Situational Judgement Tests, or SJTs as they are more commonly known, have been around for quite some time but we are seeing increasing numbers of organisations including the Civil Service, HSBC, EY and DFID building SJTs into their standard recruitment processes. It’s increasingly likely you will sit an SJT at some stage of the recruitment process. But what are they and how can you prepare?

SJTs are psychometric tests designed to present you with realistic, hypothetical work-related scenarios. They measure your ability to make the right decision in difficult situations and scenarios ranging from ethical dilemmas to difficulties with workload, colleagues or clients. You may be asked to select, rate or rank from 4 or 5 options what you would do in that situation. Tests are tailored to individual employers to reflect situations relevant to the job and help them identify characteristics important to them. Tests may or may not be timed depending on the recruiter.

Recruiters like SJTs as they can be targeted towards the employer and type of role, are difficult to prepare for and, unlike for example verbal and numerical reasoning tests, cannot really be practised as they are about using your judgement in each situation.

But what can I do to prepare myself for a SJT?

  • The best way to prepare would be to familiarise yourself with the look and feel of this type of test.  Get an idea of the types of questions and scenarios you might be presented with. Review your results and determine any patterns in your answers. Current LSE students and alumni (of up to 5 years) have access to Graduates First which has some practice SJTs.
  • Research the company you are applying for – look at their values and think about these when answering the questions. Often SJTs are brought in early in the selection process and are being used to ensure a values match between candidates and potential employers.
  • See if there are any practice tests, read all the instructions carefully and make the most of the practice tests offered to get a good feel for the test the company is using.
  • Sometimes the choices between different options in scenarios are very similar, so you really need to take the time and analyse the options. Once you’ve made your decision, be confident about it rather than trying to guess what the employer wants. Overthinking the assessment makes it much more difficult and do you really want a job that wants you to behave in a way that isn’t you!

If you would like further information about the different types of psychometric tests employers use, take a look on the psychometric testing pages of the LSE Careers website or come in and speak to a careers consultant about the tests or recruitment processes you have coming up if you would like some further advice. You can book your appointment on CareerHub.