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Situational Judgement Test (SJT) Preparation: Online Practice, Sample Questions & Tips – 2021

Job Assessment

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 recognize 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:

  • Management.
  • Supervisory.
  • Administrative Support.
  • Customer Service.
  • Law Enforcement.
  • Firefighting.

 

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 behavioral 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. Afterward, 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 behaviors. 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.

 

Practice Free SJT Questions with Explained Answers:

 

Scenario-Based Sample Question:
“On Monday, you and your co-worker John had a briefing with your sales manager. He tasked both of you with cold calling the list of sales prospects by the end of the week. You and John decided to split the list between each other. It’s Friday, and you come to find out the following: You have handled your share of the sales prospects list diligently. John, on the other hand, hasn’t even started working on his share of the list. John is asking you to settle this issue without the sales manager finding out. Which of the following examples would you consider as the most appropriate response to this situation?”

  1. You will report the issue as it is to your sales manager.
  2. You will cover for John this time.
  3. You will cold call John’s share of the list by yourself.
  4. You will let the situation take its natural course.

 

Answer:
Adherence to subordination principles is a sign of strong work ethic. In this regard, response option A may be considered as the most beneficial to select. It showcases that you possess the required work ethic and hence have the desired aptitude for the job position.

 

A Multiple-Choice Sample Question:
“You are a customer service representative. A customer unhappy with your company’s product calls you and starts sharing his frustrations with his purchase. Which of the following behaviors would you consider as the most constructive response to this situation?”

  1. You will refer the customer to your supervisor.
  2. You will try to prove to the customer that your company’s product is superior.
  3. You will make an effort to listen to the customer’s concerns.
  4. You will offer the customer alternative company products to try.
  5. You will tell the customer that his concerns are not reasonable and hang up.

 

Answer:
Possessing active listening skills is a highly sought-after professional quality in customer service. For this reason, response option C would be the most beneficial to select as your answer. It demonstrates that you would rather approach a conflict situation by making an effort to actively listen.

 

Practice a Most-Least Likely Answer Table Question:
“You have been granted a six-month internship at a law firm, where you would really like to work in the future. You want to use your internship at this firm to increase your future chances of getting employed. Which of the following actions will you be most or least likely to take?”

Actions Most Likely to Take Least Likely to Take
A: I will work diligently no matter the amount of paperwork I am assigned.
B: I will try to do as little work as possible and take as much credit as possible.
C: I will make an effort to network with people having a stake in the hiring process decisions.
D: I will think that me being a graduate with a relevant degree is sufficient.

 

Answer:
Response options A and C showcase that you have a strong work ethic while response options B and D do not. Possessing a strong work ethic is a valued professional quality. It is hence most beneficial to rank options A and C as ones you are most likely to do. And rank options B and D as ones you are least likely to do.

 

Practice a Best-Worst Answer Table:
“You are a supervising manager. You want to profile the performance of your workers based on certain criteria. Which of the following criteria would you consider as best and worst to choose for the task?”

Criteria Best Worst
A: Amount of paperwork processed per week.
B: Socializing habits.
C: Rate of compliance with administrative decisions.
D: Level of participation in non-formal corporate activities.

 

Answer:
Options A and C seem to be sound criteria to determine the performance of your employees. Options B and D do not seem to be relevant to whether your subordinates are productive or not. Therefore, it is beneficial to rank options A and C as best and options B and D as worst.

 

Ranking and Rating Sample Question:
“When you deal with complex work assignments, you like to plan each step towards their completion well in advance.”

  1. “True.”
  2. “Mostly true.”
  3. “I can’t decide.”
  4. “Mostly untrue.”
  5. “Isn’t true.”

 

Answer:
Good time management skills are a desirable professional quality for most job positions. Options A and B showcase that you have them and are hence the most beneficial to select.

 

Free 10 Question Practice Test:

Download a printable version of the SJT PDF sample test.

  1. Your supervisor has asked you to organize important paperwork by the end of the week. You are already overwhelmed with other assignments and feel you might fail to complete this one by the deadline. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Report the issue to the supervisor as is.
    2. Find reasons why paperwork is deficient and excuse yourself from dealing with it.
    3. Ask the supervisor for an extension of deadline.
    4. Enlist the help of one of your co-workers to help you.
    5. Rush through the paperwork to meet the deadline no matter what.
  2. Your supervisor has offered you to go through a corporate training during hours free from your work time. You have a day to make your decision. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Research the offer and figure out how much this training contributes to your career goals.
    2. Say yes to the offer immediately.
    3. Refuse the offer.
    4. Thank your supervisor for the offer but prioritize your workload over it.
    5. Accept the offer but ask your supervisor to rid you from some of the workload.
  3. Your team is working on a very urgent project. While everyone is doing their part, one of your team mates doesn’t seem to take his work seriously. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Report the issue to your team supervisor.
    2. Approach the problem team mate about the issue.
    3. Redivide the workload among the team members who do take their part seriously.
    4. Try to motivate the problem team mate by reminding him of the incompletion sanctions.
    5. Try to motivate the problem team mate by reminding him of the incentives.
  4. You’re tasked with selling the company product that is obviously detached from the target market. As your sales take a dive, you’re contemplating on what to do. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Report the issue as is to your sales manager.
    2. Keep trying to sell the product.
    3. Look for ways to approach prospects differently.
    4. Educate yourself on the new sales tactics and strategies.
    5. Leave things as they are and do your best.
  5. You have witnessed one of your co-workers indulging in behaviors that contradict company’s code of conduct. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Report the issue to your supervisor.
    2. Pretend you saw nothing.
    3. Approach your co-worker about the behavior yourself.
    4. Discuss your co-worker’s behaviors with others.
    5. Suggest your co-worker reads company’s code of conduct.
  6. Your supervisor has not been treating you fairly. He has been assigning you with much more workload than some of your co-workers. Which of the following would you be most likely to do in this situation?
    1. Approach your supervisor about the issue and discuss it.
    2. Ignore the issue and just keep working.
    3. Ask your co-workers to help you with the workload.
    4. Keep doing the unreasonable amount of work but with lesser quality.
    5. Report the issue to your supervisor’s superiors.
  7. You and two of your co-workers were tasked with preparing tomorrow’s presentation. You did most of the work yet your co-workers got most of the credit from your supervisor. Which of the following would you be most likely to do in this situation?
    1. Ignore the issue.
    2. Discuss the issue with your co-workers.
    3. Approach your supervisor about the issue.
    4. Report the issue to your supervisor’s superiors.
    5. Refuse to help with such work projects next time.
  8. You have witnessed a misuse of company’s office equipment by one of your co-worker. Your co-worker asks you to not report the issue. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Agree to cover for your co-worker this time.
    2. Think the issue over.
    3. Agree to your co-workers request in return for a favor.
    4. Report the issue to the office manager.
    5. Speak with other co-workers about the issue.
  9. You have witnessed inappropriate use of language at the office by your supervisor. You co-workers claim that this behavior is normal for your supervisor. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Ignore your supervisor’s behavior.
    2. Approach your supervisor about the issue.
    3. Report the issue to supervisor’s superiors.
    4. Treat your own behavior at the company less seriously.
    5. Ask your supervisor to diminish your workload otherwise you report the issue to his superiors.
  10. You have been tasked with organizing important documentation. You managed to complete the task but your supervisor claims you lost one of the documents. You are sure that you did not. Which of the following would you be most likely to do?
    1. Take responsibility for the issue.
    2. Ask your supervisor to cover for you in exchange for more workload.
    3. Report the issue to supervisor’s superiors.
    4. Try to prove your supervisor wrong.
    5. Ask your co-workers whether they saw the missing document anywhere in the office.

Answers:

  1. There are no right or wrong response options in situational judgement assessments. Some response options are still more likely to speak better of you as a job candidate than others. In this case, options A, C, and D demonstrate stronger work ethic than options B and E.
  2. There are no right or wrong response options in situational judgement assessments. But some response options may speak of you as a job candidate more favorably than others. In this case, options A and D demonstrate strongest work ethic. Options B, C, and E may speak less of you as a working professional.
  3. There are no right or wrong response options in situational judgement assessments. But some response options can certainly speak better of you as a job candidate than others. In this case, options A and B demonstrate strong work ethic. Options C, D, and E may or may not be considered good judgements of the situation on your part.
  4. There are no right or wrong answers in situational judgement tests. But certain response options speak better of you than others. In this case, options A, C, and D are productive decisions resulting from good judgement of the situation. Options B and E don’t demonstrate good work ethic.
  5. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to situational judgement assessments. Some response options, though, may speak better of you as a job candidate than others. In this case, options A and E speak better of your work ethic than the remaining response options.
  6. There can be no right or wrong answers when it comes to situational judgement assessments. Yet, some response options typically tend to speak better of you as a job candidate than others. In this case, option A is the most appropriate and showcases your good work ethic.
  7. There are no right or wrong response options when it comes to situational judgement assessments. Some response options still tend to speak more favorably of you as a potential job prospect than others. In this case, option C is the most appropriate response option and demonstrates that you have good work ethic.
  8. Regardless of the response options you choose, it would not be considered right or wrong. Yet, some response options in situational judgement assessments tend to speak more favorably of you than others. In this case, option D showcase strongest work ethic given the presented situation.
  9. There can be no right or wrong answers when it comes to situational judgement assessments. Still, some response options tend to showcase your aptitude for the job better than others. In this case, option C demonstrates strongest work ethic.
  10. There are no right or wrong response options in situational judgement assessments. Some answers, though, will tend to portray you in a better light as a job candidate than others. In this case, option C is the most appropriate response option and showcases that you have good work ethic.

 

 

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