Kolbe Personality Test | How’s Your Intrinsic Impulse or Instinct for Taking Action?
In a lot of screening processes for new employees, companies measure three parts of the candidates’ mind – the affective (emotional), cognitive (rational), and conative (intrinsic impulse or intention).
The first two aspects are almost always tested in the interviewing process. You might receive tests to measure your cognitive abilities to remember, organize, reproduce information, draw conclusions, or summarize given content. The affective part of the mind is usually assessed by asking questions about your stress tolerance, emotional state, ability to cooperate with others, willingness to ask for help or help someone else, etc.
For a long time, the conative aspect wasn’t even considered, measured, or explored. Especially not in the hiring process. The Kolbe Personality Test does exactly that — it measures conative aspects of the mind.
This article will tell you everything about the Kolbe Index, what to expect, and how to pass the test.
Table of Contents
What is the Kolbe personality test?
The Kolbe personality test is one of the most successful conative assessments, whose purpose is to measure intrinsic impulse or instinct for taking action. The conative assessment looks at how you are most comfortable starting, following, and finishing a task, a project, or a problem.
With the Kolbe Index, you don’t get a specific type, but a set of 4 conative types:
- Fact Finder
- Follow Thru
Each is divided into 3 degrees. You will be somewhere on the spectrum on each of the conative types, be it:
There are a total of seven Kolbe assessments, each measuring instinctive impulses of operating in different life areas.
In the hiring process, mostly Kolbe A Index (designed to measure productivity) and Kolbe B Index (designed to measure ones’ perception about job responsibilities) are used. Some employers also use PAPI 3, Sigma uses a tailored test for their needs and there is also Caliper Test.
What are the four conative types?
The Kolbe method divides candidates into four modules or so-called “Action Modes.”
1. Fact Finder (FF)
- This mode provides insight into your liking of details.
- Preventative FF wants to simplify and only get to the point.
- Accommodating FF wants to explain and have the bigger picture in mind.
- Initiating FF wants to strategize and get well into details.
2. Follow Thru (FT)
- This mode takes a look at the way a person wants to structure, arrange and design action.
- Preventative FT wants to adapt on the way. They would set out a minimal structure and just start the process.
- Accommodating FT wants to maintain. They do have a certain structure and will try to keep to it, but might adjust it in the process.
- Initiating FT wants to systematize. They would think the action through.
3. Quickstart (QS)
- The Quickstart mode examines how likely a candidate is to take uncalculated risks.
- Preventative QS wants to stabilize. They don’t enjoy taking risks and are better at having procedures and keeping to protocols.
- Accommodating QS wants to modify. They would take a risk only if they were sure that the odds worked in their favor.
- Initiating QS wants to innovate. They get into the action heads first, taking risks.
4. Implementor (IM)
- The Implementor mode assesses a person’s affinity to construct handcrafted solutions.
- Preventative IM wants to envision. They like to think abstractly and visualize things.
- Accommodating IM wants to restore. They are good at improving already existing solutions.
- Initiating IM wants to protect. They want to create concrete solutions and prototypes.
It’s important to note that the Kolbe reports on each of these modes are not fixed and are subject to change. These results as just preferred ways of taking action. Understanding them can allow a person, a coworker, or a management team to have better communication, cooperation, and organization within the company.
What can the Kolbe Personality Test be used for?
- Hiring process
- Business Sucess
- Relationships (both business and personal)
- Team performance
- Personal development
How is the Kolbe Personality Test used in the hiring process?
When the Kolbe Personality Test is used in a hiring process, it ensures that the candidate has a suitable personality for the job position they apply for.
By defining the job requirements with the help of the Kolbe C Intex, employers can understand the personal qualities that a candidate should possess to successfully handle job responsibilities.
A company might even cross-check those traits against those of current leaders, the management team, and high company performers. Thus, they further align the desired personal qualities for new employees, creating a sort of “profiling” for the desired candidate.
Then, they screen candidates to determine their conative strengths and their probability to successfully manage the job position and its requirements.
The Kolbe Personality Test is used to hire the best candidate, increase their probability of success, boost team synergy and productivity, and reduce work-related stress for employees.
What is a good score on the Kolbe Index?
There is no good or bad score on the Kolbe test. There also aren’t any wrong answers. Just answers that require you to state the degree by which they apply for you. So, it’s not about having to “pass” the assessment test, but it’s more about displaying required and compatible results with the job position.
On each of the modes previously stated (Fact Finder; Follow Thru, Quickstart and Implementor), you can have one of the 3 degrees: Preventative (1-3), Accommodating (4-6), and Initiating (7-10).
As an example, if a company is looking for an Accountant, they might be looking for the following set:
- Initiating FF, i.e., someone who wants to get into details, which is of high importance for someone who handles money
- Initiating FT, i.e., someone who wants a lot of structure and preparation before taking the action
- Preventative QS, i.e., a person that doesn’t want to take uncalculated risks and is prone to keeping to protocols
- Preventative IM or Accommodating IM, i.e., someone who wants to think about abstract concepts or use already existing concepts and improve them
How many questions are there on the Kolbe Personality test?
The Kolbe test has 36 multiple-choice, forced-answer questions. “Forced answers” means that you must answer from one of the given answers, even if you’ve never thought about it, or if you would not even get yourself into the presented situation in the first place.
Check out the format of the questions with some examples of Kolbe Personality Test questions here.
How long does the Kolbe test take?
The Kolbe test typically takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Immediately after completion, there is a 13-page report with results.
Can you practice the Kolbe Personality Test?
Practicing the Kolbe personality test is a great way to make sure that you fit the “profile” for a job position you apply for.
You can use the help of Job Test Prep which offers information and resources on the Kolbe Personality Test. Job Test Prep has a database of personality tests that can give you a lot of insight about the type of questions you might be asked and what they translate to when scored.
The Kolbe Personality Test is a conative assessment test used by a lot of companies as part of their hiring process. It measures the most comfortable mode of operating, i.e., the instinctive process of taking action.
There are no right or wrong answers, but you can have more or less suitable action modes in regards to the job position you want to get. So, get the help of Job Test Prep and make sure that the answers on the Kolbe personality test will take you a step closer to the job you applied for.
Written by Victoria Todorovska
Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.
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.