estimation process. What level of detail do you follow while calculating the estimate of a project?
  • Which material costs the most in a construction project? What are other significant factors affecting the overall cost of a project?
  • Which metrics do you follow while estimating a project?
  • What is your experience with the bidding process? How do you interpret an invitation to bid?
  • Which software do you use for estimation? Can you estimate a project by its Building Information Model?
  • How do you ensure that your estimate is accurate? How do you double check your work?
  • What experience do you have in contract management?

Behavioral questions

  • Have you ever made an incorrect estimate of a project? How did you compensate the loss caused by your mistake?
  • What was the most difficult project you have ever estimated? How did you make it successful?
  • Have you ever lagged behind schedule? How did you catch up ensuring the accuracy of your work?
  • What would you do if your manager asks you to revise your estimate of a project?