IT skills

Are your IT skills ready for interview assessment?

IT skillsIt’s inevitable in this technological age, that searching for jobs and attending interviews will require some level of IT Skills.  As most companies are requesting basic computer use as part of a role description, it is important for candidates to have IT skills to ensure they can compete in the modern job market.  Even if you have competent IT skills, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with new programme updates and additions to older editions as current versions may have functions not previously available.

At interviews, the tests often focus on the Microsoft Office software package, and can range from letter writing exercises to more complex spreadsheet assessments. These are used to evaluate the job seekers technical abilities in line with scenarios they would face in the role.

Here are some examples of IT programmes and tests used by interviewers so you can plan ahead and make sure your IT skills are job-ready!

Word Processing with Word

Word is perhaps the best known Office programme.  Although predominantly used as a Word Processing function, providing the ability to easily type up meetings, letters and notes, it can also be used to produce tables, charts and reports.  To apply for a job you will require a CV in a word format which will also reflect your word processing skills.  Additionally, most jobs now require basic Word skills, so it’s a good idea to brush up on how to set up a document, choose a font and keep up to date on formatting.  Your new role may require you to produce and maintain tables or reports, and so ensuring your Word skills are up to date and relevant is incredibly important.

As part of the interview you may be required to create a letter, report or even produce a company document. It is highly likely they will want to see how quickly you respond to their instructions and your level of competency in using Word.  Learning more about the features of the programme ahead of your assessment will ensure you are ready to produce a quick table or insert a graphic, so make you are up to speed with all Word can do.

Spreadsheets and Excel

Excel is the predominant Spreadsheet software used by organisations.  It can be used as a simple database tool to store and collate information or can be used to manipulate data and produce reports and charts.  Depending on the job you applied for, you may need to ensure your Excel skills are up to date and at the level required to fulfil the essential role criteria.

Excel tests in a Job Interview could range from a data-input exercise testing precision and speed, to a more complex ‘mini project’ which may require you to manipulate a set of inputted data, format it to designated standards and possibly produce a chart to present to the interviewing board.  Whilst you will receive clear instructions, it’s also important to ensure you are able to understand the task so you can demonstrate your IT skills to the best of your ability. You may also want to consider which responsibilities would require Excel, so you can pre-empt which areas you could be tested on.

Diary Management/In-tray exercises with Outlook

Outlook is a fantastic tool for managing your time and therefore it is often used as part of time management assessments.  It can be used for many functions, such as recording meetings, making reminders and deadlines and keeping track of your ‘to do’ list.

Diary Management is often assessed alongside more traditional ‘In-tray’ assessments, which test your ability to correctly plan tasks in order of importance or punctuality.  Making sure you are up to date with Outlook’s capabilities will reinforce your effective diary management and time scheduling skills before you head to your interview.

Presentations with PowerPoint

PowerPoint makes an easy job of slide show presentations.  Learning how to use PowerPoint correctly will help you quickly create a presentation for a Job Interview or as part of an assessment.  Once you have created your presentation, you can use PowerPoint to produce excellent, professional quality PDFs.

You will be notified in your interview confirmation if you are required to make a presentation as part of the interview process, or it may be an unseen task on the day! It’s a great idea to make sure your PowerPoint skills are up to date now. For roles that are reliant on a range of Microsoft Office programmes, PowerPoint is often used in an interview.  For example – if you are interviewing for a Sales role, you may be required to deliver a presentation or sales pitch of a product; the interviewer will be evaluating your ability to create a professional looking presentation. PowerPoint can also be used alongside other programmes, to present your findings after an Excel exercise or to show a table you have created in Word.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. Whether you need help with your CV, preparing for an interview, or if you would like to understand how Renovo can help you keep your IT Skills up to date, please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.uk.com