• John Berry
    It's a question arising from an academic text. The text was all about situational judgement tests (SJTs). SJTs are questions asked at interview that build a scenario about which the job candidate is expected to have an opinion.

    But then work sample tests (WSTs) are pretty similar.

    So what's the difference.

    SJTs are about situations about which the candidate is expected to have knowledge and understanding and to which they can reason a response that gives the interviewer reason to believe that they will perform well in the job given such a scenario.

    WSTs are more practical. They are samples of work in which the candidate is expected to be skilful and about which he or she is expected to be knowledgeable. The candidate would be given a WST at interview and their response or activity should give the interviewer reason to believe that they have that skill or knowledge.

    Both are necessary elements of an interview or assessment centre.
  • Lesley Brindle
    Are situational judgement tests the same as asking a person to tell you how they managed a situation in the past?
  • Sue Berry
    Situational judgement tests provide the candidate with hypothetical scenarios that they need to consider. They then determine what action they would take. SJT’s are designed to assess how the candidate is likely to behave in certain situations. The tests normally involve a series of work situations (anything from five to twelve). The scenario is explained and then several options are given. The candidate must then choose the most appropriate answer, or rank order the options they are given. Assessment is normally by way of a report.

    Asking someone to explain how they managed a situation in the past allows them to draw on their experience when answering the questions. The candidate is required to reflect on a situation in which they found themselves. The situation posed for the candidates must be relevant to the job. For example, someone responsible for safeguarding vulnerable adults or children may be asked to explain the most difficult safeguarding issue they have dealt with, and to explain what lessons they learned. This same questions would be posed to all candidates, but the follow-up questions based on their response will be different for each candidate.

    Assessing candidates using SJTs allows the selection process to be standardised. All the candidates are asked the same questions. Assessment is made based on how well they determine what option to pick as the best one. There is no ability to probe and ask why they chose the answer they did. Whereas, asking a candidate to explain about the last time they were involved in a situation relevant to the job they’ve applied for allows for probing, using follow-up questions.

    As John said - SJTs and other assessment tools are necessary elements of the selection process. Choosing the best tools for the selection process is key. Let me know if you need any further help.
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