Talk to the hiring manager about your future education goals. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
"I would be happy to upgrade my associates degree into a degree in urban planning. Of course, this would have to be in the form of evening and weekend courses, as I would need to continue to work full time."
"I am happy with what I gained in my post-secondary experience. At this time, attending college again is not a priority. I would absolutely be open to attending additional courses and certificate programs related to my career."
Aside from your general duties as a CAD Drafter, what type of tasks are you responsible for that reflect a more senior level sense of responsibility? Share with the hiring manager any additional responsibilities that you have been given in your current, or most recent, role.
"Currently I am responsible for mentoring my own junior CAD drafter. My current company puts a large emphasis on mentorship and it was a huge compliment to me when I was asked to be a mentor to someone newer to their career. This is because I have a higher than average level of knowledge in regards to our systems, and projects."
It is important for the hiring manager to understand how they can motivate you on the job. Talk about how you are motivated on the job, and what keeps you focused on the task at hand.
"I have a very strong work ethic and was raised to be a hard, and present, worker. What motivates me to work hard is my desire to be seen as a reliable and valuable member of the team."
From time to time, you will come across a co-worker that you do not see eye to eye with. Give the hiring manager an example of a time when yourself and an engineer did not agree on a situation. Be sure to give a situation that is not too serious as you want to avoid negativity in the workplace.
"Last week I disagreed with an engineer on my team over a particular aspect of one of our designs. We had a meeting with our manager to help resolve the concern surrounding how to proceed. It was all very civil, and we simply needed another set of eyes on the issue."
Talk to the interviewer about your experience in sharing work with other drafters. What are the positive aspects of collaborating with others? You will want to avoid talking about what you do not like. Focus on the aspects of teamwork that you do enjoy.
"I am able to work with other drafters and share projects whenever it is required of me. Currently, our team of CAD Drafters share the workload, and I find it really helpful to be able to bounce ideas off of other talented drafters who understand the project as well."
Are you tidy and organized? Do you work in chaos? Tell the hiring manager about the state of your office, and be truthful! You can keep this answer a bit lighthearted.
"I am a little bit untidy when it comes to extra pens and perhaps yesterday's coffee mug sitting on my desk. However - I will say that I am highly organized and able to recall where everything is, in an instant."
Do you read any blogs, magazines, or industry related literature? Talk to the hiring manager about your level of knowledge in the company's area of expertise.
"I understand that your industry expertise is in architectural and civil engineering. I have gained this type of industry expertise through reading related blogs and magazines such as ABC and XYZ."
If given the opportunity, where would you make changes? This is an opportunity to share insights with the hiring manager on what you feel would be a valuable change in your current organization. Be careful not to complain or speak poorly of your current company.
"My current company has been very good to me and there is very little that I would change. If given the chance, the one thing that I would suggest to them is that they upgrade their operating systems to allow CAD drafters access to their work from remote locations. Currently, there are no programs accessible on a shared drive."
Walk the hiring manager through your post-secondary experience. Talk about your favorite course work, and be sure to mention any awards or special recognition that you received.
Talk to the hiring manager about where you would like to see yourself in the short term. Do you have any career related course work that you would like to take? Are you looking for a particular job title?
"In the short term, I would like to receive a promotion to Senior Drafter. I have also set a goal to take an advanced level GIS course."
What makes you a stand out candidate, and why? Talk to the hiring manager about why you are the best drafter for them.
"I feel that I am a better drafter than the next person because I have an unmatched attention to detail. I am very picky about my work and put a lot of emphasis on precision and accuracy."
Talk to the hiring manager about a mistake that you have made in drafting. Focus more on what your process was to correct the error. The hiring manager wants to understand how you react to errors and how you react to the reality of them.
"During a recent project I somehow made the error of deleting important work from our company's primary drafting program. It was hours worth of work that was potentially lost. First, I went to my manager with the error. She was able to contact the correct IT admin and we were able to have the issue resolved. Mistakes in the workplace do happen and I feel that it is really important to not panic when they do. Most things can be fixed!"
Do you have any tips or tricks for remaining focused and attentive to your work throughout the day? Tell the hiring manager your personal techniques for getting the job done with minimal distraction.
"I am a very focused individual as it is, so it isn't very difficult for me to remain this way while I work. The busier I am, the better. If I feel that I am becoming unfocused, I will take a quick lap outside and then get back to work."
Talk to the hiring manager about your passions or interests, outside of your career as a CAD drafter. You can touch on some personal aspects of your life. A couple of great things to talk about here could be your volunteer work and/or your family.
"Outside of my career, I am very passionate about my volunteer work with our local food bank. I spend most Saturday's volunteering there and am very passionate about the work that is done through the food bank."
Briefly walk the interviewer through your process of creating a layout in AutoCAD. Talk to the hiring manager about your level of comfortability in doing so.
"I can absolutely do layouts on my own. I am an expert level user in AutoCAD and am able to teach these skills to your junior drafters as well."
Tell the hiring manager a bit about yourself and why you chose technical school to become a drafter. It is absolutely okay to talk about yourself on a personal level when answering this question.
"I chose technical school on a whim, to be honest. Right out of high school I wanted to travel but didn't have the funds to. When I enrolled in our local tech school I actually found it to be a lot more fun than I expected. So, I guess you could say that I kind of 'fell' into the decision. I have absolutely no regrets, 9 years later!"
Disclosing if you feel more technical or creative minded can help the hiring manager to better understand how you work and the type of projects you may be most efficient in. Talk about your opinion when it comes to your creative or technical mindedness.
"I would consider myself to be more technical minded when it comes to my drafting projects. I am very much into calculations and the logistics rather than the creative side of it. Of course, being creative minded is very helpful in my role as a CAD drafter but I feel that it's the technical side of me that really carries me successfully from project to project."
Take a few minutes to discuss the most difficult or complicated schematic drawing you have had to create in your career as a CAD Drafter. This will allow the hiring manager to understand if you can handle projects of their magnitude.
"In my earlier career I worked for a well known power company and was responsible for drawing hydraulic, pneumatic, lube and P&ID schematics. They were intense projects to work on but I learned a lot and am glad to have the had experience."
When the hiring manager has a strong understanding of your work and project preferences, they can better know where to place you within their organization. Where will you be the best fit? Talk to the hiring manager about your preference when it comes to the types of drafting projects you take on.
"I am happy to perform drafting duties in all areas, however; if I had to choose I would probably say that I prefer Architectural drafting. My post-secondary education was primarily focused on architecture and so that is likely how I formed the preference."
Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
Employment of drafters is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Although drafters will continue to work on technical drawings and documents related to the design of buildings, machines, and tools, new software programs are making the work more efficient, thus requiring fewer workers. Competition for jobs is expected to be strong.