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Ability Testing


EXAMPLE SJT - customer service advisor call centre:

You are working as a customer service advisor for a telecommunications company. You have received a call from a customer who has been waiting for an engineer to fix their home broadband. The engineer has not arrived. It is now 30 minutes past their scheduled time slot. The customer is annoyed because they took the morning off work.

From the four following options indicate which is the ‘most effective’ and which is the ‘least effective’ action to first take:

  • 1) Apologise to the customer and say you will arrange another appointment.

  • 2) Listen to the customer’s complaint and tell them that you understand why they are upset and that it must be very frustrating.

  • 3) Explain that the engineer has a very busy schedule, it's difficult for them to always be on time, but that you’re sure they will arrive soon.

  • 4) Ask the customer to please hold while you contact the engineer to establish where they are.

Ability Tests

Do you want to measure whether someone is able to judge the best response in a given situation? 


There are some off-the-shelf SJT's. We are accredited to use a variety of these, such as the Leadership Judgement Indicator - LJI-2. 


We can also design you an SJT specific for the job role.


Many organisations use SJT's to assess sales and customer service skills (see the example), as well as leadership or managerial people skills.  

Situational Judgement Tests - SJT's

Please ensure any tests that you use are relevant.

Many people make the mistake of using tests as a shortlisting tool to reduce numbers to the next stage, without questioning who is being selected out, and whether this is the right decision.


So please be very careful when using off-the-shelf tests. For example, with numerical ability tests, we may only be measuring someone's memory for mathematical formula, rather than what managers actually want to measure. A Manager might want to know whether someone is "comfortable with numbers" or "can understand data". Using a numerical reasoning test, may take out people who are both of these, but because they have forgotten the formula (e.g. how do you work out a percentage increase or decrease?) they do not score as well as someone who has recently completed a maths based qualification. 


Challenge the reasoning behind their use and ask yourself whether it is appropriate to use an off the shelf ability test as part of your selection process. Or, is there a better way to measure what you want to measure?

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