The E-tray exercise is a 60 minute computer simulation of an email inbox. Over the course of the exercise, you will be presented with a sequence of emails, from which you will have to select a response from a multiple choice.
You are a Financial trainee working for Advantage Business Service (ABS). ABS provides Financial & Business Services, Marketing Services, and HR Advisory services. You joined the company 8 months ago. You were working in Nottingham office but now you are transferring to Birmingham office to replace a colleague who is ill. You will have to deal with 24 emails from various people requesting info from you. The exercise starts with about 6 emails already in the inbox.
In your company’s folder (ABS), you will see the following:
You will also get folders for all 5 clients (only three of them will request info in the emails), and some simple formulae about how to judge the performance of the client’s business.
Typical request from emails
Client from Nottingham office wants you to do a job, what would you do?
One of your colleagues is struggling with contacting someone, how would you react to help him?
According to the info in Folders, do some calculations. They are not necessarily straight forward.
Not all the e-mails will require you to go back to info folders. Some of them just require you to give your opinion.
There are three companies to advise on, so make sure you’ve identified which company you are being asked about prior to answering. The multiple choices will be created in such a way that may cause you to be easily misled, consequently, take your time and be careful.
Spend the first 5-10 minutes reading the information you are given before diving in. This will save you time later. Work at a sensible pace without rushing. It is quite easy to finish approximately 24 emails with time to spare.
Lastly, be careful and take your time to select the best response. It is easily possible to finish this exercise within the time limit.
After the E-tray exercise, you will then be asked to write a business email based upon the scenario developed over the previous hour. You will be required to analyse three potential takeover targets, and make your recommendation and case to the client’s board of directors. The takeover targets are an internet firm, a catalogue firm or another store based firm.
There is no right or wrong answers here; any of the three companies will be adequate. They are testing your reasoning, so you must be able to substantiate your decision. For example, interviewees are often asked “how would you convince the board your decision is correct?”
The written exercise is done on the computer, but the software does not have a spellchecker, so make sure your answer is spelt correctly. Candidates are pushed for time much more in this exercise; it is advisable think about how you are going to word and structure your composition before you begin to write it.