Situational Judgement Tests: The Basics

quiz-1373314_960_720A situational judgement test (SJT) forms part of the recruitment process for many graduate schemes. From an employer’s perspective, they are an efficient way to sift through high volumes of candidates. Candidates are presented with a series of  work-related scenarios and need to choose which solution or action is the most effective from a series of options provided.

The task could include:

~ ranking a list of 4 or 5 responses in order of merit

~ choosing the best answer from several possibilities

~ deciding on the most effective and least effective answers

These tests are tailored to individual employers to reflect situations relevant to the job and look for the characteristics important to them. They measure your ability to make the right decision in a difficult situation and scenarios could range from ethical dilemmas to difficulties with workload, colleagues or clients.

See WikiJob for some example questions, with explanations for each answer. For some detailed information about each question type and what they look like, see this excellent resource from Assessment Day. You can also find a free situational judgement test to practise.

When you are choosing your response:

  • Think about the qualities and skills the employer has said they are looking for. Which response demonstrates these?
  • Make sure you read each response carefully before choosing, so that you have understood the full information. Don’t panic and rush into answering.
  • Think about the long term consequences of each of the actions. Which would lead to the best outcomes for the organisation in the long run?
  • Consider how actions would affect different stakeholders, and which stakeholders are most important. For example, if you have to let someone down or miss a deadline, it is probably better to let a colleague down than a client.

Where can you practise?

It’s important to remember that, whilst these practice tests are a great way to understand what to expect when taking the real thing, these tests are designed so that there is little you can do to prepare!

For further information on SJTs and other psychometric tests, see the Knowledge Bank on QMPlus.

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