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Top 50 Excel Hiring Test Questions in 2020

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

  • 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.


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


Complexity Levels of Excel Employment 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.

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.

Tips for Passing Your Excel Job Test!

TIP #1 – What are the Smartest Ways to Prepare for Assessment Test:

  • Use outlines from Test provider (, 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

Excel Test Questions and Answers

Microsoft Excel is supported on various different platforms: Desktop, Web and Mobile (IOS and Android).

Microsoft Excel for the desktop works on both Windows and MacOSX. With an Office 365 subscription you always is the latest features of Excel, as you will get constant updates. Previous versions include Excel 2019, 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 columns. 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 an external database to make dynamic reports, analyses, etc. Smart use of this program saves a lot of time and helps in creating our own applications too.

Spreadsheets are organized as tables of values arranged in rows and columns that can be manipulated mathematically using both basic and complex arithmetic operations and functions.  It consists or rows and columns and their intersection called cells.

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. The ribbon runs on the top of the application and is the replacement for the toolbars and menus. The ribbons have various tabs on the top, and each tab has its own group of commands.

Microsoft Excel 2019 is an electronic spreadsheet program installed on your computer. To access Excel user needs to launch the application and open the file

With Excel Online you use your web browser to create, view, and edit Excel workbooks. You store excel documents on OneDrive or Dropbox. After you’ve created your online workbook, you can share it with specific groups of people or make it public. People can view your worksheets, sort, and filter data, and drill into the details of PivotTables on the web or mobile device.

A big advantage of using Excel Online is that you don't need to have an Excel application installed and that multiple people can view and edit Excel workbooks at the same time. When you’re working with others in Excel Online, you can edit the worksheet as you usually would. When others edit the worksheet, Excel Online shows their presence and the updates right away.

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.

Macros are used for iterating over a group of tasks. Users can create macros for their customized repetitive functions and instructions. Macros can be either written or recorded depending on the user.

VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is used to write macros in Microsoft Excel.

Chart used to enable the 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 the Insert tab's Chart group.


By using SUM function, you can get the total sum of the rows and columns, in an Excel worksheet.

The order of operations in Microsoft Excel is the same as in standard mathematics. It's defined by the term "PEMDAS" or "BEDMAS".

Parentheses or Brackets

Users 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.

To add a new Excel worksheet, you should insert worksheet tab at the bottom of the screen.

Name Box is used to return to a particular area of the worksheet by typing the range name or cell address in the name box.

To resize the column, you should change the width of one column and then drag the boundary on the right side of the column heading till the width you want. The other way of doing it is to select the Format from the home tab, and in Format, you have to select AUTOFIT COLUMN WIDTH under the cell section. On clicking on this, the cell size will get formatted.

A pivot table is a tool that allows for quick summarization of large data. It automatically performs a sort, count, total, or average of the data stored in the spreadsheet and displays the result in another spreadsheet. It saves a lot of time. Allows linking external data sources to our Excel.

A) Click on “Insert tab then select “Icon Set”

B) Click on “Insert tab” then click on “Clip Art”

C) Click on “Home” Tab and then click on “Copy as Picture”

D) Click on “Insert” tab then click on “Screenshot”

Answer: The correct answer is D


Cell values can include numbers, text or formulas?

A) True

B) False

Answer: The correct answer is True. Numbers, Text or formulas are all acceptable values in Excel.

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.

It is the Select Center Column button.
It is the content Center alignment button.
It is the Delete Cell Contents button.
It is a content Middle Align button.

Answer: The correct answer is b. To quickly see what the purpose of a button is in Excel, hover your mouse cursor over the icon until a Quick Tip appears with more information about the function.

To check whether the pivot table is modified or not we use "PivotTableUpdate" in the worksheet containing the pivot table.

To disable automatic sorting in pivot tables:

Go To > More Sort Options > Right Click 'Pivot tables' > Select 'sort menu' > select 'More Options' > deselect 'Sort automatically'.

To lock any row or column, freeze panes is used. The locked row or column will be visible on the screen even after we scroll the sheet vertically or horizontally.

Format loss in a pivot table can be stopped simply by changing the pivot table options. Under the "Pivot Table Options" turn on the "Enable Preserve Formatting" and disable the "Auto Format" option.

Excel provides three ways to protect a workbook:

Password protection for opening a workbook
Protection for adding, deleting, hiding and un-hiding sheets
Protection from changing size or position of windows.

The differences between the two functions are as follows: SUBSTITUTE replaces one or more instances of a given character or a text string. So, if you know the text to be replaced, use the Excel SUBSTITUTE function. REPLACE changes characters in a specified position of a text string.

COUNT is used to count cells containing numbers, dates, etc. any value stored as number excluding blanks.

COUNTA or Count All is used to count any cell value containing numbers, text, logical values, etc. any type of value excluding blanks.

COUNTBLANK count blank cells or cells with an empty string.

COUNTIF and COUNTIFS count cells matching a certain criteria.

To perform the logic test IF function is performed. It checks whether certain conditions are true or false. If the condition is true, then it will give the result accordingly if the condition is false then the result or out-put will be different.

Example: For example, you select the cell, and you want to display that cell as "Greater than five," when value is true (=5 or 5) and "less than five" when the value is false (<5). For that, by using the IF condition you can display results.

=IF (Logical test, value if true, value if false)

=IF (A1>5, "Greater than five, "Less than five")

Yes. 'Quick Access Toolbar' above the home button can be customized to display the most frequently used shortcuts.

A) True

B) False

Answer: The correct answer is False. When changing margins you can change left, right, top or bottom margin. The image displayed in the question is misleading since it hides selection for top and button changes – see full image below

Right Click 'Worksheet tab' > Choose 'Select All Sheets'. Now any formatting done will be applied to the whole workbook. To apply to a particular group of sheets, select only those sheets that need formatting.

A) True

B) False

Answer: The correct answer is True. You can right mouse click on the sheet tab, which contains the tab name to access the rename menu – see image below. Another option to rename the Excel Sheet is to or double click on the sheet name

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

You will use the Advanced Criteria Filter, to analyze the list or if more than two conditions should be tested.


The quick way to return to a specific area of the worksheet is by using the name box. You can type the cell address or range name in the name box to return to a specific area of a worksheet.

A) True

B) False

Answer: The correct answer is True. To format text in the cell you need to select the cell and:

You can either access formatting options in the ribbon (Home Tab -> Fonts section) – see image below

Or you can right mouse click on the cell to access them – see image below

Calculating the numbers in Excel sheet, not only help you to give the final 'sum up' of the number but, it also calculates automatically the number replaced by another number or digit. Through Excel sheet, the complex calculations become easy like payroll deduction or averaging the student's result.


The "What If" condition is used to change the data in Microsoft Excel formulas to give different answers.

Example: You are buying a new car and want to calculate the exact amount of tax that will be levied on it then you can use the "What If" function. For instance, there are three cells A4,B4, and C4. First cell says about the amount, the second cell will tell about the percentage (7.5%) of tax and the final cell will calculate the exact amount of tax.

To disable the automating sorting in pivot tables,

Go to > "More Sort Options"> Right Click "Pivot table" > Select "Sort" menu > Select "More Options" > Deselect the "Sort automatically when the report is created."

Like the IF function, the AND function also does the logical function. To check whether the output will be true or false the AND function will evaluate at least one mathematical expression located in another cell in the spreadsheet. If you want to see the output of more than one cell in a single cell, it is possible by using the AND function.

Example: If you have two cells, A1 and A2, and the value you put in those two cells are >5 and you want the result should display as 'TRUE' in cell B1 if value>5, and 'False' if any of those values<5. You can use the AND function to do that.

In order to avoid writing the data again and again for calculating purpose, cell reference is used. When you write any formula, for a specific function, you need to direct Excel the specific location of that data. This location is referred to as, cell reference. So, every time a new value-added to the cell, the cell will calculate according to the reference cell formula.

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

Math and Financial Functions – SQRT, DEGREE, RAND(), GCD
Logical Functions – IF, AND, FALSE, TRUE
Date and Time functions – NOW(), DATEVALUE(), WEEKDAY(NOW())
Lookup and Index Match – VLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH
Pivot tables

Eleven data formats are available in Microsoft Excel for data Storage. Example:

Number – Stores data as a number
Currency – Stores data in the form of currency
Date – Data is stored as dates
Percentage – Stores numbers as a percentage
Text Formats – Stores data as string of text

a) It allows you to view what your document will look like before you physically print the pages.

b) You access the Print Preview area of the by pressing: Control + P.

c) You access the Print Preview area by clicking on the File tab (Backstage View) to go to them and then on the Print button.

d) All of the above statements are correct.

Answer: The correct answer is d. Print Preview displays document exactly as it will look on the printout. Print Preview can be triggered by pressing Control + P:  . You can also access Print Preview from the File Tab (Backstage View) – see image below

You should use "Advanced Criteria Filter" to analyze the list or test more than two conditions.

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

The order of sequence is written as BEDMAS:


Excel formula Bar
Excel Cell Address Bar
Excel Address Bar
Excel Column and Row Address
Excel Name Box

Answer: The correct is e. The Excel Name Box displays either the cell address or given name of a selected cell or group of cells. n the example above, Excel Name Box is displaying B3, which is the cell address of the cell containing text “Business Expenses”.

Excel Macro is the set of instructions that are recorded by users for repetition purposes. It is created by the users for repetitive instructions and functions they perform on a regular basis.

How would you reduce the file size? What is the easiest way to reduce the file size?

You can use the following steps to reduce the file size:

Find the last cell that contains data on the sheet. Delete all rows and columns after this cell.
To delete the rows, press the key Shift+Space then press Ctrl+Shift+Down on your keyboard.
Rows will get selected till the last row. Press Ctrl+- on the keyboard to delete the blank rows.
To delete the column, Press the key Ctrl+Space then press the Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow key on your keyboard.
Columns will get selected till the last row.
Press Ctrl+- on the keyboard to delete the blank columns.

IF function is used in Excel to check whether certain conditions are true or false. If the condition is true then it will give the result accordingly and if the condition is false the result or output will be different.

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.

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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.

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