Cost Estimator Interview Questions & Answers

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to make a product or provide a service.

Interviewers look for candidates that demonstrate excellent skills such as:

In this blog, we discuss commonly asked interview questions during job interviews for cost estimator positions. We also discuss the qualities that interviewers look for in successful candidates. In other words, we’re here to help you out!

Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Skills Interviewers Look For In Successful Candidates

Below we discuss the skills that you can highlight in your answers to demonstrate that you’re qualified for the job.

Analytical skills

Why the interviewer is interested in your analytical skills:

Cost estimators consider and evaluate different construction and manufacturing methods and options to determine the most cost-effective solution that meets the required specifications.

Communication skills

Why the interviewer is interested in your communication skills:

Cost estimators write comprehensive reports, which often help managers make production decisions.

Learn more about communication interview questions and how to answer them!

Detail-oriented

Why the interviewer is interested in your attention to detail:

Cost estimators must pay attention to details because minor changes can greatly affect the overall cost of a project or product.

Math skills

Why the interviewer is interested in your math skills:

Cost estimators calculate labor, material, and equipment cost estimates for construction projects. They use software, such as spreadsheets and databases, and they need excellent math skills to calculate these estimates accurately.

Time-management skills

Why the interviewer is interested in your time management skills:

Cost estimators often work on fixed deadlines, so they must plan in advance and work efficiently.

Learn more about time management interview questions and how to answer them!

(source: bls.gov)

Cost Estimator Job Interview Questions & Answers

During a job interview, the hiring manager wants to discuss several things. Think of your:

Below you find a list of commonly asked interview questions.

Examples Of General Cost Estimator Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. How would you describe yourself?
  3. Why do you want to work here?
  4. What interests you about this position?
  5. Walk me through your resume.
  6. What motivates you?
  7. Why are you leaving your current job?
  8. Describe your work ethic.
  9. What is your greatest strength?
  10. How does your experience qualify you for this job?
  11. What is your greatest weakness?
  12. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  13. Tell me about a challenging work situation and how you overcame it.
  14. What are your expectations for this position?
  15. What are your career goals?
  16. Why should we hire you?
  17. What did you like most about your last position?
  18. What did you like least about your last position?
  19. How do you handle stress?
  20. What is your greatest accomplishment?

Learn how to answer these common job interview questions!

Examples Of Specific Cost Estimator Behavioral Interview Questions

Learn more about answering behavioral interview questions by using the STAR interview technique.

  1. Walk me through your cost estimation process.
  2. What are the most important factors that affect overall costs?
  3. How do you make sure that your estimation reports are easily readable and understood correctly?
  4. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?
  5. Which of your prior work experience will help you most in this position?
  6. What software programs are you familiar with to make your cost estimations?
  7. Tell me about some of the projects that you have worked on. How did your involvement affect the outcome?
  8. There are several important metrics when making cost estimations. Can you walk me through the most important ones?
  9. What is the most complex cost estimate you ever created?
  10. Which metrics do you use more commonly in your cost estimates?
  11. What techniques do you use to make sure all parts of a project are accounted for when working a cost estimation report.
  12. What do you think are essential skills for a cost estimator to be successful?
  13. Tell me about the most challenging project you have worked on as a cost estimator.
  14. Tell me about a time you thought out of the box to solve a problem when working on a cost estimation report.
  15. If something changes in a project that leads to your number estimates being off, how do you revise your numbers?
  16. What do you do if a client asks you to make a reanalysis of your project costs?

Learn more about questions to ask the interviewer during your job interview.