Could you write down a best answer for common Interview questions about MS Excel?

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Something like:

1. What is the Index in MS Excel? Why it is used?

2. What is Vlookup? Why it is used?


And so many more questions as far you know or faced during the interview session. Please also includes those questions too & their answers.


I know there are lots of answers on Google (Google's answers so hard for me.) & also in this course. Please don't provide any links. Please write down the short best answers that satisfy the interviewer If I told them during the interview season.


My study major background in Human Resource Management. So, lot's of HRIS things I have to do with MS Excel if other HRIS software not available.

4 Replies



I had a great career of more than 30 years in Human Resources (although I never studied it). Now retired.


I also am pretty confident I could ask and answer a host of questions about Excel, although I never studied it either.


I taught myself.


If you think that you can memorize answers to give back during an interview then you don't know much about interviewing. A good interviewer will always have follow-up questions at his or her disposal.


So let's assume you can learn to say "VLOOKUP can typically be used to find other values or words, titles, etc. that are associated with an employee's ID number." That would be a relatively safe and accurate answer to the question. But then come some follow-up questions.

  • "Good, Abdullah, let me ask you now what are commonly encountered limitations with VLOOKUP? How have you worked around them?"
  • "What are other methods within Excel for that same purpose, often actually preferred by users over VLOOKUP?"
  • "What have you thought of the recently introduced XLOOKUP function?"

I'm sorry to have to say it, but you'd be better off taking a course in Excel, and actually using it.


Or just admitting to no experience but demonstrating your ability to learn. That might be best.


In the meantime, here's a resource you could use to actually learn not just canned answers but some really practical skills, assuming you open up a spreadsheet and work through the examples.


Dear @mathetes ,


Thank you so much for replying to me. I'm feeling lucky that I got a reply from a senior citizen who has more than 30 years of career in Human Resources!


Thanks for Vlookup answers. But you also left some questions for me like interviewers ask questions after saying "Yes". Now I'm in trouble...looking for your questions answers!


Best Regards,





I feel constrained to make my first answer less ambiguous. You seem to have missed the gist of what I was saying. I suspect strongly that the 130 people who have viewed your request since you first posted may share this point of view, which can explain why you've gotten no more recommended Q&A's regarding Excel. Mine wasn't, if you read it carefully, a recommended response to a possible question; on the contrary, it was to question your underlying premise.


So here's the main point: you will be better served in a job interview by being honest than by trying to fake knowledge you don't have.

Any fakery--responding to a question with a memorized answer that you don't really understand--would be easily exposed by a follow-up question. Any competent interviewer would know how to do that, so you run a big risk of being exposed as a fraud.


Until you do in fact, truly understand how to use Excel, you will be far better served by (1) admitting you haven't used it, while (2) demonstrating in some other way that you are a good learner, that you pick up new skills quickly.