If you’re applying for a graduate job with a blue-chip employer, you’ll know that these companies only want to hire the crème de la crème. This should come as no surprise since these successful businesses are at the forefront of everything they do, and probably want things to stay that way, too.
But how do they find the best employees for their business?
To scout out the best talent, these companies put applicants through their paces with various pre-employment screening tests. It’s not uncommon for graduate programmes to have multiple stages in their recruitment process, as well as various challenging aptitude tests. The most prestigious employers are known to use a mixture of different psychometric tests but, one that comes up time and time again is the situational judgement test (SJT) or strengths assessment test.
Like you’d assume from the name, a situational judgement test assesses how job applicants would act in certain situations. Many HR professionals consider the situational judgement test to be one of the most effective ways to screen potential employees. Here’s why!
Measures Performance in Relevant Situations
Unlike cryptic interview questions and abstract numerical reasoning tests, situational judgement tests go straight to the point, assessing candidates on how they would act in situations that are relevant to their job.
And, of course, this makes sense: there’s no point in asking a potential investment banker how they would react to a common teaching situation.
It’s because of this that there’s no one standard situational judgement test. Instead, employers tend to use bespoke situational judgement tests which are commonly used to assess the candidate’s:
- Potential job performance
- Knowledge of the role
- Specific task performance
- Ability to work in a team
Blue-chip employers choose situational judgement tests because they are the most effective way to find the best and most relevant candidates for a position. In comparison to traditional employment strategies, which focus on the overall prestige and ability of a candidate, situational judgement tests take into account how a potential employee will fit in with the specific company and perform relevant tasks well.
In addition to this, by identifying candidates who are a great match for a particular job, companies can enjoy higher workplace morale and lower employee turnover: saving them time, energy and money.
These days, HR departments are being challenged to put systems into place that give the most accurate outputs. Many studies have shown that situational judgement tests are the most effective and efficient way to predict a candidate’s future job performance since the test gives most indicative results on how well they’ll perform in their role.
By whittling down the potential talent using a situational judgement test, employers can be sure that only the most relevant candidates are invited to their assessment centres. This increases the chances of them hiring “perfect” employees, bringing companies one step closer to having the most able and productive workforce possible.
Quick and Cost Effective
Once the situational judgement test has been put together for a specific role and ‘used’ on a pool of candidates, all the HR department needs to do is analyse the results. There’s no need for anyone to devote time to interviewing all candidates who are difficult to assess based on their CVs. Instead, after reviewing CVs or application forms, employers simply send the Situational Judgement test to the candidates that they’re interested in and let them complete the questions within an allocated time frame.
This is advantageous because it helps HR managers free up their time to focus on tasks that can’t be carried out by a computer such as creating new jobs and analysing workplace behaviour.
In some cases, the situational judgement tests can have high start-up costs because they’re developed specifically for individual companies. However, after this initial investment, they can be distributed company-wide to assess new candidates and used an unlimited number of times. Since the candidate sits the test in their own time, companies don’t need to worry about the costs that go with organising assessment days.
Blue-Chip Companies Who Use Situational Judgement Tests
Thanks to its practicalities, most Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies now use the situational judgement tests as part of their employment strategy. In addition to these high-profile blue-chip companies, some public-sector organisations, such as The NHS and the fire brigade, also ask job candidates to complete the situational judgement tests.
What to Expect in your Situational Judgement Test
Situational judgement tests are usually carried out at home via PC/internet and include a variety of multiple choice questions and, in some cases, video footage. Some common situational judgement test questions are:
- Most/ Least Effective Response
- Ranked Responses
- Rate Responses
To learn more about situational judgement tests, don’t miss our comprehensive SJT blog post which goes over everything you need to know!
Situational Judgement Test Advice for Candidates
- Read each question multiple times to be sure you understand it.
- Assess your answers and think about what they say about you and how you’re representing yourself.
- Identify which core competencies are required for your job and try to answer each question accordingly.
- When answering questions, try to identify which of these core competencies is being assessed.
- But, at the same time, be honest with yourself. At the end of the day, you’re going to need to work with this company so there’s no point being dishonest.
- Practice, practice, practice: if you have an interview coming up, don’t hesitate to check out our free aptitude test tutorials!
To make sure you are able to ace your assessments, visit Graduate Monkey today to learn more about aptitude test practice materials and packs and also find out more about the UK’s top graduate employers. We all know that practice makes perfect, and we’re dedicated to helping you get started in the career of your dreams.