What is a Cappfinity situational strengths test?
Cappfinity is a global organization that designs and delivers strengths-based psychometric tests for employers to use as part of their recruitment process.
These tests help employers shortlist applicants objectively by enabling recruiters to better understand candidates according to their areas of strength, such as numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, or behavioral preferences in workplace settings.
This information is then used to decide which candidates have strengths in the areas employers deem necessary for success in the role.
Employers use the Cappfinity situational strengths test (SST) to provide a deeper insight into their characteristics, traits, and preferences for how they choose to behave at work.
Each SST is bespoke to each employer according to the positions they have to fill. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to an SST; the test evaluates individuals according to their strengths as relevant to those needed for the role.
The test comprises a series of situational questions, similar to the types of scenarios that an individual will face when in a position.
Questions are presented as a short paragraph of text, along with multiple-choice answers. Candidates select which responses best describe how they would behave, react or feel in the given situation.
Example situational judgment questions
Before taking the SST, it is essential to familiarize yourself with sample questions.
Outlined below is an example of the type of question you may face when sitting an SST.
You are two months into your new role and have been asked to participate in a project with your manager and one of your peers. The project is for a client and has a 6-week deadline for completion. You have had an initial scoping meeting with your manager and have drafted the project outline. You come into work one Monday morning to find that your manager has been signed off sick for the next four weeks, meaning you and your peer will need to complete most of the project yourself.
How would you feel about the situation, and how would you react?
Rank the responses that best describe your reactions from 1 (what most represents the way you feel) to 5 (least represents the way you feel)
A. You anticipate the next four weeks being difficult, and you are uncertain how you will approach the project without your manager.
B. You see this as an opportunity to show your manager and senior management that you are capable and quickly adapt to the situation.
C. You know that the next four weeks will be difficult but accept there is nothing you can do about it.
D. You know you need to remain calm and focused on the project and contact your peer to discuss how you will both tackle the project scope.
E. You know that the project scope is challenging, but you know you can tackle this if you remain calm and focused on the deliverables.
For graduate-level roles, employers often look for individuals who can adapt to situations and show a desire to develop their skills and succeed in their chosen careers.
Based on this, B is the strongest answer, and A is the weakest answer.
Here are some tips to help you if you are invited to take the Cappfinity SST:
1. Keep calm
When faced with a situational strengths test, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Ensure that you keep calm and focus your attention on the questions. If you feel yourself starting to panic, use strategies to keep you calm. Techniques such as mindfulness or deep breathing can help you relax, calm your nerves and bring your attention back to the test.
Keeping a clear head when taking the SST ensures that you concentrate on the information in front of you, correctly interpret the questions, and select the response that seems the most appropriate to you in that given situation.
The key to performing well in an SST is practice. Practicing ensures you know what to expect when it comes to taking the test itself. By practicing sample questions, you get to know how the test is laid out, understand the format of the questions, how the questions are worded, and how you should select responses.
Practicing tests also allows you to build your confidence in taking an SST, learn how to tackle the questions, and consider your strengths that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
3. Don’t second guess yourself
The SST evaluates individuals on their areas of strength. When reading the questions and responses, make sure you don’t second guess yourself or select a response you feel the recruiter wants to hear.
The test will ask different questions, each evaluating individuals on the same strength. So, it is important to answer the questions consistently. Going with your gut and providing an honest response means that you give a true and accurate representation of yourself and your strengths.
4. Manage your time
Being aware of the time limit for the test ensures that you can complete as many questions as possible in the allotted time.
To learn how to better manage your time, practice sample SST tests. Make sure you simulate test conditions by taking timed tests.
Practicing also enables you to become familiar with the format, the type of questions, and how you react under pressure - all essential factors in knowing what to expect and giving you confidence when taking the test.
5. Identify themes in questions
The SST is comprised of scenario-based questions evaluating how individuals choose to react or behave when facing situations they are likely to encounter in the workplace.
Questions evaluating a specific trait or behavior will be asked using different scenarios. When taking the test, try to recognize themes in your responses. This will help you identify when a specific characteristic, behavior, or trait is being assessed, enabling you to provide consistency in your answers.
6. Do your research
Before taking the test, it is essential to research the role and the organization. Visit the organization’s website to understand its mission, history, latest news and product updates, and work environment and culture.
Finally, carefully read the job description. Pay particular attention to the requirements, skills and behaviors deemed essential and desirable for the role. Building a picture of the type of candidate an employer looks for and the responsibilities of the position will help you understand what is important for the employer and the sector they work in.
7. Think about the test environment
Before taking the test, consider your test environment. The Cappfinity SST requires individuals to be entirely focused on the assessment. So, you should take the test in a quiet room that is free from distractions.
To give the test your full attention, switch off your phone or put it on silent, and disable the notifications on your laptop or PC so you won’t be distracted by any notifications or pop up’s.
8. Read the instructions carefully
Make sure you read the instructions carefully so you know what is being asked of you. If you’ve completed an SST previously, don’t assume that the method for selecting a response is the same.
Once you are clear on what you have to do, read and re-read each question to ensure you fully understand the scenario. Doing so means that you don’t misinterpret the question.
When selecting your response, don’t make assumptions. Choose your answer based on the information presented in the question.
9. Ensure you have understood all of the responses
Take the time to read each of the multiple-choice answers before making your selection. Paying attention to each response and understanding these ensures that you select an answer that is true to how you would behave or react in the given scenario.
Although, the responses listed may not be your first course of action, try to select the most likely thing you would do in that situation. Make sure you base your selection on only the information in the question.
10. Make sure you are well-rested
Taking any form of psychometric assessment requires you to be well-rested. Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. On test day, eat a balanced breakfast, stay hydrated, and be positive.
Taking care of your mental and physical health puts you in the best position to answer the questions honestly, presenting an accurate picture of you and your areas of strength.