Many employers require candidates to be familiar with MS Excel. Depending on the job, more or less advanced knowledge of the programme is necessary. In the application letter, it is not worth lying about your skills, as more and more often one of the elements of recruitment is a test verifying the knowledge of Excel.
usually consists of several tasks. The candidate is provided with a spreadsheet
with data and has to perform tasks that are similar to their future duties at
candidates are allowed from 15 to 30 minutes to solve the test.
difficult to predict what questions. However, based on conversations with job seekers,
there is a standard set of issues that arise during the tests.
SEARCH Function. (VERTICAL)
Logica functions (IF)
Ability to use $ sign in addressing cells – often candidates are asked
to make multiplication table in Excel.
20% of people can make a multiplication table in Excel without error in the
also be aware of traps. The most common include numbers in text format, missing
column headings in the PivotTable source data range.
The Best way
to prepare for the test is to perform as many exercises as possible. You can
find many of them online.
It is a Good
idea to sign up for training, e.g., Intermediate level. During the training,
you can always ask the trainer questions, ask for additional explanations,
exchange your experiences and opinions with other participants, which is a
definite advantage. You can also mention in your CV the training you underwent.
If you apply for a position at the office, you should bear in mind that most employers require you to have hands-on experience in Excel. The command of Excel that is expected by your future employer depends on the position you are applying for and on tasks you will be performing.
At the basic level employers expect you to know how to:
Property enter data
Perform basic mathematical calculations
Filter and sort data
Insert simple charts
Perform operations on spreadsheets, e.g. hide, unhide rows or columns
Users with intermediate command in Excel should also be able to:
Use logical formulas (IF, IFS, IFERROR, OR, AND), lookup formulas (VLOOKUP), mathematical formulas (SUMIF, ROUND), statistical formulas (COUNTIF, COUNTIFS) and text formulas
Perform data analysis using Pivot Tables and Subtotals
Analyze data with charts
Import data from csv or text files
Advances users should be able to:
Use most of logical, lookup and information formula
Write more complex embedded formulas
Perform advanced data analysis using pivot tables
Import and transform data using PowerQuery
Create dashboards using PowerPivot tool
Although you can state the level of your command in Excel in your résumé, be prepared for an Excel test for job applicants.
There are different forms of tests that you should be aware of. The most common are:
Multiple choice test
During an interview, you might be asked about your experience in working with Excel spreadsheets. You might be asked to describe reports you used to prepare and which Excel functions and tool you used. It is common to ask which Excel function or tool is more suitable to solve a particular task. Occasionally you can be asked about advantages or disadvantages of the most popular formulas or tools.
A case study is one of the most common ways of checking a candidate’s command in Excel. Usually, you are provided with a spreadsheet and asked to solve tasks similar that you will face during your work routine. Remember that your time to perform all tasks will be limited.
Multiple choice questions
This type of test is usually performed online before you are invited for a job interview. You receive an email with a link to a website with the test. On average such tests consists of 30 questions. Remember to read instructions carefully; the test can be either single or multiple choice. It is important to get to know Excels’s technical language before sitting such a test, check names of formulas, tools, and elements of the program’s window.
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