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How to Prepare for a Situational Judgment Aptitude Test

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Every organization has specific requirements during its hiring process. Many professions require their candidate to complete a series of aptitude tests before moving on to the next step. One such test is the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), designed to assess various skills related to the position. The Situational Judgment Test measures your decision-making capabilities, teamwork, aptitude, and suitability for the role you have applied to.

How to Prepare for a Situational Judgment Aptitude Test



Every organization has specific requirements during its hiring process. Many professions require their candidate to complete a series of aptitude tests before moving on to the next step. One such test is the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), designed to assess various skills related to the position. The Situational Judgment Test measures your decision-making capabilities, teamwork, aptitude, and suitability for the role you have applied to. The questions are designed to assess your reasoning, judgment, moral character, common sense, and problem-solving capabilities. Situational judgment questions will give a brief description or scenario of a situation you might face in the workplace. Then you will be given a list of actions or responses that might be taken to respond to the situation. While SJT tests do not have a "right" or "wrong" answer, per se, the employer has an idea of what they consider correct and incorrect answers. The employer will see if your answers line up with their company's values and ethics.

Most SJT aptitude tests are not timed and range from 25 to 50 questions. Even though there is no time limit, employers want to determine that you can keep calm under pressure and work quickly and instinctively. Therefore, you want to allow yourself approximately one minute per question. Most workplaces administer Situational Judgment Tests online, which allows the automatically generated results to create a combined score. Your score is then sent to the employer or recruiter for review.



What is a Situational Judgment Test?



A Situational Judgment Test assesses the candidate's decision-making capabilities, aptitude, and suitability for the role. Situational judgment questions will give a brief description of a situation you might face at work, including team building, communication with coworkers and supervisors, relationship building, and interactions with the public. Then you will be given a list of possible actions or responses that might be taken to respond to the situation. The questions are designed to assess your reasoning, judgment, moral character, common sense, and problem-solving capabilities. Some situational judgment tests are a type of personality test where there may not be a "correct" answer. Still, the employer will gain insight into how you analyze and respond to a given situation based on your personal opinion. SJTs will be targeted towards the employer and the type of role they are trying to fill. For example, suppose you are applying for a cashier position. In that case, you will have a test based on customer service skills, managing your register, interacting with the public and coworkers, and working with a manager or supervisor.

There are several different formats to the test. Some tests ask you to read a scenario and choose the best and worst answers, while others ask you to rate the answers from a most likely response to a least likely response. Other tests will give you a passage to read and ask you to rank the options from least effective to most effective. Typically, one or two answers will be clearly unethical or against most people's values. You should also be aware that many answers will be passive choices, where you will be asked not to do anything or ignore the situation. Rarely are these ever correct answers to choose in Situational Judgment Tests.



Why do Employers use Situational Judgment Tests?



Employers use Situational Judgment Tests to analyze a candidate's ability to make sound decisions in stressful situations, behavioral tendencies, conflict-resolution skills, following orders, and public interaction. In addition to the Situational Judgment Tests, some companies administer a personality test or an in-person psychological examination to determine if the candidate will be a good fit for their organization. Companies in various industries use Situational Judgment Tests to narrow their candidate pool and find the most qualified person to hire. By requiring an SJT for employment, companies can ensure that everyone they invite for an interview has the skills needed for a particular role in their company.



What Type of Companies or Industries May Require Candidates to Take a Situational Judgment Test?



Industries and companies that use Situational Judgment Tests include:



What Types of Questions Are on the Situational Judgment Test?



Here are a few examples of the types of questions you can encounter on a Situational Judgment Test, with explanations as to why the correct answer was chosen.

Directions: Choose the best response for the following question.

You are working as a cashier and are told by your supervisor to cash out your drawer and be off the clock in 15 minutes since it is an unusually slow day, and the company is trying to lower its operating costs. You place a closed sign at your register and start taking out your drawer. Just then, the General Manager walks up to your register and asks you to stay open. What would you do in this situation?



  1. Tell the General Manager that your supervisor asked you to cash out and ask them what they would like you to do.
  2. Remove your closed sign and keep your register open.
  3. Pretend like you are staying open and close your register when the General Manager leaves.
  4. Ignore the General Manager and close your register.


Correct answer: a

Explanation:
The best response is to inform the General Manager that your supervisor asked you to cash out and ask them what they would like you to do. Communication is essential in any profession. If you do not tell the General Manager what your supervisor asked you to do, they have no way of knowing why you are closing out your register. The General Manager can then decide what they would like you to do. Removing the closed sign and keeping your register open goes against what your supervisor asked of you, and pretending like you are staying open and closing your register when the General Manager leaves goes against their orders. Ignoring any supervisor or manager is unprofessional and should be avoided if you want to keep your job.

Directions: Read the following passage and choose the most appropriate and least appropriate response to the following questions.



Passage: You are the supervisor of a team of customer service representatives in the banking industry. You enter the call center one afternoon after lunch and overhear one of your representatives with a loud voice telling a customer to "calm down and relax; you are making this more difficult, and you need to chill out." After the call ends, what would be your course of action?

  1. Admonish the representative in front of their coworkers.
  2. Ignore the representative's behavior since they typically provide excellent customer service.
  3. Ask to speak with the representative privately and ask what happened with the call.
  4. Give the representative a poor review at their next performance appraisal.


What is the most appropriate response?

Correct answer: c



Explanation: The most appropriate response is to speak with the representative privately and ask what happened on the call. Until you hear their side, you do not know what happened. If needed, you could review the call recording to determine if the representative was acting inappropriately. However, the representative should use different terminology in a calmer voice when working in customer service.



What is the least appropriate response?

Correct answer: b



Explanation:The least appropriate response is to ignore the behavior. If ignored, the behavior could continue when you are not in the room, and customers will complain. The representative needs to be made aware that this behavior is inappropriate for a customer service representative. Admonishing the representative in front of their coworkers is also an unacceptable way to handle the situation, but it is not less appropriate than ignoring the problem.



Common Questions About Situational Judgment Tests.



How quickly do I receive the results of my test?

Every organization has different methods for their test results. It is best to ask the hiring manager or recruiter when the test results will be available.



At what stage in the hiring process is the Situational Judgment Test given?

After submitting your application and resume, the hiring manager will schedule a Situational Judgment Test and any other aptitude tests needed for the position. Upon successfully completing the test(s), you will be invited to a telephone or in-person interview.



What is a passing score on the Situational Judgment Test?

With most companies, a passing score is 80%. However, the higher score you receive will place you higher on the candidacy list, so you want to achieve as high a score as possible.



How do I prepare for the Situational Judgment Test?

The first step is to take the Mock Questions Situational Judgment practice test. In addition to taking that test, there are many online resources to take additional practice tests. Some companies will offer a testing packet to candidates that have sample questions. If a company provides a testing packet, study the packet before taking the written test. Even though most SJTs are not timed, it is still recommended timing yourself while taking the practice exams to get an idea of how long it will take you to answer each question.



What do I do if I do not know the answer to a question?

If you do not know the answer to a question, skip over it and move on to the next question. You want to answer as many questions as possible to achieve a high score. It is not recommended to leave any questions blank, so after you complete the test, go back to the unanswered questions and choose the answer you believe to be most accurate.



If the questions on the test are based on basic knowledge, do I need to study?

The questions are based on basic knowledge, but it is recommended that you study for the exam if you want to achieve a high score. Those who spend time familiarizing themselves with the content on the test tend to feel more confident on the day of the test and have a better chance of achieving the highest possible score.



Helpful Advice for Candidates Preparing for the Situational Judgment Test.



In addition to studying the materials and taking online practice tests, here is some more advice to candidates preparing for the Situational Judgment Test:





After completing the Situational Judgment practice test, check out the other aptitude tests that Mock Questions offers here.

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