We were approached by the National Westminster Bank plc with an enquiry concerning the proposed development of a recruitment system that would identify the 'new' bank manager for tomorrow's world. This proved to be our first test construction project for a commercial organisation other than a test publisher.
The resultant instrument, the Automated Interview for Management Style (AIMS) was a state-of-the-art Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).
The test specification of the instrument was based on a series of interviews with 35 managers and senior managers within the bank. The interview was designed to elicit those behaviours and attitudes that, in their experience, had proved to be crucial for success. Their responses were then collated into categories that formed the basis of a pilot version. This was administered to over 70 existing managers. Item analysis of the results led to the reduction of the item pool to 24 questions. However another innovation added was a branching structure for responses - hence in many ways AIMS was as much an expert system as a psychometric test.
The resultant instructions, rules, scoring algorithms and report structure were incorporated into a computer program written in Fortran. AIMS remained in use by Nat West for many years and was administered to thousands of managerial candidates.
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