Situational judgment tests are a versatile instrument that allows employers to evaluate the competence of their potential workers. This type of aptitude test consists of various generated situations regarding the potential occupation. Test-taker’s task is to process the situation and decide which of the provided answer options is the most applicable. In a nutshell, situational judgment tests fall in-between ability and personality assessment. Employers around the world like this universal instrument due to its ability to show how good their employees can handle their direct responsibilities. Scenarios in situational judgment tests cover both day-to-day routine tasks and spontaneous circumstances. Altogether, this allows evaluating such skills as logical reasoning, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and other necessary skills in the work environment.
The majority of situational judgment tests are custom-made regarding the company and job specifications. Thus, it will be next to impossible to get 100% ready for a certain test beforehand. However, it’s not a place for panic, because you can work on some universal skills necessary to ace any situational judgment test. We’ve browsed a variety of situational judgment tests available on the web and put together a small field guide to tricks and means to succeed in taking situational judgment tests.
Study the company’s values and culture
Situational judgment tests are custom-tailored assessments, therefore enterprise’s values and corporate culture will be a foundation of these tests. Thus, if you have a chance to do some research about these values before your assessment day, it can give you a significant advantage. Corporate culture is a set of principles that also reflects the way the company does its business. Corporate culture has an impact on the work processes in both routine workflows and spontaneous problem solving for any employee regardless of their job specifications. These values will definitely give you an insight into situational judgment relevant for the company you interview for.
Get familiar with key competencies
Besides general corporate culture and values, you should also focus your research on the key competencies regarding your occupation. The majority of HRs and employers already have a specific picture of a potential worker’s profile. This includes personal traits and abilities and, therefore, competencies. There are some competencies relevant for almost any job such as trustworthiness, ethics, responsibility, etc. However, there are some narrow competencies necessary for certain professions that may determine their overall performance in this position. For instance, a marketing specialist needs to have a significant amount of commercial awareness, while communicational skills will be more relevant for a sales manager. That is why when you face tasks describing a situation imagine yourself the best possible version of the desired employee for this job and make a decision based on the outstanding level of specific skills for this profession.
Don’t rush with the answers
The inquiries in situational judgment tests might have two or more answer options. Therefore, it’s crucial not to jump to conclusions and read every answer option carefully. Even if you feel that the first option is the most acceptable one at a first sight, take your time and read through other options. It’s not infrequent that every answer option sounds similar yet with one or two varying details. However, this very detail may play a significant role for employers during the grading.
It’s not all about giving a correct answer
The majority of questions in situational judgment tests are not about a hard “yes” or “no”. Usually, these assessments are tailored to reveal how fitting your skills are to the nature of business and work relationships inside the company looking to hire you. As well as our life, regular workflow can’t be divided into simple black and white, there are a lot of different shades in-between. The tasks in situational judgment tests will require you to make complex decisions or grade the controversial ones. Take it into account that most of the time you’ll need to take on the company’s perspective to figure out a way to turn different scenarios into beneficial and profitable situations.
Answer only in accordance with the situation described
One of the most common mistakes among test-takers is overthinking the task in front of them. When it comes to solving situational judgment tests your job is to make decisions based only on the information given in the description. There’s no need to apply all of your extensive life experiences to solve each question of the assessment. Even though employing your knowledge is important, the test tasks don’t require you to judge every situation regarding real-life prototypes or key figures. Imagine that these situations happen in a parallel universe limited to only described variables and solve the task within those variables.
There is probably no better way to become better at solving situational judgment tests than constant practice. It’s the only option for you to understand what they can look like and what components they might have. Despite the fact that every question of these assessments is custom made they still follow some general principles that can be learned through practice. In addition, practicing will help you better understand your strengths and elaborate your pace of solving. Altogether it will help you focus on the assessments day in order to achieve the highest performance.