autocad testing during interviews


How many of you have been given or given an auto cad test during an interview or follow up interview?What were they like? And for those of you who conduct interviews what kind of things are looking for in terms of skill. I know it depends on what position you are hiring for, just some ideas would be great. I had to take one once but other firms that I interviewed at didn't give a test. Why do some firms do this and some don't? (I was interviewing for an intern position.)

May 23, 05 5:22 pm

during an interview i was asked to draw in 2d a floor plan they gave me drawn in a piece of paper.

i think they did it to be sure they were going to hire somebody with the skills they needed.

May 23, 05 5:31 pm  · 

check here

May 23, 05 5:42 pm  · 

Places that have a mandatory Cad test use them for a variety of reasons. The more practical reason is that they want a productive and proficient employee that needs the least amount of assistance and will be less likely to have to stop to ask how to do something. The smaller firms usually don't seem to care since the atmosphere is more close-knit and everyone is there for each other. The larger firms find it difficult to find the right people to help you, since everyone seems to be doing a little bit of everything.

This leads to another reason for testing. Many major firms have a CAD specialist who is there on a daily or weekly basis to ensure that all programs are running properly, and to be there in case someone needs help. These people are very hard-core with these programs and need to know how much time they need to allocate to train you and get you up to speed. This is their job, and they're MORE than happy to help you. The Cad specialist at our office here has had to reinstall AutoCad v14,3.3,2004 and 2005 on my computer 3 times within a month due to the quirks on my old machine, and the man couldn't have been more happy if he was laying on the beach. Working at a place which has a speceialist is a dream come true, because problems are solved within 10 minutes of them occurring, and all of the add-ons and short cuts for the programs are made available to you.

As far as the testing itself goes, it is all about efficiency. Every command you run in AutoCad can be seen by the person testing you once you finish, so they know if you took 5 minutes to make a rectangle out of 4 lines, instead of 2 seconds to use the rectangle function. Every second you save through utilizing the programs properly saves the company and the client money.

This is not a life or death situation, and nothing to be afraid of. If you can't draw a line and you're applying to be a cad monkey, that's when you have problems. If you can draft a plan in 5 minutes but don't know the key entry for opening an xref within another file, wait until you get the job. Then ask around.

May 23, 05 5:57 pm  · 

I would also be aware of employers asking you to do a cad test that last for a couple of hours, but is actualy production work for their office.

May 24, 05 11:11 am  · 

I've done both. The tested candidates for was mainly looking to see that when your resume claimed you knew/were proficient at AutoCAD, you weren't lying. They started doing that because they'd been through a lot of people who turned out to be fibbing a bit about that - it would turn out that they used it one semester, back in school, or used to use it a lot but hadn't for four years and were totally unfamiliar with newer versions, but their resume still read, "Proficient with: AutoCAD, FormZ, Photoshop...". The test was really to weed people out. It was also to see how quickly the candidate jumped into the task and tried to do something, or if they sat there for most of their time and then drew one or two tentative lines.

This was also a sole proprietor firm where the boss did not know autocad himself, so it was critical that the drafter knew the program well enough that he didn't need help on it, because there was nobody to get help from, so I think testing was pretty justified.

This particular situation won't come up for most people, so don't sweat your cad tests. Just remember that confidence and drive are part of what they're looking for, so don't let yourself get so nervous you freeze up. You probably don't need to be a speed demon, but you shouldn't plod along like a turtle either.

May 24, 05 11:35 am  · 
el jeffe

i was given a brief autocad test for one job, which was the floorplan of a typical public facility restroom. so the test was really about whether you knew how to use the mirror if that was the big time saver for CAD.

May 24, 05 11:51 am  · 

I had a job where I had this long ass cad test (it was like 3 hours long) and I was sure they were using me for free labor but after I started working there I saw the file and thats what they use for everyone. It was actually pretty helpful-I realized that I didn't really know how to do anything and that my little 'Intro to Autocad' class didn't show me how to do shit in a real office.

May 24, 05 2:13 pm  · 

I had an AutoCAD test for a firm that was *multiple choice*. I'm not sure what they thought that would prove.

May 24, 05 2:33 pm  · 
Chilly Willy

I think it's a pretty good sign that you don't want to work there. The only time I've ever had to take one was the first interview I've ever had and I'm pretty sure it was a drafting company calling themselves architects.

May 24, 05 6:42 pm  · 

Does anyone know if there are any online cad tests that I could do as a way of practicing? I have a test in a firm next week that I really want to work in and want to  nail it! 

Sep 22, 13 4:34 pm  · 

Did you find any online test? I will have test for my next interview and I need to pass that.


I ran into this one time as a student and another time with considerable experience. As a student you can blaze right through it. This should only happen if you are at the minimum pay level in the profession because it is evident that the employer is looking to pay someone as little as possible if they make you take a drawing test. It is basic stuff like layers, draw a plan and elevate it. Expect to finish early and make a 3d model for the remaining time. You will nail it and yawn - whats next bitches!  

Sep 22, 13 5:10 pm  · 

Don't worry if you've used autocad to generate plans and details etc..  Start learning if you lied on your resume xD

I see no problem with testing for proficiency of software.  There are too many cases when firm hire people to help cut down work but the noob end up creating more work and problems because they don't know how to use the software and regular employees end up having to do or redo the work all over themselves when they're crunched on time too

Sep 22, 13 8:43 pm  · 
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This thread looks like it's been inactive for a couple of years, but rather than create a new duplicate thread I'll post here first.

I just scheduled a second in-person interview tomorrow at a residential design firm. I currently work at a small (and getting smaller) architectural firm that specializes in tax credit housing. I'm excited about the transition into residential work as it is what I have always wanted to do. My interview tomorrow will consist of an AutoCAD proficiency test. When I took my current job I taught myself how to use AutoCAD 2015 (thanks to youtube) because I had only ever used Revit in college. 2015 is all my current office uses. The CAD proficiency test will be in AutoCAD 2004. Should I have concerns about the test?

Jul 15, 15 2:08 pm  · 

nah, know the basics you should be fine, drawing commands, dimensions, leaders, xrefs, blocks, layer management basics, layer states.  that is about it.  every office has their own quirky dumbness they will want you to adopt as your own.  CAD sux.

Jul 15, 15 2:33 pm  · 

Okay, I'll keep my panic to a minimum. My typical CAD methods involve a whole lot of "copy/paste" and "match properties"... unlikely to be useful on the skills test but very practical when meeting the graphic standards of any particular office.

Jul 15, 15 2:39 pm  · 

Also, thanks for the quick reply, chigurh!

Jul 15, 15 2:39 pm  · 

I've been administering a CAD test recently.  As I work at a door company, it is slanted to shop drawing submittal. 

I have a two-panel door and requisite HM frame on the screen, dimensioned at 2/6 x 7/0.  I ask people to create a flush panel door and frame, 3/0 x 7/0 and a six-panel door and frame, 3/0 x 7/0. 

Nobody can do it!  I even list the commands to use in a text box on the screen; CO=Copy, S=Stretch, MI=Mirror, L=line, etc.

I would hire someone if they could just copy the two-panel door, erase the two panels to achieve a flush panel elevation.

Jul 16, 15 8:47 am  · 

Wow... I would think a high school intro to cad course would prepare enough students for that. Heck, youtube taught me more than that! Good luck in the hiring process.

Jul 16, 15 10:25 am  · 

yikes, then again, i can't for the life of me get the team at my firm to draw on the correct layers...

Jul 16, 15 5:47 pm  · 

Well there is a company I am shooting for and this will be the second time going through this process. There is an autoCAD test 2 types exact. written and drawing. I felt I bombed it the first time because they didn't move on to the interview processes. Yes I have an idea of what I am getting my self into when this process happens again. How many people use CAD as a habit and just use all the functions you use automatic but when you have to think about what you are doing for a test for get the commands AutoCAD uses? Other issue I had was drawing something they had for an example and pulling answers off it for there question and for some weird reason that didn't work either? So in a sense I am freaking out that when the time comes I will bomb this one too... Ideas how to prepare for these sort of things?

Nov 23, 20 10:34 am  · 

Do you know how to use the software? If so, tell them to fuck off.


Are you a recent graduate? If yes, then they should expect your skills to reflect that fact. If you're not a recent graduate, remind them that you gave experience and more importantly, know how a building goes together (in other words, fuck off). Just be prepared to not be offered the job because employers don't love taking risks on new staff, especially for technical positions.

Non Sequitur

We've been burned more than once by college kids claiming they are 9/10 in CAD and Revit yet barely know the basics. While a test may not be necessary (and it's a hassle for management), any decent interviewer should be able to gauge your skill level with the interview and portfolio.


I have many years of experience with AutoCAD and a lot of different areas. I graduated in 2003. I just find it odd they are so quick to move along with a written test is easier to pass fresh out of college then it is how many years later. It is what it is. Guess if I get the opportunity again I just need to act like I’m in college and study my ass off

Nov 23, 20 12:53 pm  · 

lol they do at my current job but they are trying to transition to revit 

Nov 23, 20 7:56 pm  · 

remember when we didn't depend on autodesk or vectorworks to get a job?

Nov 24, 20 12:17 pm  · 

did it one time fresh out of university... they wanted to test me on drawing an elevation of a very ornate house. I opened up the xref and The elevation was already completed. Copy and pasted lol. 

Honestly if I had to sit down and do one of these tests again I would refuse to work for said company. 

Nov 29, 20 9:55 pm  · 
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