Psychometric testing for call center and customer support jobs
Psychometric testing companies offer a wide range of tests of various types and difficulty levels. These can be aptitude tests for intellectual abilities, personality tests and tests for determining professional skills. In this article, we will cover psychometric and personality tests that are used to assess the intellectual abilities and skills of applicants for call center and customer support jobs. You will learn about the types of tests that are most widely used to assess the knowledge and skills of candidates for vacancies in call centers and what qualities employers expect to find in the test results.
Per our experience, candidates for vacancies in call centers should prepare for the following psychometric tests:
- Personality tests (situational judgement and personality questionnaires)
- Numerical reasoning tests
- Verbal reasoning tests
- Abstract reasoning test
Such tests are used by leading employers such as Bank of America call center, HSBC call center, Vodafone and many other call centers, telecommunications companies, banks and insurance companies.
There is a wide selection of personality (situational judgement) tests and questionnaires used to assess the psychological characteristics and skills of applicants. They measure personal qualities, such as behavior patterns, attitude towards work and other people, and personal characteristics that may be important for successful work in call centers or customer support offices.
A personality test helps determine your attitude to the most important aspects of your work, for example, your style of project management, your style of behavior in relation to subordinates or managers, your ability to cope with stress, the level of creative thinking, the ability and style of making changes, and much more.
What do employers look for in the results of personality and situational judgement tests of candidates to work in call centers and customer support?
First of all employers want to know how your personality traits match the role you are applying for. Below we list the typical personal characteristics that employers want to see with most line employees and with call center / customer support managers. Some employers may make some changes to this list, but usually these are qualities such as:
- Self-motivation and personal drive;
- Emotional resilience (ability to overcome difficulties or stress);
- Persistence in achieving results;
- Creativity and determination.
The following basic skills are added for the head or manager of a call center:
- Leadership (the ability to influence, motivate oneself and motivate subordinates);
- Project management (the ability to correctly allocate resources, including personnel, identify priority tasks, manage risks, and track the effectiveness of task performance);
- Responsibility for subordinates (the ability to understand the needs of your team members and adhere to them).
Examples of personality/situational judgement tests for call center operators
Let’s look at a few examples of such psychometric tests.
The first example is a simple questionnaire that is used to find out about your attitude to work-related situations. The employer seeks to find people who demonstrate an optimistic approach in answers, and, naturally, in work.
To what extent do you agree with the following statement, give a rating on a scale of one to five:
“I always demonstrate a positive attitude.”
1- Strongly disagree
4- I agree
5- I completely agree
It is pretty obvious that the desired answers are “I completely agree” or “I agree”. Employers want call center operators to be able to show optimism in almost any situation, show enthusiasm and help increase the morale of those who work with you. The answers “strongly disagree” or “disagree” with this statement may mean that you will most likely perceive the situation in a pessimistic manner and will convey this feeling to the people you are in contact with. The “Neutral” response to this statement implies that you are either indecisive or trying to hide certain of your qualities. Of course these answers are not what employers would like to see when assessing candidates for call center jobs.
The second example is a test for call center operators in the form of a situational judgement test, that is, a simulated working situation. The skills that are assessed in it are:
- Customer focus
- Problem solving
The correct answer and a detailed explanation of assessed skills can be found at the end of the article. Try to determine the best answer yourself. Such tests usually do not have a time limit but most employers expect you to find the answer within 2-3 minutes.
Another example of a situational judgement test for call center operators / customer support in the form of a mini-case. The main competence assessed in this test is the self-control skill – the scenario describes interaction with an angry client.
You will find the correct answer and a detailed explanation of the test at the end of the article. Try first to determine the best and worst answers yourself. Such tests usually do not have a time limit but most employers expect you to find the answer within 2-3 minutes.
According to the reviews of employees and candidates for call center vacancies, it is often personality tests that are the most difficult part of the pre-employment assessment process. The same tests are used to assess the skills of already employed call center operators to consider the possibility of their promotion for managerial positions.
Read more about personality and aptitude tests in our articles:
Numerical reasoning tests for call center and customer support jobs
Numerical tests are designed to measure not so much your ability to calculate as the ability to quickly and accurately understand numerical data, interpret graphic data, identify critical problems and draw logical conclusions.
The difficulty level of numerical tests varies depending on the respective activities and responsibilities that are required for this role. Tests of this type are strictly limited in time and are designed in such a way that only 10-15% of the tested can correctly answer all questions in a timely manner. The following are the types of numerical test questions you may encounter in a test:
- Interpretation of graphs and tables
- Interest issues
- Interpretation of financial statements
- Shares and Parts Relations
- Currency conversion
For examples of numerical tests of different types, please check our special article: Numerical tests
What do employers expect to find in the results of numerical tests for a line specialist or the head of a call center or customer support service?
Employers usually pay attention to your skills in quickly understanding numerical data, as they are very important to ensure high performance in a call center.
Verbal reasoning tests for call center and customer support jobs
Verbal reasoning tests are designed to assess your working oral and written skills, such as your ability to quickly understand and effectively convey work-related concepts and information, quickly analyze large and complex texts to identify critical problems, and draw logical conclusions.
As is in the case with numerical tests, the level of difficulty of verbal tests may vary depending on the corresponding actions and responsibilities that are required for a particular job.
Verbal reasoning tests usually represent short passages of written information, followed by a series of statements. Your task is to decide if each statement is either “true”, “false” or “cannot say” (either it is true or false). More complex verbal reasoning tests are multiple-choice tests with 4-5 answer choices and they are usually used for managerial positions in call centers / customer support services.
In verbal tests results employers expect you to demonstrate the ability to quickly and efficiently identify problems voiced by clients or related to business, and logically draw conclusions from written materials related to work, such as manuals, instructions and internal reports. You are also expected to show your ability to clearly and simply explain work-related issues to other people in the organization or beyond.
For examples of verbal reasoning tests of different types, please see our special article: All About Verbal Tests
Abstract reasoning tests for call center and customer support jobs
Abstract reasoning tests are designed to assess your conceptual thinking skills. Conceptual thinking is also called lateral thinking or fluid intelligence. It measures your ability to quickly learn new information, identify patterns in data, integrate complex information and apply it to solve work-related problems and all this is important for working in a call center.
As with other ability tests, the difficulty level of abstract tests may vary depending on the responsibilities required for a particular job.
Abstact test usually consists of several series of figures. Each series has one or more logical rules that determine the pattern of the layout or appearance of all figures. Tasks in the test question can be:
- Decide what the next figure in the series will be.
- Define a form that should replace the missing one.
- Find the missing piece.
- Odd one shape/frame out.
Abstract test questions usually include various abstract forms to preserve the element of surprise and make the task difficult.
As a candidate for a begginer or managerial position in a call center or customer service department, in order to make informed decisions, you must demonstrate your ability to quickly collect various new work-related information. You are also expected to show your ability to quickly learn new skills or assess problems that go beyond your usual knowledge and experience.
See examples of different types of logical tests in our special article: Abstract reasoning tests
If you have to pass tests aptitude tests or personality tests, then you can have a comprehensive practice at Aptitude-Tests-Practice.com. Here you will learn how to quickly and accurately solve numerical, verbal, abstract and situational judgement tests. Only 3-4 days of preparation will give you an understanding of the basic rules and features of these tasks and help you get the job that you want.
Answers and explanation of the example tests: