Take a free personality questionnaire
Business psychologists from Test Partnership have offered up a full free personality questionnaire. It is based on the classic 'five-factor' model: the most popular system of classifying personality traits and as used by employers in their selection processes. Feel free to click the button above to start the free personality questionnaire. Below, we shall explain what the common Big Five personality questionnaire says about you.
How do personality questionnaires work?
Personality questionnaires are popular recruitment tools, and it is likely that candidates will encounter one. This may be during the early stages of the recruitment process, or the later stages. Personality questionnaires are strong predictors of job performance and role competency and therefore are used not just for job selection, but also for job development processes as well. Personality questionnaires are also applicable for all job sectors and can be encountered as such. However, they are more likely used in online, unsupervised, within graduate schemes and large company recruitment schemes.
Personality questionnaires are not quite the same as personality tests used in psychology in general. Personality questionnaires are workplace relevant and pay particular attention to the personality traits and competencies which are valued and sought after in the workplace environment. One thing to note is that personality questionnaires do not have a time limit. This means that candidates can take their own time in deciding on their responses.
Once a candidate has completed a personality questionnaire and the results collected, they are compared to a norm group. This informs the recruiting organisation how your personality traits are suited for the workplace in comparison to others going for the position, as well as a standard model which the organisation may be using. For example, this will see how adaptive you may be in your role, as well as your values and whether that will fit well into the workplace culture. Given that personality questionnaires are often given with organisations partaking in large volume recruitment, these traits and competences may be assessed alongside many other individuals. Remember, there is no right or wrong answers when it comes to taking a personality questionnaire.
The traits assessed in a personality questionnaire
Personality tests in general are based on a small number of broad personality traits, such as the big 5 model of personality (openness, agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness). Personality questionnaires used for recruitment will follow a similar format, assessing for a small number of broad traits, and subsequently breaking down each broad trait into separate sections and individual competencies.
General personality tests based themselves on a relatively small number of extensive personality traits. As for the Big Five model of personality, these are: Openness, Agreeableness, Extroversion, Neuroticism and Conscientiousness. Workplace personality questionnaires used for recruitment purposes will be a similar format, which then break down into smaller competencies.
An important note about personality questionnaires
It is important to note that the personality questionnaire alone will unlikely determine the entirely of your recruitment portfolio. Like many recruiters, multiple tools and stages are used to compile a profile report. However, if the personality questionnaire is taken at the beginning stages of the recruitment process, it is likely being used as a screening tool for candidates and will instead be focused stronger on personality traits rather than key competencies.
Types of personality questionnaire being used
The personality questionnaire industry is a $450 million industry. Candidates are very likely to encounter personality questionnaires of various styles. We give a list here of some of the most commonly encountered personality questionnaires on the market today:
1. Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ): The Occupational Personality Questionnaire is designed and published by SHL. It is still today the most commonly used personality questionnaire for recruitment and development purposes. You will likely encounter it at some stage. This test may be scored either normatively or ipsatively (terms will shall explain below) and will always be multiple choice format. The report for this test will evaluate a candidate’s competencies, personality preferences and work place behaviours.
2. Saville Wave©: The Saville Wave is an online only personality questionnaire platform combines both normative and ipsative style questions in the same questionnaire. All of the questions are in multiple choice format. There are two version, the professional style which is 40 minutes long, or the focus style which is 14 minutes long.
3. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator evaluates how the candidate makes decisions by assessing their personality preferences. The MBTI will ask questions that will probe how you act and function as an person, such as 'How do you make decisions in this situation?' It also lets you choice what your personality preferences for yourself are, such as extraversion, introversion, thinking-feeling, etc.
4. Talent Q Dimensions: Talent Q Dimensions is a deep and robust personality questionnaire that typically takes around 25 minutes to complete. This assessment is usually only taken later on during the recruitment process when the employee is being considered. The employer wishes to find out whether the employee will be a good fit. Dimensions gives a large portfolio, and provides a lot of information on a candidate's personality. This includes how they will work with and/or manage others.
5. Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI): The Personality and Preference Inventory is available in both normative and ipsative versions. It evaluates the traits and key competencies required for the given workplace environment. This is a commonly used test. It typically takes around 15 minutes to complete.
Normative and Ipsative
It is good to know the two types of personality test that are on the market: normative tests and ipsative tests.
- Normative: Normative tests are rating tests. A candidate will rate much they agree with a given statement. For example, agree, disagree, etc. Normative scoring has the advantage that their tests can be given and taken both online and on paper. Normative tests are more common than ipsative tests. A candidate is more likely encounter a normative personality test during recruitment processes.
- Ipsative: Ipsative tests on the are ranking questions. A candidate must select a statement from a given list - which one(s) they agree with or disagree with most. Ipsative tests have the advantage that they are considered more accurate.