The nature of interviews, at least for the state of California, seems to be changing.
I've been to several interviews now, and due to the self-testing process offered for many of the state lists, there is a new component that many departments are adding to their interview process - a test. Typically, this test includes some knowledge of a program called Excel.
I remember when the state was going by a different standard. That standard, required by nearly every interview I'd gone to, was 10-key typing. Well, I have a little finger on my right hand that is abnormally shaped, due to an old injury. But sure enough, I signed up for 10-key, and, by some miracle, got my 10-key typing certificate. I believe that this certificate did help me to land my first job with the state.
But now the standard has changed to Excel, and computer courses are costly and (I imagine) hard to come by if you have little free time, like myself.
Well, I took internet courses for my M.A. degree, and having had the self-discipline to finish these and make it through the program with my degree in-hand, I thought to myself, "You know, this might all be a lot easier if I can teach myself Excel, somehow."
Only, I had no guideline to work from. Well, I went down to the thrift store and bought a book on 97 Excel. Having been through so many college courses, I know that texts tend to change very little from one edition to the next. I have found that to be the case with Excel as well. A few things have changed slightly with the program, but mostly all for the aesthetics of it. The bulk of the program remains the same as it was in 97.
And so I am tackling one section at a time, and this old book has given me a guideline for how to go about teaching myself the program. I hope to be finished soon, and able to show others my new-found knowledge.