Can you work with MS Office? Hhow would you rate your skills with it, on a scale from one to ten?


Assistant is working with Office programsThis question is much more difficult as it sounds. While interviewing people for office jobs, I saw many candidates get caught in the trap while answering this question. You know, all job applicants try to picture themselves in a best possible light. So when they should evaluate their own skills with MS Word or MS Excel (or another common office software), they give themselves 9 or even a perfect 10.

This would be all right, if they did deliver on their promises. What we did in interviews, and what many companies do until today, is letting the applicants to complete a practical task on computer, right after they answered this question. They had to execute few calculations in MS Excel, or typewrite something to MS word and format the text… We could see how fast they typed and what methods they used when working on a computer. And many who gave themselves 9 or 10, worked actually very poorly, or weren’t even able to finish the task in time.

Needless to say, if you give yourself 10 from Excel and are unable to use simple statistical functions or create a bar chart, your chances to succeed in an interview will be lost. Nobody will trust you anymore, if you overrate your own skills and then fail to show it in practice. Please, keep it on your mind. Try to be humble. It is better to give yourself 6 from 10 and then positively surprise them with your computer skills. Let’s have a look at good answers.


Example answers

I have been working with MS Word and MS Excel for the past five years. I have used it at school too. While I do not consider myself an expert, and can not use all the functionality it offers, I was always able to find what I needed to accomplish any task. All in all, I would give myself eight from Word and six from Excel.

I have been using these programs on daily basis. I really like MS Word, it’s probably the best word processor. In my last job, we also used PowerPoint. To be honest, I sometimes struggled with more difficult tasks. But I always found a way at the end. I can write pretty fast too. I would give myself six from MS Office, as an overall mark. If better knowledge is needed, I am ready to commit my free time to improve my skills.

Next Questions: