Get Free In-Tray Exercise Example and Improve Your Scores

Do you need to complete in-tray exercises as part of the hiring process? We have created several free online in-tray exercise examples to give you an idea of what to expect. Our full in-tray PrepPack™ includes additional practice tests, answer explanations, score reports and more. Start practising today to ensure your success.

The idea of in-tray exercises is to place you in a realistic work situation, and assess your workplace behaviour and attitudes in that context. This way the company feels that they will get a real picture of you. In a sense, it's like a role-play and you'll need to imagine that you're an employee of some fictitious company. 

Use this page to get a feel for in-tray exercises as well as take a free test by clicking on the Take a Free Test button. 


If you have any questions or need help with finding the right prep, you can always contact our 24/7 customer support team.

Free In-Tray Exercise

1 Month Basic Licence Includes:

  • 2 in-tray exercises
  • 2 group exercise simulations
  • Role-play exercise
  • Comprehensive explanations and tips per exercise
  • Tutorials for group exercises and an in-tray study guide

In-Tray Exercise with Answers

Our free sample in-tray exercise examples were designed to show you what we offer in terms of practise and preparation. On the page below, you will find a free version of our in-tray exercises. By clicking on the “Take a Free Test Now” button on the upper right-hand corner of the page. Once you have completed the free version of our in-tray exercises on this page, we recommend continuing your preparation journey by using our full PrepPack™ at the link below:

In-Tray Exercise Examples

In-tray exercises usually include the following question types:

Multiple-choice: Choose the best answer from a set of options, or rank answers according to priority for action.

Written tasks: You are asked to respond to a question by letter or email. This may be a short response email or an answer setting out your professional opinion on a matter of top importance, such as strategic decisions, market analysis, cutting the HR training budget, etc.

In the examples below, we look at two different types of in-tray questions. Our practice pack contains more samples of both styles.

In-Tray Exercise Example #1

For the purpose of this exercise, you are Jeremy Ingles, Human Resource Manager in BETA Computers Ltd. It is 7:30 AM, Tuesday morning, the 24th of February. You have just returned to the office after a two-week absence (business trip) and you are leaving on the 26th of February for a two week holiday.

Your mailbox has a list of emails that have been sent to you over the course of the last two weeks. You have a managers’ meeting with the CEO in one hour’s time, in the meantime, you must review all your emails and decide which course of action to take.

In-Tray Excercise #1

in tray exercise

After determining the importance of the document, please choose from the following options the best way to deal with the issue at hand.

View Explanation

In-Tray Exercise Example 2

In this example task, you are asked to respond by writing a letter:

Assuming we do enter the field, do you recommend that we develop a new medical product in the G.O.N labs, or do you prefer to form a strategic alliance with N.V.Y?


Prepare for Success

Free test practise isn’t enough to reap the benefits of our abundant online preparation materials. Our full PrepPacks™ include everything you need to pass your tests. Our in-tray practice materials contain tasks designed to lead you to a job offer. Become your recruiter’s first choice by signing up today.

Which Roles Use In-Tray Exercises?

An in-tray exercise is often used for many roles in the hiring process. The purpose of these exercises is to see how you will handle certain work-related tasks and scenarios. In-tray exercises are often given as part of the interview process. Some popular roles where you may be required to participate in an in-tray exercise include:

Practising for your in-tray or e-tray exercises beforehand will give you a better idea of what to expect, thus boosting your chances of success.

Important Tips for In-Tray and E-Tray Exercises

Prior to performing an in-tray exercise, it is vital to briefly look through the documents provided, including the organisational chart. This will give you an overview of the organisation, as well as a feel for the inter-personal relationships, politics, and issues you must consider before deciding on the appropriate method for handling each document.

Points to consider when working on an in-tray or e-tray exercise:

  • Does the document require your personal attention, or can it be delegated to a member of staff? If so, who should it be delegated to?
  • Does the document require immediate attention, or can it be postponed. If so, until when?
  • Does the document concern the entire organisation or is it a personal matter?
  • What is the deadline for this task? Does it depend on the completion of other tasks? Does it clash with any other tasks?
  • Does the task involve an important member of the organisation?
  • How important is the task?

What Do In-Tray Exercises Measure?

The importance of in-tray exercises lies in the different work-related skills that they measure. These skills include time management, organisation of workload, prioritisation and sound decision making, management ability (delegation, taking responsibility, decision making, etc.), office relationships, and understanding of organisational culture and structure.

To ensure that your skill sets are in range for the position you have applied for, it is best that you take the time to practice for these types of exercises beforehand.

Practising for Your In-Tray Exercises

Practise is your only surefire way of passing each one of your in-tray exercises during the hiring process. Our comprehensive and interactive in-tray preparation materials are designed with your success in mind. Gain access to online in-tray exercises, a complete study guide, group and role-playing exercise simulations, and more.