Microsoft Excel Test

Microsoft Excel tests are designed to assess a candidate's level of proficiency using this spreadsheet software.

  • What is a Microsoft Excel test?

    A Microsoft Excel test allows a recruiter to assess the ability of a candidate at using Excel spreadsheets. It is designed to ensure all candidates have the required proficiency using Microsoft Excel.

    This could include basic functions such as inputting and analyzing data that might be required for an office-based role, such as formatting cells and inserting tables or creating charts.

    More advanced Microsoft Excel skills might also be tested, such as switching between relative, absolute and mixed references, creating pivot tables, custom tables and other more advanced functions.

About the Microsoft Excel Test

Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is the industry standard for spreadsheets. It would be unusual for a candidate to have never used Microsoft Excel in some capacity in the workplace, but experiences vary – so it's crucial that candidates are able to accurately demonstrate their skills.

A Microsoft Excel test allows recruiters to assess a candidate's level of proficiency with Excel, to ensure you shortlist the most suitable candidates.

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  • Why should you use a Microsoft Excel test for recruiting?

    It can be difficult for recruiters or hiring managers to assess a candidate's Microsoft Excel skills. An applicant may state on their resume that they have intermediate skills in Microsoft Excel – but what does that mean, and how can you be sure?

    A Microsoft Excel test removes this question by being administered equally to all candidates whose skills and abilities can then be compared. This allows the recruiter to choose between a set of candidates who might have the same basic skills and need further differentiation, or, simply to ensure that all candidates who progress to the next round are able to carry out relevant tasks.

    A Microsoft Excel test allows you to objectively and accurately compare a large pool of applicants, ensuring you shortlist the individuals with the knowledge and skills that best fit your needs. This can be useful to help distinguish candidates who have a seemingly similar level of experience.

    Job roles for which basic Microsoft Excel proficiency might be a prerequisite include:

    Job roles for which more advanced Microsoft Excel proficiency might be a prerequisite include:

Sample Microsoft Excel Test question

What formula would you use to remove spaces before and after text in cells?

  • CLEAN

  • FIXED

  • TRIM

  • MID

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Microsoft Excel Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

How our test assesses Microsoft Excel skills

In Picked's Microsoft Excel test, candidates will need to answer a range of questions targeting an intermediate level of proficiency, from demonstrating knowledge across various Microsoft Excel features and functions to troubleshooting questions.

Understanding tasks such as the creation of financial models, budgeting and analysis, various Excel-based reports, performance dashboards, data analysis, and excel automation is extremely useful.

The Excel test is designed to indicate how well a candidate understands Microsoft Excel based on a final test score, which can then be compared to the scores of other applicants.

The multiple-choice questions consist of one correct answer and two to four distractors. The distractors are generic mistakes or misconceptions, which makes the test challenging and helps measure a candidate's proficiency more accurately.

During the development process, the test was rigorously analysed to maximise reliability and validity in line with industry best practices. It was created and tested by experienced data analysts and psychometric experts, and field-tested with a representative sample of job applicants who have varying Microsoft Excel experience, just like you might find in a talent pool.

Each test is reviewed by a panel of individuals representing diverse backgrounds to check for any sensitivity, fairness, face validity and accessibility issues. This ensures each candidate has a fair chance of demonstrating their true level of Microsoft Excel proficiency.

Our software tests are monitored to ensure they are up-to-date and optimised for performance.

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Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

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    Fully accredited

    All our Microsoft Excel tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer Microsoft Excel tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.

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    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Microsoft Excel Test expert

Written by a Microsoft Excel Test expert

Julianna received her Masters and PhD in Industrial/Organisational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, USA. She is a Chartered Member of The British Psychological Society (CPsychol), a Certified Business Psychologist with The Association for Business Psychology and an active member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. As a researcher, consultant and psychometrician, Julianna has frequently used Microsoft Excel to clean, manipulate and analyse data for over 10 years.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

FAQs

What is typically on an Excel test?

Candidates would typically need to answer a number of questions to demonstrate knowledge, eg producing charts and tables to reflect a set of prescribed data, or finding a specific answer using spreadsheet calculations.

What are the basic Excel skills?

Basic Excel skills include being able to carry out calculations using SUM, AVERAGE, MIN and COUNT and then formatting the cells – for example changing a currency, adding new columns, number formatting and creating basic charts and tables. Candidates should also be able to save files in multiple formats and format data so that it is visually appealing.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, sign up (no credit card required) and we'll give you a 7-day trial completely free. You'll get unlimited access to create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you like. You can cancel any time and you won't be charged anything.

What is the cost for Picked's Microsoft Excel test?

We believe in simple, transparent pricing. We operate monthly and annual subscriptions so you can pick the perfect plan for you. Don't worry if you're not sure: you can always upgrade or downgrade later, or speak to us to discuss the option of a custom made plan to fit your needs. This is all you ever pay – no set-up or hidden fees.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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