This is a business themed collaborative post by Alex.
Ever since the start of the 2010s, companies have begun looking for ways to further specialize their hiring process.
This is in order to make sure that the person they are hiring is someone that’s actually someone that’s a perfect fit for the role instead of a mere applicant that managed to overcome its tests.
Some turn to being hyper-specific in the listed qualifications so that they can prevent as many unqualified applicants from wasting their time, while others include a personality test of sorts to make sure that they aren’t hiring someone that is lazy or has low motivation.
More of them these days, however, use Situational Judgement Tests as part of their pre-employment test phase because of how effective it is in figuring out the extent of the applicant’s problem-solving and critical thinking skills in relation to the job position that they are applying for as well any company policies present.
How it works
Situational judgement tests function by presenting the candidate with a number of scenarios containing some sort of problem, misunderstanding, conflict, confrontation, or even a mild inconvenience that they will have to solve.
Although there are a lot of providers out there, they follow the same format: the questions must fall within the scope of the job position, and it usually follows a multiple-choice format or some variation of it.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most commonly used ones:
- Single choice – Where they have to select one of the presented choices as the best or worst to take depending on what the question is being asked.
- Dual choice – Whey they have to assign which of the provided courses of action is the best and worst.
- Ranking-type – Where they have to rank each of the presented choices from most to least effective or vice versa.
When candidates take a situational judgement test, more than half of them incorrectly assume that they just need to select the friendliest or most accommodating one that they can find from the choices.
While this may be so in some questions, companies have a particular way of solving things with some wanting their applicants to follow rules or procedures well; others wanting their applicants to show how good their ability to please or accommodate the needs of customers are; and with a few merely wanting to know the extent of their problem-solving, management, and interpersonal skills.
Furthermore, companies can configure the answers of situational judgement tests to suit their needs, meaning the best course of action for one organization in a particular question may be the second best, or even worst, one to take in another one.
Another characteristic of the assessment is that the questions are designed in a way so that the applicant doesn’t have to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the company as well as their preferred workstyle.
Of course, by figuring out what the company wants in a candidate, you are giving yourself an edge that other applicants may not have, thus increasing your chances of being hired.
That being said, let’s take a look at the main types of situational judgement tests out there in the market.
Just like its name, this situational judgement test is designed to figure out how good a candidate’s customer service-related skills are by presenting them with a number of scenarios that are similar or identical to the ones that an employee of the job position that they are applying for experiences on a regular or daily basis.
Most situations revolve around them needing to resolve a problem or misunderstanding with a customer, all the while being supplied with a set of rules, restrictions, or procedures that they will need to follow.
These can range from discount, product, coupon usage, or even return policy restrictions.
Some companies will have their situational judgement test designed to measure a specific skill like their ability to sell a product or persuade customers.
Colloquially known as the ‘middle-man’ version of the assessment because those seeking to land a supervisory position will have to act as a midway point between other employees and the manager, administration, or other departments of the company.
Questions here will revolve around you needing to resolve disputes between employees, employees and the company, and even employees and customers at times.
Some questions will also revolve around administrative duties and prioritization skills such as pay disputes, suggesting to the manager just what kind of punishment should be given to an employee that has been underperforming for months now, and even choosing which document they should file first.
Similar to the supervisor situational judgement test, but here the applicant’s leadership and management skills are scrutinized in detail.
With them being seen as an extension of the company, they must show that they can uphold the rules of the organization all the while showing some form of fairness for each employee so that the board of directors will be confident in them not playing favors and affect workplace morale.
A number of question banks for this particular situational judgement test will also test the applicant’s decision-making skills when it comes to choosing which employee to promote based on the strengths and weaknesses of each possible candidate.
Others, however, will have you choose between a number of contracts or projects to see which of them is the most profitable in the long run.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.