Situational Judgement Tests

Situational Judgement tests assess how a candidate approaches various scenarios in the workplace. These tests are designed to assess a candidate's response to typical workplace scenarios.

  • What are situational judgement aptitude tests?

    Situational judgement tests use hypothetical workplace scenarios to assess how candidates think and act. The way in which someone answers can be a good indicator of their ethics, morals and values, and how well aligned they are to those of the hiring company.

    Situational judgement tests can be adapted to suit the specific company or industry to create a really bespoke test that helps employers determine which person or people seem like a good fit. Some situational judgement tests can also measure specific soft skills, such as leadership, accountability and time management.

    The most common format of the test involves several different scenarios with an accompanying set of multiple-choice responses. Candidates will be asked to read through each statement and then either select the response that most aligns with their own, or rank all of the responses accordingly.

    The test is useful for employers as it gives additional insight into how a candidate may think and act in the workplace. It can also be really helpful when trying to differentiate between people who appear similar on paper.

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  • What do situational judgement tests measure?

    Situational judgement tests measure a candidate's responses to various workplace challenges. They help employers and recruiters get a better idea of how well their morals, ethics, values and ideals marry up with the company and role they're applying for.

    The test can be adapted for the specific role, but questions tend to focus on common work challenges, difficult decisions, prioritisation and value alignment.

    Employers may wish to hone in on particular challenges or issues within the company when setting the questions as this offers a unique opportunity to see how candidates react instinctively to scenarios that may become their everyday reality.

    There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers exactly, but certainly, there will be answers that better align with the overall vision or mission of the company.

Sample Situational Judgement Tests question

Read the passage and select the most effective and least effective actions to take in response to the situation.

  • Explain to him that there are many cash machines in the area he is visiting and and offer to order limited currency for the initial part of his trip.

  • Accept that he is unlikely to want to use cash machines and use that as an opportunity to explain some of the other options that are available to him.

  • Ask him what he has done in the past when travelling abroad and explain that if he would like, you could explain to him what other options are available.

  • Tell him that the holiday sounds great then explain the process for ordering foreign currency from the bank and ask him how much he would like to order.

What employers use situational judgement tests and why?

Situational judgement tests are used by a wide range of employers as they can be adapted for any role or business. It's therefore common to see situational judgement tests (or SJTs as they're sometimes known) set in roles as diverse as HR and finance, or engineering and marketing.

The test also allows employers a unique chance to screen candidates for issues that may be affecting the company in real time. Responses can then be used, alongside any additional tasks and interviews, to help build a clearer picture of an individual and how they might fit in.

situational judgement test

What are the benefits of using situational judgement tests in your hiring process?

It's valuable to use aptitude tests or assessments early on in the recruitment process as a means of screening candidates. This can help you make better decisions on the candidates you take forward to interview, which in turn means less time and money spent.

Tests such as these can also help remove bias and make the recruitment process fairer by ensuring employers and recruiters are making decisions based on data rather than on how a candidate appears on a resume or acts in person.

With the situational judgement test, candidates should be reminded to answer honestly as their responses can be used in follow-up interview questions.

This test in particular can be really helpful for employers as it can be adapted to help you determine whether an individual will answer to a particular need, get on well with team members or support areas of the business that may be lacking.

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Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Situational Judgement Tests expert

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Developed by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians, our assessments provide reliable, valid and impartial results. They strictly follow industry best practices and stay on the leading edge of innovations to have job seekers' unique profiles, abilities and knowledge accurately evaluated while minimising bias. They draw on years of research and cutting-edge predictive analytics to create assessments that provide valuable insights into performance, retention, culture fit and more.

FAQs

Can candidates prepare for a situational judgement test?

Candidates should be asked to answer the questions honestly as it's important for everyone that the right person is hired for the role. However, candidates may wish to look into the values, objectives and mission of the company they're applying for to get a better sense of whether they're likely to be a good fit.

How are situational judgement tests scored?

There are technically no 'right' or 'wrong' answers. But employers will have certain traits they're looking for which will help them determine if a candidate is likely to be a good fit.

Are these tests available in my plan?

We have a range of plans available. The difference between the plans is the number of test attempts permitted, not the type of tests. All our plans include our full test suite comprising all tests and all levels.

Can I see what the test is like?

Yes, of course. You can see a free example of the situational judgement test here.

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Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA

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