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Evaluating Common Sense
Human Resources » Recruitment & Staffing

Chrm Message From: Total Posts: 20 Join Date: 07/12/2006
Rank: Executive Post Date: 07/10/2007 23:41:54 Points: 100 Location: India


During recruitment, a number of tests are used to evaluate candidates.

I was trying to figure out how we could evaluate the common sense of an individual. My search on the net and other resources mainly resulted in getting IQ tests or Aptitude tests, numeric ability, data sufficiency etc....( The typical GRE/ GMAT type tests). However, they do not really give an indication of common sense.

I need your inputs on .....

1. A definition of common sense.
2. Any tool to evaluate it.

Also, someone mentioned to me that In-tray exercises could be used. Does anyone have details on what this is, and how it can be used.

Waiting for your inputs.


Chrm Message From: craig Total Posts: 37 Join Date: 07/12/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 07/10/2007 23:43:13 Points: 185 Location: India

You could use the Attributes Index to assess the persons ability to use common sense.


Chrm Message From: harish.m Total Posts: 31 Join Date: 07/12/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 07/10/2007 23:44:45 Points: 155 Location: India

There is a scientific saying that what cannot be defined cannot be measured and vice-versa. So you need to define the term, so-called "common-sense". This may vary from situation to situation and task to task.

Once you are able to resolve the issue there will not be a problem. None else but you will have to define the term for your situation and the task for which you are trying to develop the test.

I hope that I have been of some use to you.



Chrm Message From: lion_king Total Posts: 17 Join Date: 07/12/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 07/10/2007 23:46:19 Points: 85 Location: India

As for my opinion and my basic understanding from this notion first of all you have to have a consensus of what common sense really is or how common sense is defined.

It is what we call as the "sendido common" the basic instinct in which everybody has, what affect instinct is that the person who has a diverse personality with above par ability or par, who has a lot of experience is should i call the person who has the instinct at its peak. this could also be explain in some situations like, a new employee compared to an old employee their are certain things in w/c the new one has no idea on what to do or to do next. hence, for me it is experience of a certain individual makes his common sense at its peak. So, for me, this could be my basis on how to measure his common sense ability to solve a problem.


Chrm Message From: hema Total Posts: 21 Join Date: 07/12/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 07/10/2007 23:49:34 Points: 105 Location: India

Dear Colleagues,

After a string of discussions on this topic, I recollect having stored a piece of article which was posted by a senior professional in one of the communities which I would like to share.

I define common sense as the ability to use general knowledge in the available environment for a specific purpose .

Let me further define a few terms . Data is all that is available in the environment . Trees , birds ,files , tables , buildings , people and so on . Information is what we are interested in . Knowledge is the background based on which we can make inferences from the available infomation . Wisdom is the ability to use the knowledge and the available information . In other words , I am using wisdom as synonym for common sense . In short common sense is the ability of synthesis and application .

Can it be measured ?

Yes . It can be measured in small inputs . Just like a geode is tested through the multiple windows carved on its surface and we can make intelligent judgements about the interior , we can measure common sense .

BUT as we have seen that common sense is dependant on environment and available knowledge the number of variables we have to deal with varies . For example , a city executive may find himself at a loss when he finds himself to be thirsty and on side of a well . Same will be the predicament of a farmer who finds himself at a water fountain which gives water at touch of a button . The reason being that adequate knowledge about the environment is not available . For quite some time I did not know that aircrafts had
toilets in them . Then when I came to know , I made it a special point to go there and my , everything was new to me , though I was well conversant with the process (g). The door opened differently . There were three kinds of tissue papers . There were toiletries which I did not know how to or why to use . There were little symbols all over which were vaguely familiar . I spent quite some time getting to know the environment , sometimes it was guess work , sometimes it was logical reasoning , sometimes it was trial and
error and sometimes it was the help from the air crew . At the end of if did I get more common sense ? No I was more familiar with the environment. The part of common sense was in using variety of inputs for gaining familiarity with the environment with a view to operate efficiently and effectively .

This is why measuring common sense in the same way as other abilities may not work .

I will tell you how I do this on one to one basis with my counselling clients .

A engineering student had come to me . I gave him a ballpen and asked him to tell me the exact height of the multistory building we were sitting in . He was to give minimum three ways of measuring the height and all three were to give exact height and not approximation .

A man on horse leaves Pune for Mumbai at 700 hours on Tuesday . Distance is about 192 kms . The horse goes at the rate of 10 kms per hour. Reaches Mumbai sometimes in the night . On Thursday , the same rider starts back for Pune from Mumbai at 800 hours . Takes the same route. The horse this time can do only 9 kms per hour . Reaches Pune sometime at night . Is it possible that on the route at there is some place where the rider was at the same time as when he left for Mumbai ? If No why not , if yes why yes and how to find out . Three ways of finding out .

Give a lucid explanation as to why riding a bicycle up a slope is more difficult than walking by its side and pushing it up the slope. Three reasons required .

The knowledge base for all three questions is 9 th standard . The answers given by the client not only give idea about his common sense , but also about his predominant thinking process ( logical thinking , mathematical thinking , visualisation etc ) and about his learning style ( abstract conceptualisation , reflective observation etc )



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