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Situational Judgement Test

A Situational Judgement test, or SJT, is a multiple choice test with scenarios. You have to decide which of the described actions (there are usually 4 provided) is the most appropriate. Sometimes you have to rank the options in order, from most suitable to least. Another way the SJT might be presented is for there to be a paragraph detailing the scenario then three or four questions based on it. You would need to indicate on a rating scale how desirable the action is in response to each question e.g. highly desirable, desirable, slightly desirable, slightly undesirable, undesirable, and highly undesirable.

This exercise allows candidates the chance to show how well they match what the organisation is looking for.

Some organisations may refer to the SJT by a different name, such as a ‘behavioural screening questionnaire’. This will be a very similar test, again looking at the preferences, priorities and motivations which influence a candidate’s decisions.

These tests are often delivered online, but may be presented in a paper and pen format.

The scenarios are usually based on general issues. An SJT isn’t usually knowledge based; it’s about applying your experience to make a judgement call. There is no need to study in the traditional sense, although there are shortcuts you can use to improve your performance.

It often takes around 45 minutes, depending on the number of questions.

Generic Example:

You are the manager of a busy team. You have been told that your team is going to be amalgamated with the team at head office which performs the same function. This will involve relocation or redundancy for your staff. You have been asked to pass this news on to your team.
You will need to read the scenario and then decide which of the options presented would be the course of action you would be most likely to take. For example:

a) Send an email to your team explaining the company’s position
b) Arrange to meet with each team member one to one to hear their thoughts
c) Hold a team meeting where you can explain the situation to everyone at the same time
d) Send a formal letter to each member of staff requesting their preference for redundancy or relocation

You are looking for the MOST effective answer – it doesn’t have to be the perfect choice.

From the applicants point of view it can be hard to know how you have done, or how you can do better next time. You may find out that you were unsuccessful and never really know why. You won’t usually be told which questions you got wrong or why (in our Pass your SJT workbook we make sure we do this very thoroughly!)

 

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