When applying for a managerial or supervisory position, or at least a position that requires you to have a considerable amount of management and leadership skills, companies these days no longer just look at a person’s resume or application. Instead, they want to make sure that the applicant has the necessary management skills for the position by making them take a leadership assessment test. Here a Prepterminal, we believe that there are no bad test-takers, only more prepared ones. But with our help, we can turn this hurdle in your career into a mere stepping stone that you can easily overcome and land that dream job.

What can I expect in the Leadership Assessment Test?

The test, sometimes commonly called by others as the leadership test, is comprised of two parts: the Leadership Personality Test and the Situational Judgement Test.

Each of these are designed to help employers or companies take a good look on what kind of leader the candidate is at the early part of the hiring process, if not the first part of the hiring process in the form of a pre-employment test to save on time and resources.

After all, in any given business, leadership roles require certain behavioural and interpersonal skills in order to achieve positive employee and customer relations, which in turn would lead to positive business results or profit.

The Leadership Personality

Like its name, the Leadership Personality Test will measure if the candidate’s personality contains the leadership traits that the company is looking for in their personality through the use of a self-report questionnaire format.

The length of which can vary between organizations with a few having only 54 questions or statements while others are known to have 219 questions if the company wants to know about your personality traits extensively.

These statements or questions can be answered in a variety of ways but most versions utilizes a likert-scale-like format where you will have to provide a response ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’.

1=Strongly disagree/5=Strongly agree

If I know that you are at your limit, you shouldn’t push yourself further.12345
Confrontation is part of life.12345
I am not afraid about last-minute problems, in fact, I even expect them to happen so that I can then tend to them.12345
I am known to stick to my deadlines.12345
I make sure that the problem is solved before relaxing.12345

Although this may seem easy at first, this is far from the truth.

The responses to these questions will then be checked and examined in order for the company to isolate the character or personality traits that they want to measure.

Although these character traits can come in a variety of names or are written differently for each version of the personality test, they commonly include:

  • Assertiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Responsibility

A report will then be generated by the leadership assessment test provider and an executive summary will be submitted to the employer or company containing the candidate’s Dominant Leadership Style and Key Motivators.

This will include a breakdown of the Strengths and Areas of Development of the candidate.

Depending on the responses provided by the applicant, the executive summary will then grade the result of the candidate’s leadership personality test with either: ‘recommended’, ‘cautiously recommended’ or ‘not recommended’.

It goes without saying that employers will prioritize candidates who have been evaluated by the test as ‘recommended’ before considering the ‘cautiously recommended’ ones if they need two managers or supervisors but came up short or because none of the candidates were graded as ‘recommended’.

Although ‘cautiously recommended’ doesn’t automatically mean that an applicant is undesirable as having this evaluation can occur for a number of reasons, the most common one being that the response style that they used bordered on being too extreme or too neutral.

Here are the five response styles identified in the Leadership Personality Test:

  • Genuine: No concerns identified based on the response style of the candidate.
  • Social Desirability: More than 75% of questions are answered in a manner which appears to constitute an attempt to appear in a deceptively positive light or seem ‘socially desirable’.
  • Extreme Responding: More than 75% of questions are answered in a manner which tends towards the individual agreeing with the statements at the higher and lower end consistently.
  • Central Tendency: More than 30% of responses are in the middle (‘neutral’).
  • Careless Responding: More than 95% of responses are selected from the same direction (i.e. the candidate selected responses from the right side alone).

The response styles are there to warn the company if the candidate is trying to manipulate their responses to look favorable. 

In short, it is a metric used by the leadership assessment test to identify unreliable responses, exaggerated positive traits, and willful misrepresentation of the candidate’s own views when taking the test.

Remember: the test is based on one’s own view of behaviour, honesty and self-awareness, and these are key factors in producing a reliable result. 

However, even if the candidate isn’t purposefully trying to manipulate their responses, there is still a chance that the test will categorize them as ‘cautiously recommended’ due to a few questions that they misunderstood or misread and causing them to respond otherwise.

The Situational Judgement Test

In this part of the Leadership Assessment Test, the candidate will be presented with a number of day-to-day workplace scenarios which will put them in the place of a person in a managerial or supervisory position along with a conflict or situation that they will have to solve by choosing which of the provided responses is the best or by rating each of them from “Least effective” to “Most Effective”.

This is because Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are utilized by companies to see if they have the traits and characteristics of a good leader as well as what kind of supervisor or manager the candidate is like when confronted with these scenarios.

While the names of the traits and characteristics can vary from organization from organization as well as from test provider to test provider, they generally focus on:

  • Assertiveness
  • Communication/Interpersonal Skills
  • Decision-making Skills
  • Conflict Management Skills

Furthermore, depending on what position you are applying for, the company will administer either the Managerial SJT or the Supervisory SJT once you’ve taken the personality test of the Leadership Assessment Test.

In the sample questions below, we will be using a right/wrong or single-choice format for the SJT. Imagine that you are applying to a company that values maximum tolerance, harmonious employee relations, and non-confrontational/aggressive solutions.

The Managerial SJT

Candidates will have to resolve a number of scenarios in order to provide what sort managerial capabilities they have, whether they are an effective team-player or one that just orders employees around to do their work without supporting them.

Sample Question:

Your company managed to secure a huge contract with a well-known client to make their newest flagship product. A few weeks later, the client suddenly sends you an updated design and additional instructions on how their product should be made after they discovered a major flaw in the initial design. When asked, they state that they intend to keep the original release date of the product. Although this seems feasible since you are still at the early stages of production, this would require your employees to work extra hours to make up for the lost progress, something that they may not be happy about.

ATell your employees of this development but assure them that they will be properly compensated for their work.
BContact the client and ask if they can give an extension to the project to make up for the lost progress.
CTell your employees of this development and say that you can’t do anything about it. 
DRecommend to your company that that part of the production be outsourced.

Correct answer: B

The Supervisory SJT

Although similar to the Managerial SJT, the scenarios in this test will have some focus on what kind of supervisor, or ‘middle-man’, the candidate is. This is because they will have to take care of issues, confrontations, or tasks that may require them to try and solve by themselves in case the manager isn’t available or because there is a sense of urgency in them that requires immediate attention.

Sample Question:

Your company has just landed a huge project with one of the most prominent figures in the industry and your boss has asked everyone for their full cooperation in a meeting. Despite voicing eagerness and willingness to commit himself to the project during the meeting, a coworker has asked you if he could file an extended vacation leave a few months later for his 10-year wedding anniversary, which is when the most crucial part of the project is expected to start.

ATell him that he is free to file his leave but stress that there may be repercussions from management.
BAllow him to file his vacation leave but tell him that he should work extra hard when he returns.
CAllow him to file his vacation leave but on the condition that he should do as many tasks he can prior to leaving so that the workload for the other employees will be eased a little. 
DOffer him monetary compensation to postpone his vacation leave as the profits from the project are too significant to ignore.
Correct answer: B

How to Prepare for the Leadership Assessment Test

The Leadership Assessment Test is widely utilised by companies seeking to identify candidates with the ideal traits for a specific leadership position, as well as to identify future potential in employees. 

While a wide variety of companies use their own form of the test, they tend to be variations of the same theme. 

However, with our comprehensive study guides, video guides, and practice questions, you can gain an edge over other applicants by nailing both the personality portion and the SJT portion of the Leadership Assessment Test, allowing you to secure and land that dream job of yours.