Job Simulation: The Ultimate Guide & Practice for 2024

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What Is a Job Simulation?

'Job simulation assessment' is a general term referring to a wide range of tests that mimic different aspects of the sought-after position. As its name suggests, the job simulation stage in a recruitment process imitates work-related tasks, assignments, and behaviours you will be demonstrating in your position. 

The job simulation can be administrated at various stages of the recruitment process. It could be at the beginning, to screen the first batch of applicants, or it may be taken in the last stages to determine which of the final candidates is the best fit for the job.

There are various types of job simulations, each assessing a different aspect of the job and conforming to the role you applied for, industry, and organisation. It is usually conducted online, but you may be invited to take it on-location or at an assessment centre.

Many organisations, like HSBC, Deloitte, and EY, use a different types of job simulations in their hiring process; these can include–

click assessment type to read more about it

Not sure which job simulation assessment you will be taking? contact us! 

Job Simulation Assessment Types

Take Home Assignment

Take-home assignments are job simulation assessments in which you receive an assignment to complete remotely within a designated time frame, which can be a few hours or a couple of days. The take home assignment is a type of work sample test that assess the skills required in your position.

As such, the assignment differs according to your role. For example, for a software programming position, your assignment will be to write code; as a journalist, you will need to write an article; and as a social media specialist, you may be asked to create a campaign.

In-Basket Exercise

An in-basket exercise (also called in-tray exercise) is a job simulation test that assesses your work process and how you tackle, prioritise, and organise assignments. The name of this assessment derives from the days when employees had an actual basket on their desks where their tasks were piled up.

You will have a time limit to complete tasks like sorting and addressing emails, answering phone calls, and handling customer grievances.

These simulations are often part of the hiring process for administrative and managerial roles.

Virtual Job Tryout 

A virtual job tryout is a form of in-basket exercise that, using advanced technology, simulates the tasks you will perform on your job with a higher degree of accuracy.

This can be a live chat support simulation, writing email responses, or a cognitive assessment, as in the Deloitte Job Simulation assessment.

Situational Judgement Test 

A Situational judgement test is a behavioural assessment that evaluates how you approach and handle situations. In this job simulation test, you will be presented with work-related scenarios and will be required to choose, rank or rate the most effective or ineffective course of action from a list of options.

The SJT is among the most common of the job simulation assessments, and it is taken as part of the hiring process for a wide range of positions in many companies and organizations, from big firms such as HSBC to the Civil Service.


Role-playing is a job simulation assessment that assesses your ability to communicate, transmit, and convey a message or an idea. In this assignment, you will need to act out your response to a work-related scenario or demonstrate how you would act in a certain circumstance. 

Although usually taken as part of a group assignment, it can also be part of an individual job simulation of companies that uses the HireVue platform.

Case Interview

A case interview, or case study, is a job simulation test that assesses your ability to analyse information, reach conclusions, use your critical thinking, make data-based decisions, and present them to your colleagues and managers.

You will be given work-related documents, and you will need to interpret data, plan strategic solutions, and present your recommendations according to your findings in a written form or in-front of your recruiters. For example, when applying to McKinsey, you may be asked to write and analyse key factors surrounding the launch of a new product, and a Deloitte Case Interview can include a report for a company that intends to acquire another company.

The case interview can be administered as part of a group assignment and as an individual job simulation.

Group Test

A group test is a job simulation format that assesses your communication skills, leadership abilities, and peer relationships. 

Many assignments can be taken as a group, such as case interviews, group interviews, role-playing exercises, group presentations, practical work-related tasks, and group dynamics.  

Pre-recorded Interview

A pre-recorded interview is a job simulation that, in addition to acting as a substitute for an in-person interview, can include various evaluation assignments, such as role-playing, case interviews, and SJTs, that assess job-related competencies, traits, and behavioural tendencies. 

In the pre-recorded interview, you will be presented with work-related questions or tasks that you will need to record your response in a limited time frame. You usually have up to two minutes to prepare your answer and up to three minutes to record it.

Your recruiters or hiring managers will view your recorded interview, and if you move on to the next stage of the hiring process, you will most likely be summoned to a traditional interview.

In recent years, the popularity of pre-recorded interviews has increased and is now becoming more advanced and even AI-based, such as the HireVue platform that is used by companies like Goldman Sachs, Cathay Pacific, and Coca-Cola.

Ability Assessments

Ability assessments are evaluation tests that measure your knowledge, skills, competencies, and cognitive aptitudes. The most common ability tests are numerical reasoning, and verbal reasoning, as in the Deloitte Job simulation assessment.

Personality Profile

A personality profile, also called a Values Assessment, is a questionnaire in which you report your personal traits and preferences or choose, rate or rank statements regarding your characteristics and tendencies.

Popular Finance Job Simulations

The use of job simulation assessments has become the most common pre-hiring assessment for the biggest financial firms and investment banks, which are using various types of job simulations.

These job simulations often include a series of assessments. For example, the Deloitte job simulation comprises four types of assessments – video interview, written responses, cognitive evaluation, and a Situational Judgment Test.

The HSBC job simulation also comprises four assessments, referred to as Micro Exercises – a video interview, two SJTs, including a personality profile, and a virtual job tryout.

The EY job simulation includes a video interview, SJT, personality profiling, and a virtual job tryout in which you will be asked to respond to an email from one of your colleagues or managers.

Some firms use both traditional ability assessments and job simulations, such as the BDO Amberjack Assessment, which includes a critical reasoning test, numerical reasoning test, SJT, and a video interview.

JobTetPrep’s Job Simulation Assessment Practice is  the ONLY online prep course tailored for the financial industry, with simulations and practice questions that follow the content, structure, and sought-after values and attitudes of the biggest financial firms’ job simulations, including EY, Deloitte, and HSBC. 

💡 Learn more about your Banking Test

Job Simulation Preparation Tips

Whichever job simulation assessment you may have been asked to take, there is a common ground between the different types and a number of tips that apply to all of them:



Do the research
No matter which type of job simulation test you are about to take, you must look into the job description and the company’s agenda and culture. This will direct you to which traits and competencies you should emphasize while completing the task.


Track your time
Most job simulation assignments have a restricted time frame, and there are some, like the in-basket exercise and pre-recorded interview, where the time limit is a significant factor. Learn to manage your time, optimize it, and delegate your activities within the task so that it will not be an obstacle when completing your assignment.

notePractice beforehand
Find out through your invitation email or from your recruiter which job simulation you are about to take. For most of these assignments, there are tailored preparations that allow you to familiarize yourself with the test and get ready to ace it!

The Job Simulation Practice is currently the only preparation for the financial industry, focused on the values, attitudes, behaviours and pre-recorded interview questions you will address in the real job simulation.

Want to know more about how to prepare for your job simulation? contact us! 
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