What is Microsoft Excel
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.
Why Companies Test Candidates?
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 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.
The intermediate Microsoft Excel skills test helps predict a job candidate’s ability to:
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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.
Use this intermediate Microsoft Excel skills test to quickly and easily automate the screening process for entry-level or experienced candidates, including administrative assistants, retail store managers, sales representatives, accountants, project managers, or any other position that requires using Microsoft Excel.
Because spreadsheets are 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.
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, multiple-choice 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
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 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 10-minute test modules, your assessment could take you a total of 20 minutes to complete.
Basic Indeed 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 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.
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
Excel Test Format
Each employer might use a slightly different variation of the test. The Excel exam will be 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 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.
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)
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 multiple-choice 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)
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 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)
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 Ad-Hoc 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 open-ended 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 Ad-Hoc approach:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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
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.
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.
Indeed Excel Assessment Test Preparation Video Tutorial
Because a lot of jobs require Microsoft Excel skills, employers would like to test candidates to understand their knowledge and experience with the tool, to do that they present candidate with the test. In this tutorial, you will learn some of the tests.
Excel is an electronic spreadsheet program created by Microsoft. An electronic spreadsheet is a computer software program that is used for storing, organizing and manipulating data. Excel is used by a lot of business for financial planning, forecasting, loan calculations and reporting.
Microsoft Excel is a program that provides worksheets comprised of rows and columns. Data can be stored in the worksheet, also called a spreadsheet, similarly to a Microsoft Word table, but the power of Excel is its ability to perform simple to complex mathematical calculations, and other functions.
Current version of Microsoft Excel allows users to manage multiple spreadsheet pages in a single file. The saved computer file is often referred to as a workbook and each page in the workbook is a separate worksheet.