# Excel Challenge 26: VLOOKUP With Duplicates

Deb Ashby

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How well do you know VLOOKUP in Excel? If you are comfortable with VLOOKUP, then this challenge should test your "out of the box" thinking.

Everything you need to participate in the challenge can be found on this page. To take part:

1. First, watch the challenge video and read the instructions below the video.
2. Review the previously published video(s) and article(s) on which the challenge is based.
4. Put yourself to the test!

## The scenariođź–Ľď¸Ź

The Sales Manager has contacted the HR Department requesting a list of all employees in the Sales Team and their salaries. He’s looking to conduct a pay review and wants to ensure employees in his team are being competitively compensated.

It’s our job as the HR Manager to extract the salaries for the members of the Sales Team and send them on to the Sales Manager.

However, we have a challenge! John Smith is a very common name. In fact, there are three employees called John Smith in the list.

When we use VLOOKUP, it returns the wrong result. Our challenge is to think about how we might extend the capabilities of VLOOKUP to achieve the correct result.

Write a formula in Column K that will look up the “Employee” in column I in the table and return the correct result.

## The cluesđź•µď¸Ź

Here are some things to consider:

• Think about how to make each record in the table unique.
• Use a “Helper” column.
• Ensure the formula works when you copy it down column K.

How quickly can you complete this challenge? âŹ±ď¸ŹFifteen minutes? Ten? Less?

And pick up a trick or two from this recent article: Handling Lookups for Multiple Criteria in Excel.

If you’re already proficient with Excel, this should be quite easy. Maybe you can tell us a creative way to solve this problem in our Slack channel.

Have fun!

Tell us how you would solve it, then check out our solution below!

## The solutionđź’ˇ

We hope you enjoyed taking part in this challenge!

## Hungry for more?đźĄ—

Stay tuned to the GoSkills Excel Resource hub for more Excel challenges, and check out our range of expert-led Excel courses for all skill levels to further sharpen your skills.