Assessment

How to get the most from situational judgement tests

Ettie Holland By Ettie Holland on 23.01.2020
Graduate programme-blueprint

How to get the most from situational judgement tests

Situational judgement tests are an assessment tool that assesses candidates’ professional judgement, behaviour and skills through a relevant business scenario.

The businesses that see value typically:

  • Recruit at volume
  • Have strict hiring criteria
  • Hire for structured, repeating contexts
  • Hire graduates or entry-level roles

Read When should you use situational judgement tests? to find out more.

In this short article, we’ll share three tips to help you get the most from SJTs.

1 – Use bespoke scenarios

Situational judgement tests are valuable because they allow you to assess candidates’ performance within your business environment. That is, they will enable you to test ‘environment fit’, so you get a complete picture of future performance.

You won’t realise these benefits unless you create bespoke scenarios tailored to your own environment.

You’ll most likely approach a specialist company to create SJTs for you (we can recommend a couple if you’re not sure), but if not, you could draw up your own scenarios relatively fast. Work closely with hiring managers and operational leaders to pull out real-world examples for inspiration.

2 – Use multi-media

The more you can bring your hypothetical scenario to life, the more compelling it’ll be – and the richer the impression of the candidate you’ll get. And the more accurate your subsequent hiring decisions will be.

To that end, the best situational judgement tests use multi-media to recreate a scenario that feels as real as possible.

Say you’re assessing for disaster response skills, for example. You might use a video showing an unfolding disaster, then ask candidates to rank the risks they saw and prioritise their subsequent responses. That would be much closer to a real-world disaster experience than a written example.

Or say you’re hiring into a customer service role. You might include a call recording of an irate customer, then question the candidate’s on how they’d handle the situation. Only real audio could capture the nuance you’d need customer service reps to hear and respond to, to be most effective in their role.

3 – Combine with other assessment tools

Situational judgement tests aren’t standalone. You can, and should, use them to frame the questions for your video or telephone interviews, to whittle down the candidate pool. Then you’d typically hold assessment days or face-to-face interviews.

Many employers use SJTs in tandem with other psychometric and aptitude tests, to give a complete picture of job suitability. For instance, you might combine situational judgement tests with numerical and reasoning tests and an in-tray test.

If you’re not sure exactly which mix of formats to use, keep your eye on our blog because we’re creating a short series like this for every assessment tool. In the meantime, we’re happy to share our experience of what works best in your sector or industry.

Situational judgement tests can be an invaluable tool for recruiters, especially if you recruit at scale. Follow these three tips to make sure you get the most from SJTs within your recruitment processes.

Tazio help employers recruit, hire and engage their people more effectively, with greater certainty.

We’re always happy to have an informal chat and offer a fresh perspective that could improve your recruitment processes or overcome any bottlenecks – let’s talk?

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