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Situational judgment tests are used to observe how individuals respond to a problematic situation and the course of action they take to tackle it. These tests may be a part of assessment centres employed by certain companies to evaluate the candidates for a job position and determining the best among them. You as a candidate are presented with a problem that you might face while working at the company along with multiple methods to approach it. The amount of information given may be limited and you may have to choose the correct way of responding based on your instincts and the data available.
Situational judgment tests generally require the candidates to rank the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the solutions instead of analyzing them for their correctness or incorrectness. The nature of the given situation may involve interaction with other individuals e.g. coworkers and clients. The solution chosen by the candidates reflects their decision-making capabilities and ability to communicate with others properly.
In a situational judgment test, you are asked to find the most feasible and effective solution, or rank the solutions in increasing or decreasing order as per their effectiveness or choose the least effective solution. This makes it important for you to read the instructions and questions carefully to find out what answer is expected. There may be two consecutive questions, one of which may ask you to choose the best response while the other one may ask to choose the opposite. While in a hurry, you may overlook these details and may end up giving opposite or incomplete answers. This will hamper your chances of scoring and performing well at the test. Therefore, you should read every question thoroughly before attempting it and figure out the expected answer.
A situational judgment test may be designed specifically for a certain job position and so it rarely has generic questions. You should know what is expected of you at the job position, the role you will play, the task you will be assigned, the areas of which you will require good knowledge and expertise, and the skillsets that the organization wants in the potential employees. Whether the job will require dealing with clients, day-to-day problems, substantial communication with peers and co-workers or facing moral predicaments, you should also be knowledgeable. This will help you predict the probable questions that you might encounter as well as choose the right approach to answering them.
In a given situation, different answer choices may be right from different perspectives. For example, if the job position is related to customer support, you may be given a question stating a problem that a customer may have with the company. The answer options may include some choices that may be from the perspective of the customer and others which may be from the perspective of the company. As the employees are a part of the company themselves, their answer choice should be oriented towards their employers. Any personal knowledge, information or emotions should not be factored in while answering the questions.
You may be inclined to choose an answer that goes as per your personal ideologies and thinking. Your answer choice may reflect how you will deal with the situation yourself if there were no other influencing factors, such as the organization itself or its work environment. This might be the right choice if you and the company have co-aligned values and ideologies. However, a company may have different philosophies and may propose and prefer alternate approaches and techniques for tackling the same set of situations. Thus, you should consider the same and select an answer that is symbolic of the company’s doctrine.
There may be two answer choices proposing the same solution, but the manner of conveying the solution or the communication style may be distinct. It is important to thoroughly analyze each answer for disseminating information or communicating a solution. Some answers may have a personal touch while others may be strictly formal. A few of the answer choices may encourage two-way communication but others may have a one-way communication style. The right communication manner will depend on the role at the job position, the situation, the individuals involved in it and the preferred method of the organization. Along with the right approach to handling the problem or the situation, the interpersonal skills reflected in the answer choice should be factored in choosing the correct answer.
Good preparation is always necessary for acing the situational judgment test. Regularly practising mock tests available online, help you master these tests.
You should be knowledgeable of the organization, its areas of expertise, and its future goals and objectives. This will help identify what qualities the organization is looking for in you and the areas that the test might have questions from. You can also ask the company for a job description and the structure of the test beforehand, if possible. This may help you become accustomed to the test format.
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The data science team found that candidates increased their scoring accuracy through practice and went into their assessments more confident. Remember, you need to practice to make sure you familiarize yourself with the test formats, work on your accuracy and experience performing under time pressure.