Common VBA Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
Organisations that handle large amounts of data or perform certain actions routinely often use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to automate these processes. These companies often look for candidates who have used VBA programming in Microsoft Office and are comfortable with the software. If you are applying for a job that requires you to code using VBA, knowing how to answer some frequently asked questions can help you prepare confident responses. In this article, we outline some of the most common VBA interview questions and share sample answers to guide you in developing your own.
General VBA Interview Questions
Here are some general VBA interview questions hiring managers may ask to assess your foundational knowledge and experience:
How long have you worked with VBA?
How do you improve productivity by applying VBA to large data sets?
What would you do if your VBA code crashed?
How can you ensure your coworker understands a code you have written?
What makes you interested in this job?
Technical VBA Interview Questions With Sample Answers
Here are seven commonly asked technical VBA interview questions with sample answers that can help you prepare:
1. What does VBA mean?
Interviewers can ask this question to begin the interview and gauge your overall understanding of the subject. You can use a definition that you have learned or memorise a definition from the Internet. Explain the subject in your own words and refer to situations where you have used it. You can also associate it with the job you are applying for and how you can use it at work. You can discuss some topics related to VBA that you are confident in, as it gives the interviewer an opportunity to ask further questions related to your strengths.
Example answer: "You can use VBA to write macros, which can help you automate different tasks in Excel. It is a programming language developed by Microsoft and is short for Visual Basic for Applications. It is a great tool when dealing with large data sets that follow a particular process. In my previous job, I used VBA extensively as it was a major part of my role, and it involved uploading large data sets to our website regularly. I was able to condense a long series of steps to just a click of a button to get the same results."
Related: 20 Advanced Excel Skills For The Workplace (With Examples)
2. What are data types in VBA?
By asking this question, the interviewer wants to assess how well you understand complex concepts of VBA programming. As there are different data types and variables, it is an important concept that VBA developers use regularly. Begin your answer by describing the two main data types and then list the sub-types under each. In your answer, you can talk about different instances where you can use data types.
Example answer: "VBA data types determine the way in which we store data. The two main categories of data types in VBA are numeric and non-numeric data types. Because a computer cannot differentiate between types of data, such as integers, currency, decimals and bytes, we use the numeric data type. For other types of data, like strings, boolean, dates and objects, we use the non-numeric data type. When we do not specify a data type, it automatically categorises the variable as a variant."
3. Can you dial a phone number using VBA? Why is it used?
Interviewers may ask this question if your job role requires you to make many phone calls from numbers in an Excel sheet. You can explain the process in steps and refer to a situation when you had used the function previously to make a phone call. You can also discuss the different reasons companies might use this function and how it saves time. In your answer, include how you can use this function to improve your productivity and efficiency.
Example answer: "As my previous position required me to make regular calls to our customers, I often used this function to optimise my workflow. It helped me dial numbers more quickly with fewer errors, which can happen when manually entering numbers from a spreadsheet. I always used the shell command and send keys in VBA to start the dialler and automate the call. I also know how to use a macro to initiate the card file program and trigger the auto-dial feature. This function can speed up tasks and improved my efficiency in my last role."
Related: Excel Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
4. How do you debug a VBA code?
Like all other codes, there may be issues in a VBA, sometimes resulting in errors. It is important to address these issues before moving further. By asking this question, the interviewer tries to test if you know how to handle such situations if they arise. You can give a step-by-step explanation of the process and share an example of when you faced a similar situation and were able to debug the code effectively.
Example answer: "Every code may run into errors sometimes, so it is extremely important to be able to debug them. VBA offers some tools that you can use to debug your code and there are shortcuts for each of them. Some of them include stepping over, stepping out, breakpoints and debug print. You can also debug your code by manually checking it for errors, but it may not be as efficient as using the in-built debugging tools. You can also debug the code by running it using the F5 shortcut key."
Related: How To Prepare For A Job Interview
5. Define Option Explicit. When is it used?
Option Explicit is an important concept in VBA as it helps users write codes with minimum errors. An interviewer may ask this question to understand how well you can use VBA and determine whether you are aware of this function. Explain what it means in your own words and explain why it is important. Discuss situations where you can use Option Explicit in your code to make it error-free.
Example answer: "Option Explicit makes it mandatory to declare variables while writing codes. It is a statement that you can use at the beginning of a module and it forces you to declare all your variables. By doing this, you can also ensure that there are no errors in your code due to typing mistakes. I always use Option Explicit whenever I begin coding a module because it identifies typing errors in the code, reminds me to declare variables and saves time by running an error-free code."
6. How do you add comments in VBA?
Comments are an important part of coding in VBA, as they help add additional information regarding the code. By asking this question, the interviewer checks if you know how to use comments and understand the advantages of adding comments to your code in VBA. In your answer, talk about the steps that you follow to add comments while coding in VBA and explain how you have used it to improve your code. You can also include some additional relevant information in your answer, like shortcut keys you might use to add comments, write comments on the same line and leave multi-line comments.
Example answer: "In a VBA code, comments are words that are not a part of the code and are not visible while executing the code. You can use it this feature to add specific information about the code, track or record changes, debug the code or describe a variable. To add a comment, I always click on the line where I want to place the comment and type an apostrophe. I can then type the comment and press enter to save it."
7. How can you delete macros from the workbook?
While you may be aware of the definition of macros, interviewers ask this question to check the depth of your understanding of the subject. It also gives them an idea of your experience with VBA programming and if you have explored such functions. You can provide a step-by-step explanation of the procedure to follow in a conversational manner. For such questions, visualising the process can help you recall it and provide a clear response.
Example answer: "There are certain steps that you can follow to delete macros in a workbook. In the main Excel window, click on the 'Developer' tab to delete macros from the workbook. Select the 'Macros' option to check the available macros in the workbook. You can then select the macros you want to delete from the dialogue box that appears and click on 'Command." Once you confirm your selection, the chosen macros get deleted from the workbook.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed
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