Situational Judgement Tests

Situational judgement tests assess how you deal with scenarios and challenges that come up in the workplace.

  • What are situational judgement tests?

    A situational judgement test, commonly referred to as an SJT, is a form of psychometric test used by employers during recruitment to learn more about each applicant's character.

    SJTs are based on speculative workplace scenarios. Each test will be focused on the particular job you're applying for, but all will invite you to complete a series of multiple-choice questions.

    You'll be required to read the scenario-based question quickly and carefully. Then you will have to select what you believe to be the best solution to the issue out of several possible answers.

    You can't fail an SJT, as judgement is subjective. However, the recruiting team will analyse your answers. Pulling key insights into your aptitude for the role including communication skills, team working, relationship building, and commercial awareness. For leadership roles, SJTs may even measure your vision for strategy and long-term planning.

    As all SJTs are role or sector-specific, it will also give you as an applicant the opportunity to understand some of the situations you would face in the role, which might be invaluable to someone just starting a new career.

  • Why do employers use situational judgement tests?

    Situational judgement tests are used by recruiters to identify the most suitable candidates for a role receiving a high volume of applicants, or where interpersonal skills are of the utmost importance to the role.

    SJTs are used by all different sectors from law and finance to high street retailers. Each employer will have bespoke tests that align with their companies values and behavioural expectations. SJTs are designed to capture how naturally you would fit into an organisation on a macro scale and perform daily duties on a micro-scale.

    Situational judgement tests are especially good at assessing soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills which cannot be truly reflected in a resume. SJTs are often taken online and alongside other psychometric tests to get a holistic view of your aptitude for the role.

  • How do situational judgement tests work?

    Though most employers will have customised SJTs, there are commonalities across all of them which you can familiarise yourself with to prepare.

    SJTs are multiple-choice tests that are occasionally timed. You will be asked to respond to 25-50 workplace scenarios using the set of answers provided for each one. We encourage you to work instinctively as opposed to how you think the company would want you to respond - as this is supposed to give an honest insight into your character.

    You will most likely be asked to do one of two things: select the least or most effective response listed or rank options. Beware of clearly unethical, politically driven and passive responses, as these are never the right choice to make. You receive one mark for each correct response.

  • What skills do you need for situational judgment tests?

    SJTs measure a broad range of skills that offer insight into a candidate's character. They tend to be soft skill focussed, and what a particular test may be trying to extract will depend on the company at any level of the position you're applying for.

    Desirable entry-level skills would include the ability to work in a team and build positive relationships, good communication and an organised approach to work. However, senior leadership roles would also call for a demonstrated ability to influence and motivate people, negotiate and think strategically.

    The test questions will always be framed as commonplace work scenarios, enabling you to show your potential employer how you're likely to react to challenging everyday issues. The best way to show up confidently on the day is to use practise tests to familiarise yourself with likely examples and the format.

  • How best to prepare for a situational judgement test

    There are several things you can do to feel prepared for your upcoming situational judgement test. Though the test content itself isn't something that can be revised - you can start by researching and understanding the company you've applied to work for. The employer will have based their situational judgement test questions around their mission and values, responding to situations with their approach in mind will always be of benefit.

    Understanding the role you have applied for will also help you when taking your SJT. Having a clear understanding of what skills and characteristics the test is measuring you on will help you contextualise the scenario and land on the correct response. But most of all, we recommend undergoing as many practice situational judgement tests as possible.

    These will prepare you for the format of the test and questions and analysing the results will highlight where you're unsure what the best call would be. You can use this information to strengthen your confidence and research the companies preferred response to these particular scenarios.

  • Effective test-taking strategies

    Along with the steps we've just mentioned, there are additional strategies you can employ to maximise your impact when taking an SJT.

    Firstly, you can ask your recruiter what test provider is used, this enables you to take specific practice tests - or at the very least research what makes that provider's test style unique so that you are prepared for any differences.

    We advise revising expected values, this includes those of the company, but what would also be legally right or wrong. Matters such as client confidentiality and GDPR are not to be led by casual judgement and can be researched ahead of time.

    Lastly, you can gain knowledge of how others have previously found the recruitment process and specific tests. Websites such as Glassdoor offer an opportunity to anonymously share your experience interviewing and working for a company. Take the responses on here with a pinch of salt, but see if you can uncover specific guidance on what to prepare.

  • SJT Tests Tips

    Let's pull together the top tips for gliding through your situational judgement test.

    1. Research company values

    This is going to be the most illuminating preparation you can take. Getting to know the company that you are applying to work for and the type of people they hire will help you to respond with their ideas in mind.

    Reading press releases, external communications, mission statements and values will all support your research.

    2. Answer with ethics in mind

    During SJTs, ethics will always come into play. A company may give the impression that they are laid back about rules and regulations, but there are universal standards to be met when dealing with people, personal information and confidential material.

    Be sure to familiarise yourself with basic employment law and GDPR rules for the more technical scenarios and always be inclusive and compassionate in people-led scenarios.

    3. Practice tests

    This really is the best way to step into your situational judgement test feeling calm and confident. Practice tests prepare you for a multitude of workplace scenarios you might not have been able to think up yourself. The results give you an insight into where your judgement waivers and allows you the opportunity to strengthen that ahead of the actual test.

    4. Be time conscious

    Though most situational judgement tests are not timed, you don't want to dwell on questions for too long. Remember, all the information you need to answer the question is given, so remain in the context that is given and refrain from letting your mind wander to unknown variables.

    You want to demonstrate a confident and considered approach to your decision making. Spending too much time on your answers would convey undesirable uncertainty to recruiters.

    5. It's okay to guess

    It's likely you won't be 100% certain of every single answer, in this case - be confident and go with your gut. Always answer the question, as you might guess right and gain a few points you wouldn't have had by skipping the question.

Sample Situational Judgement Tests question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

You are assigned a task that is outside of your job description and you're not sure how to complete it. What do you do?

  • Decline the task, citing that it's not part of your job responsibilities.
  • Attempt to complete the task on your own, even if it means the quality might suffer.
  • Ask for clarification and guidance on how to execute the task effectively.
  • Outsource the task to someone else without notifying your manager.

You are a team leader and notice two of your team members are in a heated debate that's disrupting the work environment. What is your first course of action?

  • Allow them to resolve their issues without intervention to foster independence.
  • Separate the team members and speak with them individually to understand the issue.
  • Ignore the situation as it is not work-related and you value personal privacy.
  • Send an email to the entire team about the importance of professionalism without addressing the individuals directly.

During a project meeting, your manager proposes a plan that you believe is flawed. How do you respond?

  • Stay silent, assuming that your manager knows best.
  • Directly state that the manager's plan is flawed during the meeting.
  • Privately share your concerns with the manager after the meeting, providing constructive feedback.
  • Write an anonymous note to the manager criticizing the plan.

A client is upset with the quality of the product they received and sends an aggressive email. How do you handle this situation?

  • Reply with equally strong language to stand by your company's product.
  • Ignore the email hoping the client will calm down on their own.
  • Call the client to discuss and resolve their concerns directly.
  • Forward the email to your supervisor and avoid personal handling of the situation.

You find a colleague's work report on the printer which contains several errors. Your colleague is out of the office. What do you do?

  • Correct the errors yourself and submit the report to avoid any delay.
  • Discard the report so your colleague can start fresh when they return.
  • Keep the report on your colleague's desk with a note pointing out the errors.
  • Take the report directly to your supervisor to discuss the rate of errors in your colleague's work.

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With Psychometric Tests, I was able to prepare for the interview process efficiently, clearly and at my own pace.

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Situational Judgement Tests Tips

Understand the Context

Before you dive into situational judgement tests, take a moment to understand the type of scenarios these tests present. They often mimic real-life workplace situations, and you're evaluated based on how align your decision-making is with the company's values and culture. Review the job description and core company values to get your mindset in the right place before tackling these questions.

Think Like an Employee

Imagine yourself in the role you're applying for and consider the responsibilities and typical daily tasks. This will help you choose the most appropriate actions when responding to situational questions. Remember, it's not just about what you would do, but what the most effective employee would do in that situation.

Don't Rush Your Responses

While it's important to manage your time efficiently, don't rush through the test. Situational judgement tests are designed to measure your thoughtful consideration of each scenario. Read each situation carefully and think about the implications of your decisions before selecting an answer.

Practice Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is key in situational judgement tests. You'll need to analyze information, identify key points, and deduce the best course of action. You can hone these skills by practicing with sample questions from Psychometric Tests and discussing different approaches to these hypothetical scenarios with friends or mentors.

Stay Calm and Positive

Test anxiety can affect your performance. Approach your practice exams with a positive mindset, and use techniques like deep breathing or positive affirmations to stay calm. A clear head will help you interpret situations accurately and select the most effective responses.

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Situational Judgement Tests FAQs

How are situational judgement tests scored?

Every answer will be grouped depending on the skill being tested. Then, the combined score for each skillset is compared to the answers of a normative group - people who have already proven they have what it takes to succeed in the role.

What are situational judgement tests used for?

The test is another way for employers to learn more about the people they’re hiring. Situational judgement tests in particular aid this, as all of the questions mirror workplace dilemmas and problems that come up a lot - every answer you give helps an employer to get a clearer idea of the type of person you are and how well suited you are to the job you’re applying for.

What do situational judgement tests involve?

You’ll have to answer multiple questions, each one testing how you respond to challenges that come up a lot in the public sector. The test is multiple choice, so you’ll have to choose the answer you think is most appropriate from a few potentials.

What do situational judgement tests measure?

The tests measure everything from your problem solving abilities and communication style, to commercial awareness and relationship building skills.

Where can I practice situational judgement tests?

At Practice Aptitude Tests you can practice situational judgement tests. There’s also handy tips and tricks from the experts that’ll help you work through the test questions.

Which employers use situational judgement tests?

Situational judgement tests are probably the most popular aptitude test used by employers. Public sector employers often utilise the test as part of the hiring process as they know they’ll get to scrutinise each candidate's strengths and weaknesses in more detail.

Reviews

What our customers say about our Situational Judgement Tests

  • Burundi

    November 03, 2023

    To reflect on the good answer to the scenario

    I liked the way the questions are given and it help the person who is passing the Test to take of reflection. Those scenarios makes the respondent to be more attentive.

  • South Africa

    November 03, 2023

    Challenging

    Most option seems right, you just have to think according to the situation and leave your own thoughts out of it.

  • United Kingdom

    November 03, 2023

    Amazing

    It put me in a position where I had to think about the many different outcomes that my responses would lead to

  • New Zealand

    November 03, 2023

    Great Questions!

    The diverse range of situations and actions really tested through my adaptability and thinking process

  • Nigeria

    November 03, 2023

    Cool I love it

    The test is okay by me and puts me in a virtual mental space of how I will react when such arises in the future

  • Australia

    November 03, 2023

    How to deal with customers

    When no one is in the wrong, finding a solution to fix both issues is a skill that can be very useful in the work environment.

  • United Kingdom

    November 03, 2023

    Straightforward

    Basic questions. Good logic means you'll hit the right answer. Could have done with more questions.

  • United States of America

    November 03, 2023

    Interesting

    The scenarios in the quiz are interesting and it causes your mind to think of multiple problem solving options.

  • India

    April 01, 2024

    Review and Suggestion

    I like the various scenarios the test provides. It's clear and concise with real-life possibilities. One suggestion: kindly add a few more tests to the free trials.

  • United Kingdom

    April 01, 2024

    Tricky questions

    I like the way the questions are set up to help push your reasoning about choosing to best responses