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Data Analyst: Excel Interview and Assessment Test Questions



Why Companies Test Data Analysts for Excel Skills?

Data Analyst provide essential services to companies in any industry, as they help facilitate data driven decision making. Companies in nearly every industry can benefit from the work of Data Analysts, from healthcare providers to retail stores to fast food chains. The insights that data analysts bring to an organization can be valuable to employers who want to know more about the needs of their consumer or end user.

Assessing a job candidate’s Microsoft Excel proficiency is an important step in making the right hire. The intermediate Microsoft Excel skills test is helpful in learning if a job candidate understands how to manipulate the many functions, tools, and formulas of Excel to present extensive information, identify key trends, or calculate financial and numerical data.

Excel is the most popular tool to test skills of Data Analyst, since Excel is used for a variety of purposes such as importing the data, storing and analyzing the data and generating quick summaries and presenting them in the form of reports or an interactive excel dashboard.


How Employers assess candidates Excel Skills?

There are multiple providers that conduct the tests and each one of the tests is a little different. Most of the time employers use below providers to conduct the tests

  • IKM
  • SkillCheck

In this article we will review the types of questions asked, review sample questions and look at the resources to get prepared for each test the fastest way possible.

Data Analyst Interview Questions

Interview Questions for Data Analyst

Data Analysis Questions

What are the biggest challenges you might run, when doing data analysis?

Even though each situation might be different, below are the typical challenges that data analysts might run into, when trying to solve business problem

  • Importing the data into Excel or other tool used (how to convert data provided in one format and bring it into Excel). This might get even more complicated with larger data volumes.
  • Data Cleansing challenges
    • Presence of Duplicate entries and spelling mistakes, reduce data quality.
    • If you are extracting data from a poor source, then this could be a problem as you would have to spend a lot of time cleaning the data.
  • Working with multiple sources: when you combine data from these sources, it may happen that the variation in representation could result in a delay.
  • Quality of the data: if there is incomplete data, then that could be a problem to perform analysis of data
  • Selecting the best vehicle to present results: best way to communicate the findings to decision makers in the format easiest to understand. (reports, charts or dashboards)

How to assess quality of the data model?

Even though the answer might vary, below are some criteria to assess the quality of the data model:

  • Can model be easily consumed by end users (customers) to help facilitate decision making process?
  • Can model support future extensions and future extensions?
  • Can model easily support generation of output format: reports or dashboards?


What is the process of Data Analysis?

Data Analysis the process of collecting, cleaning, interpreting, transforming and modeling data to gather insights and generate reports to help make business decisions. Typically data analysis can be broken down into multiple steps:

  • Data Sources Identification: As part of this step data sources are being identified and ways of extracting and importing the data are being analyzed. This is necessary so that data from master sources can then be used for analysis.
  • Data Import: The data gets collected from various sources and is stored so that it can be cleaned and prepared. In this step, all the missing values and outliers are removed.
  • Analyze Data: Once the data is ready, the next step is to analyze the data. A model is run repeatedly for improvements. Then, the mode is validated to check whether it meets the business requirements.
  • Report Generation: Once the model is implemented and then reports can be generated to help facilitate decision making process.



Excel Pivot Table Questions

What is Pivot Table in Excel?

PivotTable is use to make a summary reports and helps you to convert a large amount of data in a short and presentable form which will help you to understand and analyses the data easily.


How to apply a PivotTable?

PivotTable Option is available at insert tab. You can click on PivotTable option after selecting your data and make it on a same sheet or on a new sheet.


How would you provide a Dynamic range in "Data Source" of Pivot Tables?

To provide a dynamic range in "Data Source" of Pivot tables, first, create a named range using offset function and base the pivot table using a named range created in the first step.



Excel Formulas and Functions Questions

What are the benefits of using formulas in Excel sheet?

Formula makes it easy to calculate the numbers in Excel sheet. It also calculates automatically the number replaced by another number or digit. It is used to make complex calculations easy.


What are the most used functions in Microsoft Excel?

Following are the functions available in Excel for manipulating the data:

  • Common Functions – SUM, AVERAGE, MIN, MAX
  • Math and Financial Functions – SQRT, DEGREE, RAND(), GCD
  • Logical Functions – IF, AND, Or, FALSE, TRUE
  • Date and Time functions – NOW(), DATEVALUE(), WEEKDAY(NOW())
  • Index Match functions – VLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH


How we can calculate average?

We can calculate average by using average formula which will help you to calculate average of any list.


Which formula is use for sum if there is a condition?

Sumif, Sumifs and Dsum formulas are used to get conditional sum, conditional sum means when you want a sum of one value from a range.


What is the function of SUMIF?

SUMIF is use to get a sum when there is one condition. (It uses one range, one criteria, and one Sum range)


What is the function of Sumifs? And difference between sumif and sumifs?

SUMIFS is use when you have multiple criteria to sum. It uses one sum range, and multiple criteria ranges to calculate a sum of a specific criteria’s.


What is the difference between Sumifs and DSum?

Sumif and Dsum both are use to calculate a sum when there is multiple criteria’s. but the main difference between both functions are:

  • Dsum need heading of the table to sum but Sumif not required.
  • Sumif or sumifs need all criteria’s to be written at a time otherwise answer will be zero but the dsum not required all criteria to be written.


Excel How-To Questions

How can you wrap the text within a cell?

You must select the text you want to wrap, and then click wrap text from the home tab and you can wrap the text within a cell.


How would you hide or show the ribbon?

You can hide or show (minimize or maximize) the ribbon pressing a “^” button at the button right corner of the ribbon (see image below where button is highlighted in red) or by pressing CNTRL F1.


How to remove leading / trailing spaces in a text in Excel?

To remove of leading, trailing, and double spaces, you need to use the TRIM function.

For example, if you have a text string in cell A1 and you want to remove the spaces, you can use the following formula:


TRIM function doesn't remove single spaces between words.



Excel Keyboard Shortcuts Questions

What is the keyboard shortcut to put the filter on data in Microsoft Excel ?

User would need to select the top row of data you need to apply quick filter to and press Ctrl+Shift+L keyboard shortcut key to put the filter in data.


Which keyboard shortcut would you use to move to the previous worksheet and next sheet?

To move to the previous worksheet, you will use the keys Ctrl + Pg Up, and to move to the next sheet you will use keys Ctrl + PgDown.


What is the keyboard shortcut to Hide/Show Ribbon in Excel?

Ribbon refers to the topmost area of the application that contains menu items and toolbars available in MS-Excel. Ribbon can be shown/hidden using CTRL+F1.


What is the keyboard shortcut to put the filter on data in Microsoft Excel 2016 or Excel 2019?

Answer: Select the top row of data you need to apply quick filter to and press Ctrl+Shift+L keyboard shortcut key to put the filter in data.


Excel Conceptual Questions

How can you sum up the Rows and Column number quickly in the Excel sheet?

By using SUM function, you can get the total sum of the rows and columns, in an Excel worksheet and the short key auto sum is ALT + =.


What are the typical errors in Excel?

Below are the typical errors in Excel:

      • #N/A Error: ‘Value Not Available’ error. You will see this when you use a lookup formula and it can’t find the value (hence Not Available).
      • #DIV/0! Error: Typically this error is displayed when a number is divided by 0. This is called the division error.
      • #VALUE! Error: Typically this error occurs when you use an incorrect data type in a formula.
      • #REF! Error: Typically this error occurs when reference in the formula is no longer valid. This could be the case when the formula refers to a cell reference and that cell reference does not exist (happens when you delete a row/column or worksheet that was referred in the formula).
      • #NAME ERROR: This error is likely to a result of a misspelled function.
      • #NUM ERROR: Number error can occur if you try and calculate a very large value in Excel. For example, =194^643 will return a number error.

Tips and Tricks to Get Prepared and Pass Excel Assessment Test

General Tips for Excel Assessment Tests

  • If you can navigate between questions go through the entire test and do the easiest, shortest questions first. Save the more difficult questions to come back to later; perhaps another part of the test will help you out with that question or trigger knowledge that you didn’t think you had and you already answered the questions you know the answers for.
  • Keep a positive attitude throughout the test and stay relaxed. People who are positive and relaxed do better on tests than those who are negative and stressed out.
  • Consider using flashcards to help you study. You can purchase blank flashcards or create them yourself from paper and put your questions and answers. Create flashcards for the questions you have missed in the past, so you can refresh the knowledge.
  • Understand how much time you have to complete the test by dividing number of question in the test to the allotted time to determine time per question average you should use. Use this calculated average as a baseline and try to limit the time you spend on each question.
  • Always watch for time remaining and be prepared to submit test results, before time expires.
  • Even if you have no idea about the answer you still should try to guess and answer the question, since your guess might be correct


Video: Excel Interview Questions For Data Analyst

In this video you will learn how to pass Excel Interview Test for Data Analyst. Data Analysts help data retrieve and gather data, organize it make it understandable for end users and use it to answer business questions and reach meaningful conclusions. Subscribe on YouTube:

A lot of times during interview companies are evaluating Data Analyst skills by using Microsoft Excel, since Excel over the years became very powerful tool and now days can be used to gauge skills of Data Analyst.

In this video I will show sample series of steps, completed in Excel from the real assessment test on interview, which could be used to better understand your readiness for Data Analyst. I will also share with you some insights related to the data analyst other responsibilities, which you might be queried on as part of the interview.


About the author:

My goal is to help people with their education, certification tests and assessment test needs and this is why I have created this web site. Make sure to stay in touch and  Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and join my email list - this way you are not missing out on any new episodes.

Thanks again for your support, good luck learning and wish you all the best!!!

Vadim Mikhailenko

Next Steps

Below is the list of resources you could use to get prepared for the Excel Interview:


All the best on your interview!!!


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