Hiring the wrong executive or senior level employee can be one of the most expensive mistakes a company can make. To prevent a bad hire, more and more employers are conducting InBox Assessments (also known as In-Tray Exercises) during the interview process to evaluate how an employee might actually perform on the job. In addition to the typical skill-related questions and the often-bizarre behavioral questions, you must also be prepared to demonstrate how well you would handle the daily responsibilities of the role.
An InBox Assessment is a simulation of a typical day on the job and shows the potential employer how you would handle the variety of tasks, questions and problems that may cross your desk. Among other things, they are looking to see how well you manage your time, organize your workload, communicate and make decisions. You may be presented with a variety of incoming requests, projects and problems to solve, be asked to demonstrate how you would prioritize and respond to each item, and then explain why you chose that course of action. It sounds intimidating, but like anything, practice will pay off. Interview preparation can be the difference between winning the job offer and losing out on the opportunity.
Tips to Prepare for an InBox Assessment:
- Determine the specific key competencies, knowledge and workplace behaviors important to succeeding in the role.
- Think back over your professional experience to identify the types of issues and problems you encountered on a daily basis.
- Reflecting on specific instances when you performed similar tasks, prepare to describe the situation, your thought process and the outcome.
An InBox Exercise is a role-play that tests your ability to accurately prioritize tasks, knowing when to delegate and using your time as effectively as possible. It is a great opportunity to show you are the ideal candidate and have what it takes to succeed. Need help developing S-O-A-R or C-A-R stories to show how you add value to the organization? That’s my specialty.