Skip to main content

In-Tray & E-Tray Exercises (Individual)

An in-tray exercise is a paper-based simulation where candidates will be presented with a business-related scenario, accompanied by a list of related tasks including telephone calls, emails, complains and reports.    It is then up to the individual to prioritise each task in accordance to their perceived importance, providing reasons why they have chosen the selected sequence.  Assessors are looking for decision making, time management and how you work under pressure.

Businesses are starting to move away from the traditional, paper-based in-ray exercise to a very similar type of test, called an E-tray exercise.  The principle of the test is the same, but the documents are provided in an email box rather than on paper.  The subject matter usually relates to the company and the type of job that the candidate is hoping to secure. 

Download this free practice in-tray exercise to get an understanding of how they work and what you will be expected to do in your in-tray exercise

Practice makes perfect!

Take test

Top Tips

  • Quickly read through everything, working solidly. 
  • Identify requests needing immediate action; those you can delegate; and those you can delay.
  • Be prepared to justify your priorities and actions to your assessors.
  • Deal with every item.
  • These tests vary so the in-tray can be:
    • structured as a multiple choice test or
    • drafting a response to one of the letters or emails
  • Don’t get overwhelmed by details: make judgement calls based on information given.
  • Use a bit of common sense and a get up and “do” attitude.

UCC Career Services

Seirbhísí Gairme COC