Modern-day work environments are hectic and complex. Despite the obvious advancements in work ethic, various types of conflict situations continue to trouble most workplaces today. Due to this, an ability to approach conflicts constructively has become a highly sought-after professional quality.
As a pre-employment screening technique, situational judgment tests help to place one’s conflict-resolution aptitude under assessment. Along with traditional hiring procedures such as an interview, SJTs help to identify the most competent job seekers. As a result, SJT tests have become crucial to the modern hiring process and are used by companies worldwide.
What Is a Situational Judgement Test?
At first glance, situational judgment tests may seem like just another type of psychological test. It is important, however, to understand the way in which SJTs have a distinct approach to testing itself. As a testing method, situational judgment tests use psychometrics that enables them to evaluate specific aptitude areas. Consequently, SJTs help to determine whether an applicant has what it takes to perform optimally at the job.
In its essence, SJTs present you with situations that you are likely to experience at your future job position. Such hypothetical but likely test situations involve underlying conflicts that you are expected to resolve. Your answers to the questions help evaluate your overall judgment ability.
Due to its predictability, SJT administration has become a common requirement for job positions that demand good judgment. Yet, many job applicants fail to recognise the importance that SJTs play in the modern hiring process. Instead, they choose to remain unaware of how SJT tests can increase or diminish their chances of successful employment.
Most job positions that require good situational judgment have a lot to offer to its candidates. Often, they come with generous material benefits and career growth opportunities that most job seekers certainly find very attractive. Hence, there is a lot to gain if you stop seeing SJTs as technicalities and start treating them seriously.
Contrary to widespread expectations, you can use the requirement to take a situational judgment test to your advantage and increase your chances of getting hired. Below you will find explanations regarding what typical SJTs look like and some tips on how to prepare for them.
What Is the typical format of Situational Judgement Tests?
Most SJTs share similar psychometrics since they all assess your decision-making ability in work-related situations. Content-wise, however, each SJT applies this psychometrics differently and strives to evaluate only the relevant judgment ability areas. These important areas ultimately stem from the unique set of work duties that a specific job position requires.
For instance, jobs in the following occupational fields require good judgment ability and use an SJT exam to evaluate it:
- Administrative Support.
- Customer Service.
- Law Enforcement.
At the same time, work duties within these fields require that you possess various aptitude areas for optimal performance. As a result, their corresponding SJT exams will differ in terms of the content of the assessment questions included.
Sadly, it is not possible to predict all possible types of content that SJT tests may consist of. Many job positions require taking an SJT test, and each of them has its own set of work duties. Yet, it is entirely feasible to cover various types of question formats that a typical SJT exam may include. Below you will find some tips on what to expect from each type of format.
- Scenario-Based Questions
Within this type of question format, you will face a set of hypothetical but likely work-related situations. These situations will emulate the challenges that are most common for the job position that you are applying for. You will have to choose from a few possible options for your response to the conflict scenarios. Depending on the response options that you choose, your aptitude for dealing with situations involving conflict will undergo assessment.
Here are some examples of such conflict scenarios:
- Experiencing a disagreement with your co-workers over a work-related issue.
- Handling a dispute between you and your supervisor or subordinates.
- Dealing with a work task that is unclear to you.
- Facing a situation that challenges your work ethic.
- Multiple-Choice Questions
This SJT exam question format will present you with straightforward questions about hypothetical situations. These questions will inquire into your most natural responses to these circumstances. You will then have to select the answer that best describes the reaction you consider ideal for the situation. As a result, your natural behavioural tendencies and inclinations will go through evaluation.
- Most-Least Likely Answer Tables
This type of SJT test question format also presents you with work-related situations to evaluate your responses to them. After reviewing a given situation, you will have a set of potential response options. You will then rank these response options as ones you are either most or least likely to do.
- Best-Worst Answer Tables
This format of SJT test question is quite similar to the previous one. Here you will also have to acquaint yourself with a given conflict situation and form your judgment of it. Afterwards, relying on your analysis, you will rank potential response options to this situation as either best or worst.
- Ranking and Rating
This format of SJT test question presents you with statements about your work-related behaviours. You will then have to rank or rate these statements in relation to how much they apply to you.
How to Pass a Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
Your score must amount to at least 70% to pass your situational judgment test. These tests typically serve as a screening tool to rank you on a list of eligible job candidates. Your position on this list ultimately determines the priority you will have during the hiring process for the job. Therefore, the higher your scores are on your SJT exam, the better your chances of employment are.
Although SJT tests require no prerequisite knowledge, their format may still be confusing for some applicants. For this reason, learning about situational judgment tests well in advance is a practical approach to exam preparation. While many study aids are helpful, online exam study guides and sample SJT practice tests can be most effective. By boosting your familiarity with the test format, they will help you alleviate most exam-associated anxiety, and allow you to know what to expect.