Estimator qualifications to look for
Estimators keep a watchful eye over every cost that goes into a construction project. They can be found in construction and engineering firms, but also work in other industries.
Hands-on experience is your best guide, and requirements may depend on the level of position you’re hiring for. Certain positions may also require certification.
Keep an eye out for candidates who have:
- Strong mathematical skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Analytical thinking skills
- Organizational skills
- High attention to detail
Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.
Problem-solving interview questions
- How do you respond if the project’s expenses start exceeding estimates?
- What information can you draw from this engineering drawing?
- How do you handle a disagreement on cost when working with a team of estimators on a large scale project?
Role-specific interview questions
- Walk me through the estimating process from start to finish.
- Are you familiar with the tender process? Can you explain it?
- What software do you find most useful? What are your favorite features?
- How do you prioritize tasks? How do you stay on top of things during a tight deadline?
- Have you worked with any of our suppliers before? If so, what is your relationship with them?
- What are the most important factors that affect overall costs? How do you communicate these with your team?
- What are the common metrics you use in your estimates?
- How do you ensure accuracy in your work? What is your quality control process?
- Do you have experience in contractor management? If so, explain it.
Behavioral interview questions
- What do you do when you realize you won’t meet a deadline?
- Describe a time you managed to reduce costs for a project. How did your team respond?
- Tell me about the most complicated project you’ve worked on. What was your process to work through it?
- Have you made mistakes in the final estimate report? What did you learn?
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