How to Pass Your Interview Excel Test

January 17, 2018 - by Jennifer Feldman

How to Pass Your Interview Excel Test

Many job positions require candidates to have a mastery of Excel. Therefore, employers would like to test potential candidates during the interview process to ensure they can complete the Excel tasks that are required for the job. It is important to score high on your Pre-Employment Excel test and prove to you employer that you have what it takes to excel at the job.

What is an Interview Excel Test?

An interview Excel test is a screening tool employers use in the interview process to test a potential candidates’ skills. Depending on the position you are applying for you are likely to face a pre-employment Excel test with varying level of difficulty. Employers use three levels of testing:

  • The basic or beginner Excel test is used for those applying for administrative or clerical positions. The basic test will evaluate your skills performing basic Excel functions. This can include anything from printing, formatting cells, inserting tables, and so on.
  • The intermediate level Excel test requires more than basic knowledge but is not as complex as the advanced level. For this level you will need to study in advance. A basic understanding of Excel will not suffice.
  • The advanced Excel test is for those that will need to use Excel in a more complex manner at their jobs. The test will evaluate your skills with pivot tables, creating macros, filtering, and functions such as VLOOKUP, SUMIFS and concatenating.

What is the Format of the Test?

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.

Interactive Software Simulates the Real Test
Interactive Software Simulates the Real Test

Tips for Doing Well on the Excel Assessment

  • Don’t kid yourself into thinking that the multiple-choice section will be easier than the interactive portion. The test will ask you questions about every part of the software e.g. What is the ribbon? What is the Formula Bar? You also must memorize the screen layout e.g. know which tab contains what, where to locate functions.
  • The multiple-choice questions are pulled at random from a large 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.
  • Some companies will give you a test that they built themselves. In this case it will often involve the use of the actual Excel software and will usually just be the interactive portion.
  • In most cases, the evaluation you will face will use a specifically designed software like the one you can see here in these Excel assessment practice exams. Unlike when taking a test with actual Excel, these interfaces do not auto correct spelling errors, allow for autofill of formulas, and allow for the use of some short cuts. Each question only has one answer, even if there are multiple ways to approach the problem.

What is the Kenexa Prove It Excel Test?

One of the more popular Excel exams that many big companies use if the Kenexa Prove It Excel Test. Kenexa's Prove It Excel test evaluates your skills in performing tasks in Microsoft's Excel software. Many companies will send an email during the interview process, which includes a link to the Excel test. The test may include Microsoft Office subtests.

What is the Format of the Test?

The test is an untimed interactive exam. The exam simulates the look of the real Excel software. You will have tasks that pop up and you will be required to answer each question as they come up. You will not face any multiple-choice questions.

Format of the Test
Format of the Test

What are the Types of Kenexa Prove It Excel Test?

Like in the general Excel test the Kenexa Prove It Excel test is also divided into levels. There is a one test designated for a “Normal User” which is the basic test and requires you to complete thirty prompts. The “Normal User” test will require you to complete basic Excel functions. There is a second test designated for a “Power User” which is an advanced Excel test and it gives you twenty-five prompts. The advanced test is designed for those with more advance knowledge of Excel. As a “Power User” you will be required to answer questions involving pivot tables, filtering, macro creation, and functions like, COUNTIF, CONCATENATE and VLOOKUP.

Tips for Exceling on the Kenexa Prove It Exam

  • The difference between the Excel software and the Prove It test, is that there is no autofill or auto correct of errors in the Prove It software. Make sure to pay special care to type in everything accurately and avoid using shortcuts.
  • On the exam there is only one correct answer, even if the action can be performed in many ways. Therefore, it is important to practice in advance. Look at these practice Kenexa Prove It Excel Test to make sure you learn the best way to answer each question type.
  • Lastly, it is important to know that even though the test is not timed, the amount of time you use to complete the exam is being measured. This means that the employer will see how long it took you to complete the test.


How Should I Prepare for the Interview Excel Test?

Make sure you come prepared for your interview excel test. Take a JobTestPrep Excel Practice test and gain access to:

  • Easy to use downloadable Microsoft Excel training software
  • Full-length Excel practice tests
  • 180 extra practice questions by topic
  • Detailed answers with explanations
  • Smart score reports which outline your strengths and weaknesses
  • Up to 100 uses for a one year period
  • Simulations which mimic the real exam
  • The practice pack also includes expert project practice

Remember in this competitive job market it is important to do everything in your power to get the job you want!

Title Photo: Tim Gouw / Unsplash

Jennifer Feldman

This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and writer at JobTestPrep. She specializes in writing about the employment hiring process. JobTestPrep is a market leader in preparation for pre-employment exams. It has helped more than 500,000 people achieve their career goals.