Excel Task for Interview

(10 Posts)
candlelight22 Sat 18-Jun-16 17:57:33

I'm applying for an admin job in a college that sets an interview task in Excel and Word.

What can I expect?? Anyone done one/set one?
I am fairly familiar with them - but no expert!

I've been SAHM for six years so getting really stressed.

pocketsized Sat 18-Jun-16 18:04:23

I've set both for an adim role. We usually ask candidates to type a short paragraph as a letter in word, expecting them to be able to address it correctly, use the headed paper template provided, insert a logo etc. For the excel tasks, for general admin roles (rather than ones with any financial responsibility) we usually ask them to format the headings of a table (e.g change colour,font etc) enter some additional numbers and do some simple totals or divisions. We also ask them to save the files using a specific name, in a specific place.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

Autumnchill Sat 18-Jun-16 18:10:58

For Word we give brief details and ask you to compose a letter using the details. Excel, we ask for a chart and provide the stats for you to plug in. I would definitely learn some basic formulas and how to do a chart

notquitegrownup2 Sat 18-Jun-16 18:11:48

Yes, I have also used to set a letter as a Word task. I usually asked candidates to check/proof read it too, and insert a few obvious errors. I want someone who I can trust to check what is being written/sent out.

We used to use excel a lot for simple data lists, so I might also ask you to sort a list of names into alphabetical order, as well as producing a total. ( I would, however, have a note on the instruction sheet saying that I would be happy to offer simple guidance - I would rather find a competent candidate who is prepared to ask for help than an expert who doesn't communicate well. )

candlelight22 Sat 18-Jun-16 18:40:04

Thank you all. I feel a bit more confident now. I can do most of that!

Do all the candidates do test at the same time?
Is it timed?
Would performance in the test alone be a deciding factor in your decision to offer the job or not?

JedRambosteen Sat 18-Jun-16 18:48:21

I have sat on selection panels where the person interviewed well but their practical test was car crash bad. They did not get the job. However, I'd say it is usually helpful as a deciding factor if you have 2 fairly evenly matched candidates. Just do your best & give yourself some time to reflect on the test afterwards if there is a break before the interview. We normally ask candidates how they found the test & quite often they can point out how, on redlection, they might have done it differently/better and that insight allows us to set aside a flaky test, as you can see the person can learn from their mistakes & on the job. That kind of openness and flexibilty in thinking is a big plus.

JedRambosteen Sat 18-Jun-16 18:49:07

On reflection

Autumnchill Sat 18-Jun-16 19:47:39

Just don't do what one of ours did. Asked to produce a bar chart which showed we had 32 yellow cars, 12 red cars, 15 blue cars and 5 green cars. She said she knew how to do that and so we left her to it. Came back to an excel sheet where she had just coloured in the columns so 32 yellow cells......

She didn't get the job (mind you she had said she was a bit of a player in her hey day when we asked her to tell us something interesting about herself that wasn't work related shock)

pocketsized Sat 18-Jun-16 22:56:55

When we do ours we have each candidate complete the task, then we interview them while the next candidate does the task. Depending on the role /task we sometimes ask questions about the task in the interview (not so much with word/excell tasks, but we often set in-tray exercises) where we are interested in the way you approached the tasks, eg which bits you did first and why, any parts that you found challenging, why you made the decicions you did (if applicable) - often the thought procesd is more important than the final document (although of course we want those to be reasonable too!)

alexandragimenez Fri 24-Jun-16 10:52:42

I would recommend watching some videos on YouTube. I had the same issue and that really helped! Good luck

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