A Guide to Top 50 Excel Interview Questions & Answers in 2024

Excel is one of the most powerful tools used across various industries. For simple calculations or building meticulous reports, more than 80% of global businesses reportedly use Excel in some way or another, making it an office essential. 

On that note, here are the top 50 MS Excel interview questions and answers for freshers and experienced candidates to help them land their dream job.

Table of Contents

MS Excel Interview Questions and Answers For Beginners

The following list highlights some basic MS Excel interview questions and answers, specifically for beginners, to help them prepare for their interview!

1. What is Microsoft Excel?

Ans: Microsoft Excel can be described as an electronic spreadsheet or computer application that stores information, or data, in the form of a table. It is compatible with various operating systems such as Windows, Android, IOS, and macOS. 

2. Can you state some of the top features of Microsoft Excel?

Ans: Here are some of the top features of Microsoft Excel

  • Provides enough flexibility to use an external database for analysis.
  • Has built-in functions such as DATE and COUNTIF, among others.
  • Facilitates the process of data validation
  • Availability of VBA, Visual Basic for Application 

3. What are cells?

Ans: To put it simply, cells refer to the area where you can store the data. It is situated at the intersection of a row and a column, and a single excel sheet comprises 1,048,576*16.384 cells. 

4. What is a cell address?

Ans: A cell address refers to the address that is primarily used to identify a particular cell in a worksheet. It is a combination of the row number and the column alphabet. 

5. What do you understand by spreadsheet?

Ans: A spreadsheet can be defined as a collection of cells, with the help of which you can manage any data. It consists of various rows and columns

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6. Is there any way to add cells in Excel?

Ans: Yes, Excel allows the addition of multiple cells for the user’s convenience. The process is fairly straightforward. You have to simply click on the cell you want to add to and then select Insert from the cell menu. You will be presented with various options, such as Shift cells down or Shift cells right, among others. Make your selection and click on Ok. 

7. How can I format a cell?

Ans: There are primarily six format cell options that can be used to format a cell. These include-

  • Protection
  • Number
  • Alignment
  • Font
  • Fill
  • Number

8. Is there any way to enter comments into a cell?

Ans: Yes, you can enter comments into a cell by following the process below.

  • Select the cell of your choice to which you want to add a comment
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select Insert from the cell menu
  • Type your comment in the area provided 

You can also delete comments by right-clicking on the cell and selecting the Delete Comment option from the cell menu. 

9. What do you understand by Ribbon?

Ans: Ribbon can be defined as a replacement for the toolbar and menu in Excel. It is usually present right at the top of the screen and can be accessed via CTRL+F1. The primary function of Ribbon is to help users operate some of the most important functions directly.

10. How can I protect my worksheet from getting copied?

Ans: To restrict someone from copying a cell of your worksheet, follow the below steps.

  • Go to the Menu Bar
  • Select the Review option
  • Click on Protect Sheet
  • Enter your Password

11. What are the types of report formats in Excel?

Ans: Excel provides three different types of report formats to their users, namely, Compact, Tabular and Report. 

12. What is the purpose of using Formula in an Excel sheet?

Ans: Formula in Excel sheet is basically used to simplify complex calculations. Furthermore, with the help of Formula, you can automatically calculate a number replaced by another number or digit. 

13. What do you understand by Freeze Panes in Excel?

Ans: Freeze Panes allow users to view the headings of rows or columns even after scrolling down a long way in the sheet. In order to activate this feature, you must first select the rows and columns you wish to freeze. It is usually the top row or the first column. Following this, go to the View tab, where you can find the Freeze Panes option. You will be presented with three options. Click on any one according to your preference. 

14. How can you differentiate Formula from Function in Excel?

Formula Function
In Excel, Formula is used to accomplish any mathematical calculation according to the user’s choice.  Function, on the other hand, is a predefined formula that is in-built into Excel.
It is time-consuming since the user has to manually type out a formula every time they need to calculate.  With the help of Function, you can simplify complicated calculations quickly and comfortably. 

15. Is there any shortcut to adding a filter in a spreadsheet?

Ans: Yes, you can add a filter in a spreadsheet with the help of Ctrl+Shift+L. The filter allows you to view only specific data without making any alterations to the entire database. 

16. What are the ways of resizing a column?

Ans: A column in Excel can be resized in two ways,

  • If you wish to alter the width of a column, simply drag the right side of the column up to the length that suits your need.
  • You can also change the column width from the Format button, which is present in the Home tab. There, you will find the Autofit Column Width option. Click on it to change the cell size.

17. What are Pivot Tables in Excel?

Ans: A Pivot Table is one of the many tools offered by Excel to their users, with the help of which you can analyse, calculate and summarise large amounts of data in a simple and intelligent manner. It helps you to view the current trends, comparisons and patterns in your data. 

18. How can you create a Pivot Table?

Ans: In order to create a Pivot Table in Excel, you must follow three simple steps.

  • Go to the Insert and click on the Pivot Table option
  • Select your preferred table or the range, and then choose where you want to place the Pivot table
  • Simply drag the areas you want to show in the pivot table.

19. What is the LOOK UP function in Excel?

Ans: LOOK UP function is mainly used when you want to return a value from an array.

20. What are the three types of workbook protection in Excel?

Ans: You can protect your workbook im Excel in three ways.

  • Keeping your workbook password protected.
  • Protection against deleting or hiding sheets
  • Protection against changing the size or position of windows.

21. How can you create shortcuts to Excel functions?

Ans: You can create shortcuts with the help of the Quick Access Toolbar, which is present right above the Home button. 

22. Can you suggest a way to disable automatic sorting in Pivot Tables?

Ans: In order to disable this function, you need to click on the Dropdown menu in the Row Labels or Column Labels. Following this, you will get to see More Sort Options. Click on that, and the Sort dialogue box will appear. From there, click on More Options, and unselect Sort Automatically.

23. What is the purpose of the What If condition in Excel?

Ans: What If condition is basically used to change data in Excel formulas so that they can generate different answers.

24. What do you mean by Macro in Excel?

Ans: Macro in Excel is an action or a set of instructions that can be recorded or executed as often as we want. 

25. What are the five types of COUNT functions available in Excel?

Ans: The five types of COUNT functions in Excel are, namely,


Excel Interview Questions For Experienced Users

26. Can you state any one way to create a hyperlink in Excel?

Ans: In order to create a hyperlink, you first need to select the cell or the text, press CTRL+ K. Fill in the dialogue box with the address, and click on OK. 

27. What is the function of Slicer in Excel?

Ans: Slicer in Excel is used to filter the Pivot Tables quickly and efficiently. In order to insert a Slicer, you need to first click on any cell present inside the pivot table. Following this, go to Analyze, select Filter, and finally, Insert Slicer. 

28. What are the three wildcards present in Excel?

Ans: Asterix (*), Question mark (?), and Tilde (~) are the three wildcards in Excel that can be used in formulas.

29. How does SUM function in Excel?

Ans: The SUM function in Excel adds up all the numbers in a defined cell range. For example, =SUM(A1:G1) adds all the numbers within the range of A1 to G1.

30. What is the purpose of the SUMIF function in Excel?

Ans: Similar to the SUM function, SUMIF only works when a certain condition is met. For example, =SUMIF(E1:G1, ‘<10) adds all the numbers that are less than ten within the range of E1 to G1.

31. How can you create an Excel file in C# without using Microsoft Office?

Ans: We can use ExcelLibrary, an open-source, small C# library, to create an Excel file in C# without installing Microsoft Office. Another way can be via EPPLus, which also provides support for Pivot Tables.

32. Is there any way to fetch the current date in Excel?

Ans: Yes, we can fetch the current date in Excel using the TODAY function, which helps to return the current date in the Excel date format. The syntax for the same is TODAY(). 

33. What is the purpose of the IF function in Excel?

Ans: IF function is mainly used in Excel to check whether a certain condition is true or false. If it is true, it will generate the result accordingly, and if it is false, it will give a different result. 

34. How can you debug a VBA code?

Ans: Using the F8 key will help to debug a VBA code line by line. Alternatively, you can also create a breakpoint for the termination of the execution.

35. Can you state any one difference between a function and a subroutine?

Function Subroutine
In VBA, a function is used to return the value of the task it performs. Subroutine, on the other hand, does not return the value of the task it is performing.

36. How can you pass arguments to VBA functions?

Ans: You can pass arguments as a reference or value to VBA functions. 

37. What do we mean by the VLOOKUP function in Excel?

Ans: VLOOKUP function is used to return a value from different columns present in the same row. The formula is 

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

38. What do we mean by Relative Cell Referencing in MS Excel?

Ans: Relative Cell Referencing refers to the exact position of a cell that contains a value or a formula. It automatically changes when a formula is copied to another cell.

39. What do we mean by Absolute reference in Excel?

Ans: Unlike Relative Cell Referencing, Absolute reference denotes a specific address. This means they will always remain constant, no matter where they are copied.

40. Can we apply the same formatting to every sheet in Excel?

Ans: Yes, simply select the Worksheet Tab, and then click on ‘Select all Sheets Tab’. This way, the same formatting will be applied to every workbook sheet.

41. What is PEMDAS in Excel?

Ans: PEMDAS refers to the order of operations in Excel, namely,

  • Parentheses
  • Exponents
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Addition and 
  • Subtraction

42. How can you differentiate between SUBSTITUTE and REPLACE functions in Excel?

Ans: The SUBSTITUTE function helps to substitute any old text with new text in a string. REPLACE function helps replace a part of the text string with another text set.

43. How can you move from the previous sheet to the next sheet in Excel?

Ans: Using CTRL+ PgUp will navigate you to the previous sheet. To move to the next sheet, you need to press CTRL + PgDown.

44. What is the function of the name box in Excel?

Ans: The Name Box in Excel helps to return to a specific area in a worksheet. Simply fill in the name box with the specific address or range name.

45. How can you check whether the Pivot Table is modified?

Ans: PivotTableUpdate, present in the worksheet, is typically used to check whether the pivot table is modified or not.

46. What are the three types of What If Analysis tools?

Ans: The three types of What IF analysis tools are as follows

  • Data Tables
  • Scenarios
  • Goal Seek

47. What is the purpose of the HLOOKUP function in Excel?

Ans: As the name suggests itself, HLOOKUP is used to perform a horizontal lookup. The syntax for the same is 

HLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, row_index_num, [range_lookup])

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48. How can you calculate the average in Excel?

Ans: The AVERAGE function is typically used to calculate the average of data in Excel. The syntax for the same is

AVERAGE(number1, number2, …)

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49. How do we calculate compound interest in Excel?

Ans: The FV function is generally used to calculate compound interest in Excel. It follows the FV(rate, nper, pmt, pv, type) syntax.

50. Is there any way to change the value field to show results other than the Sum?

Ans: Yes, in order to achieve a result other than the Sum, you need to right-click on the Sum of Amount Values. Following this, select the Value Field Setting, choose any value from the given list and then press OK. 

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With this, we come to an end of the top 50 Excel interview questions and answers. Learning Excel has become an utmost necessity in today’s world. Especially if you’re aiming to become a part of the rapidly expanding Data Science industry. Data science heavily leverages Excel to seek assistance for its data-driven approaches. Hence knowing your way through Excel can significantly grow your chances of success in Data Science. 

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Read our popular Data Science Articles

What are some of the basic Excel skills I can include in my resume?

The five basic Excel skills you should flaunt in your resume include Data Recording, Formulas, Pivot Table, Data Organisation, and Charts and Graphs.

What are some of the common areas where Excel is used?

Microsoft Excel is typically used for accounting, data entry and data management. The field of Data Science heavily utilises Excel to collect, divide and store data, along with making mundane calculations within seconds.

Can you state some of the features of Excel?

Some of the top features of Excel include pivot tables, graphing tools, and Visual Basic for Application, a macro programming language. This software program is currently regarded as one of the most widely used tools across various industries.

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