In Basket Exercises: Training Practice Questions and Full Guide

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What is In Basket Exercise?

An in-basket exercise simulates a work situation where you, as a manager, are required to make real-time decisions regarding prioritizing and managing schedules and tasks, workload challenges under pressure, and proving good judgment skills.

What Is The Purpose of an In-Basket Exercise?

These exercises provide employers with a more precise assessment of a candidate's abilities and performance.

In-basket exercises help determine how a candidate works under pressure and how he or she budgets time.

For instance, a candidate may be asked to prepare a timeline to demonstrate the different phases of a project.

In addition to providing employers with valuable information regarding a candidate's abilities and work ethic, the in-basket assessment also familiarizes the candidate with the position and his/her potential responsibilities.

Relevant Links to Managerial Positions

Management Assessment Tests.
Management Personality Tests.
SJT Management Tests.
Leadership Assessment Tests.

Practice Questions

In Basket Exercise 1


To: Human Resource Manager

"I would like to file a formal complaint about Andrea Winkler, the clerk in the finance department.

I have recently discovered Ms. Winkler has disclosed personal.

Confidential information of employees from their personal files.

I fear she may offend additional employees and cause damage.

to the organization. I urge you to attend the matter urgently. "


        Mr. McForth

      Head of Internal Marketing


After determining the importance of the document, please choose from the following options the best way to deal with the issue.

1. Send e-mail to John Doughery, accompanied with Nigel McForth’s original e-mail, requesting he attend the matter and update both Mr.McForth and yourself.
2. Write a memo reminding me to talk to Ms. Winkler and responding to Mr. McForth telling him you are dealing with it personally.
3. Call John Dougherty and explain the issue and request he invite Ms. McForth telling him you are dealing with it personally.
4. Send an email to John Dougherty asking him to resolve the issue and update Mr. McForth.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Since the complaint concerns a worker at John Dougherty's department, the correct action would be to transfer the matter to his hands and let Mr. McForth know.


In Basket Exercise 2

Please read the document and rate the urgency at which it should be attended to.

"Dear Jeremy,

I request your permission to go on holiday to the Ritz Spa Resort -

a prize I won as worker of the month. The intended date is 09.03."



Choose the correct anwser:

1. Urgent.
2. Important.
3. Not urgent.  
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Not urgent: This letter is of relatively low urgency as it considers a private matter.

What Does an In-Basket Exercise Measure?

Aside from assessing a candidate's leadership style and ability, the in-basket assessment also measures the following: 

  • Decision-Making.
  • Empowering others.
  • Managing resources.
  • Working with others.
  • Interpreting and processing information.
  • Written communication.
  • Delegation.
  • Problem solving.

Who Uses an In-Basket Exercise?

The test tends to be used for candidates who are already employed and looking to move up professionally (to middle management). Fields in which the in-basket exercise is utilized include the following:

  • US Police Force.
  • US Civil Service.
  • Canada Civil Service.
  • Fire Department.
  • Banks.
  • Recruiters.
  • Accounting.
  • Social services.
  • Supervisors.
  • PwC.

The Process of an In-Basket Test

Assuming the role of a manager at a made-up company, the candidate is given material and information generally found in the inbox of the manager. 

The candidate must respond to the material as though she or he is the manager. Provided with general information about the fictitious company,
the candidate is expected to react in real time to each professional scenario that comes his/her way. 

The candidate is expected to prioritize emails and respond accordingly. He/she is provided with supporting information to assist in responding and in the decision-making process. 

Additionally, the candidate will participate in a role-playing exercise in which an assessor will act as an employee and interact with the candidate.

Start In-Basket Training Now

Our in-basket test practice provides you with three tests, which increase in difficulty, a comprehensive guide, full answer explanations, and solutions. 

Our training support provides you with a gradual learning process, enabling you to arrive with confidence so you can land the job and improve your managerial skills in the future.






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