Basic Excel Skills TestExcel Assessment TestExcel Interview QuestionsExcel Test for Interview Candidates

Excel Test for Interview Candidates

How to Pass Excel Test - Get Ready for the Interview


In this post we will learn how to get prepared for Microsoft Excel Pre Employmente Test. You will learn why employers typically hire external providers to test candidates knowledge of the tool. And  we are going to look at how companies conduct excel skills test and review sample questions asked as part of Excel Assessment Test 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

  • IKM
  • SkillCheck
  • TotalTesting

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.

There are different types of questions typically being presented during Excel Test :

  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Multiple Answer Questions
  • True/False Questions
  • Interactive Questions

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.

Complexity Levels of Excel Employee Assessment Tests

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 TestThe 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.



Basic Excel Assessment Test

Excel Skills that are being evaluated

As part of Basic Microsoft Excel Skills test employers are looking to ensure that candidates have the following skills

  • Ability to navigate and modify an Excel workbook by identifying common tools, applying basic keyboard shortcuts, and manipulating columns and rows
  • Ability to apply basic sorting and filtering options as well as statistical functions to explore and summarize values
  • Ability to customize the look and feel of a workbook using cell formatting tools

As part of Basic Microsoft Excel Skills test candidates are being tested for their ability to navigate the Excel user interface quickly and efficiently in order to access the right features and perform simple tasks – from determining the best way to open a recently closed Workbook to using the correct formula to perform automatic calculations. Candidates will be required to answer multiple-choice questions based on Excel spreadsheets, charts and tables filled with sample data, as well as images of Excel buttons and tools, testing their ability to:

    • Apply simple fill patterns, formatting, and styles to cells.
    • Identify the proper keyboard shortcuts to accomplish tasks more quickly.
    • Follow the correct steps to make one spreadsheet look like another.
    • 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.


Test could be used to test candidates for following jobs

  • Business Supervisor or Business Manager
  • Operations Supervisor or Operations Manager
  • Instructor, Teacher
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Scientist, Researcher
  • Information Technology professional


Intermediate Excel Assessment Test

Typical Intermediate Excel Test presents candidates with a series of timed questions designed to assess their knowledge of Microsoft Excel. Since questions are timed, candidate has a time limit to answer each question. Excel Assessment Test Questions contain images that represent spreadsheets, charts, and graphs, and require candidates to analyze values, formulas, and buttons in order to determine what actions will produce a specific outcome. Typically Intermediate Excel Assessment Test is used to ensure that candidates can do below listed use cases in Microsoft Excel:

Excel Skills that are being evaluated

  • Ability to visualize trends and patterns using conditional formats and standard charts
  • Ability to write cell formulas to evaluate conditional statements, combine data from multiple worksheets, and manipulate fields formatted as dates, values, or text
  • Ability to manipulate cell reference types to apply formulas across multiple cells
  • Filter and sort data to quickly locate information in a spreadsheet.
  • Understand what type of information will be returned based on a specific formula.
  • Know what function will automatically return the values found in a certain Excel cell.
  • Identify how particular tools will rearrange and illustrate data in a Excel graph or chart.
  • Apply conditional formatting to a chosen cell, row, or column.

What candidates are expected to know?

To pass Intermediate Excel Test candidates must posses all skill required to pass Beginners Excel Assessment plus:

  • How to enter sales figures and properly apply formulas to generate sales totals by date, representative, product or region.
  • How to conditionally format Excel cells with the goal of highlighting specific dates, values, or ranges.
  • How to create bar graphs and pie charts from large datasets to illustrate critical company data, performance metrics, and outlook.

Test could be used to test candidates for following jobs

  • Help Desk Agent and/or Customer Support Specialist
  • Business Administrator
  • Business Supervisor or Business Manager
  • Operations Supervisor or Operations Manager
  • Instructor, Teacher
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Scientist, Researcher
  • Information Technology professional


Advanced Excel Assessment Test

The Advanced Excel Skills Test which is also called Advanced Spreadsheet Proficiency Test used questions to ensure that candidates know how to choose formulas, functions, or charts to execute specific tasks or format data in Microsoft Excel. Advanced Excel Test questions include images of sample data in an Excel spreadsheet and require a candidate to answer which function was used to make the data look a certain way, or which functions should be used in a formula to perform an action.

The test enables you to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency with Excel formulas, conditional formatting, and data visualization by testing whether a candidate can:

Excel Skills that are being evaluated

  • Ability to analyze data and create reports using PivotTables and PivotCharts
  • Ability to nest multiple functions together to create dynamic formulas
  • Ability to create custom visualizations using combo charts, form controls, and formula-driven ranges and formatting rules
  • Use functions, such as VLOOKUP, SUMIF, COUNTIF, IFERROR, INDEX, MATCH, AND, OR, and ISTRUE separately or in conjunction.
  • Create and understand when and why to create a PivotTable.
  • Create or identify formulas for conditional formatting.
  • Create a formula to retrieve information from other rows or columns.
  • Create a formula to display a value based on data from other rows or columns.

What candidates are expected to know?

  • How to work with conditional formatting in Microsoft Excel.
  • How to use Advanced Excel functions and Excel formulas alone or in combination with each other.
  • How to create formulas to retrieve data or display certain values.
  • How to create and utilize a PivotTable.

Advanced test could be used to test candidates for following jobs

  • Data Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Financial Analyst
  • Business Supervisor or Business Manager
  • Operations Supervisor or Operations Manager
  • Dean, Associate Dean, Instructor, Teacher
  • Accountant
  • Scientist, Researcher
  • Information Technology professional


IKM Assessment Test

IKM Excel Assessment Test

IKM Excel Assessment Tests are typically un-timed; you should be able to take take as much time as you need to read, analyze and answer each question. However, time spent on each question is being measured and will be compared to the time spent by all other test takers. Below is the the typical format and requirements for IKM Excel Employment Assessment Test and some advice on how to best pass it:

  1. Each question may have up to three correct answers.
  2. You may select up to three answers for each question.
  3. You can skip a question if you have no idea of the correct answer.
  4. If you are able to narrow down the answers to two reasonable choices, you will always get some credit if you select them both and at least one is correct.
  5. You may not go back to a question once it is answered or skipped.
  6. Answering correctly to the question is much more important than answering quickly.

IKM Adaptive Excel Assessment Test

For some tests, IKM Excel Assessment Test might use adaptive testing methodology in which question difficulty is determined by your previous answers. IKM Adaptive Tests measure knowledge in fewer questions than standard tests by eliminating questions that are too hard or too easy for the test taker based upon their previous answers. Answering correctly will result in more difficult follow-up questions. Answering incorrectly will result in easier follow-up questions. Below are typical guidelines for IKM Adaptive Excel Assessment Test:
1. Each question has only one correct answer.
2. You may not go back to a question once it is answered.
3. You will get only 3 questions and no score.

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

Tips and Tricks to Get Prepared

  • 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


To learn more tips and tricks to prepare for Excel Assessment Test checkout this ebook.

Top 50 Excel Assessment Test Questions and Answers

Top 50 Excel Assessment Test Questions and Answers PDF EBook teaches you everything you need to get ready for Basic and Intermediate Microsoft Excel Interview and prepare for Excel Assessment Test. You will practice most frequently asked questions on the exam and will learn what to do when you arrive at the exam testing center,  how to manage your time when taking the exam, tips to manage your time during assessment test, tricks for answer questions in different formats and much much more.

Download PDF EBook