Strengths Assessments Design

Strengths assessment design is one of our specialities.

We have experience of designing situational strengths tests that are generic in nature. In addition to these SJT-based situational strengths tests, we offer these two alternative psychometric test designs.

Assessments Design

This psychometric test design is similar in nature to personality questionnaire design, explained here. Our bespoke strengths test design process…

  1. Has dimensions key to the role being assessed.
  2. Reflect the personality, attitudinal and motivational aspects of the role-specific dimensions.
  3. Have face valid questions.
  4. Be capable of completion in 20 minutes approx.
  5. Adopt a single-stimulus question format (Likert scale).
  6. Adopt a normative format of scoring utilising a sten look-up table (for each personality scale).

Popular Assessments Designs

Access to strength test example reports can be found online at: firstly Gallup’s Strengths Center; secondly Richard Step’s Strengths and Weaknesses Aptitude Test (RSWAT); thirdly, Character Strengths Survey, Character Test: VIA Character and finally, Tom Rath (from Gallup)’s Strengths Finder 2.0.

My Practice aptitude test books 

Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests.


Numerical reasoning Tests.

Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests gif

Strengths test practice

Strengths Assessment Development

Psychometric test examples are useful to see the type of strengths development testing approaches.

In fact, there are many many types of psychometric test examples. Let’s consider the many different strengths that a person may possess. For example, their intelligence strengths and weaknesses from the many different types of intelligence.

The Intelligence Test demonstrates the range of possible intelligence strengths. There are many types of intelligence. For example, creative intelligence and musical aptitude which we have not included in our model.

Strengths Assessment Design

An effective competency design framework is crucial to the operation of many HR practices.

Shown below is an example of a typical competency design framework used in an assessment centre. In this case, the group exercise’s competency component of the overall assessment centre competency matrix:

– Oral Communication

How clearly and confidently the individual communicates with the group.

– Planning and Organising

How much consideration is given to planning and systematically going through the issues outlined in the scenario.

– Judgement and Decision-Making

How logically the individual makes their decisions and judges other participants’ input/comments.

– Analysis and Problem-Solving

How effectively the individual analyses the scenario’s issues and the solutions proposed.

– Finding Solutions

The creative thinking that is shown. The number and effectiveness of the ideas generated.

– Teamworking

How well the individual works with and encourages the other group exercise participants.

Strengths framework design

Having a competency framework helps an organisation to:

– Know which knowledge, skills and abilities are important for success in each role

– Measure and benchmark organisational performance

– Select, develop and performance manage employees (against the competencies associated with each role).

– Is it more cost effective to adapt an already validated model?

– How best to get buy-in across the business? Firstly, for involvement in the development stage. Secondly, to get commitment to future use of the validated framework.

– What role analysis techniques are most suitable for analysing each of the job roles?

– How to benchmark employee performance against the trial competency framework?

– How to validate the effectiveness of the draft competency framework?

Strengths-based Telephone interview design

Previous projects that have encompassed telephone interview sift designs. These include:

  • Competency-based sift design for telephone and cv-based sifts (finance sector).
  • Telephone interview script design (consultancy firm).
  • Conducting telephone interviews for the armed services.
  • Telephone interview design (manufacturing sector).

Psychometric test validation

Rob Williams Assessment Ltd have considerable experience in assessing the validity of psychometric tests. This is a one of the key final stages in any psychometric test design. Most recently we have been asked to validate situational judgement tests. In addition to test the SJT reliability. Plus, advising on suitable cut-off scores which minimise any adverse impact (due to gender, age, ethnic group and disability).

We consult on how to improve any test’s psychometric properties. In particular, the test’s internal reliability and construct validity.

Psychometric Test Reliability

Rob Williams Assessment Ltd has considerable experience in assessing the internal reliability of psychometric tests – a key stage in any psychometric test design.

There are two main types of reliability study: internal reliability and test re-retest reliability. Both represent best practice in psychometric design. Hence both reliability measures are key stages of a psychometric test development project.

Internal Reliability

An reliability value of 0.7 is the cutoff value for aptitude tests / ability tests. The measure used is called Cronbach’s Alpha.

A higher internal reliability value of 0.8 is considered acceptable for personality scales. There is academic debate about whether situational judgement tests can be expected to have internal reliability. Regardless of this Rob Williams Assessment ltd has developed SJTs with Cronbach’s Alpha values in excess of 0.8.

Test-Retest Reliability 

Test-retest reliability is a key final stage of test development. There are two administrations. These are a few weeks apart. This tests the reliability of the two sets of results.

My Practice psychometric test books 

First book is for Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests.

Brilliant Passing Verbal Reasoning Test Tests and the companion Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests at this Amazon link include Practice Army literacy tips and Army numeracy test tips.

Strengths Development – Role Analysis

There follows a Role Analysis Case Study: a US bank had two specific requirements: ensuring a representative sample by samplying sufficiently high number of people per role. Interviewees were mainly high performers; sampled across both urban and rural branches; with their offices scattered right across the U.S.

1) Strengths Telephone-based interviews

Firstly, these formed a large part of the job analysis research. The advantages of using a telephone-based approach was that a standard template could be created with a script to adhere to whilst also allowing some follow-up question flexibility.

2) Assessment Designs – Visionary interviews

Secondly, these were run on a more select basis with a range of senior managers (within each job role). A scripted template ensured that all psychologists asked the standard set of questions. Face-to-face visionary interviews were also arranged with the most senior personnel at some of the focus group sites.

3) Strengths Focus groups

Thirdly, these were conducted in several American States, situated in Central, Eastern and Western time zones. A semi-structured focus group format represented the most suitable job analysis technique to use. Six participants, drawn from each job role, were invited to attend each role-specific focus group session.

4) Strengths Role survey

In addition, a role survey was created based on the bank’s competency framework, with two questions per competency. Survey results were also used to inform the item writing process.

The final 5-10 minute survey had two banks of questions with the stems:

  • How important do you do each of the following on a daily basis?
  • How important are the following to your job?

Example job analysis briefings

Candidate Experience Briefing – A separate briefing detailed the client style and language (US English) needs.

The main aims from a “Candidate Experience” perspectives included:

  • Reflecting the company brand
  • Engaging job applicants
  • Providing some elements of a realistic job preview
  • Overall look and feel to be consistent

Assessment Designs – Focus Group Briefing

The focus group aims were to confirm the role profile interview data.

Firstly, focuses on how best to structure the upcoming focus group sessions. Secondly, a consideration of the outputs required. Thirdly, how individual consultants could best run their focus group sessions.

Situational Strengths Test

There is a specialised form of situational judgement test called the Situational Strengths Test. One company that uses this test is Lloyds pharmacy, where the CAPP Situational Strengths Test is used to recruit pharmacists.

Situational strengths tests have these advantages (in any context):

– Easy to administer to large audience

– Relatively strong validity

– Can assess sample of the relevant KSA’s

– Refreshed items possible

– More difficult to fake responses

Bespoke VBR Example

  • 3-4 scenarios will assess each value, giving approx. 15-16 questions
  • Provides accurate and meaningful feedback to each respondent
  • This practical job preview has the advantage of using the same SJT format

Assessment Designs – Situational Exercises

  • Scenarios from job analysis used to design simulation exercises
  • Parallel version developed to maximise exercise integrity and minimise risk of applicants sharing details of tools and compromising the validity of the assessment process

The following situational strengths scenarios are examples only. Actual client projects always start with the most suitable level of role analysis. Then again validate the content against client requirement by choosing the most predictive scenarios and answer options.

Every scenario used also gives candidates a realistic insight into the role. Thus your applicants’s understanding of their own fit with the role. This operates in addition to the assessment component (of the same situational strengths test).

Every scenario used also gives candidates a realistic insight into the role. Thus your applicants’s understanding of their own fit with the role. This operates in addition to the assessment component (of the same situational strengths test).

Every scenario used also gives candidates a realistic insight into the role. Thus your applicants’s understanding of their own fit with the role. This operates in addition to the assessment component (of the same situational strengths test).

Assessment Designs / Psychometric Test Designs

Our Assessments – Extra Info

Assessments Toolkit

Strengths Assessment  ~  Disability Assessment  ~  Leadership Assessment  ~  Situational Strengths  ~   Intelligence Strengths Test  ~  Skills test design / Psychometric  ~  Assessment standards  ~  Competency Design  ~  Realistic Job Preview Design.