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situational strengths tests

Situational Strengths Tests

  • 30 tests
  • 240 questions
situational strengths tests

Situational strengths tests assess you for competencies that companies require for the ideal candidate. They will be based on hypothetical scenarios that focus on how you would display specific strengths effectively. Based on the answers you give, it will confirm whether you align with a particular company’s values.

What is a situational strengths test?

A situational strengths test assesses you on the identifiable strengths companies require for both the role and the company culture.

The hypothetical scenarios you are given will reflect similar situations that may be faced in the workplace and you need to select the best response out of the set answers.

This psychometric test allows you and the company to see how well you fit for both the position and the company’s environment. It also helps to filter out unsuitable candidates, so it’s important that your answers fit the behaviours the employer is looking for.

Situational strengths tests have much in common with situational judgement tests.

Why do employers use situational strengths tests?

In brief, employers view this test as an efficient and accurate method to select suitable individuals that fit the company.

The test results are presented differently based on each company’s preferred feedback choice – quantitatively, qualitatively or a mix of both. Using the data from the tests, they are able to view which candidates are most likely to perform effectively within the role at the workplace.

The situational strengths test allows them to objectively pick potential employees regardless of their backgrounds, making it easier to recruit fairly.

The test format

The situational strengths test is usually compiled of 20 role-specific scenarios with associated questions.

Each question will present you with a skill or strength within the scenario – similar to situations that might actually occur in the role – and you will be judged based on how effectively you can show these particular strengths.

Some questions may require you to rank the responses from most likely to least likely, while others may request that you choose the answer that best represents your response.

The test should last no longer than 20 minutes and can be taken either online or at an assessment centre.

What competencies do situational strengths tests typically assess?

The strengths you’ll be tested on are usually part of the job’s essential requirements and are listed in the job description.

Common competencies might include:

Strong communication skills (written and verbal)

How well you relate to others and can adapt to different conversation styles to effectively communicate with people. The ability to communicate information clearly – both in writing and orally – is a key trait in many roles.

Creative and analytical thinking

Whether you are able to think clearly and critically – with a healthy balance of pragmatism and curiosity – even if the data is quite complex. Being able to swiftly acknowledge and present intellectual solutions while viewing all angles is key to being an effective analytical thinker.

Team player

Collaborative work requires high level of empathy and honesty to successfully complete tasks. Being a team player who is able to work cohesively with diverse teams is something you should demonstrate in your responses.


Managing your schedule and delivering high-quality work in a timely fashion is crucial to almost every job. If you are excellent at organisation, you would be expected to oversee a multitude of tasks and be effective in providing regular updates to supervisors or clients.

Market awareness

Having a strong awareness of market trends and using this information to make crucial decisions in terms of impact is important for many roles, particularly in marketing and finance. As an individual with solid market awareness, you should be able to demonstrate a good eye for specific industry gaps to seize opportunities, and good insight of competitors to differentiate from them in terms of brand identity.

How best to prepare for a situational strengths test

Practice and research are the two most important ways to prepare for a situational strengths test. After these, make sure that you:

Review The Role. This test is usually geared to a specific role, so it’s important to imagine yourself in that role when answering the question.

Be Honest. Think carefully and be authentic on how you would actually react in each scenario. Remember the scenarios are usually based on situations that may arise in reality, so trust your gut instinct and answer the best you can, rather than trying to guess what’s expected.

Evaluate. Some practice situational strengths tests might offer detailed feedback on your responses; if so, use this as a way to evaluate what went well and where you can improve.

Patterns. Try to identify certain patterns in your responses to each question. This may reveal typical patterns about your behaviour, such as preferring to analyse issues more autonomously or being more likely to analyse with others.

For further information, see our tips for situational judgement tests and how to prepare for situational judgement tests.

Prepare yourself for leading employers

3 example situational strengths questions with answers

The examples below reflect typical situational strengths questions you might face when taking the test. Answers to each are below the questions.

For each of the three scenarios below, choose which of the four options you would most likely and least likely respond:

Situational strengths question 1

situational strengths question

A) Respond to the email as best you can before leaving without having access to the key files and tell the client that you will double check everything first thing on Monday.

B) Call the client immediately to find out exactly when they need the information by. If they do need it this evening you can pop back to the office and talk them through the key information and then provide a more in-depth written response on Monday.

C) Reply immediately telling the client that you need to get more information for them before you can give them an answer in full and with that in mind you will get back to them first thing on Monday morning as a priority.

D) Leave the email for now and deal with it first thing on Monday morning. The client will have received your out of office response anyway and may have contacted a colleague already.

Situational strengths question 2

situational strengths practice question

A) The most radical approach that brings with it the largest potential returns but that has the most associated risk. It goes against everything the business has done before but if it works it could have a startling impact.

B) The approach that mirrors initiatives that have proven to be successful for the business previously. This harnesses methods that are known to work and will build upon previous success. The likely returns are less but there is almost zero risk.

C) The approach that offers a more creative way of thinking about customers and how they interact with the website. The likely returns are fairly substantial and it offers a pragmatic approach to building revenue.

D) It would make sense to provide a short overview of each approach so that the directors can feed into the decision-making process.

Situational strengths question 3

practice situational strengths

A) Conduct some extra research in your own time to try and look at the likely benefits before discussing with anyone else.

B) Ask your manager what they think and whether it is worth investing any more time.

C) Dismiss the idea as it is only a feeling and you are all keen to get the project finished anyway.

D) Tell other managers in the business about your ideas so that they can choose whether to implement them in their own areas.


Question 1:
B for most likely. By calling the client you are ensuring that you are respond according to their needs. It may be that they can wait for the information but it is important to establish this. It recognises that even a simple verbal response must be correct and having access to the correct files is vital. As they are your client it is important that you demonstrate you are willing to go the extra mile.

D for least likely. This is a client you have been working with very closely for 6 months so it is you they need help from. By ignoring the email completely it is evident that you are not prepared to go the extra mile. You have a good relationship with them so simply ignoring them is not what they will expect from you.

Question 2:
C for most likely. This approach will appeal to many graduate employers. You are demonstrating creativity but balancing that with pragmatism. Whilst some risk is inevitable, it is clear that you have the drive to move the business forwards.

D for least likely. This response does not address the request that has been made. You have been asked to put forward your favoured proposal which this approach does not do. Even if the directors do not agree with what you propose at least you are demonstrating that you can make a decision by choosing one of the other options.

Question 3:
A for most likely.At the moment you have a ‘feeling’ that this approach could help others. It is worthwhile investing a little extra time to confirm this (or otherwise) before talking to anyone else. That way you can be more confident when discussing with others from across the business. Even if nothing comes of it, it is always advisable to have a good understanding of other parts of the business you are in.

C for least likely. This approach fails to recognise how important it is to think about one’s own work and objectives within the context of the wider business. Employers are looking for graduates who can see how their own input can benefit others. You have already conducted a lot of the research; it would seem like only a partial solution if you chose not to investigate further.

I’ve practiced hundreds of numerical questions and still have plenty more to try.
Ellen used Practice Aptitude Tests to prepare for her upcoming interview at HSBC. Start your success story

What does the situational strengths test measure?

It usually measures a candidate’s competency level in relation to role-specific scenarios. The simulated situations presented to you are designed to assess important strengths such as communication, organisation skills, analytical thinking etc. As a potential employee, you must demonstrate your capabilities effectively in your responses.

How long do situational strengths tests take?

Situational strengths tests are usually short and should only last up to 20 minutes during the application. Remember the more you practice, the more equipped you will be to answer the questions efficiently and quickly.

Where can I practice situational strengths tests?

Practice does make perfect and you can start here with somesituational judgement test practice questions. After that, there’s a free test below, and 29 more tests you can pay to access. These practice tests cover a wide range of topics specific to different roles and companies, with full explanations for each answer.

How are situational strengths tests scored?

After grouping your answers, a combined score of each strength will be compared against the responses of an established group. This will indicate those candidates shown to be most suitable for the role.


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Situational Strengths Tests Tips

1Do research

Try to find out as much as possible about the company and role you are applying for. It’s important to consider the qualities that the company’s culture is based on when answering situational strengths questions. Think about the type of qualities the organization is going to be looking for. Teamwork and building relationships are among the most popular qualities that any candidate will need in a workplace environment but you might work out what other competencies you need to have.

2Ethics first

All employers value strong ethics. When answering situational strengths questions, you should be guided by the companies values but also by universally recognised concepts of right and wrong conduct. It’s also a good exercise to make a list of values that apply directly to your profession. For instance, appreciation of client confidentiality and professional secrecy in client/lawyer relations are the key values that everyone who wants to be a lawyer is assumed to understand.

3Unethical options are incorrect

Following this, the unethical options will be the wrong choice. You might have been charmed by the sneaky protagonists in TV series, in which they get along lying and being dishonest to most of their colleagues, but luckily in real life, societies still value the opposite. So if one of the possible actions is dishonest, involves lying, disguising personal errors, acting in an uncooperative manner, or provoking a client or a customer then this answer will not be correct or a “least likely” option, if you are not presented with other choices.

4Practice makes perfect

The catch in any situational strengths test is the high probability of any of the presented answers ( except the ethical examples explained above). We recommend you to think in accordance with the promoted values outlined in the company’s profile, but to really ace it you might want to take one of the mock situational strengths tests we provide.

5Best response dilemma

Often you’ll be asked for the ‘best’ or ‘most likely’ response. This means choose the most appropriate response given the information you have. It might not be perfect, it just needs to be better than the rest.

Situational Judgement Video Tutorials

Internal Website

1 min

Delayed Project

1 min

Last Minute Sickness

1 min

Quarterly Review

1 min

Try Situational Strengths Tests for Free

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    Situational Judgement 01

    20 Questions|20 Minutes

  • Situational Judgement 02

    20 Questions|20 Minutes

  • Situational Judgement 03

    20 Questions|20 Minutes

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