IRIS SJTs: Research and Development
A person's performance at work is the result of cognitive individual differences, job knowledge and personality (Motowidlo, Hansen & Crafts, 1997). Traditionally, psychometric tests assessing workplace performance focus on the discrete measurement of abilities and personality. This has shown to be a valid approach, accounting for up to 25% variance in work performance (e.g. Schmidt & Hunter, 1981). A different approach, however, is offered by Situational Judgement Tests, where performance is underpinned by the interactions between behaviours, skills, motivation, and cognitive ability, as it is in completing work tasks and projects.
Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) typically present candidates with a hypothetical work-based scenario and a number of responses or actions to these scenarios. Candidates must judge the appropriateness or effectiveness of responses by rating, ranking, selecting most and least effective, or picking actions they would take in that scenario.
Traditional SJTs are a well-established method for personnel selection (McDaniel, Morgeson, Finnemagan, Campion, Braverman, 2001) and have been used for over 70 years (e.g. Guilford & Lacey, 1947, cited in McDaniel & Whetzel, 2005).
SJT content has high job relevance, which leads to direct evidence of performance through simulation (e.g. Motowildo, Hansen & Crafts, 1997). This is demonstrated through good criterion and incremental validity on personality and ability measures in the selection process (Chan & Schmitt, 2002). Furthermore, SJTs show reduced levels of group differences, by gender and ethnicity, and produce positive candidate reactions (Hoare, Day & Smith, 1998).
Why IRIS SJTs?
In the past, the validity of SJTs has been affected because the scenarios lack depth, responses are transparent, and candidates find the experience frustrating (e.g. Chan & Schmitt, 2005; Ployhart & Harold, 2004; Schmit & Ryan, 1992). Our in-depth research has addressed these issues.
To increase depth of the SJT, IRIS SJTs contain three realistic tasks or scenarios and present at least four different situations for the candidate to deal with in each task. This provides depth across a range of topics that candidates immerse themselves in.
To reduce transparency, IRIS SJTs utilise 'best practice' responses that are not relevant to the situation. This allows a greater distinction between candidates who simply have the knowledge of work and behaviour and those that apply their knowledge.
To remove frustration we have listened to candidate feedback and removed the requirement for candidates to select responses that may not necessarily fit their behaviour. We have also conducted thorough research with subject matter experts to ensure the range of responses to each situation are pertinant, and that relevant and obvious responses are balanced.
For more information on IRIS Situational Judgement Tests by Pearson Assessment please email IRIS@pearson.com or telephone 020 7010 2866.