MI5 Situational Judgement Test

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Ben Hopgood Updated:

About MI5 Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

MI5 looks for employees with a high ability to handle various situations in a specific manner. Applicants have to pass a situational judgement test before being offered a position. This is also referred to as a situational judgement test.

MI5 logo

MI5 use the following tests in their selection process:

  • Application
  • Security questionnaire
  • Situational judgement test, verbal reasoning test
  • Qualifying tests
  • Telephone interview
  • Assessment centre
  • Final interview

MI5 use Cubiks as their test employer. Therefore make sure to practice Cubiks tests. Situational judgement tests are a fair and objective way for MI5 to assess a wide range of applicants, each having different experiences and different qualifications. By analysing the results of a standardised situational judgement test, MI5 are able to quickly see which candidates are suitable for the role and which are not. This sort of information about candidates’ skills is difficult to glean from interviews and qualifications alone, so that MI5 use professional psychometric tests.

Often, MI5 will ask applicants to take a situational strengths test online, which you can take from home. When the situational strengths test is used early on in the application process like this you will have to achieve a minimum score before you progress to the next round (typically a score in the top 50% of applicants is required however this does vary role to role). Further along in the selection process you might be asked to attend an assessment centre or interview where you will be asked to sit a situational strengths test again. This is so MI5 can verify the person scoring highly in the test is indeed the person applying for the job.

If you know you want to work for the MI5 but you're unsure of the role that would be best for you, you can take an MI5 quiz to determine this. The MI5 quizzes on their site consist of tasks related to some of their roles. Each MI5 quiz will give you an indication on whether each role is for you, or whether your skills lie with being part of the MI5.

MI5 Application Process Stages

Stage 1

Security questionnaire

The whole application process will vary depending on the MI5 region you are applying to. Some of the stages may not apply, and some may appear in a different sequence. However, all will require that you complete an application form.

This part of the process will help see whether you pass the required security screening and that you are suitable to work for MI5.

Stage 2

Online Aptitude Test
Situational judgement test, verbal reasoning test

Once your application has been reviewed and successfully passed screening, an online situational judgement assessment will be employed. Depending on the position, a verbal reasoning test might also be employed.

Stage 3

Qualifying tests

These tests will be assessed in London. You will need to demonstrate your decision-making skills as well as your comprehension of the situation. You must extract key details from a large array of complex information.

Stage 4

Telephone Interview

This will not be your final interview, but it'll be crucially important for MI5 to get to understand who you are and what you have to offer.

Stage 5

Assessment Centre

For the final stage of the process you will be invited to an assessment centre and asked to take part in some exercises:

  • Commercial exercise and interview
  • Written exercise
  • Psychometric tests

Stage 6

Final Interview

This will be a panel interview undertaken by the selection board. The interview is competency based.

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MI5 Situational Judgement Test Questions

Like most situational judgement tests, the one used by MI5 looks at how you would handle and respond to typical, and rare, situations and scenarios that occur in the workplace. The situational judgement test will be assessing your speed and accuracy. The answers are multiple choice and you should try to work quickly within the time limit, but also accurately. Negative marking is unlikely to be used but do not guess answers, as this will show up in your accuracy score. With practice you will become familiar with the type of situational judgement tests used by companies such as MI5.

Situational judgement tests and who uses them

Companies are using situational judgement tests more and more in their application process that candidates must go through. A person's score in a situational judgement test is a good indicator of how closely their attitudes and responses to situations mimics those of the company they've applied to. This is important in any sector or position.

MI5 use situational judgement tests as part of their recruitment process to help them select the best candidates for a particular role.

So as a graduate or senior candidate applying for a job at MI5 you might feel like the situational judgement test is an unnecessary hoop to jump through. But you should bear in mind that MI5 are asking you to complete the situational judgement test as much for your own benefit as theirs; if you are not suitable for the role, a psychometric test will usually identify this. Research has shown that psychometric tests, such as those used by MI5, are a better predictor of job performance than traditional selection metrics such as level of degree achieved.

What you should know before taking your situational judgement test

The situations described in standardised situational judgement tests are ones which applicants can expect to face whilst performing the job they've applied for. The difficult aspect comes with identifying the details in the situation, which would help you to choose the appropriate courses of action to take, quickly and accurately within the time limit. Here are a few examples of the most common situations you can expect in your situational judgement test:

  • Unsatisfied customer
  • Stock-related problems, such as delivery
  • Disagreements between work colleagues

Different types of situational judgement tests

Most questions in most situational judgement tests follow a standard format displaying a passage of text, the question and answer options on screen. These can be arranged differently, but each test will stick to the same layout throughout. The question text may contain extra information which adds to what's given in the sequence of images, this might also be necessary to answer the question correctly. You might have to guess which answer option is the next in the sequence, or which options represents a missing step in the sequence. Lastly, the answer options are almost always multiple choice. Multiple choice answers can vary, however. You may have 2 options to pick from, 4, maybe 5, and these will have to be ranked too. The more answer options to pick from, the slimmer the chances are that you can obtain the correct answer by guessing.

Answered questions

How difficult are your tests?

The same difficulty as real tests. Generally real employer selection tests don't differ that much in terms of difficulty which is why they compare your score against norm groups. Our practice tests are pitched roughly at graduate level, but this means they are actually suitable for preparing for all levels of job: entry; apprentice; graduate; senior; director.

Are they compatible with my Mac / Tablet / Phone?

Yes, and PC, and Linux and smartphone and Android and...everything. Our practice tests will run on all systems and they are responsive so they will work well on tablets and smartphones too!

How many times can I take the tests?

Unlimited. You can take our practice tests as many times as you like; there is no limit. But to be honest, after taking the same test a few times you start to remember the answers, so that’s why we have lots of tests.