situational judgement test.
what is a situational judgement test?
A situational judgement test (SJT) is a type of psychometric test that is part of the assessment process for job applications. It’s used to measure the applicants’ abilities to handle situations they would encounter when carrying out their duties.
why do organisations use situational judgement tests?
There are many reasons why organisations utilise situational judgement tests in their talent acquisition processes. Here are a few:
- The tests provide organisations with an understanding of how candidates are likely to respond to job challenges and the effectiveness of their judgement.
- Employers can better understand the behaviours and judgement of the applicants to see if they’re a good fit for the position.
- Situational judgement tests can reduce turnover by equipping the applicant, if hired, with insight into the roles, decisions, and organisational culture.
- The organisations that use these tests can meet diversity and inclusion requirements, as the tests are less skewed against candidates from minority backgrounds compared to other types of aptitude tests.
- They can be used as an effective filter when employers receive a high volume of applicants with similar qualifications.
Organisations can use situational judgement tests alongside other tests, such as e-tray and Watson Glaser tests to assess soft skills.
how do situational judgement tests work?
Situational judgement tests are part of the assessment, so they’re given on the same day as the assessment. They are typically administered via computer, but in rare cases, can be in print form. They vary depending on the organisation and the position, but can be in the form of videos, pictures, text, or a combination of the three.
The tests involve considering a hypothetical workplace scenario and then selecting the best response for the scenario. The applicant is presented with several descriptions of workplace situations or problems, then asked to pick the best response. Some of the response types in situational judgement tests are:
- What the applicant would be most or least likely to do
- The best and worst responses among a series of choices
- The second-best response among multiple options
- The likely outcome of the situation
From the given responses, the organisation can assess an applicant’s character traits and judgement to see if they’re the best fit for the role.
what do situational judgement tests measure?
SJTs measure specific sets of applicants’ competencies. Competencies can be described as personality traits, abilities, and skills that contribute to excellent job performance. The competencies being measured vary with the job and organisation, so different roles test different competencies. A comprehensive job description typically highlights these competencies.
Entry-level or graduate-level competencies are related to managing oneself, not other people. Some of them include:
- Communication and negotiation
- Drive and motivation
- Planning and organisation
- Decision-making and analysis
- Interpersonal skills
These competencies include the above, plus those related to managing other people, such as:
- Managing objectives and tasks
- Analytical thinking
- Decision-making skills.
Individual-level competencies are used when the organisation is looking to fill a customer service or administrative position. They include:
- Stress management
- Planning and organising
- Customer understanding
- Achieving results
- Influencing others
The situational judgement test questions assess these competencies depending on the role.
how to a create situational judgement test.
1. conduct a role analysis
The first step when creating SJTs is conducting a job analysis in order to collect relevant information regarding the position you intend to fill. The job analysis involves studying the responsibilities required for the post and the working conditions needed to develop high-quality performers. This information will enable you to create scenarios of the test with your organisation’s distinctive challenges and suitable behavioural responses.
2. create test questions
Using your job analysis insights, you can then come up with a test designed to assess how applicants would handle situations they could encounter in the job they’re applying for. Each question should present a scenario and a series of answers. The applicants should choose the most appropriate response to the question from the answers.
Let’s look at an example:
All of the interns in the organisation are given brand new tablets, except for you. Which of these reactions is most appropriate in this scenario?
- Complain to the other interns that your supervisor is not treating you fairly.
- Go straight to your boss and file a complaint against your supervisor.
- Assume that the mistake was not deliberate and request a new tablet.
- Quit your internship and look for a job elsewhere.
3. devise a scoring system
After coming up with a series of questions and answers, the next step is to create the scoring key that the situational judgement test will be measured against. You can ask role experts, HR leaders, and high-performing employees to review the questions and give the most appropriate answers to each scenario. Their pragmatic input can confirm which responses are the most appropriate.
format of situational judgement tests.
Situational judgement tests can either be linear or interactive.
- Linear tests are those in which all the applicants are presented with the same questions, which follow the same order. They can be administered via the computer or on paper.
- Interactive tests may start with the same situation or scenario, with the subsequent situations and scenarios varying based on how applicants responded. Each response leads to a different scenario, so most applicants don’t answer the same questions. They are only administered via computer.
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Situational judgement tests enable organisations to gauge personality traits, abilities, and skills to find the perfect fit for a role.
But they aren’t the only way employers can sift through a large volume of applications to get the best hire. Employers can also take advantage of an applicant tracking system (ATS) - software that allows you to find, engage, recruit, and hire qualified candidates faster. It also lowers costs and improves hiring efficiency.
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