SHL Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

How to Prepare for SHL Situational Judgement Test (SJT)?

Are you applying for a graduate or managerial position? If so, the SHL Situational Judgement Test, SJT, is one of the many assessments you may encounter along the way.

Discover all you need to know about the test and the secrets to passing with flying colours.

What Is an SJT?

A Situational Judgement Test is one of the pre-employment psychometric tests given to potential employees. Like all other psychometric tests, it evaluates if you are a good fit for the company. It corroborates whether you have the skills required in a specific position in the company you have applied to.

Your prospective employer assesses how you are likely to handle different situations in the workplace and if you have the necessary people skills to work with clients and co-workers.

The SJT presents you with a range of different scenarios you may encounter when working for the company. You must select from multiple choice answers how you would deal with the scenarios.

Your answers will give your future employer a picture of your workplace behaviour and allow him to make an informed decision on whether or not to employ you.

What Is the Format of the SHL SJT Test?

The SHL SJT presents you with the scenarios you may encounter and, from multiple-choice answers, asks you to either:

  1. Pick the most appropriate response to the scenario
  2. Put the given responses in order of desirability

The scenarios you will be presented with have the purpose of determining your capabilities in reaching your work objectives, how good you are at managing people, and how loyal you are likely to be to the company.

What Types of Questions Are Asked in the Test?

The questions asked have the purpose of assessing you under the following headings:

Managing Objectives

Expect to be tested on the value you place on networking and consulting with colleagues. You can expect scenarios where you have to reach an outcome and how you plan on reaching it.

Questions will assess your organisational abilities and how good you are likely to be at delegating tasks.

People Management

Questions assess how well you manage people in either one-to-one scenarios or when managing a team. You can expect questions on how you motivate people, if you have the ability to resolve disputes and if your leadership skills are up to the challenges of the job.

Corporate or Reputation Management

Questions in this area focus on how good you are at taking responsibility and how likely you are to be positive and supportive of the organisation you work for.

Sample Question

Try the following question.

Generally, while dealing with solving unfamiliar tasks at work, you should:

Make sure your supervisor is updated on every step of your work process.

Use the experience of your co-workers while encountering difficulties.

Apply methodologies that helped you solve former problems.

Try to identify potential issues with the task and find efficient ways to solve them?

A good trick while you are practising is to select each answer and give yourself a minute or two to decide what the answer suggests about your work style.

Obviously, when doing the real exam, you will not have the luxury of this thinking time. But with sufficient practice before the real exam, you will have honed your answering skills.

How Can I Prepare for the SHL Situational Judgement Test?

Focused young african american businesswoman or student working on laptop

When preparing for any pre-employment testing, it is wise to use the services of a job test preparation company. They will be able to advise you on the format of the test and equip you with relevant preparation materials.

For this, we recommend Job Test Prep. With over 30 years of experience in preparing candidates for pre-employment testing, they will give you accurate information on the test and a test prep pack containing the resources you need to ace the test.

The resources they give you contain sample papers modelled on the real tests, a useful scoring system to measure your results as you do the tests, as well as helpful study guides and videos.

Get an idea of the type of test they give you. Try your hand at the following free sample Situational Judgment Test.

Is the SHL SJT Hard?

SHL is one of the largest pre-employment screening test providers both in the UK and worldwide.

Theoretically, the test is not hard. Companies maintain that the test could be answered from previous life or work experiences. But when attempting to further your career, it is best not to leave anything to chance.

Here are some factors that make the test very challenging:

  • You may be new to this type of testing and you need to become familiar with the style of questioning.
  • You will be in competition with the other applicants who are all vying for the same position as you. The employer will naturally select the candidates with the best results on the test.
  • You will be working under intense time pressure, which if you are not prepared, can cloud your judgement.

Doing Your Preparation

Serious young lady writing in notebook during online studies on laptop at home

Begin your preparation for the SJT as soon as you can and attempt to work to a timetable. Ensure when planning your timetable you leave the day before the real test free for last-minute reviews and some rest.

An essential part of your preparation is to discover as much as you can about the company you are being tested for and their preferred work style.

Their website may give details of the type of person they employ, as will the job advertisement. In doing the SJT, this is the type of employee you want to present yourself as.

For example, imagine your prospective employer puts a lot of emphasis on teamwork. In the following question, which response do you think he would look at most favourably?

Sara was given a list of tasks to complete two days ago. After working fast and efficiently, she has now finished her tasks. Sara’s supervisor is working from a different location today.

What is the most effective response that Sara can take?

Sara could find a colleague that needs help with a task- this could be more interesting than just sitting around at the office.

Sara could call her supervisor and ask him what she could do next- so that her work is more efficient.

Sara could go study materials that are generally relevant for her work.

Sara could ask another member of the office if there is anything she can do to help.

Use Your Sample Papers

Use your sample papers as the backbone of your preparation. Using them in every preparation session will allow you to:

  1. Become familiar with the style of questioning, thus avoiding getting unpleasant surprises on the day of the real test.
  2. Learn how to work within the time limitations of the test.
  3. Monitor your progress by checking your scores on each test you complete.
  4. Quickly identify areas you are having difficulty with.
  5. Learn how to adjust your answering to the type of employment you are being tested for.

Doing the Test

  • Approach the test well rested and confident you have done the work.
  • Don’t be afraid of being a little nervous. This can sometimes enable us to get the best out of ourselves. However, if you are unduly worried, have some stress-busting techniques to fall back on. Deep breathing usually works, or try some stretching exercises.

And finally, go in there and give it your best shot!

If you have an SHL Situational Judgement Test in the offing, you will find all the resources you need to ace it here.

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We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with SHL Group Limited, or any of its subsidiaries.

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Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.