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Where does the Situational Judgment Test come from?

Reading Time of Article: 3 min

From evaluation to recruitment

Translated from the English “Situational Judgment Test“, Situational Judgment Tests have been in existence for almost fifty years. They were used during World War II by psychologists in the US Army. They were then used to predict, as well as to evaluate, managerial success in the 50s and 60s. In 1958, Martin M. BRUCE and David B. LEARNER created and published a Situational Judgment Test for supervisors. The objective was to evaluate their ability to handle certain everyday situations. The approach was not very successful in the niche of internal evaluation. However, it was later used in the recruitment field until the early 1990s. Today, many companies and public administrations around the world use this type of test to recruit their staff: Public Service of Canada, FBI in the United States, SELOR in Belgium. In Europe, the Situational Judgment Test is not unique to  European institutions. Indeed, we can observe a growing interest for the test in various fields; the most common application being an activity of pre-selection or pre-qualification of applications.

From the professional situation to the fictional scenario

The Situational Judgment Test simulates real professional situations transposed into fictitious scenarios. The approach is based on practical scenarios reflecting daily work and  classic dilemmas inherent in the workplace, where one has to deal with other people. The Situational Judgment Test is commonly used to see what attitude a candidate or collaborator adopts in a specific job situation. The goal of the test is to assess whether or not this reaction is appropriate. Candidates describe how they would handle each scenario, responding to a multiple-choice quiz or describing their method during an interview. Sophisticated and easy-to-use scoring rules make it possible to objectively measure the skills considered by the evaluator. The goal is to know if the candidate has the skills and knowledge required for the job, and  if he or she is behaving appropriately given the level of job for which he or she is applying.

 

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