What Is a Situational Judgement Test?
Situational judgment tests are behavioral tests used to assess someone’s behavior in realistic workplace scenarios. Social skills are a big factor in this test, as is the person’s knowledge.
It usually starts off with a statement and this is followed by a set of particular outcomes, both positive and negative.
So, the scenario could be a statement such as the following.
“Organise and set up weekly meetings to review and discuss the health and safety policy in the aftermath of COVD-19 and see if any adjustments need to be made regarding this issue.”
This could then be followed by a list of possible outcomes, starting with the negative outcomes which are, highly undesirable, undesirable, slightly undesirable. The positive outcomes could be, slightly desirable, desirable, and highly desirable.
Answering this question depends on the person. Each answer will be different for each potential employee. Usually, these questions come in a set, so it might be ten questions altogether, for example.
Different Styles of Situational Judgement Tests
Situational judgment tests will always have the same question format, so it is always known what is to be expected in terms of the questions asked. However, there are a multitude of ways in which the test can be done:
- Paper-based – Before the advancement of the internet, this would have been the most common. It is still a very common method especially if it is the first time meeting your employer.
- Computer-based – Nowadays this would be the most usual method used. The positive aspect of this is that it can be done at any time and in your own home.
- Text only.
- Video clips – This is more interactive with the user and by using written response options it is more user friendly.
Animation and computer-generated avatars – By using visual elements, it places the user in a realistic situation that they might face.
Typical Competencies Measured by Situational Judgement Tests
These are several competencies that they test:
- Communication Skills – This measures how you relate to other people and how well you communicate with other people.
- Team Spirit – This could include putting the needs of the team above yourself and demonstrating honesty and openness with team members.
- Good Networker – This would mean sustaining relationships outside the organization as well.
- Customer Focus – Understanding customer’s needs and promising them efficient services in a timely manner.
- Creative and Analytical Thinking – Coming up with new ideas that could benefit the company. Also, successfully identifying problems and proposing solutions.
- Commercial and Market Awareness – This is especially useful if the company is looking to continue to grow. By having these skills candidates can look at issues that could affect the business.
- Achiever Attitude – Having this means you have the drive, determination, and resilience to do anything on the job even if it’s challenging.
- Planning and Organizing – This could mean delivering efficient work before the deadline. In a team setting, factors like organizing resources and managing team members’ time.
How to Prepare for a Situational Judgement Test
- One of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing for a situational judgment test is to keep practicing the questions. It will boost your confidence and competence as well. With repetitive practice, it will make facing the actual exam easier as you will have done the same layout so many times, it becomes natural to you.
- It is recommended that to get an idea of what the test is going to be like, your employer should be contacted to know what your role in the company will be. This will help you in knowing what sort of questions will be on the exam. Also, researching about the company will be of great help as well using the checklist your employer gives you.
- It is a good idea to time each question effectively. This allows you to monitor your progress to see if you are working at an appropriate speed for the test. However, with every practice test you take, the chances always improve which can lead to faster and more efficient progress with answers.
- If possible, try and study in a room away from other distractions that may hinder your study progress. This could include a desk as well so that you can work on your laptop as well. This will help in your thinking more clearly and helps to develop better concentration skills.
- On the morning of the actual exam, it should be a priority to take the exam head-on. This should include any factor that makes you feel prepared. So, this could be a shower, a good night’s sleep, and a good, healthy breakfast. Things such as these can lead to better concentration, more confidence, and a better mindset.
How to Pass a Situational Judgement Test
- Read the questions carefully – Before starting the questions, you should read each one carefully. By doing so, you have a better chance of getting better marks. The last thing that should not be done is to rush the process. This only overrides your thinking and results in a worse performance.
- Answer from the perspective of the organization – This test contains different answer choices. Which may be from the perspective of the customer and from the company. It is important to keep in mind that these answer choices should be aimed towards the employer.
- Choose answers that reflect the core values and ideologies of the company – You may come across a question that asks how you would deal with a problem that comes up. Keep in mind, the company may have a policy that outlines this and this should be answered from their perspective only.
Situational Judgement Test Tips
- SJT’s are timed so it’s best to spend an appropriate time on each question. This should be consistent for each question.
- There are no right or wrong answers. It is your own personal opinion that matters.
- You cannot change your answers so it is important to think them through.
- Usually works best in a single sitting so make sure that you’re prepared.
- When coming across a scenario, it is best to answer in the way you think you would deal with it in real life.
Situational Judgement Test FAQs
What questions can I expect?
This depends on the job you’re applying for. Each career will have relevant scenarios attached to it. So, it’s best to find out what your role will be.
Where are the situational judgment tests used?
They are generally used by employers in companies looking to assess someone’s ability.