Too many candidates?

Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are an efficient and effective sifting tool

Benefits of using online  SJTs

  • Once designed, they are cost and time efficient: as they are online tools administration and scoring take minimal time, and they are less time intensive for the organisation than telephone interviews
  • They provide a robust measure of the alignment between the candidate's and the organisation's approaches to situations
  • They provide information about more than just numerical or verbal reasoning ability
  • Culture in organisations does not tend to change at a fast pace, so bespoke exercises will have longevity
  • The tone and language of the questions and responses will be created to reflect the organisational brand
  • Candidates gain an understanding about the types of situations they may face in role, giving them insight into the role. For some candidates this may be highly motivational and encourage them to continue with their application. Others may feel that on reflection the role is not right for them, and they may remove themselves from the process: this helps ensure that only those who are motivated by the role, and have some alignment to the organisational culture will go through to later stages
  • The question format can be very engaging. For example some organisations use images or video based SJT's as a more interactive medium


Call ALS Consult on 07906 283915 to discuss

  • options for designing bespoke SJTs
  • or which of the generic tools available on the market may be most appropriate for your requirements

So, there are many benefits, but what are SJTs?


SJT's are a fast and efficient way of assessing how candidates are likely to react to different situations. Candidates are presented with a scenario and a range of response options. They are typically asked what they would do in the situation, or which are the most effective/least effective of the options provided. This type of exercise provides evidence about what information they prioritise when making decisions, reflecting their underlying values. Typically they include 15 questions. 

Consider this example:

'You have been working as part of a small team for 3 months. You hear a colleague talking about how busy they are, and that they are not going to hit their objectives for the month. You can tell they are worried, and you know that you have already achieved your objectives. What do you do?'


Response options may include:

1) You offer to support your colleague by taking on some of their workload.

2) You tell a manager that your colleague needs help.

3) You give advice to your colleague, but keep working on your own tasks because you still have deadlines to meet.


In an organisation with a supportive, collaborative culture where teams work together to achieve shared objectives, Option 1) may be most appropriate response. In a more sales focused organisation where people are encouraged to be competitive and achieve individual targets, while also being aware of the teams targets, Option 3) may be the most appropriate. Therefore, you can see that it can be hard to 'second guess' the right answer in an SJT – all answers could be 'correct' in different organisations.


Designing a bespoke SJT will allow the specific nuances that reflect your organisation to be included in the scenarios and response options. We will work with you to understand and clearly articulate what these are as part of the design process.

Who uses SJTs?

  • Graduate recruiters
  • Organisations who have high application:vacancy ratios
  • Organisations with a particular culture looking for individuals who are likely to fit well in the culture, or potentially who are likely to challenge the culture and facilitate change
  • Some organistations incorporate a form of SJT when sharing information about the role with candidates. Although these would not be scored, they can help candidates decide the extent to which the role matches their expectations and needs, giving them the opportunity to 'select themselves out' of the processin the early, less costly stages
  • Organisations with low application rates, or who wish to attract a more diverse applicant pool may use these to encourage candidates to 'select themselves into' the process and make an application