E Tray Exercises – KPMG Presentation Highlights

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KPMG were on campus today giving a presentation about e-tray exercises. Read on to find out their tips and advice…

What is it?

An E-Tray assessment is a 2 hour computer based business simulation exercise, where you have to decide how best to deal with the messages in an email inbox.  The aim is to show you the types of decisions and dilemmas which could come up in a typical day of work, and see how you would cope in the situation.

The first part of the task is to select from a set of multiple choice answers what you feel the best course of action would be for each email . The second part is to produce a longer written case study, drawing on information given to you in reports, charts and graphs.

What are they looking for?

Task management and problem solving skills, the ability to prioritise, commercial awareness / business focus and strong written communication.

Top Tips

The test places you under time pressure and it is common to not finish answering all the questions.  If you have not finished, do not randomly guess the answers to the final questions, as it will lower your overall score.

Read all the emails in the inbox before you start responding to them. Often emails will link to each other and later emails may give further details to help inform your response.

Examples of emails could include a request for help from a colleague, a task given to you by your boss,  a customer complaint,  a company memo etc.  Emails from an external client and your boss should be given high priority.

You cannot recall an email once you have sent it, so be sure of your answer.

Be prepared for new emails to arrive in your inbox during the assessment.

Check your spelling and grammar.


One thought on “E Tray Exercises – KPMG Presentation Highlights

  1. Many thanks for your comment. There is no way to predict exactly what an employer is going to ask for within an e-tray exercise.
    You are right that in some examples recruiters may simply wish to know which emails you would deal with first and why.
    Others may simply ask you to respond to the emails as they arise in the manner which you feel is most appropriate.
    Some E-Tray exercises may test for both skills and ask for a combination of prioritising and responding / dealing
    with the information contained in the emails. It is always best to prepare as much as possible by researching the
    industry and the company beforehand. Preparing a few memos / letters responding to customer complaints
    etc can be useful too, especially if you are not used to wiring in business style language.
    I hope that helps.

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