10 Common Interview Questions for Computer Skills

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As computers continue to be a prevalent part of the workforce, it’s becoming increasingly important to have computer skills. When preparing for your next interview, consider what questions an employer might ask about these skills. By having responses ready for these relevant interview questions, you can show hiring managers that you are a capable and confident candidate. In this article, we share common interview questions for computer skills and how to effectively answer them.

Interview questions for computer skills with sample answers

Learn how to answer these interview questions for computer skills:

1. Do you know how to use Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet software?

Spreadsheet software is a helpful tool for many roles and purposes. Employers ask this question to learn your level of competence when using these programs. When applying to a role that requires spreadsheet experience, it will clearly state this in the job description. In your answer, be prepared to discuss what kind of functions you are familiar with using. If you have never used a spreadsheet before, you may want to communicate that you are a quick learner.

Example: “Yes, I have three years of work experience using Microsoft Excel. I primarily used this software to manage my clients’ information as a salesperson. Using spreadsheets made it easy for me to keep track of my business leads and record their contact information. I also used Microsoft Excel to manage my sales numbers. I found that the equations made it easy to add everything up and predict what numbers I would reach in the future.”

2. How many words can you type per minute?

Certain jobs require you to do a lot of typing. For instance, a receptionist or transcriber both need to type quickly and accurately in order to do their jobs well. An employer might ask this question to determine if you can keep up with the role’s workload. Someone who is a talented typist can do around 65 to 75 words per minute. Use your answer to discuss how you are a fast typist and are open to improving your typing speed. Time yourself prior to your interview.

Example: “My previous role required me to do quite a bit of typing, which has greatly improved my typing skills. The last time I timed myself, I could do 70 words per minute. Since timing myself, I feel like I have improved my typing skills, having significantly fewer typos. I find that the more comfortable I am with the software or systems I am using, the faster I can type.”

3. Are you comfortable with using a computer all day?

Many jobs require you to sit at a computer for the majority of your workday. Employers may ask this question to make sure you understand what their role entails. When applying for a desk job, you can expect to do most of your work on the computer. If you are wanting this kind of role, you need to show employers that you will feel content using a computer all day. You can even share strategies you use to stay comfortable.

Example: “As someone who has worked at a desktop since college, I have grown quite used to sitting at a computer all day. Computers are an essential tool for this role, which makes sense why I would use one a majority of the workday. I find that I can stay comfortable as long as I have an ergonomic setup and take minor stretching breaks. I even purchased an attachment that I can add to my desk to turn it into a standing desk.”

4. What social media websites have you used in a professional setting?

If you’re applying to a role that involves social media, an employer is likely to ask this question. They want to see if you have professional experience using the social media platforms they use to market their company. Prior to your interview, reflect upon what social media platforms you have used in previous roles. Be prepared to discuss what functions of each one you are familiar with.

Example: “I have used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn in my previous social media roles. I am quite familiar with using all of their ad building tools and data metrics. My last job required me to create original content to share on all these major platforms. Through this experience, I learned how to be a better copywriter and graphic designer. I even helped my company increase its user engagement by 50% within a month-long period by launching a new campaign on Facebook.”

5. Do you have any experience using HTML?

When applying to roles that involve blog writing or website building, you’re going to need to know some level of HTML. Employers ask this question to gauge if you have the right level of knowledge about this markup language. Try to show that you have enough knowledge to do the job you’re applying to. If you feel like you need additional training, make it clear that you can learn new things quickly.

Example: “As a blog writer, I would say I have a proficient level of HTML knowledge. I mostly use HTML for basic web page formatting, although I did build a website from scratch using HTML/CSS several years ago. If you need me to do more advanced work with HTML, I am eager to learn. I find that I catch onto computer languages quickly and enjoy putting them to use.”

6. What’s your experience using Microsoft Word?

Being able to use Microsoft Word and similar word processors is one of the most basic computer skills to have. Employers ask this question to see your level of knowledge for this program. In your answer, share how long you have been using Microsoft Word. You can even discuss your expertise in the other Microsoft Office programs to show you have a good foundation of computer skills.

Example: “I have been using Microsoft Word ever since I was in grade school. Along with using it for basic word processing functions, I find that its tables and charts are quite effective. I am also quite comfortable using the rest of the Microsoft Office, including Excel and PowerPoint. I have a lot of experience using spreadsheets to manage data and using PowerPoint to makes presentations.”

7. Are you someone who can quickly learn new computer systems?

Learning a new computer system may take a lot of work and patience. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the capacity to quickly learn new computer systems. Use your answer to show that you are a quick learner. You can even share a previous experience when you needed to learn how to use a new computer system in a short period of time.

Example: “Absolutely. I find that I am someone who is always eager to learn new things and that I can figure out a lot of computer systems with little guidance. In fact, in my previous role, I taught myself how to use Adobe Photoshop because my manager was so busy. I relied on blogs and videos to get through the most complicated part of the program. With my resourcefulness, I was able to create stunning photos and even train other employees on how to use it.”

8. Are you more comfortable with Mac or PCs?

This question helps employers learn about your preferred operating system. Prior to your interview, try to find out which one the company uses. This way, you can tailor your answer to what they are looking for. Even if you prefer one over the other, try to show that you have experience using both if this is true. This can indicate that you are a technically savvy candidate.

Example: “As a graphic designer, I prefer to use a Mac computer. I find that it has better visual capabilities and programs for those in my field. I already noticed your workplace uses Mac, so I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, as a computer gamer, I certainly appreciate using a PC too. I find that I can easily switch between the two operating systems if I need to.”

9. Tell me about which mobile technology you have used in a professional setting.

This question helps employers determine if you are comfortable using mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones. They want to know which particular apps or functions you have used in previous roles. Think about times you have used your mobile device to help you with your job. Explain which apps you are the most familiar with using and why they are important. Try to connect your answer to the tools you might use in this new role.

Example: “In my previous role, I used time-management apps to make sure I was being productive. These little timers and reminders helped me know when to take breaks and when to get focused. I also used my mobile devices to keep track of the stock market. I had several different apps on my tablet to monitor how the market was fluctuating. I even used a trading app to make some of my day trading purchases and bids.”

10. Tell me about a time you had to figure out a computer-related issue

This question shows employers how you work through technology-related problems. This is an especially important skill to have when applying to an information technology role. When answering this question, use the STAR method. First, start by describing the situation and tasks you needed to complete. Then, explain what actions you took and what the results are. Make sure to focus on how you were able to solve this situation on your own.

Example: “When working as an IT technician, I had a client come to me with a strange computer issue. He said that all of his file names were somehow changed around. I thought, ‘Wow, this is strange.’ Luckily, I am a part of numerous computer forums and found out that this was due to a brand-new computer virus. Shortly after discovering this, I was able to remove the virus, install cybersecurity software and recover his original file names.”