Situational Judgment Test (SJT)

Learn more about Situational Judgment Tests, how they are used, and the differences between the most popular SJT tests created by different publishers and used by companies around the world.

What Is a Situational Judgment Test?

The situational judgment test is a test that examines the candidate's ability to handle different situations they would likely encounter in the position for which he or she is applying. This is a very adaptable test and can evaluate candidates on different criteria, depending on the company's values and needs. The SJT assesses the candidate's judgment, character, and skills in various professional situations such as conflict management, customer service, and handling ethical issues. Each situation is followed by a number of options for actions; the candidate must choose which he or she would most likely do. The test's length varies and can last anywhere between 5 minutes and a few hours, depending on the publisher.

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What Is the Situational Judgment Test's Format?

The format of the situational judgment test varies between publishers.

cut-e

At cut-e (Aon), the SJT test takes place via a platform called ChatAssess which imitates instant messenger chat format. The candidate is presented with a typical work situation in which colleagues ask him/her various types of questions and must then choose one of several given responses, according to what he/she believes to be the most appropriate. This fun questionnaire is comprised of 15-20 short questions and lasts between 6 to 15 minutes. It can be adapted to evaluate candidates for any job positions and can be taken in 40 different languages. You can find complete preparation packs for the ChatAssess SJT Assessment on the following page.

Cubiks

The Cubiks Situational Judgment Test provides the candidate with a series of questions and scenarios to assess their suitability for a given position. The questions are also presented in a manner that allows the candidate an idea of what the position involves. For each scenario, the candidate is given a list of possible responses. He/she must then rate all these responses according to their effectivity (from 1 to 5, or from most effective to least effective). Find a complete Cubiks SJT preparation pack here.

EPSO SJT

The Situational Judgement Test for European Institutions Competitions (EPSO) is designed to assess behavior in professional situations and is based on several skills, such as analysis and problem solving, teamwork, and perseverance. The test presents 20 scenarios, each followed by four statements, which the candidate must rank according to which he believes the most effective and which is the least effective. You can practice for the EPSO SJT test and find complete study guides on the following page

Pearson TalentLens

Pearson TalentLens offers two IRIS Situational Judgment Tests, each tailored to different types of positions. The first one is suitable for sales and marketing positions, while the second one is more suitable for administrative and customer service positions. The test is available online and is comprised of 40 items, each lasting 30 minutes . As with the other SJTs, the candidate is presented with a work situation followed by 4 proposals that he/she must rate according to their order of priority in his/her eyes. Find complete SJT test preparation packs here.

Hudson

The Hudson Research and Development Center develops situational judgment tests according to the needs of different companies. They simulate real professional situations and transpose them into fictitious scenarios, which the candidate is confronted with. The candidate is then asked to describe how he/she would handle each scenario either by answering a multiple-choice questionnaire or by describing the method he/she would use during an interview. Find a complete test preparation pack on the following page.

PSI Online

PSI Online offers a series of situational judgment tests, named Dilemma tests. Each of the 5 tests is tailored to a specific position:

  • The Administrative Dilemma Test
  • The Graduate Dilemma Test
  • The Management Dilemma Test
  • The Customer Service Dilemma Test
  • The Call Center Dilemma Test

Each test assesses the candidate's reaction to scenarios borrowed from different jobs. He/she has to propose possible reactions to these scenarios. On the following page you can find a complete preparation pack for each one if the different PSI situational judgment tests.

SHL

SHL also offers situational judgment tests, based on the same scoring system as the tests described above. They are generally similar to any regular SJT Test. You can find a full preparation pack here.

Saville Consulting

Saville Consulting company offers Situational Judgment Tests in different forms, interactive or textual. The assessment is not time-limited but typically takes about 40 minutes to complete. The candidate is usually required to rank responses on an efficiency scale. Go to the dedicated page for more information and sample questions for the various companies' tests.

Cappfinity (Capp)

The Situational Strengths Test is a situational exam intended to examine the candidate's strengths; tailored to various recruitment processes to determine suitability for certain positions. You can find all the important details about the Capp exam, including sample questions, on the following page.

CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency Situational Judgement Test - Recruitment Version (SJT-R) is a work-related Situational Judgment Test, evaluating the candidate's behavior in various situations, such as work conflicts, client relations and ethical problems. The CRA SJT-R contains 102 questions and has a time limit of two hours and twenty minutes. On the following page you can find a full CRA SJT-R preparation pack, as well as study guides.

Police SJT 

Anyone wishing to join the police force is required to pass an SJT exam, however it may take place during different stages of the recruitment process, depending on the position and the force in question. For example, it may be taken during the first stage, along with the application questionnaire or even prior to it. The SJT measures a candidate's reaction to everyday work situations that they are likely to encounter as part of the police force. You can find a comprehensive preparation pack, including study guides and sample tests, on the following page

Deutsche Bank

The hiring process for the Deutsche Bank is long and exhaustive, and in the end only 1% of candidates are accepted. The Deutsche Bank Situational Judgment Test is a mandatory online exam that all applicants are required to complete, administered by SHL. During the test the candidate is presented with 24 different work situations. In order to be one of the few to pass Deutsche Bank's hiring process, we highly recommend you prepare for the SJT. You can do so on the following page.

HSBC

Part of the HSBC hiring process involves taking an SHL SJT exam. You can find a full preparation pack on the following page.

Ernst And Young (EY)

EY utilizes the Cappfinity SST Situational Judgmental Test during their hiring process. You can find more information about the Capp test here.  You can find a preparation pack tailored for the ET  SJT and personality test on the following page.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse uses the cut-e SJT, ChatAssess in order to assess candidates during the hiring process. For a full Credit Suisse test preparation pack, including verbal and numerical tests, examples of the ChatAssess platform, and study guides, go to the following page.

Roles

  • Management SJT
  • Administrative SJT
  • Customer Service SJT
  • Supervisory SJT
  • Probation Graduate Diploma SJT

How to succeed in Situational Judgment Tests

The best way to succeed in a situational judgment test, is to answer according to your personal judgement. You may want to examine the answer that is expected from you and whether it is the answer you would naturally choose. If this is the case, you are likely to be suited for the position you are applying for. However, it is important to practice different types of questionnaires before taking the test, as their format may differ (depending on the publisher). In order to pass the SJT, it is important to understand the position (and company) you are applying for, and what it entails. We recommend that you check out the company's website as they often outline the qualities and skills required and desired from their employees.

What Types of Skills Are Assessed by the SJT?

Decision Making

Almost all types of jobs require decision making. These can sometimes be difficult decisions, required to made under time pressure and/or during stressful situations. Employers need to know that the people they hire are competent, and can make good decisions in any kind of situation.

Problem Solving

The ability to accurately assess a problem and effectively arrive at a solution/ creative idea. Employers want to evaluate the candidate's ability for critical thinking and analytical skills.

Interpersonal Skills

The ability to get along with others and work effectively with them, is considered a key skill. Many jobs require employees to work as part of a team and/or interact with others (customers, co-workers, manager, etc.).

Organizational Skills

The ability to organize work under different constraints (time, results, goals, money, resources, etc.).

Quality of Work

Employers require employees to perform in an accurate and efficient manner. It is therefore important for them to assess the candidate's ability for high quality work.

The Ability to Handle Conflict

Regardless of whether the position for which the candidate is applying is a high-level position or not, the ability to manage conflict is regarded by employers as an extremely important skill. Almost all types of jobs may expose employees to conflict, and the ability to manage these situations is a valuable and necessary quality.

Tips for taking Situational Judgment Tests

  1. First of all, it is important to read the instructions carefully, as slight variations may appear in the different tests.
  2. Pay attention to the time limit; some tests have a time limit, others do not. If the test you are practicing for has a time limit it is especially important to familiarize yourself with the different types of questions you may face in advance.
  3. Read each scenario carefully, as well as the optional responses. Some of these options will be presented in a confusing manner in order to waste the candidates' time. By thoroughly analyzing each proposition you will avoid falling into the various traps.
    Keep in mind the context of the test during each scenario; choose the answer you believe most closely matches behavior required in the position for which you are applying.
  4. Remember that all the choices you will be presented with are entirely possible reactions, and you must choose the one you believe to be most appropriate for the job in question.
  5. The options you are presented with include only some of the possible reactions to the given scenario, and may not include your instinctual response. Choose the answer that seems most appropriate.

Which Jobs Require Candidates to Take the SJT?

Generally speaking, the SJT can be used to examine candidates for any job and is being used increasingly by companies. There are, however, certain positions which will always require taking this test as part of the application process. The SJT, for certain jobs allows companies to screen a large number of candidates, although it is often not an eliminatory stage.

Companies

  • CRA SJT-R
  • Canada's Public Service Commission: SJT-318, SJT-R, and SJT-M.
  • Police SJT: USA and UK
  • Deutsche Bank SJT
  • Firefighter SJT
  • Government Legal Service SJT
  • HSBC SJT
  • Boots SJT
  • Ernst & Young (SJT)
  • Barclays SJT
  • Marks and Spencer SJT
  • Virgin Media SJT
  • NHS SJT
  • KPMG SJT
  • RBS SJT
  • Bank of England SJT
  • Airbus SJT

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