The In-Tray exercise is, as said earlier, a paper-based simulation to assess job candidates as part of the selection process. Employers use this test to measure a candidate’s ability to process information quickly, prioritize, analyze problems, make decisions, manage time, work accurately, express yourself logically and answer questions tactfully.
During the test candidates are presented with a business-related scenario, accompanied by a list of related tasks, including details of the role, company information, policy documents, organizational charts, letters of complaint, emails and reports. Candidates are required to prioritize each task in accordance to their perceived information, providing reasons why they have chosen the selected sequence.
It must be noted that business are starting to move away from the traditional, paper-based exercise to the similar online administered E-Tray exercise.
The E-Tray is similar to the In-Tray exercise in that they consist of the same type of tasks and also require the candidates to read and respond to a series messages presented in an email inbox. Candidates are required to respond to as many emails as possible, while prioritizing each task in accordance to their perceived information.
Just like the In-Tray exercise, the E-Tray exercise assesses the candidate’s ability to perform the necessary functions of the position applied for. Typical skills and attributes assessed during these exercises are managerial ability, decision making, organizational skills, interpersonal skills and time management.