The problem with judgement is that it’s subjective – rarely black and white and generally complicated by several shades of grey. Yet good judgement is often an essential job requirement, particularly for more senior roles where decisions tend to be less rule-based.
The traditional options for assessing an individual’s judgement ability leave a bit to be desired:
- The hunch – high risk and it can go horribly wrong
- Throw ’em in at the deep end – drowning is a nasty business for all involved
- Asking scenario-based questions – a good start but it doesn’t provide the full picture as responses are not differentiated meaningfully, objectively and fairly
Scenario tests provide a powerful measure of situational judgement in areas such as managing objectives, people management and corporate management. They measure an individual’s ability to weigh up real life managerial situations, then decide on appropriate and effective ways of handling them.
The fact that these tests are “normed” means that scores can be compared with others who have taken the test. The better tests included a number of different norm groups such as graduates, managers and executives.
Scenario tests have a wide range of applications beyond recruitment and selection, including succession planning, coaching and personal development plans.
By way of a footnote, scenario tests are not the same as psychometric tests, which measure reasoning ability or personality. However they are often used alongside them.