Summary
Why Companies Test Financial Analysts for Excel Skills?
A financial analyst is someone who makes business recommendations for an organization based on analyses they carry out on factors like market trends, the financial status of a company (or companies) and the predicted outcomes of a certain type of deal. Analysts typically have academic backgrounds as business, finance or accounting majors and are numbersdriven individuals who are comfortable interpreting data and making recommendations based on that data.
The basic profile of financial analyst candidates will consist of three elements: education, experience and professional credentials. Their educational background will probably involve degrees in accounting or finance so looking for credentials such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) might help you reduce the initial pool of candidates. Usually, at least a couple years of experience are required for nonjunior roles. According to the requirements of your position, you can look for less or more experience in the particular role or industry.
Typical interview starts with the absolute basics: the level of their professional knowledge, how they use this knowledge to attain different objectives and how they keep up with news and current developments. Technical questions can serve this purpose and this is where company might start asking Microsoft Excel Questions. Sometimes hiring company uses any specific methods or tools,to test candidates for specific skills. Skills like orientation to detail, analytical ability and reliability can be assessed through both situational and behavioral questions. If company expects the role to involve high interaction with others (e.g. investors or colleagues), you can ask about their communication and presentation abilities as well.
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, datadriven spreadsheets, reports, and graphs to best serve company needs.
FREE Excel Assessment Test PDF
Download Free Excel Assessment Test PDF EBook  34 page work book with 10 Sample Questions from the real Excel PreEmployment Exam. Answers and explanations included!!!
Microsoft Excel is an electronic spreadsheet program, created by Microsoft Corporation over thirty years ago. It enables users to organize, format, and calculate data with formulas using a spreadsheet system broken up by rows and column. Microsoft Excel is also used for storing, organizing and manipulating the data as well as for creating macros, charts, histograms, line graphs and pivot tables with the help of graphing tools . Excel also offers programming that supports VBA, and we can use external database to make dynamic reports, analysis etc. Smart use of this program saves a lot of time and helps in creating our own applications too.
What is Excel Assessment Test for Employment?
Because spreadsheets are so popular and useful, companies are trying to evaluate candidates by conducting preemployment 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.
The basic Microsoft Excel skills test 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, multiplechoice questions and multiple answer questions based on Excel spreadsheets, charts and tables filled with sample data.
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
 Indeed.com
 IKM
 SkillCheck
In this article we will review different assessment tests being offered, the types of questions asked, review sample questions and look at the resources to get prepared for each test the fastest way possible.
Indeed.com Assessment Test
Indeed.com Assessment Tests
Indeed.com Employment Assessment test helps employers to quickly evaluate candidate's skills and abilities. With it, employers can send skills tests to candidates and then see how candidates perform in relation to others that have taken the same assessment to decide if they would like to move forward in the interview process. Indeed also offers candidates option to create and maintain profiles in their system , allowing candidates to take various assessments for Indeed Profile, offering them a way to showcase your skills to potential employers.
Some employers have opted into including Indeed Assessments in their jobs requirements. In this case, an employer will invite the candidate to take an assessment directly, as part of the interview process. The candidate will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to complete the assessment test. People looking for jobs can also proactively take assessments on their Indeed Profile. This is currently only available for the Customer Service industry, but Indeed.com is planning to make it available for all industries soon.
Most Indeed Assessments can be completed on a mobile device. Those that require the use of a laptop or desktop computer – such as Typing – include notices to switch devices.
While the length of Indeed assessment test can vary, most test modules take an average of 10 min or less. Based on guidelines Indeed provides in their FAQ, if an employer has opted to combine two 10minute test modules, your assessment could take you a total of 20 minutes to complete.
Basic Indeed.com Excel Assessment Test
As part of Basic Indeed 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 multiplechoice 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.
Excel Skills that are being evaluated
As part of Basic Indeed 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
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 Indeed.com Excel Assessment Test
The Intermediate Indeed.com 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:
 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.
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
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 Indeed.com Excel Assessment Test
The Advanced Indeed.com 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:
 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.
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 formuladriven ranges and formatting rules
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.
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 untimed; 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:
 Each question may have up to three correct answers.
 You may select up to three answers for each question.
 You can skip a question if you have no idea of the correct answer.
 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.
 You may not go back to a question once it is answered or skipped.
 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 followup questions. Answering incorrectly will result in easier followup 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.
Excel Test Format
Each employer might use a slightly different variation of the test. The Excel exam will be broken down into a multiplechoice 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 the test like Multiple Choice Questions, Multiple Answer Questions, True/False Questions and 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. Let’s look at the details of each type.
Multiple Choice Excel Assessment Questions
In this test format applicants are being presented with the question that has multiple options but only one possible answer. Applicants are typically being asked to select one choice as the answer for the questions. These types of questions are typically used to test Beginner or Intermediate skills on Excel Assessment test. Figure 1 shows an example of multiple choice excel assessment test question:
(Sample multiple choice question as part of Excel Assessment Test)
Multiple Answer Excel Assessment Questions.
In this test format applicants are being presented with the question, which has multiple potential answers. Applicants are typically being asked to select all answers that are applicable. These types of questions are typically used to test Intermediate or Advanced skills on Excel Assessment test (See below image). The multiplechoice questions are typically pulled at random from a larger pool of questions. This means that you will likely not be asked the same questions as someone else you know who took the exact same exam.
(Sample Multiple Answer Excel Assessment Test Question)
True/False Excel Assessment Questions.
In this format applicants are being presented with a statement that is either true of false. The key to answering these questions correctly is in reading the questions in detail and determining which answer is correct and which one isn’t.
(Sample True/False Question asked as part of Excel Assessment Test)
Interactive Excel Software Simulator Questions
Interactive test question typically asks candidates to complete specific task or scenario using Excel Simulator, presented at the bottom. Simulator is different from the regular Excel software, since it has internal help disabled. Sometimes the entire test might be done using interactive questions, but most of the times Interactive question type is just one of the types of questions used during the test.
Below is the example of Excel Interactive Simulator question, candidates might be asked to complete.
(Sample Interactive Simulator asked as part of Excel Assessment Test)
Testing Candidates with AdHoc Questions by the interviewer
Sometimes interviewers prefer the test to be interactive with the candidate rather than judging by some static questions. Since the main objective of Excel test is to determine whether a candidate can perform Excel function, specific to what employer needs to do, some companies ask AdHoc questions during the interview to test the candidate and evaluate his skills. In this approach potential candidates are not being asked to take any computerized tests, but rather are being asked openended questions during the interview. Typically, interviewer ask questions from memory, but a lot of times they might also prepare questions in advance, based on functional or technical areas they would like to test the candidate.
Three major categories of questions might be asked in AdHoc approach:
Technical Questions:
 Which function would you use to add all the values in the column?
 How can you import data from the database into Excel?
 What are Excel Formulas used for?
Functional Questions
 What is your experience managing prices in Excel?
 What is your experience doing forecasting in Excel?
 What is your experience planning a budget in Excel?
Challenge questions
 Can you access the values from another worksheet in the same workbook using the formula?
 How can you project Excel data from modification?
 How can you protect Excel with the password?
 What is the difference between absolute and relative cell references? In which situations would you use each?
Excel Assessment Test Overview
Complexity Levels of Excel Employee Assessment Tests
Microsoft Excel harbor very basic calculations to very advanced data processing and analysis that requires indepth knowledge of every tools of Excel. Depending on the position candidate is applying for you are likely to face a preemployment 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 entrylevel 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.
How Candidates are being evaluated
Candidates are typically tested for certain skills and knowledge they need to possess in Microsoft Excel:
 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 an Excel workbook using cell formatting tools to make the important interpretations stand out
Below is the list of competencies candidates are tested for:
 Follow the correct steps to apply formatting and create impressive, visually appealing spreadsheets through the use of formatting,
 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.
Sample Excel Interview Questions
Excel Interview Questions for Financial Analyst
Excel HowTo 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(A1)
TRIM function doesn't remove single spaces between words.
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 Pivot Table Questions
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 Keyboard Shortcuts Questions
What is the keyboard shortcut to put the filter on data in Microsoft Excel 2016 or Excel 2019?
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 MSExcel. 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.
General Excel Overview Questions
What is the latest version of Microsoft Excel ?
Microsoft Excel with an Office 365 subscription is the latest version of Excel. Previous versions include Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010 , Excel 2007 , and Excel 2003.
Microsoft Excel is an electronic spreadsheet program, created by Microsoft Corporation. It enables users to organize, format, and calculate data with formulas using a spreadsheet system broken up by rows and column. Microsoft Excel is also used for storing, organizing and manipulating the data with formulas using a spreadsheet system broken up by rows and columns. . Excel also offers programming that supports VBA, and we can use external database to make dynamic reports, analysis etc. Smart use of this program saves a lot of time and helps in creating our own applications too.
Excel Conceptual Questions
VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is the programming language used in Microsoft Excel. You can automate operations in Excel to help improve productivity
To enable graphical representation of the data in Excel, charts are provided. A user can use any chart type, including column, bar, line, pie, scatter, etc. by selecting an option from Insert tab's Chart group.
What is the concept of wrapping text in Excel?
Wrapping text in Excel allows you to avoid any text overflowing out of the cell. Wrap Text function is available on Home tab in Alignment group on the ribbon – see image below. By applying the the wrap text option, you can make sure all the text fits nicely in one single cell (which may change it's height though).
To wrap text in a cell, we use Wrap text option. It can be used in two ways:
Option 1: To wrap text, select the cell, go to the Home tab and click on the Wrap text option in the Alignment group. Note that this is a toggle button, which means that if you click on it again, it will unwrap the text.
Option 2. Using the ribbon.
 Navigate to Home>Alignment tab and Press Ctrl+1 on your keyboard
 Format cells dialog box will appear
 In the Alignment Tab
 Click on Wrap text
 And then click on OK
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
To learn more tips and tricks to prepare for Excel Assessment Test checkout this ebook.
Next Steps
Below is the list of resources you could use to get prepared for the Excel Interview:
All the best on your interview!!!
Download FREE Excel Assessment Test PDF
Download Free Excel Assessment PDF EBook  34 page work book with 10 Sample Questions from the real Excel PreEmployment Exam. Answers and explanations included!!!