Prior preparation of an e-tray exercise requires having a strategy for the actual test. Apart from that, you can do the following:
Step 1: Do your Prior Research
Any interviewee walking into an interview must do thorough background research to get familiar with the company. This is no secret, companies always prefer prepared candidates. They want someone who is well acquainted with the company’s organizational culture, work ethics, structure, etc.
This common sense will also serve you well in an e-tray exercise. The more thorough your knowledge is about the company, the more suitable you will be perceived in your assessment.
Also, it is important to know that the mere knowledge of the company’s background will not be enough. Information pertaining to the sector, the current scenario, and the changing roles of the job position are all very important.
Step 2: Prioritize Wisely
When you’re actually on the table attempting the test, you must decide the order in which you will respond. The timing of the response to specific situations is an important aspect of the e-tray exercise.
You can start by marking the priority tasks which are time-sensitive and need immediate attention. Then you should mark-up a rough idea of how much time each task will take. Use of judgment and previous knowledge is advisable at this stage. Trivial tasks should not be paid immediate attention to, as trivial tasks can also be delegated. Your focus should be on the pressing matters needing an immediate response.
Step 3: Stay Calm Under Pressure
E-tray exercises are nothing short of pressure tests and they are meant to be this way. In such nerve-racking situations, it is quite obvious to lose your calm and succumb to a stressful situation. However, do not forget that your temper, calmness, etc. are all being observed.
The mantra in this situation is to take things one at a time. Take deep breaths, think rationally, and reflect on all the things you’ve learned so far in your career.
Step 4: Follow Instructions
This rule of thumb is universal to every task in the world - “be thorough with the instructions”. In a hurry to finish the test you may miss out on some crucial guidelines. So take a good look at the instructions, make sure you follow and then proceed. It is best if you make a mental note of all the core instructions while you proceed with your test.
Step 5: Make Use of the Material Provided
During the test, the assessor will provide you with useful info of the company. This could be an organizational chart, the company’s background information or articles written on the company. Try to understand the pattern and the undertones of the situation.
No matter what happens, do not fret. You must understand that fretting and panicking will not bring out any good and will instead dull your logical reasoning. All the best!