Video Based Situational Testing

Situational test: A test that require examinees to respond to situations representative of the job.

Video based situation simulation: A situational test in which examinees respond to video simulations of realistic job situations.

Situational tests require examinees to respond to situations representative of the job. Work sampling and some assessment center tasks are examples as are video based tests, and the situational interviews.

The typical videos based simulation presents the candidate with several online to the PC based videos scenarios, each followed by a multiple choice question. The scenario might depict an employee handling situation on the job. At a critical moment, the scenario ends and the video asks the candidates to choose from several course of action. For example: A manager is upset about the condition of the department and takes it out on one of the department’s employees.

Manager: Well, I’m glad you’re here.

Associate: Oh? Why is that?

Manager: Look at this place, that’s why. I have taken a day off and come back to find the department in a mess, you should know better.

Associate: But I didn’t work late last night.

Manager: Maybe not. But there have been plenty of times before when you’ve left this department in a mess.

(The scenario stops here)

If you were this associate, what would you do?

a) Let the other associates responsible for the mess know that you had to take the heat.
b) Straighten up the department and try to reason with the manager later.
c) Suggest to the manager that he talk to the other associates who made the mess.
d) Take it up with the manager’s boss.

Results suggest that video based situational tests can be useful for selecting employees.

The Miniature Job Training and Evaluation Approach:

Training candidates to perform several of the job’s tasks, and then evaluating the candidates’ performance prior to hire.

Miniature job training and evaluation means training candidates to perform several of the job’s tasks and then evaluating the candidates’ performance prior to hire. The approach assumes that a person who demonstrates that he or she can learn and perform the sample of tasks will be to learn and perform the job itself.

Honda Example: When Honda decided to build a new plant in Alabama, it had to hire thousands of new employees in an area where few people worked in manufacturing. Honda began running help wanted ads. The act sought applicants for a free training program Honda was offering as a precondition for applying for jobs at the new plant. Applicants had to have atleast a high school diploma or GED, employment for the past two years with no unexplainable gaps, and Alabama residency. Soon 18,000 people had applied.

Honda ad the Alabama state employment agency first screened the applications by eliminating those who lacked the education experience and then gave preference to applicants near the plant. About 340 applicants per six week session received special training at a new facility about 15 miles from the plant, two evenings a week. It included classroom instruction, watching videos of current Honda employees in action and actually practicing particular jobs. Some candidates who watched the videos dropped out when they saw the work’s pace.

The training sessions enabled special assessors from the Alabama state agency to scrutinize the trainees work and to rate them. They then invited those who graduated to apply for jobs at the plants. Honda teams, consisting of employees from HR and departmental representatives do the final screening. They interview the candidates review their training records, and decide which ones to hire. New employees get a one time drug test, but there are no other paper and pencil test or credentials required. New hires get a three day orientation. Then, assistant managers in each department coordinate their actual day to day training.

Pros and cons: The miniature job training approach tests applicants with actual samples of the job, so it’s inherently content relevant and valid. The big problem is the expense involved in the individual instruction and training.

The ‘When you’re on Your Own’ feature shows how a manager who’s on his or her own in a large company can apply these testing concepts and tools.

Realistic job Reviews:

Sometimes, a dose of realism makes the best screening tool. For example, Wal-Mart found that associates who quit within the first 90 days did so because of conflict in their schedules or because they preferred to work in another geographic area. The firm then began explicitly explaining and asking about work schedules and work preferences. One study even found that some applicants accepted jobs with the intention to quit, a fact that more realistic interviewing might have unearthed.