The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is a multiple choice test. There is no time limit, although it is expected it should take you about 45 minutes to complete all 38 items (this number may vary at Middle Manager level). The SJT details scenarios and then asks ‘Which ONE of the following actions is most likely to be effective? it then gives you four options to choose from.
As is the case with most multiple choice type tests, there will be one or two options which seem less likely to be correct. Then there will be perhaps two that could be correct. The correct answer is not usually obvious, which means that you do have to think about which response you think is most suitable.
Tip: It might be that more than one of the options would potentially be effective. Remember, you are looking for the MOST effective one of the four. For the SJT there is just one correct answer which will attract a mark.
The context for the SJT is the fire and rescue service, to allow the situations to seem familiar. However, the scenarios are largely based on general management issues without any technical jargon or FRS specific terminology which could confuse individuals without that particular knowledge or experience. In fact, the SJT is not knowledge based; there is no need to study or revise.
Tip: The best thing you can do to prepare for your SJT is to have a good look through the PQA’s. Try to understand how each of the PQA indicators works, when you might have seen similar behaviours demonstrated in the workplace. This should give you a good insight into how each PQA might look in action.
Example SJT Question
You are at a meeting with your fellow managers discussing an incident which took place a couple of days ago. Although the incident was well handled, you have some concerns about the new procedures that have been introduced. Even though you feel you briefed your team on the new procedures they seemed to have difficulty knowing what to do at crucial times during the incident.
Which one of the following actions is most likely to be effective?
- Raise your concerns about the new procedures and insist on going back to the old procedures
- Raise your concerns about the new procedures and take responsibility to ensure your team develop a working knowledge of them
- Don’t say anything about the new procedures as you are sure your team will understand them better next time
- Ask other team leaders what they thought of the new procedures and what could be done differently next time.
How to Answer
How to answer may vary depending on the test, you may be asked to:
- Choose which is your most preferred answer
- Put the actions you would take in rank order
- Identify your most preferred and least preferred options.