 : Feb 19 2020 |
 : tryitout
Change contrast
Change font size
Block 1 of 1
Situation Judgment Assessments Demo

An SJA is a form of assessment or a test in which participants are presented with work-relevant situations and asked to make judgments about possible responses.  SJAs can be applied in any situation in which a judgment is required to complete a work or other performance task effectively, or where judgment is required to make the most appropriate response to a situation involving others.  Those judgments include:

  • How an employee interprets and understand a typical work situation in terms of the critical aspects of a situation that they should focus on or prioritize
  • The correct application of job knowledge in terms of which actions are more versus less likely to achieve a task objective or a desired outcome
  • How best to work with and interact with other employees such as members of a work group or team to resolve an issue and overcome obstacles to achieving a shared goal or outcome
  • How best to deal with potential dilemmas particularly those where outcomes are less clear or where information is more ambiguous
  • Which responses to typical work situations are more versus less aligned with the expectations of a company such as compliance with processes and procedures or alignment with company values and organizational norms for behavior

Where SJA items differ from other types of items is that there is usually a dilemma involved.  The participant is presented with a choice of responses which usually involve resolving opposing demands in the situation presented. There are typically no time limits on SJA's however the first answers are usually the most accurate, so try not to spend too long thinking about each one.

Use the Next and Previous buttons to navigate through some example SJA items.


1  of 8

You work in a retail store.  You have been tasked with refilling a lot of shelves before mid-morning when the store gets busy with customers.  A customer has accidentally broken a bottle of cooking oil.  There is broken glass and the oil is quickly spreading across the floor.  The customer seems very upset.  Other customers are approaching the area where there is broken glass and oil on the floor.  One of your colleagues is helping the customer.   What should you do?

(Question taken from Burke, E., Vaughan, C., and Fix, C. (2009).  Situational Judgement Test (SJT) Workshop.  Workshop delivered at the European Congress of Psychology, Oslo)


2  of 8

You are flying an “angel flight” with a nurse and noncritical child patient to meet an ambulance at a downtown regional airport. You filed visual flight rule.  It is 11:00 p.m. on a clear night when, at 60 nm out, you notice the ammeter indicating a battery discharge and correctly deduce the alternator has failed. Your best guess is that you have from 15 to 30 min of battery power remaining. You decide to:

(Question from Hunter, D. R. (2003). Measuring general aviation pilot judgment using a situational judgment technique. International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 13, 373–386)


3  of 8

You are working as part of a project team on a client site.  It’s the start of the day and you have arrived early on site. So far, the project has gone well and is on time, but your team leader has just called to say they will not make it today due to illness. You are approached by a senior client who has asked for a meeting in thirty minutes to be briefed on the progress of the project. You are one of several team members but the other team members have not arrived yet. What should you do?

(This is an example of an SJA that could be used in graduate recruitment to help filter candidates)


4  of 8

You work in the back office in the team approving new customers ensuring that the organization’s procedures have been followed (such as credit rating and know your customer). Your manager is away on holiday this week. A senior manager in the company (three levels above you) comes into your office and says that there is an important new customer who needs to be approved today as they want to place a big order, and that he can vouch that the customer is good.  You review the customer details, and one piece of information required by your procedures is not present. You tell the senior manager and he says not to worry, he is vouching for the customer. You know this senior manager by reputation and have heard that he got a colleague fired a few months ago when she didn’t do what he asked. 

You would:


5  of 8

You work as part of a technical support team that produces work internally for an organization.  You have noticed that often work is not performed correctly or a step has been omitted from a procedure.  You are aware that some individuals are more at fault than others as they do not make the effort to produce high quality results and they work in a disorganized way.  What do you see as the most effective and the least effective responses to this situation?

  1. Explain to your team why these procedures are important and what the consequences are of not performing these correctly.
  2. Try to arrange for your team to observe another team in the organisation who produce high quality work.
  3. Check your own work and that of everyone else in the team to make sure any errors are found.
  4. Suggest that the team tries many different ways to approach their work to see if they can find a method where fewer mistakes are made. 
(Question taken from Burke, E., Ablitt, H., Guillard, G., and Vaughan, C. (2012).  Global, secure, valid and relevant:  Four breakthroughs in the science and practice of SJTs.  Symposium delivered at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference, Chester)


6  of 8

You are responsible for the security of your company’s payment processing application. You have recently received an email from a person who claims to have hacked into the system and has discovered that you are running an out-of-date and vulnerable operating system on one of your servers. You have checked and the hacker is correct.  Your preliminary check has shown no trace of how or whether the hacker got into your system.  Those checks suggest that there isn’t anything is unusual with the systems performance. 

From the options below, identify the actions that would be most and least appropriate in dealing with this situation.

  1.  Be grateful that this is a white hat hacker who has done the company a favor by identifying the vulnerable operating system. Your main action should be to fix the operating system as soon as possible and ensure that operating system reviews and updates are done more quickly
  2.  Drop your other work and run a thorough system scan and log review to identify if anything else is awry with the system. If nothing is found, update the operating system and continue normally
  3.  Shut down the system and call in security consultants to do a thorough review of what intrusion there has been and whether there has been any data breach, financial loss or other serious impact, and then update the operating system
  4.  Fix the operating system and then report the security breach and the hacker’s email to the police so that any potential criminal activity can be acted on by the relevant authorities


7  of 8

(Question from the UK Foundation Programme (Medical Skills Council))

You are looking after Mr. Kucera who has previously been treated for prostate carcinoma. Preliminary investigations are strongly suggestive of a recurrence. As you finish taking blood from a neighboring patient, Mr. Kucera leans across and says “Tell me honestly, is my cancer back?”

Rank the appropriateness of the following actions in response to this situation: 


8  of 8

Bill has just joined a new sales team and has just completed his first business trip. Bill submits his expenses claim to Jane, his manager, and Jane comments that the claim must be wrong as it underestimates typical expenses for that trip. Jane insists that Bill re-submit the claim and add 25% to bring it into line with what Jane was expecting. 

How likely are you to witness the following behavior in this organisation:

  Very Likely Likely Neutral Unlikely Very Unlikely

Bill toes the line because Jane has more experience about what this expense claim should be and she knows the company’s processes better

choose choose choose choose choose

Bill goes back and double checks his expense claim and, if his original claim was correct, re-submits it as it is and tells Jane it is accurate

choose choose choose choose choose

Bill asks other colleagues what they think because maybe this is accepted practice and Bill should not go against it

choose choose choose choose choose

Bill contacts the finance department and checks what the expenses for this trip typically are before re-submitting the claim to Jane

choose choose choose choose choose