Microsoft Excel Test

A Microsoft Excel test can help you hire the right employees based on their skills in using Excel spreadsheets.

  • What is a Microsoft Excel test?

    A Microsoft Excel test is a pre-employment assessment that shows how skilled a candidate is in using this popular spreadsheet software.

    Through a series of multiple-choice questions, test takers must demonstrate their working knowledge of Excel's core functions. This includes basic formatting, data manipulation, calculations and formulas, tables, charts, graphs, reporting and Excel automation.

    A strong performance on the Microsoft Excel test indicates a candidate is able to structure, manipulate, cross-reference and interpret data, as well as create visual representations of key information.

Identify the best candidates and hire faster

Our pre-employment tests let you drill down to the best candidates at the click of a button.

  • Find those candidates who will excel in the role.

    Select the assessments that match the skills or behaviours for the position. You can test for software or coding competency, soft skills like teamwork, or personality traits, to be sure those who pass have high potential.

  • Reduce costs and time.

    No more laborious sifting of resumes or cover letters. Pick your ideal assessment mix, invite your applicants to take them, see the results in your dashboard. Get to the interview stage fast.

  • Eliminate bias.

    All your candidates take the assessments on a level playing field. Only their results determine whether they get shortlisted.

  • Why is a Microsoft Excel test so important when hiring?

    If you're hiring for a role that involves working with data, it's probable that the successful candidate will use Microsoft Excel on a daily basis. To make full use of its many capabilities, that candidate must understand how the software functions, be familiar with its layout, shortcuts and tools, and know how to use those tools to achieve the desired outcome.

    This is a hard skill to measure, particularly through traditional recruitment methods. An applicant's resume may list Excel proficiency, but until you see those skills in action you have no way of knowing how capable they are.

    That's why a Microsoft Excel test is so useful. Easy to administer at scale, it's an effective way of screening applicants based on their actual ability, rather than what they claim to be good at.

    Score reports give a clear indication of who has the required skills and who falls below the expected standard. They also bring objectivity to recruitment, helping to remove unconscious bias from the selection.

    Essentially, a Microsoft Excel test helps you to identify and focus your efforts on the most promising talent in your applicant pool. It saves you time and money, and most importantly, reduces the risk of an unsuccessful hire.

    A Microsoft Excel test is useful when hiring for roles across departments like sales, marketing, accounting and finance. Specific jobs for which the test is useful include:

    • Accountants
    • Bookkeepers
    • Financial analysts
    • Administrators
    • Sales managers
    • Marketing data analysts
    • Digital marketers
    • SEO managers
    • Google Ads and PPC experts

Sample Microsoft Excel Test question

Which of the following is a Sparkline chart?

  • Radar

  • Bar

  • Column

  • Pie

How to assess Microsoft Excel skills using our test

Our Microsoft Excel test asks a variety of questions that vary in difficulty level. Candidates proficient in Microsoft Excel should be able to answer most of the questions correctly.

The Microsoft Excel test provides valuable insight into what a candidate knows and understands. The test is structured using multiple-choice questions: a familiar format for most test-takers, that allows instant and objective scoring.

As well as the correct answer, there are typically 2–4 distractors, representing common misconceptions and mistakes. This helps make the test more challenging, so a candidate's ability can be measured more accurately.

Test scores are provided to the user and can be compared to other test-takers in your talent pool to see how they perform relative to each other.

Each test has been thoroughly reviewed to ensure accuracy and validity in line with industry standards. It has been written, examined and edited by Microsoft Excel experts and psychometric professionals. A diverse sample of job seekers has also reviewed it to check for any issues including sensitivity, face validity, fairness and accessibility.

This test is continually monitored so our team can optimize performance and regularly assess fairness issues.


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).
  • Assessments

    A full suite of assessments

    Our platform comes with 12 tests across both foundation and advanced levels so they’re suitable for everyone. Including aptitude, behavioural and personality tests, you’ll have a full range of tests to help you find the candidates you’re seeking.

  • Analytics

    An array of candidate metrics

    For each of your candidates, you’ll be given a comprehensive report. Included will be all the metrics you need to build a detailed picture of each candidate and ensure you’re making the right hiring decisions.

“The platform is so simple to use. I had used competitor providers for over six years and will never go back. Fast, efficient and friendly!”
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd

Microsoft Excel Test FAQs

What other Microsoft Office software should a candidate know?

This depends on the extent to which your company uses the Microsoft 365 suite but generally speaking, roles that require Excel proficiency also require skills in Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. If you're using the corporation's cloud services, you may also look for skills in Microsoft Azure.

Is the Microsoft Excel test hard?

Our Microsoft Excel test was written by software experts to target an intermediate level of proficiency. It focuses on tools and techniques that anyone working with data should be familiar with.

Are there any Microsoft certifications a candidate should have?

It can certainly add weight to a candidate's resume if they've earned a Microsoft Certification. Most of these focus on its cloud solution, but you will find Microsoft 365 certificates ranging from beginner to advanced, and designed around specific job functions.

Why is knowledge of Microsoft Excel important?

Microsoft Excel is the most used spreadsheet software in business, and if you're hiring anyone whose role involves working with data, this is a tool they should be familiar with. They'll need to navigate its complexities on a daily basis, so in-depth knowledge should be on your list of essential criteria.

“An unbeatable service, impressive platform and fantastic value for money.”
Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA
Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA

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