So, you have been invited to take the big, dreaded, and positively nerve-wracking Situational Judgement Test (SJT)? It’s clear that this test is a BIG deal, seeing as it is often a go-to assessment test. True, it’s not something you have to necessarily study for by memorizing answers or solving numerical or word problems.  

Nonetheless, it may even be considered HARDER than cognitive assessment tests, because the SJT exam evaluates your instinctive decision-making abilities and personality traits that influence how you face everyday challenges in the workplace.  

What Is the Situational Judgement Test All About? 

The Situational Judgment test is a very popular pre-employment assessment tool. This exam helps the company you’re applying for measure your decision-making skills, reliability, motivation, and other important attributes that impact how successful you are at work.  

Which Job Positions Require You to Take the SJT?  

  1. Corporate – entry-level positions (graduates) and managerial positions. 
  2. Government – police, firearms, etc.  
  3. Job-specific – marketing, sales, customer service, etc.  

Competencies Measured by the SJT  

The very best way to score high on a test is to know what they’re looking for in your answers. Know which aspects of yourself will give you an edge and help your positive personality traits shine.  

Competencies consist of your skill set, personality traits, and abilities which contribute to performing well at your job. The competencies assessed on the SJT may change depending on the type of job you’re being considered for. For this reason, different positions may look for different sets of competencies.  

Below is a list of job types and the competencies they aim to assess: 

1. Graduate level competencies 

  • Communication skills – negotiation, persuasiveness, influence, appropriateness  
  • Drive for success – motivation, goal oriented 
  • Planning – organizing, systematic approach to tasks, prioritizing activities  
  • Decision-making – timely analysis, good judgement  
  • Relationship skills – building effective relationships, empathy, awareness of others, teamwork  

2. Managerial level competencies 

  • Decision-making – timely analysis, good judgement  
  • Drive for success – motivation, goal oriented 
  • Managing tasks – objectives, planning, organizing. 
  • Managing people – leading others, provide inspiration. 
  • Relationship building – influence others, handle difficulties in interpersonal situations. 

3. Individual contributor competencies 

  • Service – drive to provide great service, having high standards, pride in doing well. 
  • Handling challenges – resilience, emotional consistency, effectiveness. 
  • Communication – communicating clearly and empathy.  
  • Achieving goals- drive to complete tasks on time.  
  • Teamwork – supporting team members, sharing resources.  

What Makes SJT so Special?  

SJT is unique – it consists of questions which portray many different types of scenarios you may face in the workplace and asks you to decide which strategy you would take. The answers you choose reflect your decision-making skills and sense of judgement. This test also gives employers an idea of how well your values and morals suit the company’s expectations.  

Unlike other cognitive ability tests, who YOU are as a person matters here – from your attitude, soft skills, communication abilities, teamwork, and all the way to how you give and follow instructions.  

What are the Different SJT Styles? 

There are many ways of performing situational judgement tests, as they can be:  

  1. Computer-based 
  2. Paper-based 
  3. Text only 

These tests may also use video clips to present a scenario which you must reference when choosing a response from the written answer choices.  

How is the SJT Structured? 

SJT questions always consist of describing a work-related scenario with a challenge that can be resolved in several ways. You are then asked a question regarding this answer and are offered around 4 or 5 response choices that differ from each other.  

The format of the questions asked may be as follows: 

One response: For this type of question, you will be asked to give one answer from all the choices given. You will be asked to choose, either the best, worst, or most likely scenario that you would choose.  

Two responses: For this type of question, you will be asked to choose both the best and worst choices for the given scenario. You also may be asked to choose the most and least likely choices in response to the situation. 

Tips for Passing Your Situational Judgement Test 

You may not need to study for the SJT, since it doesn’t evaluate your cognitive knowledge…BUT it definitely helps to take an SJT practice test so that you can become familiar with the types of scenarios given and the reactions that companies are looking for.  

Here are some more tips you can try: 

  1. Do your research  
  2. Read the scenario details and answer options thoroughly  
  3. For questions where you need to rate the best and worst, try to put them in order. 
  4. Don’t make assumptions about the given scenario – choose your answer based on the information provided.  
  5. Get into the “mindset “ of employers – try to choose answers which showcase the competencies typical of the position you are applying for. 
  6. Try out our “Free Situational Judgement Tests Sample Questions” if you want to get a taste of what we offer on our all-inclusive exam.

Preparation for the Situational Judgement Test  

It’s evident that becoming more familiar with the competencies and different question formats can help you get ahead of the competition. Our practice materials offer you study guides, score reports, answer explanations, and more to help you succeed. Get a hold of our SJT-style  PrepPacks™ and tips to make passing your test a breeze!  

We at JobTestPrep are here to help you succeed throughout the hiring process. Prepare with our pre-employment tests and interview practice to improve your performance today.