Gone are the days when knowledge of Microsoft Excel was required only for finance and accounting roles. From sales and marketing roles to HR roles to procurement roles knowledge of Microsoft Excel is a must. How to hire an excel expert? There are several excel tests for candidates. From entry level to expert level, pre-employment skill assessment tests are available. You can hire excel experts quickly and effectively using appropriate pre-employment skill assessment tests. Read on to know the skill assessment, interview process for hiring excel experts.

Interview Process, Skill Assessment, and Scrutinizing Excel Experts

To hire excel experts, you need to create an interview schedule and invite excel experts to attend the recruitment process. In most cases, you might find yourself in a situation where every last person would consider themselves as an expert in using the Microsoft Excel software.

In reality, most of them may have learned to use a couple of formulas and automate calculation processes. They assume that they know everything about the program even though Excel is a never-ending rabbit hole where you can never touch the bottom.

Millions of business people use Excel throughout the globe for calculating and organizing a range of processes such as accounts, auditing, debt sheets, managing employee records and analyzing large amounts of data.

If you are looking to hiring an excel expert, here are some important steps that you should follow and check if they really have the skills to shine.

What are the Skills an Entry Level Excel Person Should Have?

An entry level is the most basic requirement where the salary structure that you offer could be much lower but they should possess a couple of skills in order to qualify for the job.

Some of the basic excel test for employment for a novice person include,

  1. Opening and saving an Excel document
  2. Managing worksheets by adding, editing, sorting, and analysing data
  3. Ability to sum or count cells based on a criteria
  4. Formatting cells by changing the font, alignment, and numbers
  5. Capable of building a pivot table
  6. Creating a drop down list with different options in each cell
  7. Be able to record and also modify a simple macro
  8. Capable of building forms
  9. Applying conditional formatting
  10. Capable of operating all basic excel functions like SUM, IF, AVERAGE, COUNT or ROUND
  11. Create charts in Excel

When you assign different tasks, the candidate should be able to immediately do all the above tasks and more using the right features within Microsoft Excel. SUMIFs, COUNTIFs, data filtering, sorting, and all the basic excel short keys should be child’s play for them. The fluent they are with the tools, the easier they will find it to get tasks done. The excel test for hiring at beginners’ level must contain questions focussing in each of the above areas.

Quick Tip: Always use automated skill testing software programs to hire entry-level Excel candidates because they may be large in number and you can save time by using tests designed for newbies. A couple of questions and you can easily shortlist promising people from the lot.

What are the Skills to Look for in an Intermediate Excel User?

The expectation levels are much higher for a candidate who claims to have intermediate skills in using Excel. The excel test for employment at intermediary level must include options and methods to manage and work on data in an efficient manner. The list of tasks that they should be capable of doing has been listed below and if you can design your questions around these areas, they could pave a way to hiring the right candidate.

  • Capable of building formulas while editing text and date
  • Able to use pivot tables for data analysis
  • Deep understanding on Pivot table and creating it from the scratch
  • Be able to use add-ins, handle its installation
  • Know how to use the Auto Filter feature
  • Ability to edit or modify macros at an average level
  • Should be familiar with formulas like COUNTIF, VLOOKUP, CHOOSE, MID and SUMIF

Once the candidate has cleared the excel skills test for employment test rounds, provide them specific problems based on formulas like VLOOKUP or CHOOSE based on your requirement. Provide a specific time limit and see what they are capable of completing within that period. The excel assessment test for employment at intermediary level should contain questions that evaluate the above-mentioned skills.

Quick Tip: Create real-life challenges inspired by your office scenario and ask an intermediate Excel candidate to solve them by using the right formula and table. It makes it easier when they come on board and start working.

How to Find if a Candidate Is an Excel Expert?

Microsoft Excel has undergone multiple iterations through the years and it is one of the trusted software programs for data analysis. A person with an expert skill level should be able to make use of formulas, VBA programming and other tools to handle complex functionalities. Here are some of the important things to look for when creating an excel recruitment test.

  • Well versed in almost every formula available and be able to use them
  • Should have used the majority of functions
  • Capable of building macros and executing them at the right time
  • In-depth knowledge on using SUMPRODUCT, INDIRECT, INDEX, MATCH and OFFSET
  • Familiar with ARRAY formulas and Circular references
  • Capable of handling formula auditing, creating different types of charts and filter reports

A candidate who claims to be an expert should definitely have years of experience in the field. Shortlisting them on this skill level requires lots of pre-planning, a detailed testing method, and more complex questions. An easier alternative would be to use SkillRobo, a Pre-employment assessment software created for candidates of all skill levels.

The questions in the excel employment test provided in SkillRobo are created by experts in their respective fields. When multiple Excel experts come together to create the toughest and reliable test, you can easily rely on it to help you identify the right candidate who really possesses the skills to support your demanding office work. You can find an excel expert using the Microsoft excel pre-employment tests that enable hiring at scale.

Quick Tip: Multiple rounds of interviews always do wonders to help you identify the best candidate as an Excel expert can be scrutinized at different levels before hiring them.

Job roles that need Expert Excel skills

Whether you are a beginner in Excel or an Excel whiz, there is no doubt that knowledge of Excel software makes a huge difference in your career. Microsoft Excel has been mentioned as a baseline computer skill in about 27 million job postings. Moreover, its demand has been increasing in the past two years. A study done by Capital One and Burning Glass Technologies reveals that certified Excel skills increase the chances of getting promotions by 12% compared to non-certified employees.

Excel has many benefits, from generating pivot tables to tracking a company’s sales data. Depending on the need of the role, you need to look for a candidate’s specific advanced Excel skills. Here is a list of some of the jobs that require expert Excel skills:

  • Financial Analysts: Excel is said to be designed keeping in mind the work requirements of financial analysts. Financial analysts are expected to know Excel inside and out. They use Excel to study and analyse financial data. The advanced skills include VLOOKUP, INDEX MATCH, Data Simulations.
  • Data Analysts: The job of data analysts is to support a company’s decision-making process. They focus on transforming the company’s growth by discovering helpful information from modelling data and making practical conclusions. They use Excel for data modelling and make future trend predictions using Forecast and Trend Excel tools.
  • Business Analysts: These are the people responsible for bridging the gap between business data analytics and IT by enabling business intelligence which is extracted from raw data. They use advanced Excel expertise such as VBA, forecast and trend Excel tools, conditional formatting, and pivot tables. The information provided by these experts is helpful for a company to make informed market decisions.

With this said, several other job roles require expert Excel skills such as cost estimator, accountants, auditors, information clerk, market analysts, retail store managers, teachers, loan officers, data entry specialists, data journalists, etc. But continued learning and sharpening of your Excel skills might make you a valuable asset to your organization. It has several benefits such as:

  • Having advanced Excel skills helps you to manage, visualize, and evaluate data quickly and efficiently.
  • Comprehend spreadsheets and data from other departments, customers, and vendors.
  • Creating equations to maintain data on vital company functions such as workflow, inventory levels, projections, and budgets.
  • Advanced level of data interpretation for solving complex financial and inventory problems.
  • Creating simple tracking systems for different departments and operations incorporating different workflows.
  • Allows better data organization and management, allowing overwhelming information to be better analysed and make calculations wherever necessary.
  • Having advanced Excel skills enhances your productivity as it accelerates tasks and projects will be done efficiently using sophisticated tools.
  • Having trained Excel experts lessens the burden from the IT department. It helps them to focus more on other productive tasks such as hardware installs, software upgrades, and security maintenance.

Sample Advanced Excel Skills Assessment Questions

As a potential employer, you must ask the right questions to assess the advanced Excel skills of candidates. Here are some of the few sample questions that you can ask while hiring an Excel expert:

  • What is a Power Query? How can it be performed?
  • How do you create dynamic range?
  • What is Flash fill and how do you activate it?
  • How do you use Slicer and Timeline functions?
  • Can you perform data validation in a spreadsheet?
  • How to create a macro on Excel?
  • What are COUNT and COUNTA?
  • When and where can the SUMIFS function be used?
  • What is the VBA’s default type?
  • What formula to use when applying a red background to cells with even values?
  • What are the volatile functions in Excel?
  • Use of CONCATENATE function.
  • What are the structured references in Excel?
  • What do you know about the modules available in VBE and collections in VBA?
  • Why is VBA not an Object-Oriented Programming language?
  • Which function can be used as an alternative to VLOOKUP?
  • How to create a formula that references cells from other rows and columns?
  • How can you increase the speed of your VBA macro?
  • How can variables be declared in a VB Script?
  • How to find the last row and column in VBA?
  • What are the two macro languages in Excel?
  • What is the difference between a function and a subroutine in VBA?
  • What is the What-If analysis in Excel?
  • How do you debug a VBA code?
  • What are the ways in which arguments can be passed to a VBA function?

These are some of the advanced Excel skill questions that a recruiter can ask. But using online testing software, you can enable more advanced questions and can evaluate the skills of a candidate effectively.

SkillRobo – What Makes it Different and Essential When Hiring Excel Experts?

Problem #1 The experienced Excel user or administrator in your office may not be available all the time to test candidates every time they walk in.

Problem #2 The time spent on interviewing a dozen candidates are much higher and the experienced people in your office, who are probably getting paid higher should definitely be focusing on more important tasks.

Problem #3 There is no guarantee whether the interviewer has asked all the right questions and if they could make a decision within a specific period. It is a time-consuming process for the candidate as well to know whether they made it to the next round.

Solution #1 Solution #2 Solution #3 – SkillRobo

You can hire excel experts quickly and efficiently with excel skills assessment tools like those provided by SkillRobo. It is a dedicated online testing software using which you can test candidates with a set of pre-built questions. Identifying an Excel expert or every other popular professional are pre-loaded into the software so that you don’t have to do anything on your end.

The interview process has Never Been This Easier

Get SkillRobo running, choose the level of interview questions such as novice, intermediate or expert and receive the results within minutes of a candidate completing their test. The question of where can I hire an expert in Excel can be effectively answered by the Excel skills tests from SkillRobo.

It is easier to conduct multiple rounds on the same day as shortlisting is made easier and you can forward candidates to the final round. It saves a lot of time, is accurate with questions prepared by real experts, and can be used to test any number of candidates.

You can even send virtual tests to people located in a different city than your office and hire them if you find them suitable. Hire Microsoft Excel experts quickly and effectively with SkillRobo. Sign up for a free trial to know more.