E-tray exercise

The realistic task for your HR diagnostics


Our CC.BOX is one of the classic exercises in the assessment center. The PC-version being an objective and economical method is especially well suited for today's working realities. For test-takers, the acceptance rate is equal to the rate of the pen and paper equivalent.

The CC.BOX e-tray exercises have been used successfully in aptitude tests for selecting staff, and for personnel development and training.



In our e-tray exercises, we use the same design principles as those used in intelligence and personality tests. By adapting the different types of tasks to the context of the e-tray exercise, they blend seamlessly into the cover story of the e-tray exercise and combine the advantages of a typical working environment with elements of classical psycho-diagnostic test procedures.

Sample task: Within the e-tray exercise, an advertisement for a job should be created and proofread on behalf of a colleague. Can you find all of the errors in this editing task?

  • You will carry out the planning and the implememtation of complex web applications for our customers independently.
  • With us, you will develop online portals base on common programming techniques such as PHP, CSS, HTML, MySQL, and JavaScript
  • You are a knowledgable point of contact for our internal departments
  • Within the team you will also maximise our existing proces structures and work on open source projects



Scientific findings

The IT mailbox is a scientifically well-researched diagnostic tool. Nevertheless, strictly speaking, it is not a highly standardised psycho-diagnostic test, because its contents are mainly adapted to target groups, contexts, and other conditions, and there are rarely any comprehensive norm groups. This supposed disadvantage is in fact a significant advantage.

Compared to other communicative assessment center exercises, the e-tray exercise is influenced more strongly by cognition. The classic "AC-achiever" - an eloquent, confident and extroverted candidate - cannot profit from the halo effect of his or her charisma. According to a study by Bormann (1982), the in-tray exercise, as an element in the assessment center, is even negatively correlated with the two variables "first impression" and "physical attractiveness". In conclusion, the e-tray exercise makes a unique contribution to competence assessment, which extends beyond the validity of other AC exercises. Thus, various studies have shown that the in-tray exercise is an important factor for incremental validity of the assessment center (See, Lieberei & Musch, 1997; Neidig, Martin & Yates, 1978).

In addition to a high face and content validity, which helps the instrument to be accepted by the participants, the predictive validity of the in-tray exercise is particularly well established (See, Funke & Krüger, 1995; Scharley & Partners, 1991; Brass & Oldham, 1976). In another separate study (Srbeny, 2008), among other aspects, CREWS & CAPTAINS GmbH has demonstrated high correlations of the in-tray exercise with intelligence tests (r = .5), which in turn are highly correlated with career success. Furthermore, we evaluate our in-tray exercises regularly as part of our internal quality management procedure.

With regard to additional psychometric properties, the e-tray exercises, which have been subjected to research, have also shown good results. The standardised, observer-independent approach allows for a high level of objectivity in terms of testing and scoring, which also positively affects the reliability of the instrument. With values ​​of r > .8, most studies confirm the high internal consistency of the e-tray exercise (See, Lieberei & Musch, 2001; Shippmann, Prien & Katz, 1990).

Should you wish to delve deeper into the benefits of improved HR diagnostics, then you can calculate the success rate of your selection methods with our computer based implementation of the Taylor-Russell table (for further information, see Wikipedia). We are happy to assist you with this.

Have we awoken your curiousity?

Would you like to try CC.BOX? Do you have any questions?

Contact us!