17 Structural Drafter Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a structural drafter, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Structural drafters are responsible for creating the detailed drawings that engineers use to plan and build everything from skyscrapers to bridges. If you want to work as a structural drafter, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of common questions and answers. This guide will help you understand what the interviewer is looking for, and give you the tools you need to answer confidently.

Are you familiar with the various types of structural drawings?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with the different types of structural drawings. You can answer this question by naming several types of structural drawings and explaining what they are used for.

Example: “There are three main types of structural drawings that I’ve worked with in my previous job as a structural drafter. The first is architectural drawings, which show how buildings will look when completed. Construction documents include all the information needed to build a structure, including materials, measurements and other specifications. Finally, detail drawings show specific parts of construction projects, such as windows or doors.”

What are some of the most important skills for a structural drafter to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to structural drafting.

Example: “The most important skill for a structural drafter is attention to detail. This job requires precision when measuring and drawing structures, so I make sure to double-check all my work before submitting it. Another important skill is communication. Structural drafters often collaborate with other professionals on projects, so it’s important to be able to clearly communicate ideas and questions. Finally, creativity is another essential skill because structural drafters are tasked with creating designs that meet specific needs.”

How would you go about solving a problem with a drawing?

This question can help the interviewer understand your problem-solving skills and how you approach challenges. Your answer should show that you are willing to take initiative, think critically and use your creativity to solve problems.

Example: “If I encountered a problem with a drawing, I would first try to identify what caused it. If I was working on my own, I would ask for help from my supervisor or another drafter who has more experience than me. If I was working in a team setting, I would discuss the issue with my colleagues and see if they could offer any suggestions. After identifying the cause of the problem, I would then work on fixing it by making adjustments to the original design.”

What is your experience with using computer-aided design software?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience with the software they use at their company. If you don’t have any experience using CAD, consider taking a class or practicing on your own before your interview. You can also discuss how you would learn to use it if you haven’t used it before.

Example: “I’ve been using AutoCAD for five years now and I’m very comfortable with its features. In my last role, I was responsible for creating drawings of all types of structures, including residential homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities. I had to create these designs from scratch, so I learned how to use many different tools within the program.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to work with a difficult client.

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to work with challenging people. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you were able to successfully communicate with the client and resolve any issues or disagreements.

Example: “I once had a difficult client who was very demanding and wanted me to make changes to my structural drawings every day. I tried to explain that making frequent changes would take time away from other projects, but he insisted on having them done each day. Eventually, I told him that if he needed more frequent changes, he would need to hire another drafter. He agreed to only request changes twice per week, which allowed me to complete other assignments.”

If hired, what would be your priorities during the initial learning phase?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to prioritize tasks and manage time. Your answer should include a list of the most important things you would do during your first few weeks on the job, such as:

Attending training sessions Using software tools Learning from colleagues Example: “During my first week, I would make sure to attend all training sessions provided by the company. I would also spend some time learning how to use the drafting software and familiarizing myself with the project management system. Finally, I would take advantage of any opportunity to learn from more experienced structural drafters.”

What would you do if you noticed a mistake in a drawing you had already sent out to clients or contractors?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle mistakes and challenges in your work. Use examples from past experience to show that you are willing to take responsibility for errors, learn from them and fix them as soon as possible.

Example: “In my last role, I noticed a mistake on one of the drawings I had already sent out to clients. I immediately called my supervisor so they could check it before sending it back to the client. We were able to correct the error and send out the corrected drawing within 24 hours. The client was very happy with our quick response time.”

How well do you work under pressure?

Structural drafters often work under tight deadlines. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the pressure of working on a project with a deadline. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and stay productive when you have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.

Example: “I am used to working under pressure because I’ve done it for years as a structural drafter. When I first started my career, I was nervous about meeting deadlines. However, over time, I learned that if I organized my projects well and planned ahead, I could meet deadlines without any issues. Now, I actually enjoy having a lot of work to do because it challenges me to be more efficient.”

Do you have any questions for me about the position?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research on the company and are genuinely interested in the job. It’s also a chance for you to learn more about the position, so be sure to ask questions that will help you decide if this role is right for you.

Example: “I noticed that there are opportunities for advancement within the company. I am very interested in learning more about those opportunities and how someone advances into them. Also, I was impressed by the benefits package offered here. I would like to know more about what other perks employees receive.”

When working with a team, what is your approach to sharing and reviewing drafts?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to understand how you collaborate with others and share your work. Your answer should show that you can communicate effectively, respect the opinions of others and accept feedback.

Example: “I always make sure to clearly label my drafts so everyone knows what they’re looking at. I also try to include as much information in the title or header as possible so people don’t have to open the file to see what it is. When sharing my drafts, I’m happy to explain any elements I included or why I made certain decisions. If someone has a suggestion for something I didn’t think of, I take their advice seriously and consider making the change.”

We want to encourage growth and development within our employees. How would you approach taking on new responsibilities or projects?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach new challenges and whether you’re willing to take on more responsibilities within the company. Use your answer to highlight your willingness to learn, develop your skills and complete additional projects or tasks as needed.

Example: “I’m always eager to learn new things and expand my knowledge of structural drafting. If I were presented with a new project or task that required me to learn something new, I would immediately begin researching ways to accomplish it. I would ask questions if I didn’t understand something and make sure to practice until I felt comfortable performing the task.”

Describe your process for troubleshooting when something goes wrong with a drawing.

When an interviewer asks you a question like this, they’re trying to understand how you approach challenges and solve problems. Your answer should show that you can use your problem-solving skills to find solutions quickly.

Example: “When something goes wrong with a drawing, I first try to figure out what caused the issue. If it’s a simple mistake, such as misplacing a line or forgetting to include a dimension, then I fix it right away. However, if there is a more complex issue, such as a missing element in the model, I will take some time to analyze the situation before making any changes. This helps me avoid making mistakes when fixing the larger issue.”

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills you have that are relevant to structural drafting. Think about what makes you unique compared to other candidates.

Example: “I am highly organized and detail-oriented, which is why I’ve been able to complete projects on time for my previous employers. In fact, I’m usually ahead of schedule when it comes to completing my work. My attention to detail also means I rarely make mistakes in my drawings, which saves my employer money because they don’t need to pay me to redraw anything. Another reason I would be a great fit for this position is that I am proficient with several software programs related to structural drafting.”

Which architectural drafting software are you most comfortable using?

This question can help the interviewer determine your comfort level with using specific software. You may have experience working with multiple programs, but you should focus on which one you’re most comfortable using and why.

Example: “I am most comfortable using AutoCAD because I’ve been using it for over five years now. I started out using other programs like MicroStation and Vectorworks, but I found that AutoCAD was more efficient and easier to use. It’s also compatible with many different operating systems, so I don’t need to worry about compatibility issues when I’m working on a project.”

What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful structural drafter?

The interviewer may ask you this question to learn more about your work ethic and how you approach a project. They want to know what skills you have that will help you succeed in the role, so it’s important to highlight your technical abilities as well as your communication skills.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities for a successful structural drafter is attention to detail. I am always sure to double-check my measurements and calculations before sending them off to be built. Another quality I believe is essential is communication. Structural drafting requires collaboration with many different people, so I make sure to communicate clearly and effectively with everyone on the team.”

How often do you update your knowledge of new technology or software?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are willing to learn new things and adapt to changes in the workplace. Your answer should show that you are open to learning new software or technology, but also highlight your ability to use it effectively.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my skills as a structural drafter. I have taken several online courses on different types of steel structures and how they relate to building codes. I also regularly attend webinars hosted by my company about new technologies and software programs that can help me do my job more efficiently.”

There is a new building code that affects the structural integrity of a design. How would you address this issue?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to adapt to new regulations. Your answer should show that you can use critical thinking to solve problems, learn quickly and implement changes in the design process.

Example: “If there is a change in the building code, I would first understand what it means for my project. Then, I would evaluate how the change affects the structural integrity of the design. If necessary, I would make adjustments to ensure the safety of the structure. In my last role, we had to do this when the state changed the wind load requirements. We needed to add more support beams to the exterior walls to meet the new standards.”


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