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Word Processing Test at Interview

(10 Posts)
Evenstar Tue 05-Feb-13 22:51:50

I have an interview on Thursday for a job at a school as an Administrative Officer, I trained as a PA/secretary years ago before I had children and have used computers for personal correspondence etc for years. I did use a very basic word processing system daily when I was working (not Windows based, this was 20 odd years ago, so you can imagine just how basic it was!!)

I was up front about this in my application and said I would be happy to undertake additional training and my typing speed is still very good (I qualified to RSA 3 and got a distinction in the typing section of my secretarial exams). I was delighted to get an interview, I have been working for some years in child care and also have relevant qualifications in that and a degree, so I know there are other factors they have looked at in selecting me for interview.

When they confirmed the interview they said there will be a word processing test, I don't really know what to expect, are there things I could practice in advance to be more prepared? This job would make such a difference to me, I would be doubling my pay and would have the chance to join a pension scheme, any advice? I don't want to lose this chance because of my computer skills!

doodledoodoo Tue 05-Feb-13 23:05:13

Word processing?!

I would imagine they want you to produce a Word document (i.e. letter, report, etc.) to see how you set it out, format it, how long it takes you, etc.

Can you ask them to be a bit more specific?

Evenstar Tue 05-Feb-13 23:13:41

I don't think I can, that is all they said in the email and it won't be a problem if it is just a document, I can do it easily, I have a working knowledge. I thought someone else might have had to do one and could give me an idea what to expect. Thanks for your reply, I feel very nervous as this is such a great opportunity.

chubbleigh Wed 06-Feb-13 00:03:00

I have organised these tests before, it is not uncommon. Do your best not to panic, I imagine it will be setting out a letter, possibly from written notes, saving this document in a specific location (or maybe finding it to start with). Do you know someone who could give you a quick tutorial tomorrow in the absolute basics, nothing over complicated. Get a sheet of paper and remind yourself of correct document lay out. On the day, stay calm, pace yourself and pay careful attention to spelling and punctuation, this will be important. Play to your strengths, speed and accuracy, RSA3 is worth something and shows you were taught and tested in these skills. Don't be too apologetic or ready to admit weakness in this area. Present all of your other best selling points. Good luck!

Evenstar Wed 06-Feb-13 07:26:43

Thank you, I am fine with all that, quite confident with laying out letters, indeed I have always carried on doing formal letters for friends and family often from quite vague notes!! I am very able to deal with most basic things including making folders/locating documents, but was very anxious they might want something really difficult.

I will have a bit of a practice today and just hope that it will be something well within my comptetence. Will come back and update you when I have some news.

WipsGlitter Wed 06-Feb-13 07:32:07

I've also set these tests and it will probably be a letter. So make sure it's laid out correctly, no mistakes etc. And then save and print it.

doodledoodoo Wed 06-Feb-13 09:26:37

Agree with what others have said including saving it to a specific folder and printing it.

You'll be fine. Good luck!

Evenstar Thu 07-Feb-13 17:57:52

The interview went really well apart from the test and I was assured that it was not a problem, as I had been totally honest about my lack of recent office experience. The task was a nightmare, not just a letter it involved tables and using an Excel spreadsheet. They have rung me to say that I didn't get the job a few minutes ago, but their words were that all the candidates were lovely and we could have all done the job and it had been a very hard decision to make. I tried my best, and I am very sad as I wanted it so much, but it wasn't to be, it was a lovely place and I would have so enjoyed working there. Thanks for your help everyone.

Wallison Thu 07-Feb-13 18:05:10

Hi Evenstar, sorry to hear you didn't get the job but it sounds as though you did everything you could and they liked you anyway. Hopefully something else will come up soon but have you thought about refreshing your skills at all? Working with tables and spreadsheets is a pretty normal requirement for admin jobs, even those that pay minimum wage, so if you're looking for work like that it might be worth it. You can do a qualification called the ECDL which a lot of employers are asking for now and it will ensure you are familiar with Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Evenstar Thu 07-Feb-13 22:13:03

I will consider updating my skills, but I think first I need to reflect on where I am going. I am currently working in Early Years and love my job but feel that soon I am going to be too old to keep crawling round the floor picking toys up and changing nappies and the pay is not good as I have 8 weeks unpaid leave every year due to it being term time only and only 4 weeks paid holiday. This particular role really appealed to me, but I am not sure that what I want to look at for my next job is going back to a purely office based job. I do need more hours, higher pay and preferably a pension as I am 49 in September and would like to start making some additional provision for my retirement. Thanks for the advice and I will certaiinly find out about the ECDL

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