Bill Gates may have a lot of controversy attached to his name, but one thing nobody can deny: The software products of his (former) company has dominated the market for decades. Be it Windows, or MS Office. They are relatively easy to use, affordable even for small companies, and they actually offer a wide array of functionality once you get a good grasp of them. Perhaps the most popular program of all is Microsoft Word. It doesn’t matter if we talk about a typical desktop version, or the one in a cloud: the chances are extremely high that you will work with the program in your new job–regardless of whether the hiring managers acquire about your experience with the software or not. If they do, however, how should you explain it?
Let’s start directly with 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include on my list answers for people with various levels of experience with MS Office, and also answers for a variety of interview scenarios. I hope you will find on the list at least one answer which resonates with the message you try to convey in the interviews. Do not forget to check also my notes at the end of the article, for additional hints and explanations.
7 sample answers to “Describe your experience using Microsoft Word” interview question
- I’ve been working with MS Word for the past ten years. Currently working with the latest version of MS Office, 2021. It helped me a lot with my report writing in my last job, but also with my job search, because I’ve put together my resume with the help of MS Word. I wouldn’t call myself an advanced user, however, but without a doubt I can handle the basic duties in MS Word, including everything I may be responsible for while working as your secretary here.
- So far I have little experience using MS Word, because I’ve been a Mac user for years, and have worked with their word processor. Having said that, I have a good computer intelligence in general, and without a doubt I will manage to learn to work with MS Word, or with any other software you happen to use in your company. Anyway, I am eager to learn and work hard, and you do not have to be afraid of my computer skills.
- Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel, have saved me dozens of hours of work each month, in my last job. Without a doubt, it is good to have the skill of handwriting, and doing some calculations with the help of pen, paper, and a physical calculator–just for the case that the technology betrays you. But we live in 21st century, and nobody can handwrite as quickly as we can type. For example, I write quickly, but will still struggle to get done over 120 characters per minute. In MS Word, however, I can easily type 300-400 characters per minute, so I save a lot of time working with the software… Would you like me to elaborate on my experience with any particular functionality of the program, or is this description good enough for now?
- I think that rating does the best job here. If I should rate my skills with MS Word, on a scale from 0 to 10, I would give myself 8. Sure enough, I’ve been working with the software regularly at school, while preparing seminary works and similar materials. And I believe to know everything about formatting, layout, etc. But I also believe that there is always a room for improvement, in everything we do, and therefor I would never give myself a perfect ten–even if I worked 10 hours each day with the software.
- Speaking honestly, my experience is non-existent. I just didn’t have a need to use the software in my life so far. Having said that, I am tech savvy, and believe to have an ability to quickly find my way around any software product. What’s more, the guys at Microsoft are doing a great job for sure, avoiding designing an user interface which would be hard to comprehend for the first-time user. On the top of that, you can now find online tutorials for everything, especially on YouTube, and can follow the instructions, and quickly find your way around this or that obstacle. I want to assure you that I am ready to sacrifice something for this job. If you decide to hire me and tell me that knowledge of Word is pivotal for the job, I am ready to learn to work with the program before starting here, practicing in my free time.
- I believe that examples of my work will tell you more than I could ever tell you with words. Just have a look at my portfolio–I did all these works and documents in MS Word, sometimes using advanced functionality, and often creating my own document templates. As you can see, I can do almost everything with the program, and I hope to bring this knowledge onboard your team.
- MS Word and MS Excel were my daily companions in both of my previous jobs. I spent probably over 1,000 hours working with the programs in last twelve months alone. As you can imagine, with so many hours logged, you do things almost automatically, without a need to think about them. You just write and format and click this or that, ending up with an amazing output–or at least one good enough for the purpose you follow. That’s how I would describe my experience with MS Word, but feel free to ask me additional questions about any particular functionality of the software.
They can let you prove your words with a practical test
Before you decide to boast about your unbeatable skills with MS Word, or give yourself ten out of ten point while rating your skills with the software, think about this: They may always let you do something in the program.
I actually did it quite often back in the day, when instead of helping job seekers, I was helping employers to choose the best candidates for their jobs. At some point in the hiring process–typically after the questions, I asked the candidate to sit in front of a computer, gave them a print of a text, with specific layout, borders, margins, formatting, and asked them to replicate it on the screen, in MS Word.
And I didn’t watch only whether they managed the task, and with what level of accuracy. I also observed how quickly they typed, what system they followed in their work, whether they got stressed while working on the task, and so on. As you can imagine, if a candidate gave himself ten out of ten points when rating his skills in MS Word, and then struggled to italicize the text, or choose the correct format of bullet points, I immediately started to doubt their credibility, and they didn’t end up hired.
Keep it on your mind. It is better to stay humble in your interview answers, giving yourself modest rating when it comes to working with MS Office, and then surprise the hiring managers positively with your results in the test, than boasting about your unbeatable skills, and fail to deliver on the expectations with your test results.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the most difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, solving problems, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Your attitude matters more than anything else
At the end of the day, everyone has to start somewhere. Even the most successful managers had their first job once, and even the best MS Word pro in the world experienced the day when they saw the interface of the software for the very first time.
MS Word isn’t a tough program to learn and use, unless we speak about some extremely advanced functionality, which you aren’t going to use in 99.9% of jobs. The basic stuff you can learn in a few hours or days, depending on your overall tech skills and experience with other similar software products.
So, even if you lack experience, ensure the hiring managers that you are ready and willing to learn to work with the software, and will try your best to get ready for the tasks that await you in the job. You can even say that you will practice back home, in your free time, before the actual date on which you will start working for their company.
The truth is that with the information we currently have on our disposal, with all the free tutorials in text and video, everyone with even a below-average IQ will learn to handle the basic functionality of MS Word–which is all you need in 90% of jobs, in a few days maximum. Show the interviewers that you have the right attitude, and it can easily compensate for the lack of your experience, not only with MS Word….
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What does good customer service mean to you?
- Tell us about the things you would change about your current/former job.
- How would you describe your work ethic?