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What is an In Basket Test & Its Purpose?

An in-basket exercise is used by companies as a role-play hiring assessment tool to establish how well applicants perform job-related tasks within a certain period of time.

Companies use it to ascertain how well you manage multiple tasks with how you prioritize those tasks in logical sequences and move to successfully manage them.

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This test can be used to assess the abilities of employees from administrative assistants and clerical workers, and to measure the proficiency and expertise of a potential senior executive.

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What are the job-related competencies measured with an in-basket exercise?

All competencies have a title such as Oral Communication with a definition that describes the expectations of the employer of what it is.

In any in-basket exercise, the various definitions can be combined or modified. Competencies vary dependent on the company you’re applying at, but the following competencies will always be tested in the in-basket exercise:

Planning and evaluating

The way in which the candidate organizes the work, sets priorities, determines resource requirements, objectives, and strategies to achieve them, and how they monitor and evaluate their progress against their goals.

Problem-solving and decision making

Your ability to identify problems through gathering, interpretation, and evaluation of information to establish accuracy and relevance. How you generate and evaluate alternatives.Whether you make sound and well-informed decisions and commit to the actions necessary to achieve the goals.

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Managing and organizing information

How the candidate identifies the need for information in analysis and how one interprets data in complex situations that involve conflicting demands and priorities. And how the candidate determines the importance and accuracy of such and their methods of communication.

Your initiative (self-management)

How the candidate takes initiative and sets well-defined and realistic personal goals. How you monitor your progress and are motivated to achieve, and how you manage your time and effectively deal with stress.

Helpful tips to pass in-basket exercises

  • Be prepared – do the necessary market research to know what will be expected of you regarding skills, roles, and tasks for the job.
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Prioritize
  • Manage your time
  • Stay calm

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Practice makes perfect!

We recommend JobTestPrep’s study materials where you can prepare for your job application by doing a range of in-basket exercises and be ready for when the big day comes.

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