Application for midlevel position: Describe your experience using Microsoft Office Suite.
By - Forsaken-Fox2474
Even better are the stupid ass word/excel tests that have you do a task which can be done in 4 different ways, but god help you if you don't read their minds and pick their way....
True story, I failed intro to excel in college because the exams were automated and didn't recognize keyboard shortcuts as correct answers..... This was three years after being Microsoft certified in excel.
Oh my God I remember many full nights going through these books that some of the course could be 30-90 pages long, and you had to follow EVERY. SINGLE. STEP. or you were screwed and had to go back to figure out what tiny thing you missed.
God I remember that class. Thankfully my teacher knew that was bullshit and let us do unlimited retakes
I had to retake it, unfortunately.
That sucks. My Excel course in college was pretty good. The teacher graded everything based on if it did the intended functions or not. He was always excited to see how people came up with different solutions to the same problem.
Which is how it should be for several reasons; to find better ways and correct/troubleshoot terrible examples. Shared knowledge is power.
What the hell. How is excel a college course?!
It's a pretty common core class for any business program.
You'd be amazed. I had to take a first level Office and English course when starting comp Sci. Never finished it though sadly. That university just had way too much bullshit to deal with and besides, finishing it would mean I'd be locked up in an office all day (OK granted if I had it I could probably get a wfh job now but who knew that 15 years ago). Now I'm a tradie who gets to do everything, from sitting and chilling in an office to soaring the skies in a basket hooked up to a huge ass crane
I did it under the guise of a stats class.
“Can you do a VLookup?”
“Yes but I use Index-Matches instead.”
“Are those like Vlookups?”
I used to have to take those courses when I temped. There was only a single way that they deemed correct, always the shortcut. It was infuriating.
I used to think MS Office was stupid to list in the qualifications. Then we hired Bob.
Was Clippy not available?
He was, but it looked like you were searching for something else.
It looks like you're attempting to gaslight someone.
Would you like to:
1. Generate lies?
2. Tell them they're crazy?
3. Accuse them of gaslighting?
When I always see these articles stating MS Office should be taken off your resume as it should be standard I laugh.
I just think of how many folks think outlook is confusing, or that v-lookup is considered advanced excel.
If vlookup is not advanced, then no one in my office can remotely use Excel. Luckily they barely need to do anything else than bang in numbers lol
I like mention h-lookups just to throw a stick in their bicycle tires
H LOOKUPS? There's more?!
What are you going to make up next. X-lookups?!
X look ups are awesome
I’m going to have to check those out. My office finally upgraded to a version that has that. Still sore about that, because I spent so much time convincing them to install the power query module only to get the integrated version two months later.
Edit: You’ve just changed my life
I'm not using it yet. My company doesn't have 365 so I still utilize index/match paired with other functions as needed.
I like to learn but seldom implement the newer stuff to make sure my files are reasonably backwards compatible with versions that are still in use.
Mine Bob was a Barb. She'd been there so long that she just decided to like...stop learning at some point, I guess. My boss told her to stop sending raw data in a mess of a spreadsheet and she literally didn't know how to do basic formatting like deleting and resizing columns. This was in 2016.
Asking for MS Office apparently still matters way more than we'd all hope.
I worked for a non-profit as a case manager and there was an older woman that could not figure out how to use Outlook to save her life. Apparently the person that I replaced used to handle her emails for her. Then she tried to get someone to send secured emails to her Google account because she knew how to use that. She thought that I would do the same as her old coworker and just handle everything for her. I told her I won't be doing that, she went to management to file a complaint against me for "not being a team player." I explained to the manager what she wanted me to do as well as her Google work around. She was terminated the next week.
My old boss didn't know how to format date in excel. This was in 2021 :)
As someone who’s used office since probably 2nd grade, do I have 19 years experience or only 4?
Yank alert! Yank alert! Hide the tea.
I often have this same question - I'm 40 with over 30 years of spreadsheet experience.
I work in IT support and we hired someone for a non entry level position that couldn't right click. They didn't last very long.
I used to work with ArcGIS. Someone told me the ARC meant Always Right Click.
i once had a supervisor who couldn't rotate a pdf in Acrobat. he was paid 6x more than me. fucking boomers.
"It all started back in 1998..."
We hire a lot of people in a non-tech consultancy. Everyone on good money. It’s shocking the amount of people that have terrible computer skills
Yeah this. Maybe in the tech space it's a redundant question, but you would be surprised the number of people who not only do not know how to use those tools, but also have no intuition to learn the basics of the tech. While we really hate stupid recruiters and too many ridiculous hoops to jump through, some hoops are needed to trip the utterly incompetent out there.
Add that they actively refuse to learn the tools. Like scream and shout that they don't have time/isn't their job if IT tries to teach, won't try anything themselves and act aggrieved when what they swear are technical issues tank their performance.
This is totally true. It's not my job to teach boomers how to put an upload in a folder and link it. But now it is I guess....I'm astonished at how clueless people are.
At my old job I was one of the youngest people in the office, and significantly more tech-savvy than pretty much everyone else. They would absolutely panic if I tried to troubleshoot anything that went wrong, like I was going to blow up the office or something.
Honestly… if you’ve got an even marginally competent IT team that’s (imo) preferable to it going the other way and slowly turning into the help desk for your team, regardless of your ACTUAL job.
That's a very good point.
'twas ever thus.
Funny enough I haven’t had to really use anything office related since becoming a developer and it’s been quite nice.
My entire work experience is in retail, education and the arts. Can absolutely confirm.
Are ya hiring? My experience is below:
I’d take you. Can teach the rest
Absolutely. I recently worked with someone in our communications team (with a master’s, btw) who couldn’t use PowerPoint, Word or Excel at even the most rudimentary level.
“How many years of experience do you have in Communication?”
Pretty sure that I have been communicating, in some form or another, since I was in my mom’s uterus.
Weird to ask as a question. If they want to filter out people without that skill, just set a test.
Also way too broad. You might be able to code an AI in Excel but have no idea how to do Star Wars scrolling text in PowerPoint.
I have no idea how to do that, but I know not to.
Fortunately any but the most obscure features are relatively intuitive. I also can't set up start wars text, but give me five or ten minutes and you'll most likely hear me go "Luke I am your father" while playing with my air saber and pointing at the screen
Sorry, I still use Borland Dbase, Lotus 123, and WordPerfect. For email I use pine and all on a raspberry pi.
"sorry I don't have airdrop, or even voice calling I'm on a degoogled nexus 7 running a mobile Linux distro"
That isn’t my RV, that’s my arduino board re-engineered only using electromechanical actuators and vacuum tubes.
My bad, I've been reading this PDF on my vufine HUD using icedragon's built in reader. A 3 page document takes 2-3 hours, and no, I don't own another monitor
Google translate? Nah… I stole back the Rosetta Stone from the brits. :-D
This is gold.
Well what do call your device then, because it is not a phone anymore?
No it's a phone, I can call with signal
Can you imagine if you were asked this in an interview? 😂
"I sent an email yesterday. That's just one experience with Microsoft office. Would you like to hear more?"
You'd be surprised how many people can't even do things like book meetings in Outlook and things like that.
My boss refuses to use the scheduling assistant. I am very good about keeping my calendar up to date but she is often scheduling us for "one-on-ones" during times when I have another appointment. It is so frustrating.
Yep I've had managers who do this too.
Exactly. It’s not always about you, OP.
As a hiring manager good excel skills are not that common, but for jobs that are very spreadsheet based like mine, very important. When interviewing definitely something we test for as have gotten burned with previous hires. The rest of office .. Yeah not worth mentioning
When did it launch? That's how long I've used it for.
Lotus 123 was the precursor to Office so you could argue you've been using it longer than that lol (not that they'd notice)
We hired an executive assistant with 10 years experience that would use PowerPoint or Word to send us picture files and would create forms in Excel (they should have been created in Word). Point is, level doesn't mean they know how to use MS Office. At. All. Nor does using it for 10 years.
I've written device drivers on PCs. I've written business software on mainframes. And if not everything in between, some of them.
I just know that one day I'm going to have to take the ECDL.
I'm in a Linux-focused DevOps role (not entry level), and I recently had a pretty embarrassing realization that I didn't know how to start a PowerPoint presentation on a recorded call with a large number of people.
Do you know how to make ugly and inconsistent documents in Word?
No, sorry. I only know how to use TeX.
Oh, and it's an absurd question. I mean maybe if you're gong to use Excel a lot ask about that specifically, but the whole suite? No.
Some people who are really good with technical stuff don’t use or suck at excel
I think this is a good point. I worked with a great dev who is really smart and technical, but never really had to work with Word a lot beyond the basics. Tables and advanced formatting were a bit confusing to him at first.
Word and Excel are very basic tools that would take a tech-savvy person maybe a day or two to learn, with any missing bits of info a simple Google search away.
I realize not everyone is a professional nerd, and for non-technical positions it might be wise to make sure applicants know the basics of computing. But as a developer, I don't list software of that caliber in my CV for the same reason I don't list my ability to tie my own shoelaces.
Idk man my boss at my last job was a SQL Server guru who could string these incredibly long but efficient queries to execute in our system architecture, but he admitted to me multiple times he doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to excel and he despises having to use it
To be fair I often lie about my excel skills. People will ask me how to do a look up table and I will say I don't know I usually do that in excel, I would use R or Python for something like that. Meanwhile I have been coding in vba since vba came out, and have pretty extensive experience developing complex excel solutions. You answer one excel question and pretty soon everyone will be asking you to solve their excel problems.
99% of excel problems can be solved by not using excel.
Thing is when someone puts it in the job spec and you apply for that job, computer says "no".
Fair enough but I'm in the luxurious position of never having to deal with automated hiring processes. Too much of a niche and too valuable of a skill set.
Word is fucking shit though. I'm pretty flummoxed by anything beyond the basics.
Being technical makes it worse, because you think "Why the fucking hell is it like that? I wouldn't make it like that!"
I've been using Microsoft office since the release of Office 1.6 back in the summer of 1991 ( Word 1.1, Excel 3.0, PowerPoint 2.0, Mail 2.1 ) as Microsoft has added to the suite of programs I've continued to use them.
In my field, Excel's charming habit of changing gene names like Mar2 permanently to the date 2-Mar ...is not as well known as it should be. You find graphics and tables in high tier journals with screwed up gene names. I believe in the most recent annotations, the gene names were changed because Excel could not be.
You would be surprised how many people that use those tools daily, and get paid for it, have no idea how they work and can only perform what has been step by step ingrained on their brain.
I have a colleague in her mid forties who didn't know where the @ was until I noticed and taught her last year. I'm not kidding, 20 fucking years working with computers and email and she didn't figured out by looking at the keyboard, look it up herself or ask someone. She would copy the @ from a previous email and paste it when typing a new address.
I'm choosing to not believe you because otherwise I'd have to cry.
Believe me, she was screen sharing when I noticed it and my jaw dropped to the floor.
I have actually spent an embarrassing amount of time teaching coworkers who made more than I did how to use a browser.
So I wouldn't be particularly surprised by any of this.
But the question on the application was too broad. I guess I should just have an exhaustive answer to this question ready to go... Even though my resume should suffice.
Have you been asked what to do when someone wanted to save a file, and was confused by the yes / no / cancel options?
Especially if it’s on my resume for the last 10+ years. I hate that question and the stupid tests.
They are likely looking to see if you've done more advanced thing like macros or pivot tables.
That being said. It is stupid to phrase the question like that....
Because there is a older generation that know nothing about Microsoft office. And the IT department probably put that on there so they don't need to teach people how to copy and paste
Excel God... I'd go on but I'm fairly sure that's all you really wanted to know
Agree, but I've seen some people in high level positions with degrees that couldn't archive an email in outlook, didn't know you could sort of filter in excel...
[The Microsoft Office suite handled real well.](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QqhkdHlCHLk&t=4s)
sorry Latex only
You would be amazed at how many people in non-entry level roles don't know how to use excel that absolutely should.
Like everyone has been using office for the past 12 years if they've gone to uni.
Because there are plenty of mid level to senior level people who are incompetent when it comes to operating computers. I have worked for several of them and been asked basic questions daily about things like Microsoft Suite or GSuite by people who make at least twice my salary. That’s why.
I remember working for a large manufacturer who used one of those excel tests as a way to "legitimately dismiss applicants because we can't legally discriminate". They would send people to take this excel test that nobody ever passed because they didn't want to hire or promote them. The people who got the jobs never heard of the exam.
I had a good laugh when corporate sold out to a larger company and the whole facility got shut down in August 2020 and everyone lost their jobs especially the HR manager who was probably high af on some random pills the whole time.
I know mid/uppermid-level management that can’t do a simple pivot table or a PowerPoint presentation.
Tell me about your experience using pencil.
I dont use office much anymore to be honest.
There were two separate roles I hired for that we used the same excel test for.
Basically just 100 records of industry related information asking the three levels: what is the data, what is the data saying, what is the data saying we should do?
I liked using index match and sumifs to create tables that were dynamic, pivot charts would've been faster, sum probably would've gotten you somewhere. Heck, just sort or filter probably would've done something. Even like, if you knew what the data was for you could've not even needed to look at the data to come to a few conclusions. Fuck dude just tell me what you would do if you could do it.
I'd say about 50% of people with 15+ years office experience just looked at the spreadsheet for a couple minutes before stammering out a non-response. Bruh what have you been doing for your adult life?