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Situational Judgement Test

Personalized Report

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Situational Judgement Tests

Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are the most novel and unknown part of the new EPSO
recruitment system, especially because they are labelled as "non-eliminatory", that is, you cannot
fail them. In the following, we will overview why they are crucial to perform well at nonetheless.

SJT Test Format

These tests include a short description of a work-related situation where you are asked to choose
both the most effective and least effective answer option. "Your head of unit plans to give you an
extra task that is not in your job description. You are already overwhelmed with work and your
next door colleague is known to have fewer tasks to complete. How do you react?", and you are
offered four answers. Each of the four options is a viable course of action, but you are required to
choose those that are the best and worst in your view.

The Importance of SJT Tests

Each question and answer option refers to a so-called competency that EPSO wishes to test you on
(see more on this below). The answers you provide offer an indication of your way of thinking and
approaching a certain situation, therefore your personal competency profile can be established in a
relatively reliable way. Given this "relative" reliability, situational judgement test results must be
further fine-tuned and cross-checked, hence the Structured Interview in the Assessment Centre,
where the assessors are forming their questions on the basis of the report created from your SJT
test answers. It is therefore crucial to provide honest answers that truly represent how you think
given that you can be seriously downgraded in your performance at the Assessment Centre if you
don't take SJTs seriously enough.

Competencies

Based on a detailed job analysis of EU officials, EPSO, with the help of experts, created a list of 7+1
competencies that you need to possess in order to qualify for a job in any of the European Union
institutions. These are the following: analysis and problem solving; communicating, delivering
quality and results, learning and development; prioritising and organising; resilience; working with
others and leadership (only for Administrators). The above example would fall into the "resilience"
and the "prioritising and organising" competencies: your related competencies would be judged
based on the course of action you choose.

You should also bear in mind that a situation could conceivably measure several competencies, and
it is the exact wording of the test that will determine which category it falls into. Referring back to
the above example of being given an extra task while already being overwhelmed, it is always
worth taking a moment to consider which of several possible competencies the situation might
measure. How to do this? If the options you are given are related to how you would talk to your
head of unit about the situation, the test is likely geared toward measuring your communication
skills. If the same situation is complemented by answer options describing how you would juggle
several tasks all at once, the same scenario can become a test of your prioritising or stress
management skills.

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Situational Judgement Tests

Institutional Values

In addition to the competencies discussed the above, the EPSO SJT is also infused with the declared
values of the Institutions. As an example, consider the competency ‘Communicating’ in the context
of an SJT situation where you are asked to present a policy initiative to an external audience. The
audience seems very interested in what you have to say but they are extremely critical of the work
of your organisation in the past. When selecting the most effective course of action in such a
scenario, it is not only your ability to diffuse such situations that will be measured, but the
institutional values of loyalty, public image and supranational neutrality might also come into play.
As an example, while discussing the shortcomings of the previous management of your
organisation might be an effective way of diffusing the situation, such an approach would certainly
not be in alignment with the values of your organisation.

SJT and Common Sense

It is vital to understand the meaning of each competency, the logic of the SJTs, the framework in
which they operate in and some good methods to prepare for them. For instance, you should be
able to quickly identify which competency a given question refers to, and this may be challenging if
you are unaware of the detailed meaning of each skill set. Apart from the personal side, certain
values that EU institutions consider as important should also serve as guidance when answering
these tests. Only tests that were created by recruitment specialists will serve your preparation,
since the trick is to map each situation to a specific skill feature that you are being evaluated on.

The Importance of Practice

It is vital to understand that the aim of SJTs is to check whether you possess the above
competencies, not to find out more about your personality. In this sense, you are measured against
a pre-established set of criteria without anyone wishing to explore the inner layers of your
personality. Because of this reason, knowing what will be expected of you and trying to make the
most out of it can immensely help your scores. Getting a sample snapshot of your EPSO
competencies before the exam can contribute to a much more conscious performance at the exam
and it will also improve the overall impression you make.

By taking Online EU Training’s Situational Judgment Test, you did just that. We hope that this
personalised report will help you establish what areas you need to improve in and become more
conscious about your performance in the measured competencies. It is worth exploring your way of
thinking and of approaching situations after reading this report, and we encourage you to come
back and take subsequent tests a few weeks apart to see how being conscious about your
performance and exploring alternative courses of action has affected your performance.

Disclaimer: It should be noted that the exact methodology used by EPSO in devising the Situational Judgment Test you will face at the
exam is confidential; therefore good or bad performance in this measure will not automatically mean good or bad performance in the
EPSO tests. However, by completing this test you will gain an insight into the question types faced as well as plenty of useful general
feedback that will be invaluable in your preparation for the real thing.

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Introduction

Dear Sample,

Thank you for taking Online EU Training’s Situational Judgment Test.

This report summarises the findings of the test you took on 10/05/2010.

Your personalized test measured the following competencies:

Communicating With Clarity


Collaborating With People
Analysing and Creating Solutions
Leading and Inspiring Others
Focusing on Delivery
Harnessing the Power of Development
Planning and Organising
Coping Under Pressure

Below, you will find some basic information about your test and your performance.

EPSO AD Situational Judgment Test


Taken by: Sample Person
Total test-taking time 36m
# of Competencies with Strong Performance 1
# of Competencies with Moderate Performance 5
# of Competencies with Poorer Performance 2

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SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST REPORT
TEST-TAKER: SAMPLE PERSON
EMAIL: SAMPLE@PERSON.EU
TEST-DATE: 12/05/2010
© 2010 ARBOREUS. All Rights Reserved
Strengths and Weaknesses Summary

In this section, you will find a summary of your performance across various measured skills and
competencies.

AREAS OF STRONG PERFOMANCE


Analysing critical, complex information and suggesting workable solutions

AREAS OF MODERATE PERFOMANCE


Tailoring your communication style and content to suit an audience
Co-operating with and caring for a range of people of different backgrounds and
motivations
Maintaining quality of work output, even in challenging situations
Developing your knowledge and personal style and skills
Coping with pressure and adapting to change

AREAS OF POORER PERFOMANCE


Acting as an inspirational role model; and guiding the work and personal development of
others
Planning and organising your working time and individual projects

In the following section, you will see a more detailed description of what practical consequences
this may have, and what you may want to do to improve your perceived performance in these
fields.

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SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST REPORT
TEST-TAKER: SAMPLE PERSON
EMAIL: SAMPLE@PERSON.EU
TEST-DATE: 12/05/2010
© 2010 ARBOREUS. All Rights Reserved
Detailed Description of Performance

The following detailed descriptions of performance by competency describe your performance


at a more detailed level and where you may look to develop. These have been scored in terms of
how closely your answers fitted with the competency definitions being looked for. These
competency definitions have been written especially for this test, and they reflect all areas being
sought by the EPSO situational judgment tests as well.

Analysing and Creating Solutions

In the competency of Analysing and Creating Solutions, your performance would be classed as
strong. This means that, based upon your answers, you are very likely to cope well with
numerous data sources, identifying relevant points in order to identify the root cause of issues
and then devise multiple creative solutions. You are less likely to suggest standard, conventional
ideas or ideas that may be impractical to implement; fail to gather relevant information to inform
decisions and become confused by complexity. This is unlikely to be an area you need to develop:
make sure that you are using this strength to its full potential.

Communicating With Clarity

In the competency of Communicating With Clarity, your performance would be classed as


moderate. This means that, based upon your answers, you are fairly likely to include the correct
balance of detail and conciseness in your communications, identify the needs of your audience
and tailor your communication to suit. However, at times you may communicate in a manner
which fails to capture the attention and interest of your audience, fail to pick up on audience cues
and go into too much detail when presenting. There may be some potential for you to develop
further in this area: reflect upon where your specific areas of weakness may lie and research
how to develop them.

Collaborating With People

In the competency of Collaborating With People, your performance would be classed as


moderate. This means that, based upon your answers, you are fairly likely to show concern for
people; involve others in decision making (including consulting across organisational

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SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST REPORT
TEST-TAKER: SAMPLE PERSON
EMAIL: SAMPLE@PERSON.EU
TEST-DATE: 12/05/2010
© 2010 ARBOREUS. All Rights Reserved
boundaries), and praise other’s ideas and contributions. However, at times you may work in
isolation and pay little attention to people’s individual differences, needs or concerns. There may
be some potential for you to develop further in this area: reflect upon where your specific areas
of weakness may lie and research how to develop them.

Focusing on Delivery

In the competency of Focusing on Delivery, your performance would be classed as moderate.


This means that, based upon your answers, you are fairly likely to keep quality standards high
whilst working to stretching deadlines, enjoy pressurised situations and be proactive in
responding to challenges. However, at times you may break established guidelines or
procedures, possibly compromising quality in the process; wait for instructions before acting
and be content with meeting rather than exceeding targets. There may be some potential for you
to develop further in this area: reflect upon where your specific areas of weakness may lie and
research how to develop them.

Harnessing the Power of Development

In the competency of Harnessing the Power of Development, your performance would be


classed as moderate. This means that, based upon your answers, you are fairly likely to take
active steps to improve both your level of knowledge and your working style and also finding
effective ways of sharing your knowledge with others. However, at times you may allow your
professional knowledge to become outdated, repeat mistakes without learning from the
experience and keep learnings that could be more widely beneficial to yourself. There may be
some potential for you to develop further in this area: reflect upon where your specific areas of
weakness may lie and research how to develop them.

Coping Under Pressure

In the competency of Coping Under Pressure, your performance would be classed as moderate.
This means that, based upon your answers, you are fairly likely to remain calm under pressure
and display a generally positive outlook; including remaining motivated and productive during
times of change. However, at times you may display negative emotions under pressure and look
for the negative side of situations, especially around times of organisational change. There may
be some potential for you to develop further in this area: reflect upon where your specific areas
of weakness may lie and research how to develop them.

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SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST REPORT
TEST-TAKER: SAMPLE PERSON
EMAIL: SAMPLE@PERSON.EU
TEST-DATE: 12/05/2010
© 2010 ARBOREUS. All Rights Reserved
Leading and Inspiring Others

In the competency of Leading and Inspiring Others, your performance would be classed as
poor. This means that, based upon your answers, you are unlikely to be effective at directing and
motivating a team; delivering tough messages when necessary and role modelling positive
organisational behaviours. Instead, you may be more likely to avoid difficult conversations with
your team or have trouble in developing them effectively; provide your team with unclear
instructions and also have a need to develop a greater range of motivational tactics. This reflects
a likely area for you to develop: seek to understand your performance in this area more deeply
by asking for feedback and then research how to develop in this area in a way that suits you.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to develop in this area, you may simply wish to choose roles in
which this plays a less significant part. However, please remember this is not intended as a
career guidance tool and you should seek further evidence before taking any further action on
this.

Planning and Organising

In the competency of Planning and Organising, your performance would be classed as poor.
This means that, based upon your answers, you are unlikely to work in a planful manner, setting
deadlines and monitoring progress; adapt to changes in plans effectively and manage your own
workload well. Instead, you may be more likely to work in a less efficient way; failing to prepare
or to set realistic timescales; judge priorities incorrectly and become flustered when unforseen
issues arise. This reflects a likely area for you to develop: seek to understand your performance
in this area more deeply by asking for feedback and then research how to develop in this area in
a way that suits you. Alternatively, if you do not wish to develop in this area, you may simply
wish to choose roles in which this plays a less significant part. However, please remember this is
not intended as a career guidance tool and you should seek further evidence before taking any
further action on this.

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SITUATIONAL JUDGEMENT TEST REPORT
TEST-TAKER: SAMPLE PERSON
EMAIL: SAMPLE@PERSON.EU
TEST-DATE: 12/05/2010
© 2010 ARBOREUS. All Rights Reserved
Online EU Training
Thank you for taking Online EU Training’s Situational Judgement Test. We hope it will be useful in
your preparation for your EPSO exam.

Arboreus is an innovative e-learning company offering professional online training on European


Union policies and EU Careers. Our clients include European graduates, officials, managers, job
seekers, Brussels professionals and others.

Given the high interest in EU careers, institutional affairs, competition law, trade policy, consumer
protection, environmental issues and other regulatory matters, we offer our online training and
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We do this by creating a community of professionals, academics, diplomats and job seekers
covering European affairs all over the world so they can network and learn about the EU.

Click on the links to learn more about our services:

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