Birkman 4 Quadrant Personality Assessment – How to Prepare?
One of employers’ main concerns is hiring someone that’s right for the job. That is the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure maximum productivity for the company.
Traditionally, selecting a candidate happens through the job interview process. But these days, pre-employment psychometric tests are on the rise. These tests are used by many employers to measure the skill-sets of the job candidates, even before the interview stage.
These can be more accurate than reading a resume. And as well as testing relevant work-based skills, they can also measure emotional and psychological qualities.
The Birkman Assessment Test is one of those tests — designed to measure your mental mindset.
So if you are about to take the Birkman Test, read on. This article will provide you with useful information about what the Birkman test is, the type of questions in it, the format of the results, and the accurate interpretation of those results. It will give you the right directions to practice for the test and get the desired results.
Table of Contents
What is the Birkman Assessment Test?
The Birkman Assessment Test is a personality test, designed to assess your interests, behaviors, stress management, and organizational abilities.
One important note about the personality assessment tests (all of them, not just the Birkman one) is that there are no right or wrong answers. The point of the Assessment test is to assess your mindset — how you think, behave, feel, motivate, execute, etc.
So, instead of having right or wrong answers, the assessment tests measure how you operate in your everyday life and your personal and professional relationships.
How many questions are in the Birkman Assessment Test?
The Birkman Assessment Test has 298 questions in total. Many of them, 250 questions, are in the format of true or false answers. There is a statement given and you answer with your opinion about whether that statement is true or false. With that, you give answers for your mindset, and your mindset only.
“I tend to argue with people when they don’t agree with me.”
The remaining 48 questions are in the format of multiple choice answers. In them, rather than agreeing or disagreeing with a certain statement, you will need to mark all the answers that apply to you.
“When I’m stressed, I:”
– Shut down and can’t think straight
– Start to argue and shout
– Rush through things
– Runaway from the thing that stresses me
How long does the Birkman Assessment take?
The Birkman Assessment test is not time-restricted. The average time to complete it is around 30 minutes.
But, only because you don’t have a time restriction, doesn’t mean you should take a lot of time to finish it. Depending on whether you’re taking it online or in person, your assessor might also take notes and look at the way you go through the testing material.
Taking a lot of time to answer questions on your own personality, might be easily interpreted as indecisiveness or lack of self-knowledge. Rushing through it, on the other hand, might seem like you’re not interested in the material and you’re not answering truthfully.
The best tip for the way you answer the test is to simply be yourself — take as much time as you need in order to think through and answer truthfully.
What is the Birkman test for?
The Birkman Test is designed to assess your interest, behaviors, stress management, and organizational skills.
The Birkman Assessment test is not designed for any particular position. It is a personality test that complexly understands your motivations, needs, ways of cooperating and communicating, levels of dedication and execution, etc.
The ending chart (the so-called “Birkman Map”) you get, will put all your abilities, behaviors, thoughts, and feeling somewhere on the chart. It will tell you the ways you prefer to communicate with people, the things that motivate and interest you, the way you behave in certain situations, and the way you react to stress or under stress.
The next section will cover these aspects one by one.
What does the Birkman Assessment Test measure?
The Birkman Assessment Test measures the way you function in the next categories:
One of the categories that the Birkman test takes note of is your needs. What you require from yourself and your environment in order to feel satisfied. There is a hierarchy of needs, and you need to have the lower levels satisfied in order to concentrate on the higher ones.
For example, you need the basic needs for food and shelter covered, so you can concentrate on broadening your social circle. Once the need for friends is covered, you are more likely to be able to concentrate on “self-realization.” That is the highest need on the hierarchy and is related to living authentically and truly being yourself in all aspects of life.
The next things are your interests — what interests and motivates you, what you enjoy doing, and what you need in order to fulfill those interests. We all have different interests, and we organize our time and effort in order to fulfill them.
For example, some people are very interested in a particular hobby they enjoy. Thus, they want to spend time on money on that hobby. Others might not have a particular hobby but are interested in people having a high opinion of them. Naturally, they would spend their time and money on bettering their image in their social circle.
- Personality and Perception
This category has to do with the way you perceive the world around you and everything that happens in it. Furthermore, it assesses your personality in relation to your perception.
As an example, if you perceive the world to be a cruel one, where people want to use or abuse you, it would be quite normal to have a personality that carefully chooses the people around and always is on the lookout for possible threats of mistreatment.
This category looks at the way your needs, interests, and personality are actually displayed in your usual behavior. Your usual behavior is said to be displayed when your needs are met.
To use the example from above, the person that wants to leave a good impression on others would dress a certain way, visit certain places, hand our with certain people, and display behavior that is in relation to these things.
The stress factor is measured when the person doesn’t have their needs met and is under pressure. We all have a certain level of stress, but what causes us to stress is an individual matter.
So, some people would be stressed if they feel like their friends don’t appreciate them enough, while others might be stressed out when they are behind schedule with their work assignments. Furthermore, one person might be able to easily communicate why their friends are acting weird, while others might simply stop hanging out with them or try to change in order to be liked.
This last category looks at the way a person organizes their personal and professional life.
Organizational skills refer to how one manages to order things in their life. For example, a person whose interests are having a broad social circle AND high-status profession is very likely to hang out with their co-workers. These people can kill two birds with one stone, using working hours or work breaks to socialize and make friends.
Tips to prepare for the Birkman Assessment Test
We highly recommend using specially designed materials to help you study. Our favorite is Job Test Prep, who offer a range of study materials for psychometric tests.
We recommend you:
- Use the help of Job Test Prep and their exercising materials
- Familiarize yourself with the company values for the particular job position you want
- Learn more about the type of skills you need for that particular position and practice them
- Don’t lie. Assessment tests also contain a parameter that measures if and how much you lie
- Get rested before you do the assessment test
- Try to lower your anxiousness and concentrate on giving the best answer
Who uses Birkman Assessment Test?
The Birkman Assessment Test is most useful for newly graduated people who aren’t sure about the professional path they should take. The other usage is for companies to ensure that their job holders/applicants are fit for the position they have or apply for.
This can be valuable information to your employers since for them is very important to employ the right people for the right position. That way, they are sure that they will give you all the right motivators to ensure you, in return, give them your highest productivity.
For example, a person who likes to have a broad social circle and is very outgoing and extroverted would be a great fit for positions that require constant communication and working with people. On the other hand, for an introverted person, whose interest is to finish their job timely and efficiently, a better job position would be one that requires attention to detail.
The Birkman Assessment Test is used by all kinds of organizations and companies, especially for job positions that require the employee to use emotional intelligence, aside from intellect itself. If the employee has the right mindset, they will enrich the company and will do their job in a considerate way, close to the company’s values and ways of handling business.
Large corporations have been using this assessment test in their interviewing processes, such as:
How do I read a Birkman report?
The ending Birkman report is quite extensive and detailed. There are over 40 report styles, and the report given is based on the needs of the company that did the testing. Since most of the time, a company’s interest is connected to your productivity and motivation, they might leave out the part of the report that analyzes your relationship connected interests, motivations, or needs.
For the most extensive report style, a certified specialist is required to analyze the results. The most simple report called the “Birkamn Basic Report” can be analyzed independently, with only a little bit of exploring what certain colors and signs on the report mean.
The Birkman Report
The Brikman Report, called a Map, is a simple, easy-to-read report done in the form of a chart. It is divided into four smaller quadrants:
- One horizontal axis measures if one is more Task-oriented (left side of the axis) or People-oriented (right side of the axis.)
- One vertical axis measures if the person is an Introvert and wants Indirect Communication (bottom of the axis) or Extrovert and wants Direct Communication (top of the axis.)
The smaller squares that are formed by these axes are represented in different colors and mean different things:
- Red – The Doer
The red square is in the upper-left corner; a combination of Task-oriented Extrovert. It represents a decisive person that is action-oriented. They want to organize, manage and solve practical problems while communicating with people.
- Green – The Communicator
The green square is on the upper-right side of the chart; a combo of People-oriented Extrovert. They are great at working and communicating with people. They know how to make other people feel heard and understood, and how to solve interpersonal miscommunication or problems.
- Yellow – The Analyzer
The yellow square is the lower-left corner of the chart; a combination of Task-orientation and Introversion. These people prefer to work alone, they are organized and pay attention to details.
- Blue – The Thinker
In the low right corner of the chart; the blue is a combination of People-oriented Introverts. They think creatively, analyze and want to innovate. They are very good at creative work that gives them freedom of expression.
Furthermore, there are four symbols that represent different categories of the things that the Assessment Test measures:
* – The asterisk represents a persons’ Interests
◊ – The diamond is a persons’ Usual Behavior
○ – The circle is the Needs
□ – The square is the Stress Behavior
The final reading of the Birkman Map is quite complex. For a representation, let’s say that a person gets an “Asterisk (Interests)” in the “Red (Doer)” square. That translates as a person that likes to do things, organize their space, and practically solve problems while keeping open communication. If their “Square (Stress Behavior)” is found in the “Yellow (Analyzer)” quadrant, we could conclude that when under stress, this person will turn inwards, detailly inspect the situation and try to solve the stress cause, but without asking for help from other people. For them, in a stressed situation is important to rely on themselves.
If, let’s say, this person is applying for a managing position, the company, through the report, can conclude their style of working. This person will take stressful matters into their own hands but might not gather the team they work with, but will instead try to solve problems on their own.
The Birkman Assessment test is required for certain job positions, depending on the company’s policy and interviewing/hiring processes. The best way to go is to use the help of Job Test Prep.
They have wonderful testing and practicing materials that will familiarise you with the type of questions and answers that are on the Birkman test. That way, you won’t get surprised by the questions, but will instead be ready to answer them in, for you, the most accurate way.
There are no right or wrong answers on the Birkman Assessment Test, but instead, there are answers that will tell your employers how you organize your private and work matters.
Recommended Preparation Guides
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.