How to Make a Computer Test for a Job Interview
Most office jobs today require some level of computer skills, from knowing how to use basic word processing software to understanding how computer code works. During an interview, it’s important to find out if a candidate has the right computer skills for the job by asking the right questions. This can save you time and make sure you hire someone with the right skills. This article tells you how to take a computer test at a job interview.
Why is it important to take a computer test before an interview?
Putting a candidate’s computer skills to the test during an interview can give you a good idea of how qualified they are for the job and help you make a good hiring decision. Even though most professionals have used computers before, the right candidate should know how to use the programs and technologies that are used in this job or industry. You might need some of the following skills to use a computer:
- Office suites
- Software for making spreadsheets
- Social media
- Data systems and information systems
- Software for keeping books
- Software to help sell
- Content management systems
- Coding or programming languages
You can save yourself and the candidate time and effort by asking the right questions. You can also find out how much they know and if they need training for any programs or software if they are otherwise a good fit for the job.
How to find out during an interview how good a person is with computers
During an interview, there are many ways to check a candidate’s computer skills. You can ask them simple questions or have them show you what they can do on a computer in the room. Here are five steps that you can take depending on the job:
1. Identify important skills
First, make a list of the computer programs this employee will use every day or every week. This will help you ask the right questions. Also, make a list of the computer skills they need, like typing, making spreadsheets, and entering data. You can find this out from the job description or by asking people with similar jobs what programs or skills they use the most.
2. Make a system for giving grades
If you want to test each candidate’s computer skills, you’ll need to come up with a way to grade them. Find out what the minimum score they need to get to get the job or move on to the next step of the interview process.
Set up a grading system that works for the skills you want to test. For example, you might rate a candidate’s ability to use social media or edit photos on a subjective scale from A to F. You could use an objective method like comparing how many mistakes a candidate makes on a typing or coding test to how many mistakes other candidates make.
3. Ask questions
Asking the right questions during an interview is one of the easiest ways to find out how good a candidate is with computers. Ask them about the programs they’ve used in the past and if they know anything about the technology they might use in this job. Some questions you could ask are:
- How does your computer work? Most companies put one operating system, like Microsoft Windows or macOS, on all of their computers. Find out if the candidate already knows how to use the system your company uses or if they need to be taught.
- How well do you know how to use Microsoft Office or another office suite? Most office jobs, like data entry, office work, and administrative jobs, require employees to know how to use word processing and presentation software well.
- How good are you at using a spreadsheet? People who want to work in accounting or other jobs that involve numbers should be able to show that they can use computer functions to calculate, organize, and compare data.
- How much do you know about software for making designs? People who want to work in graphic design, communications, or marketing need to know how to make graphics and use photo and video software.
- How hard is it for you to learn how to use new computer programs? Ask the candidate to tell you about a new piece of software or computer skill they had to learn because technology is always changing.
- What was wrong with your computer that you had to fix? Asking a candidate about a technology problem they’ve dealt with shows not only where they might be weak, but also how well they can solve problems.
- What computer certifications do you have? A candidate who has had professional training in a certain software program or computer language is valuable to your company because they may need less training or help after they are hired. This information could be on their resume as well.
- You might be able to tell everything you need to know about a candidate’s basic computer skills from how they answer these questions. But more advanced skills, like knowing how to code in a computer, might need to be tested.
4. Administer a test
Give the candidate a test to take during the interview to make sure they have the skills and knowledge needed for the job, especially intermediate and advanced computer skills. For the test, you could make a copy of a document that the company has used or made in the past, like an invoice, a business email, or a spreadsheet, and ask the candidate to change it according to your instructions. Here are some kinds of computer tests:
- A test for word processing in which the candidate follows step-by-step instructions, like opening a program and typing and formatting text correctly.
- A typing test involves timing how long it takes a candidate to type a certain number of words and then judging how well they did.
- In a spreadsheet test, the candidate is given some information and told how to calculate or chart it.
- A presentation test where the candidate is asked to make a multi-part electronic presentation.
- In an internet research test, the person is asked to find information or the answer to a question on the internet, and the methods they use are written down.
At the beginning of the interview, tell the candidate that you want to test their computer skills. So, if they know they need to improve their skills to get the job, they can choose not to go to the interview and save you both time and effort.
5. Rate how well you think the person did.
Use the scale you chose to rate how well the candidate did on the computer test. Compare their answers to the master document or test template you used to make the test. Think about how well they did on the test as well as how long it took them to finish. A person who is skilled and productive should know how to use the programs or software they need quickly and well.
Compare the candidates’ test scores or grades to find out who has the best computer skills, who should move on to the next round of interviews, and who is highly qualified in other ways but might need some training in computer skills if hired.