A Microsoft Excel test is a pre-employment hiring assessment that employers use during the recruitment process to check how proficient candidates are with Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets allow users to input and analyse data efficiently, and are used in all kinds of office jobs; as such, Microsoft Excel Assessment Tests are becoming increasingly common. In this post we will learn how to get prepared for Microsoft Excel Pre Employment Test by looking at Top 50 Excel Test for Job Interview Questions and Answers. We are also going to look at how companies conduct excel skills test, how employers test for Excel skills, review sample questions asked as part of Excel Portion of Job Interview and look at the resources to get prepared for each test the fastest way possible.
Why Employers Test Job Candidates?
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.
Microsoft Excel is a complex business application which allows companies to record, track, and analyze data and perform very complex modelling and calculations, essential for measuring company performance, maximizing return on investment, and defining goals. Since Microsoft Excel is used in a lot of organizations, employers would like to make sure that candidates has solid Excel skills and experience using the tool. A new employee who can comfortably navigate is prepared to immediately contribute by producing meaningful, data-driven spreadsheets, reports, and graphs to best serve company needs.
How Employers Test for 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
Because Microsoft Excel is so popular and useful, companies are trying to evaluate candidates by conducting pre-employment assessment test. An Excel Interview Test is a screening process employers use as part of the candidate employment interview to test a potential candidate on their knowledge and proficiency of Microsoft Excel.
Each employer might use a slightly different variation of the Excel test. The Excel Assessment Test typically broken down into a multiple-choice section and an interactive portion. Some tests are timed but some of them do not have a limit on how long applicant can take to answer the questions, but there might be exceptions.
Excel Skill Assessments through questions
There are different types of questions typically being presented during Excel Test :
- Multiple Choice Questions
- Multiple Answer Questions
- True/False Questions
Interactive Test Simulators
It is rare that only one type of question is used during the test – most of the time questions are part of the large pool and testing software randomly selects certain number of questions from the pool and presents them to the candidate.
Hands-On Excel Skill Assessment
Sometimes companies also conduct hands on Excel Job Interview Test when they provide candidates with sample data file as ask them to perform certain tasks with the data, based on instructions provided.
Excel Skills Tested as Part of Test
During Excel Interview employer assesses candidate’s ability to use Microsoft Excel's user interface quickly and efficiently to access the right features and perform simple tasks in the application. It validates fundamental knowledge from determining the best way to open a recently closed Workbook to using the correct formula to perform automatic calculations. Candidates are required to answer true/false, multiple-choice questions and multiple answer questions, based on Excel spreadsheets, charts and tables filled with sample data
Below is the list of topics candidates are tested for:
- Follow the correct steps to apply formatting, use formulas or accomplish certain things in spreadsheet
- Apply styles, use simple fill patterns and apply formatting
- Identify the proper keyboard shortcuts to accomplish tasks more quickly.
- Choose the right formula and cell references to automatically calculate values.
- Perform basic tasks like hiding rows, preventing cell overflow, and pasting data.
Since each question comes with a strict time limit (one minute or less), the test will also measure a candidate’s ability to quickly format, isolate and manipulate data under a significant amount of pressure without any outside help.
Hands On Abilities Evaluated
- Ability to edit Excel worksheets and workbook by identifying common functions, applying basic keyboard shortcuts, and manipulating columns and rows
- Ability to apply sorting and filtering options as well as statistical functions to explore and summarize values
- Ability to customize the look and feel of a Excel workbook using cell formatting tools
Microsoft Excel harbor very basic calculations to very advanced data processing and analysis that requires in-depth knowledge of every tools of Excel. Depending on the position candidate is applying for you are likely to face a pre-employment Excel test with varying level of difficulty. Microsoft Excel Employment Assessment tests can be categorized into at least three levels of difficulty:
- Microsoft Excel Basics Test: The basic test will evaluate your skills performing basic Excel functions. This can include anything from printing, formatting cells, inserting tables, and so on. If you have used Excel in the past or familiar with other similar applications you should be able to refresh your skills with the quick tutorial, practice sample excel interview questions to pass assessment test. Basic Excel Test for Interview Candidates is a screening process for entry-level or experienced candidates, including administrative assistants, retail store managers, Sales Representatives, Marketing Representatives, Accountants, Entry level Analysts, or any other position that requires using Microsoft Excel.
- Intermediate Microsoft Excel test: This test requires more than basic knowledge but is not as complex as the advanced level test. The intermediate Microsoft Excel skills test presents candidates with a series of timed questions designed to assess their knowledge of Microsoft Excel. For passing this test, you will need to study and practice in advance using different tools and resources and ideally have practical experience of solving problems with Microsoft Excel. The Intermediate Excel Test is typically offered to evaluate skills of Business Analysts, Project Managers, Architects and other professionals, that may be responsible for complex decision making.
- Advanced Microsoft Excel test: This test is designed for job that require to use Excel in a more complex manner. The test will evaluate your skills with pivot tables, creating macros, filtering, and functions such as IF, IFS, VLOOKUP, SUMIFS, VBA and other advanced concepts used in Microsoft Excel. An advanced Excel user would need to have advanced formula skills. He would have a skill and confidence to make his own formula to adapt to any situation. Typically, this test is offered to Senior Professionals, Executives, Financial Analysts, Scientists and other professionals that may need to use advanced features of Microsoft Excel.
What Employers are Looking For?
Microsoft Excel is a comprehensive tool that allows businesses to record, track, and analyze data essential for measuring company performance, maximizing return on investment, and defining goals – when used to its fullest potential. A new employee who can comfortably navigate Excel is prepared to immediately contribute by producing meaningful, data-driven spreadsheets, reports, and graphs to best serve company needs.
Assessing a job candidate’s Microsoft Excel proficiency is an important step in making the right hire. The Beginners 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.
Microsoft Excel assessment test helps predict a job candidate’s ability to:
- Enter sales figures and properly apply formulas to generate sales totals by date, representative, product or region.
- Conditionally format cells with the goal of highlighting specific dates, values, or ranges.
- Create bar graphs and pie charts from large datasets to illustrate critical company data, performance metrics, and outlook.
Microsoft Excel Keyboard Shortcuts do a lot of heavy lifting for the user. When you are working with a Excel Document, you can frequently use them to avoid having to move the mouse cursor to do an action which might take more time than just pressing a key or a combination of keys.
We are going to list some of the most used Excel Keyboard Shortcuts first, these are your shortcut keys that everyone uses on the daily basis.
|CTRL + O||Open a Workbook|
|CTRL + W||Close a Workbook|
|CTRL + S||Save a Workbook|
|CTRL + C||Copy a selection|
|CTRL + V||Paste|
|CTRL + Z||Undo last action|
|CTRL + X||Cut the text|
|CTRL + B||Bold|
|CTRL + N||Create a New Workbook|
|DELETE||Remove selected cell contents|
|CTRL + 1||Format Box|
|ALT + E + S + T||Copy Format|
|ALT + H + 0||Increase Decimal|
|ALT + H + 9||Decrease Decimal|
|CTRL + SHIFT + 7||Boxing|
|ALT + O + C + A||Fit Column Width|
|ALT + H + O + R||Change Tab Name|
|ALT + W + F (Un)||Split Panes|
|ALT + W + S||(Un)freeze windows|
|ALT + "="||SUM Function|
|CTRL + SHIFT + F / CTRL + SHIFT +P||Format fonts.|
|SHIFT + F2||Add/Edit Cell comment|
|CTRL + ALT + V||Paste Special Dialog|
|CTRL + I||Italicize or Un-Italicize cells|
|CTRL + SHIFT + &||Apply outline border to selected cells.|
|CTRL + U||Insert Underlines under the selected text|
|CTRL + SHIFT + #||Date Format|
|CTRL + SHIFT + $||$ Dollar Format|
|CTRL+ SHIFT + %||% Percentage Format|
|CTRL + SHIFY + @||Time format hour minute and AM/PM|
|CTRL + L/ CTRL + T||Insert table Dialog|
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Tips for Passing Your Excel Job Test!
TIP #1 – What are the Smartest Ways to Prepare for Assessment Test:
- Use outlines from Test provider (Indeed.com, SkillsCheck, IKM) and review their sample questions
- Take Online Training Courses, if available
- Download and read Assessment Test Books and eBooks
- Download and Use Practice Tests
TIP #2 – What to do during the test:
- Try to schedule test in the morning, when you have high levels of energy
- Get a good sleep before the test.
- Do not take a test if you are tired
- Read Question carefully (ideally more than once)
- Answer easy questions first (if you have a choice)
- This would allow you to leave harder questions for the end, but you will get easy answers in
- Validate your answer with more than one method (i.e. Common sense, Manual Calculations, Use Calculator etc.)
TIP #3 – How to Pass Assessment Test Today:
- Be prepared for Assessment Test at Home
- You might be monitored and timed
- Anticipate questions based on the job position
- Research and practice before the test
- Reflect after the test and take notes
- Use these notes to get ready for next test
- Improve your Skills in Between Tests by taking Practice tests and timing yourself
About the Author
Vadim Mikhailenko, MBA
Vadim lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and works as an Information Technology Consultant, Coach and Educator. Vadim is very passionate about Milwaukee community and teaches classes to underprivileged students at local community college to help them get employed. Throughout his consulting career Vadim studied a lot of tools and technologies and learned hiring process by helping organizations to hire candidates and also supported students to get prepared and to pass interview and assessment tests.
Vadim loves to share his knowledge with and enjoys teaching new skills to help you get hired for your dream job.