Xcel Energy Assessment Tests, Hiring Process & Interviews Online Preparation – 2023
What Is Xcel Energy?
Xcel Energy is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It provides natural gas service to 2.1 million customers, and electricity to 3.7 million customers. Their service area includes areas in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. Xcel Energy has 4 subsidiary companies, Northern States Power-Minnesota, Northern States Power-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado, and Southwestern Public Service Co.
Xcel Energy has made it part of its mission to produce carbon-free energy by 2050. As part of this goal, they are in search of skilled employees who can help the company realize its vision. There are careers available in all aspects of the energy and utility industry including field and skilled labor positions, customer care, plant operations, engineering, the nuclear division, and the corporate office. For students searching for a career path, there are internships and co/ops available. National Guard, Army Reserve, and Veterans are encouraged to apply and be matched to a job that reflects the skills they learned during their time in service.
Xcel Energy stays competitive by offering a generous benefits package. Benefits that are available include:
- Medical, dental, and vision plans
- Health savings account
- Pension plan
- 401K savings
- Parental leave
- Adoption assistance
- Tuition reimbursement
- Wellbeing resources
What Is Xcel Energy’s Recruitment Process?
To submit an application, you will need to create a profile on the Xcel careers website. Jobs postings include the location, and there are open positions within multiple states. You can search for open jobs based on location as well as the job title. Your application will be submitted for review to make sure you meet all of the minimum requirements. If it seems promising you will be contacted about the next steps in the process. For some positions, such as plant operations, you will be scheduled to take the EEI pre-hire assessments. These tests are given to make sure you have the knowledge necessary to perform the duties of the job safely. After successfully passing any assessments you will be contacted for an interview. Interviews are all conducted either by telephone or through Zoom. The interviews will be a mix of behavioral and technical questions. If everything is proceeding smoothly, you may be given a conditional job offer. You will need to satisfy the conditions, like a background check, drug test, and physical before being given a start date.
Xcel Energy’s EEI Testing
Investor-owned utility companies utilize standards and tests developed by the Edison Electrical Institute, EEI. These tests are used to evaluate your abilities in vital areas of your chosen career path. The tests are standardized across the industry. Each test is made up of several different sections and is tailored to examine the specific skill set required for the position you have applied for.
You will be given your EEI test at a testing center. Your recruiter will keep you informed about the location and times of the tests.
- MASS Test – If you have applied for a position in plant maintenance and operations the Power Plant Maintenance Selection System (MASS) is the test you will be required to take. The test is divided into four sections that reflect areas that are crucial for job performance. You will be evaluated on Mechanical Concepts, Reading Comprehension, Assembling Objects, and Mathematical Usage. Each test section is timed, and the test will be given over a period of 2 hours.
- CAST Test – If you are in one of the skilled trades, such as construction, you will need to take the Construction and Skilled Trades Test (CAST.) This exam has sections on Graphic Arithmetic, Reading For Comprehension, Mathematical Usage, and Mechanical Concepts. Test takers will be given 2 hours to complete the entire test.
- TECH Test – Job seekers in technical fields like transmission line technicians, and service technicians, will be given the Tech Test. The test is in four parts, like the majority of EEI tests. The areas you will be examined in are Graphic Problem Solving, Interpreting Diagrams, Mechanical Concepts, and Reasoning From Rules. Each section of this test is timed and will take a total of an hour.
- POSS Test – This is the test battery designed for plant operating positions. Plant operators need to demonstrate strong analytical and reasoning skills. The four areas you will be questioned in include Figural Reasoning, Mathematical Usage, and Reading Comprehension.
- SO/PD II Test – This test battery was designed for power dispatchers and system operators. You need to be able to show strong aptitude in each of the 4 test areas. These areas are Mathematical Usage, Analytic Thinking Skills, Reading Comprehension, and Multitasking Simulation.
- MRAB Test – Potential meter readers need to be able to demonstrate the skills necessary for job performance. This is reflected in the test sections which consist of Using Tables, and Coding.
How to Prepare for Xcel Energy’s Assessments?
Psychometric testing is now a routine part of the job-seeking process. Some might argue it is the most stressful part. The EEI tests are unique in that the companies that use them also offer practice tests to help you. Investor-owned utility companies use EEI to maintain standards across the industry. The utility industry uses standardized tests developed by EEI, so if you have already taken a test, make sure you let your recruiter know because you may not have to take it twice. Make sure you thoroughly read the description of the job for which you have applied. The job description will tell you which test you will be required to take. You will be able to find links to practice tests and details about each test on the Xcel Energy website. Use the practice tests to determine which areas you need to focus your studying on. Reading for comprehension focuses on the ability to understand safety rules. Use a plant safety guide to practice this skill. If you have taken any courses in electricity or mechanics, use your resources from these classes to boost your memory so you can perform effectively on the exams. Continue to use the practice tests to help improve your time management, and to acquaint yourself with the test format. The practice tests resemble the actual EEI tests but do not use them as your only form of studying. Although they resemble the real tests there are differences, so memorizing the material on the practice tests will not benefit you.