Situational Judgement Test Practice

In our opinion this is the best page you will find for situational judgement test practice resources. Plus, of course, all of our practice resources are free!

Situational Judgement Test Practice 

Situational judgment test introduction

In our opinion, situational judgment test presents realistic scenarios similar to those that would be encountered when doing a particular job. By using real life scenarios, the idea is that employers will get a better understanding of how you might operate in the work place.

These measure those skills of judgment and evaluation which are vital to any managerial role. Role-specific competencies will be measured, typically customer service, communication and teamwork.

Note, that this other important competencies will depend upon the sector or level of role the manager is applying for.

Think in advance of the highest priority criteria: which could be commercial awareness, planning/organising, maintaining an ethical approach.

Note, that this is important since when you are presented with an SJT scenario you must “judge” the Best and Worst response to that scenario within that specific work context.

Situational judgment tips

Firstly, identify which 3-4 factors need to be considered in your decision-making. For example: time, money and quality impact upon many business decisions.

Secondly, judge the Best response to be the one that addresses all these factors. It’s advisable to answer as the most ethical employee.

In our opinion, firstly if two of the answer options are very similar then it’s unlikely that either one is the Best or Worst answer. For example, a short-term fix to the SJT scenario would only be half-right.

In our opinion, secondly you need to select an answer option with a longer-term, vcomplete solution.

More Free Psychometric Test Practice

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Situational judgment test examples 

You have two very important deadlines to meet by the end of your working day. However it is becoming clear in your final two hours of working that you are in danger of missing both deadlines?

You are then asked to select your most preferred and least preferred responses:

(a) Work out what’s left to do and then prioritise the critical tasks for the time remaining.

(b) Focus on still doing a quality job even if you must miss a deadline.

(c) Speed up your remaining tasks so that you will still be able to meet both deadlines.

(d) Aim to achieve one deadline and to renegotiate the delivery date for the other.

In this instance, the best response is (a) Work out what’s left to do and then prioritise the critical tasks for the time remaining. The worst response is (b) Focus on still doing a quality job even if you must miss a deadline. The best outcome is to meet the deadline after making a considered judgement call. Missing the important deadline is the worst outcome. 

Situational judgment test examples Part II

Commonly featured as a graduate recruitment sift, along with numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests, the SJT has several advantages:

  • SJTs are a highly effective means of measuring an applicant’s competency behaviours – i.e., the characteristics that determine how they behave in certain areas.
  • SJTs are a fair test of how the candidate would solve a job’s daily challenges.
  • SJT questions can be designed around a specific role. Because SJTs are bespoke, candidates rate them highly as a valid application stage. In fact, there is a type of SJT called a realistic job preview which is used solely to give job applicants a realistic preview of a role.

Situational judgment test examples Part III

If you have a job description or a detailed job advert this will probably tell you some, or all, of the role’s competency behaviours. These are the abilities and skills you need to demonstrate when completing the SJT.

Situational judgment tests typically measure problem solving skills, team working, leadership/managerial abilities and, if applicable, customer service skills. Employers are looking for someone who has the necessary job characteristics and skills.

You’ve a couple of key deadlines to finish by close of play. It’s 4pm now and you could easily miss both deadlines?

What’s your Most Preferred and Your Least Preferred action to take next?

(a) Work out what’s left to do and then prioritise the critical tasks for the time remaining.

(b) Focus on still doing a quality job even if you must miss a deadline.

(c) Speed up your remaining tasks so that you will still be able to meet both deadlines.

(d) Aim to achieve one deadline and to renegotiate the delivery date for the second one.

Situational Judgement Test Explained Answer:

Your Most Suitable response should have been:

Work out what’s left to do and then prioritise the critical tasks for the time remaining. Since the best outcome is to meet the deadline after making a considered judgement call. Whereas, missing any key deadline must be the worst overall outcome.

Your Least Suitable response should have been:

Focus on still doing a quality job even if you must miss a deadline. 

Passing situational judgement tests

  • Each SJT scenario will measure one of these competencies based on both the best and worst answers, so focus on getting both correct. You won’t need to get every question right, however scoring low on any given competency will detract from your overall SJT score.
  • Each SJT scenario requires you to make an effective judgment. This will involve prioritising which aspects of the scenario are most important to fix first. Identifying and addressing this vital element of each scenario is the key to passing a situational judgment test. Any answer option that does not move the scenario situation forward will not be the correct “Best” action to take. The “Worst” answer option will be one that makes the situation even worse.
  • While several answer options may seem like a sufficient solution in the short-term, you shouldn’t be looking for a quick and easy stop-gap solution. The “Best” solution will always be the one that actually solves the problem. You need to identify a medium- to long-term solution that has lasting benefits.

Passing situational judgement tests Part II

  • Be your most ethical self when taking an SJT. Any answer option that is slightly unethical or dishonest to anyone involved will not be the correct answer. Look for the most virtuous answer if there is one – demonstrating respect for others, integrity and conscientiousness.
  • Logically, the “Best” and “Worst” answers need to be distinct from the other answer options. Check if two answer options seem very similar to you. Tt’s likely these are the “distractor” answer options and neither the best – or the worst – answer.

– See more at: What you need to know about situational judgement tests

Example taxi driver Uber situational judgement test

It’s early morning and you are chatting with your colleague drivers. A colleague jokes they were out late at a party and feel a bit shaky this morning. Do you…?

a) Report your colleague to the authorities

b) Advise your colleague to drive carefully

c) Stop your colleague from getting into their cab

Police situational judgement test practice

The manager of a large luxury clothing store is compleining to you about the large amount of theft from teenagers. This is the third time today you’ve been in this situation. Should you…?

a) Empathise with the manager and offer your help

b) Explain that now the police are involved, the thieves will be caught

c) Point out that other stores have similar problems

Example Civil Service situational judgement test practice 

You’ve been leading your project team on a very challenging project for six months. For the second time this week, one of your closest colleagues has asked to speak to you privately. He says that he’s suffering from stress after finding the project commitments exhausting.

a) Explain his role responsibilities

b) Offer to make changes to his job role

c) Suggest that he goes to see a doctor

Example Fire Service situational judgement test practice

You’re attending a traffic accident when you are approached by an onlooker. They say they’d like to help and ask you what has happened. Would you…?

a) Insist they step aside and allow you to do your job

b) Request that they stick close behind you

c) Promise that you will get back to them later

Example Fire Service SJT item II

You are at a meeting with your fellow managers discussing an incident which took place a couple of days ago. Although the incident was well handled, you have some concerns about the new procedures that have been introduced. Even though you feel you briefed your team on the new procedures they seemed to have difficulty knowing what to do at crucial times during the incident.

You should practise situational judgment test questions like this

Practising psychometric test questions is known to significantly improve your chances of passing a verbal reasoning test. Try to squeeze in as much advance practice as possible so you can to improve your confidence and keep a clear head on the day. Continually review what you have learnt from practice situational judgement test sessions so that you use your time most effectively.

When should I do my situational judgement test practise?

First think about how much time you can spare for practising situational judgement test questions. Then set aside the time so you can conduct as many practice situational judgement test sessions as possible over a period of several weeks or months. Set aside a particular time of day or week when your mind is most alert. You will improve your SJT performance the most if you undertake several practice sessions instead of one big one. At first it may seem as if you are only making small gains, but these small gains will soon add up to improved situational judgement test-taking skills.

You need this much situational judgment test practice

That depends on why you are taking the test and your current skill level. Your situational judgement test may be a key to a new job or a new stage in your life. It’s always worth maximising your situational judgement test practice opportunities when your future is at stake.

Where should I start my situational judgement test practice?

If you don’t already know exactly what type of situational judgement test you will be taking, you should find out as your first step. Knowing what to expect on your test day will give you a big advantage, so learn as much as you can about the test you are going to take. Your recruiting organisation may send you practice situational judgement test examples in advance of your SJT. This may be in the form of sample situational judgement test questions, either online or in printed format. The information should also outline why the test is being used in the process and – most importantly – the exact nature of the test that you will be taking on the day.

This situational judgement test practice opportunity levels the playing field and gives everyone a fair chance – particularly important for people who have not taken a situational judgement test before.

It’s a great idea to call your prospective employer and ask for information regarding the situational judgement test you are going to complete.

Stretch yourself when practising situational judgement tests

This might seem like a quick win, but it isn’t. It will save you the time needed to work your way through the questions but it won’t improve your situational judgement skills.

SJT design

                  I.           Match to job competencies

You can buy off-the-shelf SJTs which cater to your industry or which are specific to a function such as sales. However, you then lose that one bit of magic that really makes an SJT special. This is that each question can be crafted to assess critical role behaviours. Having role competencies at your disposal, better yet behavioural indicators is helpful in scenario design. Although…

                II.           Conduct a range of job analyses

You should run critical incidents role analysis to capture all the critical behaviours: defined as those that lead to successful or unsuccessful workplace outcomes. For example, a happy or an unhappy customer interaction. With, or without, a set of up-to-date competencies for your role, you must schedule as many role analysis sessions at the start of your design process as time (and money!) will allow.

If there are national – or international – role differences then it’s vital, particularly in the US, to document how your job analysis plan captures representative sample(s) for each role being assessed. Logistical pros and cons will certainly dictate the balance of role analysis formats you adopt. I usually recommend a blend of face-to-face strategic interviews with senior stakeholders; a telephone-based approach for job incumbents, but running separate focus groups for their line and regional managers.

            III.           Probe interviewees (for a range of options)

A few people in your sample will provide most of the information you need. Simply must include the obligatory Pareto Law quote here and say it’s exactly 80% of what you need. Take your time and probe these individuals carefully, going beyond the critical scenarios to explore possible correct and incorrect responses to that situation. Ideally also what a less experienced colleague may do in that situation. Then voila, your interviewee has written the SJT question for you!

             IV.           Follow the “Rules of Item Writing”

More seriously there’s lots of “rules” to writing clear and concise SJT scenarios and answer options. Too many to cover here in detail. Suffice to say that for each broken item writing rule, your SJT’s validity will suffer that little bit more.

               V.           Score both answers

When designing the scoring key/format, my preference is usually to score both the Most and the Least answers chosen. This has always worked well in terms of variance and final item selection.

              VI.           Include an SME Trial

A subject-matter expert (SME) review is vital. It must be done pre-trial so that any unsuitable scenarios are discredited before any valuable trial time is wasted on them. Do schedule in your own editorial time since you need to prepare a finessed Role Incumbent Trial version next.

Aim for 15+ subject matter experts from across the business who have different selection, managing and developing responsibilities for the role being assessed. You can sell this process to senior managers as “the real role experts”, thereby enhancing their engagement in your entire SJT design project!

           VII.            Check scenario realism

Your trial phase gives you the opportunity to get respondents to rate how realistic the scenario/answer options are. This is invaluable at the trial data analysis phase.

         VIII.           Maximise trial numbers

Aim for 300 current role incumbents to trial your SJT. Do extend the trial period if necessary to achieve this. However, such a high number is needed to ensure that you have sufficient numbers within each subgroup (for your equal opportunities analysis).

             IX.            Validate

To set accurate cut-off scores, it’s advisable to have collected a form of criterion validity evidence. You are likely to have two samples: your trial group and your validation sample. If the world was a fair place these two would have the same subjects in. In reality, they don’t, and you need to focus on those trial participants for whom you also have job performance data.

                X.           Updated norm group

My final, key lesson is to use an enhanced norm group as soon as you can, ideally from the start. Once you have sufficient numbers of “live applicants” this is the best norm group to use and any cut-off/equal opportunities analysis can be adjusted accordingly.