Deloitte E- tray experience and advice 2012


Hi everyone,
Wikijobs has been a great help to me. SO I thought I could share my Deloitte e-tray experience with everyone.
In terms of preparation there is a lot that can be done, especially for the second part of the exercise which is the written exercise. The more you prepare for this section, the better you are likely to perform. Try to read the Trafford Lea background that is given on their website. It will be very helpful for the second part of the exercise.

The e-mail Inbox simulation exercise, you’ll pretty much have to do on the spot by using the data available and your judgement. You’ll have to use your organization chart to see who works under you to delegate work to. You’ll have Trafford Lea’s organization chart and you’ll have to refer to it twice. There will be some simple calculations such as calculating the number of hours needed to complete a job, which is pretty much along the lines of adding up. You’ll have to choose a new region to expand into, which is totally your call, since all the regions have pros and cons. Also Trafford will want to launch a new product such a dvds/cds or set up a café in their stores to attract customers and you’ll have to choose an option there.
Other than this I can tell you that you will have exactly 21 e-mails to respond to which will be in a multiple choice format. There will be 3 options for each e-mail. In total you will receive about 28 e-mails, 7 of which will be just replies to confirm that xyz person will be taking the action on the recommendation you made. This is standard.
Please mind the time, like other posts suggest. You will be very short of it.


  1. Structure your e-mail well. Have a proper start and end. Open your e-mail with Dear XYZ and close it with Regards XYZ. To save time, write your opening and ending beforehand and memorize it and as soon as you start the exercise type these bits
  2. It is essential that you give a recommendation, because without the recommendation, no matter how well you analysed the options, they fail you. To ensure you choose your option write it immediately after you open your e-mail. For example: I have analysed the options available and recommend XYZ for so and so reason
  3. Divide your e-mail into paragraphs with headings for easy reading. Use heading such as INTRODUCTION, OPTION 1, OPTION 2, OPTION 3 and CONCLUSION/ RECOMMENDATION. Within the options, write PROS and CONS of each. Alternatively, INTRODUCTION, RECOMMENDATION, STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITES and THREATS, CONCLUSION
  4. Search a SWOT analysis, business students might be familiar with it. You don’t have to know it, but it can be helpful
  5. Yes you can use outside knowledge about the general market conditions. For example you can make a link to the recession and it being a bad time to expand due to the inability of finance in the market or whatever
  6. You can use abbreviations such as TL, just write the full form once in your e-mail
  7. Use the background knowledge available to you from their website. For example the finance director has opposed costly expansion or growth initiatives. Maybe don’t suggest the most expensive option as the best. Obviously there are no right or wrong answers! Please choose the option you can justify!
  8. Be careful of your spelling and grammar and punctuation

Use this post, it is very helpful :slight_smile:


Thank you fmahmood5, brilliant brilliant advice!! I have been nervous about the stray, but feel much more confident. Thanks for imparting such great advice, very kind of you :smiley:


Thanks for the above information Faha , it will definitely help me in my etray prep, thanks alot


For 2013 starters, Deloitte have helpfully put together a ‘Hints and Tips’ document for the E-Tray:


Approximately how long does it take to get an outcome of the etray after submitting it online?


you will get response within 2 days after submitting your inbox exercise.


fmahmood5! Superb post. You menion that for the written e tray to memorise an opening and closing paragraph for each. I think this is a good idea for time constraints but how would I know what these paragraphs should contain before I see the task?





  1. there are about 5 or 6 e-mails as you start. You will get them as you work through the exercise. Some will just be thankyou responses and will require nothing to be done. Dont waste time reading them.
  2. Dont read all the documents. just skim through them and open them in the order they are given to you and let them be. You dont need all the info to start answering the questions. You also dont need to read all the e-mails. Open an e-mail, and then see what document it talks about and use it. some e-mails have attachments and they are all you need to read to answer. Try to not work at random.

hey, when i say an opening and closing i mean something like : I have analyzed all the options by researching the pros and cons… and for the closing : I hope the information I am providing you will help you make a decision. Please dont hesitate to contact me if you need further clarification …

have a few lines like this to just quickly insert in your e-mail to save time. There are lots of posts on wikijob that can help you actually decide which option you want to recommend in the end.


Just completed the written e tray! Thanks very much for your advice, it was fantastically usefuly and allowed me to manage my time much more easily. I referred to only the information provided in the attachments and add to it with my own general knowledge/ commercial awareness. Is that ok or should I have been referring to the emails fro the previous e tray exercise?

Thanks again,


Hi there,

I’m currently applying for ‘Consulting’ at Deloitte in 2013 and was just wondering if anyone had any tips for the online application process, particularly the career motivation questions which centre around ‘Why Deloitte’ and ‘an understanding of the day-to-day role of a consultant in their first year’?? Hoping someone can give me some advice?

Thanks again


Hi, I’m preparing for the e-tray inbox exercise and was wondering should we prioritise emails or just answer them as we open and receive them?


I just did my e-tray exercise and I didn’t do any written exercise. Is it split into 2 parts? How long does it take to know if you’ve got through to the next part?


I did my inbox exercise 2 days ago and got invited to do the written exercise today. Anyone recently done the written exercise? How was it? Tips and advise? How long did it take to hear? Thanks.


Hi jk401,

How did the written exercise go for you?


I was wondering to know how long should the written exercise be? 400-500 words? In addition, it would be great if you guys could share few examples of the written exercise topics, I have no experience in consultancy and needs to make a proper preparation.


The written exercise has preset options which we need to analyze and conclude with our recommendation or we will have to come up with a fresh solution to the problem posed?


Hi guys,

Having just finished the first part of the e-tray just now, I thought I’d write a post offering advice about how to approach it. I have no idea if I have passed but fingers crossed as I found it easier than I had expected.

  • 1st tip is to briefly go over everything in the document folders but not to waste time reading them properly as you will have to refer back to them. Just familiarise yourself with where everything is
  • Read the questions carefully. It took me a few mins to answer the first few but you will get faster as you move along
  • There is one question where you have to recommend the date of when to START a project based on your recommended completion time (which you submit in an earlier e-mail) and the completion date that is in one of the documents. So you are expected to remember what you recommended earlier and use this with the information they have given you. They also mention in the e-mail that you have to include 3 days for contingency. If I remember correctly I said it will take 10 days so I had to work out 13 days on the calendar excluding weekends.
  • You are also asked to recommend the staffing arrangement formula based on your previous recommendation of where TLB should expand to. This question threw me a bit and I think it was the only one I had to guess but I remember recommending TLB expand online instead of business to business.
  • You are also asked about which distributor will be best for TLB. I remember choosing Chinook although I don’t think there is a wrong answer. They ask you a few e-mails later would you still recommend them based on new information and I still chose Chinook.
  • You are asked about a miscalculation against the estimated costs and actual costs. You should compare the attachment in the email with the attachment in the documents. It’s pretty easy to spot
  • You are also asked to recommend how many branches TLB will be able to open within a a particular region (that you would have recommended in a previous e-mail). This is a simple case of going back to the sent items and looking at the information they gave and doing simple division (budget/cost to open new branch)
  • After this, you are also asked to recommend how many staff members will be required in each branch. I think I said 6 branches and 24 staff members across each branch based on the information and my previous recommendations (yours will probably be different but I guess theres not right or wrong really)
  • I found myself going into my sent items a few times to refresh what I had recommended. It’s important to show consistency and also always remember that your answer should be based on what you have previously stated.

I hope this helps someone and that I have provided some detailed insight into part 1 of the exercise, as much of the information I found was very general. If you don’t quite understand anything I’ve said it will click once you start the exercise, I promise. I don’t even know if I have passed yet this time round but I did once before and it was the same exercise. If this helps you in any way please pray that I pass and get the job!!

Thanks and good luck


hi…can anyone please provide a similar indepth analysis on kpmg’s e tray?


Hi Nay 27,

Thanks so much for your comment I feel you’ve increased my chances of passing!! How did you do in the end? I really hope you got right to the end and get offered the job! Just completed mine… anyone who is worried/panicked about it, my advice (which is obvious) is practice; do the deloitte & civil service pratice etray because this helped me alot in getting a general feel of what it’s all about. Wish me luck!