You probably aren’t sure what your potential employer is REALLY looking for. You understand that you need to have certain qualifications or even specific experience for the role, but what else do you need to prove?
With our SJT Examples Questions you might have your own feeling about which is the right way to handle this difficult situation. Almost certainly you will wish you had more information to base your decision on, but that’s what makes these tests difficult. You need to make your decision based on limited info and hope that your perspective matches that of the organisation.
Your answers on this test will give potential employers an insight into your key characteristics and competencies
What can be useful is considering what sort of organisation you are applying to, and what they value. Again, this is where the competencies become important. If a question is to do with how you would choose to communicate, have a look at the organisation’s competencies- they will probably have a statement about what they expect to see in their employees’ communication. It may be that the company values ‘open and two way communication’. It may be that they prefer a more formal style. It can be useful to have an understanding of this to get a good sense of how the SJT may work.
Will this be the only test?
Professional, managerial, graduate and executive level applicants often face various tests as part of an in-depth selection process to get a new job. Depending on the role you may face verbal or numerical testing, spatial awareness or analytical/ reasoning tasks.
The SJT is very much about behaviours- your choices, attitudes, motivations, values. This test might be used quite early on in the process.
These tests short-list applicants using specific questions about how you are likely to behave.
They offer the organisation a quick and easy way to separate those of you who have what it takes, and those who aren’t a good fit. Actually more and more organisations are turning to this new type of test to assess the skills of job applicants, even if you are already a member of staff.
Passing the test
There is NO room for error on these tests which is why it’s so important for you to understand exactly what is required and exactly what you must do to be successful. If you don’t get enough ticks in the right boxes you will be back to square one e.g. all the effort you’ve put in to completing a top notch application has been completely wasted because you have failed the SJT.
What we wouldn’t recommend is trying to second guess what the test is looking for too much. You will get tied up in knots if you ignore all your instincts. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if the answers the company is looking for are very different from the answers you would feel most appropriate, would you really be that good a fit for the role? These tests are designed to help the organisation sift out unsuitable applicants, but they are also a useful guide to tell you how well you are likely to fit in.
However, you can make sure you are fully prepared to face this test, and practice is very valuable to help you get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
For instance, if we look at the example we’ve already provided, what might you think is the best way forward? On the face of it holding one to one meetings with individuals might seem like the most sensitive approach, but think about it further and consider how difficult it would then be to stop rumours and gossip; also, it may be too soon to hear their thoughts as they will be in shock and unlikely to express much more than anger or disappointment. Or you may think the email would work, but bear in mind that the priority here would be explaining the company’s position, which could get peoples’ backs’ up. The formal letter may adhere to policy, but what could this do to morale for the team? It could be perceived as unfeeling and insensitive when the situation hasn’t been properly explained. Perhaps the best course of action would be to hold an initial meeting to present the facts to everyone at once. That way they can go away and digest what it means to them and you could follow up with one to ones once the initial impact has settled. It will not only depend on what you think but also on what the organisation seems to value.
Do consider wider consequences when you choose an answer to the scenario. Your choice may have wider repercussions- make sure these would be positive.
Reduce your SJT stress..
…by downloading our insider Communications Cheat Sheet.
- Find out the key things you will do to annoy your selection panel and damage your chance of success.
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