How to Pass the 2023 Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment?
What is a predictive index behavioral assessment?
The good news is that it is short and shouldn’t take any longer than 10-15 minutes. It is untimed, another welcome factor for people taking it.
The other news is that it is a personality test used widely across the globe to let employers discover what job applicants are best suited to working in their companies.
Therefore it is not so simple after all? It is a test that will give a prospective employer an insight into your strengths and weaknesses, your reactions to situations, and how suited you are to a position in their company.
Armed with the information supplied by the test, the employer can decide whether or not to recruit you. If recruited he can determine what position to put you in or what position you might not be suited to.
With so much hanging on those 10-15 minutes the predictive behavioural assessment is one worth preparing thoroughly for.
For further information on preparing for the PI Behavioral Assessment visit Job Test Prep.
Table of Contents
What exactly is being assessed?
To do well in any test, it is essential to know first of all what the test is measuring. A quick look at the name of the testing company tells us a lot about that. A Predictive Index Test is predicting how you might behave in certain situations, how you might respond to people and issues that arise in the workplace.
The employer has a picture or a profile of the person who will perform best as part of his team in the workplace. Finding the right employee is both expensive and time-consuming. Having job applicants do the test saves them from having to go through the recruitment process again and ensures the smooth running of their business.
After you have completed the test your potential employer is furnished with a profile of you and your likely behavior.
The test, which has been developed by psychologists focuses on four personality areas:
Depending on the position being applied for, scoring levels in these areas have varying importance.
As a simple example, a teacher needs to score highly in patience but being too formal is not going to benefit an elementary school teacher. Extraversion, being able to enjoy the company of others, might be more beneficial to the teacher’s role.
The perfect teacher, depending on the school they are applying for, will need to achieve high scores in patience and extraversion. Combined with low scores in formality and average scores in dominance, school management could have the perfect person to interview for the job.
Consider the role you are applying for
Ask yourself what the primary qualities of people successfully occupying those roles seem to be. This might lead you to the difficult realization that you don’t have those qualities.
But that realization doesn’t necessarily have to discourage you. As in the manner people sometimes put on a uniform to go to work, people also assume their work persona.
Consider that the personality we display when we are relaxing after a week’s work can be very different to our beginning of the workweek personality and you are coming close to understanding what it takes to do a personality test.
The workplace personality
In the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, you present the personality that you would display in the workplace. But for a job applicant that requires help. A reliable test preparation pack, such as the one offered by Job Test Prep, will give you the information and practice resources you need to prepare for the assessments.
We recommend this particular pack as it provides you with tips on the assessment, allows you to judge the type of personality you should present and gives you sample tests to practice on. Sometimes you may also be asked to take a cognitive test and a pack on preparing for this also comes with the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA) test pack.
What is the format of the test?
Now that you know what the test is pinpointing, it is time to look at how exactly it does this.
The test comes in two parts. In part one, you are supplied with a list of 86 adjectives and asked to select the ones that best describe how you think other people expect you to behave.
In part two you again have the same list of 86 adjectives but now you have to select the ones that best describe how you feel your behavior reflects your personality. In this section you are talking about the real you.
Have a look at some of the adjectives that can appear on the test:
Social Neat Contemplative Patient Bold Charismatic Convincing Inquisitive Formidable Respectful Objective
This is a randomly selected list but to give yourself a feel for what you will be asked to do in the test:
- Try selecting some adjectives that describe how you think others see you
- Then using the same list, select adjectives that describe your personality as you feel it is shown by your behavior.
Having done that, sit back for a moment and contemplate the picture you have created of yourself.
In the test, you are scored on the basis of your answers and this is where preparation for the assessment becomes difficult. There are no right or wrong answers, only answers that indicate the type of personality you might be. And you know the employer is looking for a particular type of personality.
But how do you change your personality? You don’t. Remember your personality is judged by behavior and in doing the assessment test you are exhibiting the behavior you would show in your place of employment.
To ace the test that is something you need to learn about. To get accurate information on the test we advise heading here to Job Test Prep.
Become familiar with what the employer is looking for
If the employer is looking for someone to take up a position in management he is looking for somebody who can control a workforce to the point where they will do what he asks of them.
But that dominance cannot extend to the point where he will alienate them. He has to strike a balance that will allow him to manage and yet have people willingly follow his instructions.
Think of the job you are applying for. Get a mental picture of the persona who might carry out that job.
Try returning to the highlighted list of adjectives above. With the persona in mind select the adjectives that might describe that person.
Become familiar with the testing process
As stated earlier there are two parts in the assessment where you select adjectives. You may be asking yourself when thinking of the second part of the test, “How hard can it be to select words describing myself?” You may also feel you have a clear idea of how people expect you to behave when completing part 1 of the test.
Thinking like that can lead to you randomly selecting words that may not create the impression you want to give.
Your test prep pack will guide you in selecting the words that best describe you as a future employee of the company and gives you sample tests where you can put what you have learned into practice.
It also indicates the score you need to reach to be considered for a particular position.
As competition for jobs intensifies, you need to project the ideal persona to reach the next stage of the recruitment process. Bear in mind also the number of applications for any position. The employer will be under pressure to minimize the number of applicants who have to be interviewed.
This test is one of their methods to reach a manageable number of applicants to interview. When they receive a report on your performance in the assessment, they will be in a position to decide if you should be one of that select group.
Wanting to be one of those you should consider doing the following:
- Acquaint yourself with the required score for your chosen position.
- Become familiar with the scoring process.
- Do the practice sample tests.
- With each test, review your scores. Discover where you failed to reach the desired score. Do not expect to reach your target on the first try.
- Continue practicing – with each sample test you attempt, you will become more familiar with the areas you need to keep an eye on.
- Keep a careful eye on your timing. Even though the assessment isn’t timed you need to stay within the 10-15 minutes allowed. It is easier to train yourself to do that with sample assessments than try to adjust when the real assessment comes along.
Know what various scores in each section being assessed say about you:
Dominance – A high score here shows you as being self-confident and assertive. A low score indicates a cooperative person who does his best to consider others’ situations.
Patience – A high score here indicates a person who likes stability and routine. It suggests someone who will carefully consider decisions to be made and is best in a well-regulated workflow. A low score tells of a person who is restless and prone to making quick decisions.
Extraversion – A high score indicates someone who enjoys connecting with others and who may be influential. Conversely, a low score tells of someone who is serious and will focus on the task at hand
Formality – The person who scores highly here is likely to follow rules and do everything in the correct way. This person will not take risks in the workplace and will approach everything methodically.
On the other hand, the person who has a low score here can be expected to be casual and a more carefree person in the workplace. This individual will get the job done but will be more spontaneous in his approach.
Expect creativity from this person but don’t expect them to conform to the everyday rules.
86 Adjectives. How many do you mark?
You have to mark adjectives but not all of them. In fact, the number you mark is taken into account in your scoring. This scoring is referred to as Morale and is based on a comparison of the number of adjectives you mark in each section of the test.
If you mark fewer, under 10 in Part 1 (where you describe how you feel others expect you to behave,) than in Part 2 (where you describe the qualities you feel your behavior best mirrors,) that indicates Low Morale. If you mark over 10, that indicates High Morale.
And overall there is another issue. If an applicant selects a very high number of adjectives, in the region of 80 or so it suggests the applicant has no clear idea about himself.
Too few on the other hand could suggest someone who is not comfortable with examining himself. This could suggest a closed individual and somebody who is not willing to be open to others.
The ideal number to mark? Somewhere between 20 and 50 gives the ideal balance.
Preparing for the assessment
At this point, a simple 10-15 minute assessment is appearing much more complicated than a simple tick-the-boxes exercise. If anything it is appearing like a test that requires a great deal of preparation.
Armed with your test prep pack from Job Test Prep you have the tools that will enable you to work through a series of sample papers. You have also equipped yourself with the profile of the ideal employee for the job you want.
Find yourself a quiet corner where you can do your preparation. Anything that breaks your concentration and flow of thought while you are working will mean having to start all over again.
Set aside a time that is for assessment preparation and for nothing else.
Preparing for this assessment cannot be compared to any preparation you have done to date for school or college exams.
Use the sample papers to arrive at the personality profile you want to present.
- A good idea when doing your first sample paper is to select your adjectives at random. This is not how you are going to do it in the real assessment. But you will discover what scores you are reaching when you review the results of the test.
- You will also discover what various adjectives selected are saying about you. This done, take a break and rally your forces to assemble a mental picture of the persona you want to present.
- Select another sample paper and try again. This time look more consciously at the adjectives. Ask yourself what personality is emerging from the adjectives you combine.
- Check carefully if you have selected adjectives that contradict one another. As a random example: If you have described yourself as “patient,” why then have you also said you are “hot-tempered?”
- Don’t forget you need to compare both parts of the assessment. In part 1 you are talking about how you feel people expect you to behave? If you feel people expect you to behave “impulsively,” what does that tell you about your day-to-day behavior? If in part 2 your behavior gives the impression of an “impulsive” person then both parts of the assessment are in agreement. It is these little things you need to be aware of when doing the real assessment.
Continue doing tests regularly, comparing results and measuring your progress.
Don’t forget to check on your mistakes.
It may seem contradictory but making mistakes is a vital part of our learning process. Always check your answers to discover what caused you to lose scores.
In subsequent tests keep those areas at the forefront of your mind. Weeding them out should lead to improved scores.
Speaking of scores, remember that in some areas you may need a high score whereas in others a low score is preferable. Checking on what the employer is looking for will help you come up with that information.
Tips to make your preparation more effective
Looking at the assessment initially it is deceptively simple, almost like the sort of assessment anyone should be able to breeze through.
However, examining it in detail shows that it requires careful work to ace the assessment and get the career you want.
Ensure you pinpoint specific times for preparation and try working to a timetable to ensure you get in as much practice as possible.
Make the most of the guidance given in your test prep pack.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the short nature of the assessment. Remember this test has been used by corporations around the world for more than 60 years, Do as you would do when preparing for any other exam.
Take adequate breaks between preparation sessions, a short walk in the fresh air will give you an opportunity to think over what you have done in a preparation session.
Prior to doing the real assessment, ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
You need to face this assessment refreshed and confident.
This could after all be a crucial turning point in your life!
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.