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A 2020 Guide to Situational Judgement Tests

May 24, 2021
2020 Guide to Situational Judgement Tests

As staying at home becomes the new norm during these strange times, the amount of contact we have with other people has become more limited than we’ve ever known. However, interacting with different people and using your emotional intelligence and ability to work in a team are crucial skills for most employers. So why not use this time to practice these skills through situational judgement tests that’ll help you become interview ready.

What is a situational judgement test?

A situational judgement test (or SJT) will show a series of workplace scenarios in order to assess how you might respond to each one. The tests are popular in interviews and assessment days for both big and small companies as they give a clearer picture of your working style. These tests are a form of psychological aptitude test and use your answers to assess your aptitude for solving issues or challenging situations in a manner in line with the employer’s ethics.

What is the format of a situational judgement test?

The test is normally in multiple choice form, and requires you to use your emotional intelligence to respond to the office based descriptions given. You can show your competence by finding the best response to the situation while making sure it is in line with the values of the company you are interviewing for. There will be a range of different scenarios so employers can see how you would perform in similar situations.

Why do employers use situational judgement tests? Situational judgement tests can be used to see how aligned you are with the values and behaviours of the company you are interviewing for. They test sought after skills, such as communication, commercial awareness and teamwork. This helps employers select the best candidates for a job role, which is likely to be the person who is most aligned to the company.

How can I prepare?

It is really important to do your research on the company and the job description provided as there will be clues to the type of personality which would fit best to the specific employer and role. Make sure you practice situational judgement tests to familiarise yourself with the format of questions and the type of responses required. With practice, you can train yourself to identify patterns in responses and ensure you don't end up only using your sensibility - whilst this is important, you need to remember to apply this to the specific situation given. It is also crucial to familiarise yourself with the company’s and industry’s ethics - for example in a law firm, client confidentiality would be assumed, and regardless of industry, any answer deemed unethical will always be the least likely option.

Make sure you practice the tests in exam-like conditions, using the one question per minute rule - if you are struggling on one question move onto the next one. We recommend reviewing your mistakes straight after answering to help you learn. It is important to read all instructions carefully and take time to identify the problem before answering the question using your own ethics and judgement.

So, whilst we may be interacting with a limited number of people for the time being as we practice social distancing, don’t let these skills go to waste; practice your situational judgement tests while you’ve got the time and you’ll be sure to ace your interview or assessment day.

May 24, 2021

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