When should you use a Microsoft Word test in recruitment?

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Microsoft Word is one of the critical Microsoft apps that businesses around the globe use to create professionally written documents. 

If you want to hire Microsoft Word experts, you must find candidates with suitable word processing skills to enhance your company’s productivity and produce the right content.

The best way to hire exceptional talent is by using a Microsoft Word test, but when in the recruitment process should you use one?

If you’re not sure, find out in this article.

What is a Microsoft Word test?

A Microsoft Word test evaluates your candidates’ proficiency with Microsoft Word.

This skill test assesses several skills candidates require to use some of Word’s most important functions.

Microsoft Word tests can make it easier to hire candidates who are experts with the word-processing tool in a business context. These tests are created by experts and constantly improved.

What roles require strong Microsoft Word skills?

Some of the key roles that require strong Microsoft Word skills include:

image listing roles that require strong Microsoft Word skills
  • Content writers. To create blog content, content writers need advanced word-processing skills and knowledge of how to format documents. They must have strong Microsoft Word skills to create high-quality blog posts.

  • Copywriters. Copywriters must have Microsoft Word knowledge to write, edit, and format advertising copy and social media content. 

  • Copy editors. Copy editors must understand Word’s editing, commenting, and “Track Changes” functions to help produce clean, well-edited copy. They also need to produce style guides for their copywriting team using Microsoft Word.

  • Personal assistants. Personal assistants may need Microsoft Word skills to draft and write letters on behalf of managers or executives.

  • University professors. University professors require Microsoft Word skills to produce peer-reviewed essays, book-length works related to their field of study, and course content for their students.

  • Journalists. Journalists must be proficient in Microsoft Word to produce article drafts and format them for print or online publication.

  • Transcriptionists. Part of a transcriptionist’s role is to use Microsoft Word to type quickly and accurately. They must know how to use Word to transcribe recordings and should also understand how to proofread and edit in Microsoft Word.

  • Marketing and advertising assistants. A marketing or advertising assistant needs to create documents, brochures, newsletters, and letters for organizations and clients. They should understand how to use Microsoft Word to format these documents efficiently.

  • Business executives and leaders. Business executives and leaders may need to use Microsoft Word to create invoices to submit to their clients. 

  • Receptionists. Receptionists may have to send letters to patients or clients on behalf of their organizations. They will likely need to use Microsoft Word to write and edit these letters before printing and sending them to their clients.

  • Accountants. Accountants may need to create invoices or draft and print letters to send to clients. For this reason, they may require Microsoft Word skills to create these written documents to a high standard.

When should you give candidates a Microsoft Word test?

The best time to give your candidates a Microsoft Word test is right at the start of the hiring process, after you source candidates and before you interview them.

You can interview for Microsoft Word skills, but the moment you source a candidate, it’s best to request that they complete a skills test. This is a more reliable way to ensure they have the required skill level for your organization.

Think of the Microsoft Word test (or any skills test for that matter) as a pre-screening test that can replace the lengthy and unreliable CV-screening method.

Not only is skill testing at this stage of the hiring process a faster option, but it’s also more efficient at minimizing bias while helping you find the candidates with the best Microsoft Word skills.

Why should you include a Microsoft Word test as part of an assessment?

A TestGorilla assessment is a personalized combination of tests and custom questions that you can use to assess a broader range of your candidates’ skills. You can include a maximum of five skills tests in an assessment.

Additionally, you can add up to 20 custom questions in various formats.

For example, you can select a video-response question and ask candidates to record their responses. You can also choose an essay-response question if you want candidates to provide a written response.

Though you can use a Microsoft Word test on its own, we recommend that you give candidates an assessment that combines a Microsoft Word test with other skills tests that are relevant to the role.

This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of your candidates’ skills and abilities and how well they will fit into your current team.

For example, if you are hiring a personal assistant, you can also ask them to complete a Microsoft Excel test and a Microsoft Outlook test if the job requires them to use these applications. You can even include soft-skills tests, personality tests, and culture-add tests.

What are the key Microsoft Word skills to test for?

There are five key Microsoft Word skills that you should test your candidates on: text creation and editing, table creation and editing, document formatting, document management, and team collaboration using comments.

image listing the key Microsoft Word skills to test for

1. Text creation and editing

Are your candidates able to create and format text using the tools in Microsoft Word?

You can find out with a Microsoft Word test, which will help you assess candidates for all three of the following text creation and editing sub-skills:

  • Using the “Spelling & Grammar” option. Your candidates should know how to access the “Spelling & Grammar” feature in the “Review” tab and use it to ensure there are no spelling and grammatical errors in their written documents.

  • Formatting text on the “Home” tab. There are many text-formatting options that your candidates should be aware of when using Microsoft Word. Candidates need to understand not only how to navigate to each of these features but also how to use them and what they do.

  • Using headings and subheadings. Authors of well-organized documents should know how to break the text up into various sections by using headings and subheadings.

2. Table creation and formatting

Can your candidate create and edit tables in Microsoft Word?

Use the Microsoft Word test to assess whether they can:

  • Insert tables. Some roles, such as content writing positions, require candidates to insert tables into blogs or landing pages. Candidates should be able to confidently insert a table from the “Insert” tab.

  • Use the “Draw Table” option to edit tables. Candidates may need to use the “Draw Table” function to design a table manually or make changes to a table that they have inserted. They should know the difference between the “Insert Table” and “Draw Table” options.

  • Add and remove rows and columns. It is essential for candidates to understand how to add and remove rows and columns to be able to edit tables in Microsoft Word.

3. Document formatting

Use the Microsoft Word test to find out if your candidates have document-formatting skills, such as:

  • Using bullet points and numbered lists. Lists are a fundamental formatting feature found on Microsoft Word’s “Home” tab. Bulleted lists enable authors to format paragraphs into easily scannable unordered items, while numbered lists are essential for putting a series of steps in order. Your candidates should be able to format their text into both of these types of lists.

  • Adding citations and footnotes. Citations and footnotes are used in academic roles and by university professors to add reference notes to the main text.

  • Inserting an indent. Dividing text into paragraphs using indents is an essential skill in many roles, such as content writing, journalism, and copywriting. Therefore, your candidates should know how to use the indentation option to create well-formatted documents. 

4. Document management

Find out if your candidates have the ability to manage documents by using a test for Word to assess their skills in the following areas:

  • Opening, saving, and closing documents. Opening and saving documents is a critical skill. Your candidates must know the difference between “Save” and “Save As” when using Microsoft Word.

  • Protecting or adding security to documents. Candidates should understand how to protect documents and add a password to ensure that only people with the password can access sensitive information. 

5. Team collaboration using comments

Using a test for Word will also help you understand if your candidates can work with others to improve a project.

This includes making and responding to comments via the comments option in the “Review” tab. 

Which intermediate Microsoft Word skills should I test for?

If you are hiring for a mid-level vacancy, there are a couple of intermediate Microsoft Word skills that you may want to test for, such as the ability to add bookmarks and use the mail-merge features.

1. Ability to add bookmarks

If the role you’re hiring for involves adding bookmarks, test your candidates’ ability to do so using a Microsoft Word test.

Candidates should be able to select the text where they want to add the bookmark, insert the bookmark via the “Insert” tab, and name the bookmark.

2. Ability to use the mail-merge options

The role you’re hiring for may require mail-merge skills. Use a Microsoft Word test to see whether your candidates know how to make several personalized documents to send to many recipients.

Choose TestGorilla’s Microsoft Word test to hire experts quickly and efficiently

Although there are many Microsoft Word skills to assess and hiring can be a complicated process, you can make certain that you hire professionals who are proficient with Microsoft Word by using TestGorilla’s Microsoft Word test.

It’s the fastest, most efficient way to hire talent for your organization and make a bias-free hiring decision.

Hire a Microsoft Word expert with TestGorilla’s Microsoft Word test, and ensure that the candidate you hire has the right skills to efficiently create and edit your company’s written projects. Get started for free today.

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