Korn Ferry Assessment: A Complete Study Guide with Practice Test

Last Updated on May 17, 2023

If you are applying for an executive position in the world of finance or any other high-ranking position with a company such as Lloyds, you may have to take a Korn Ferry Assessment.

Employers with high-level positions to fill use these assessments to pinpoint the most suitable employees from the myriad of applications they get.

If you are about the take the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Korn Ferry Leadership Test click here.

For the employer, the assessment guarantees they are getting employees best suited to the work involved. For the prospective employee, the assessment is another hurdle to jump on the route to a rewarding career and also an opportunity to show their talent.

let’s take a look at what the Korn Ferry Assessment actually is!

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What is Korn Ferry Assessment?

Korn Ferry Assessment Test

Korn Ferry assessments are tests that employers use to measure the personality and leadership skills of potential candidates when applying for a position.

How Do You Prepare for the Korn Ferry Test?

As with all tests, preparation is essential.

Given the high rewards that result from doing well in the test, organised and focused preparation is worth it.

To ensure your preparation is accurate and relevant you need to:

  1. Become familiar with the test, understand how it is formatted, and know what it is looking for
  2. Use preparation materials that will help you adequately practice for the test.

For this preparation, we recommend using a company with experience in the field like JobTest Prep. You can depend on them to give you all the information you need. You can also depend on them for their tailored test prep packs that will provide you with all the tools you need for the assessment,

What Does the Korn Ferry Assessment Test?

Essentially the Korn Ferry Assessment works on the same principle as other pre-employment assessments. It is used to decide if you have the key competencies to carry out the work the company is hiring for.

The company also needs to decide if the applicant would be a good fit for their work style and would be capable of progressing in the organization.

Looking over the samples you get in your test prep pack will show you the types of questions asked.

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Who Uses the Korn Ferry Assessment?

Companies that use Korn Ferry Assessments are typically in the financial sector. Potential employees seeking to work as executives, strategists, or CEOs can all expect to undergo a Korn Ferry Assessment.

If a high-level job at Lloyds Bank, RBS, or Virgin Atlantic is on your radar, you can expect to come across Korn Ferry Assessment in the pre-employment process.

Here is a list of which companies use the Korn Ferry Test:

What Skills are Being Assessed?

The Korn Ferry Assessment aims to discover your talents and your leadership skills. You will be tested under the following headings:

  • Experiences – This section looks at past work experience that may influence your suitability for the position
  • Competencies – This test assesses if you have the skills necessary for the position
  • Traits – Looking at your personal traits the test assesses your qualities and inclinations. It aims to discover your likely workplace behaviour and predict your future career growth
  • Drivers – A test to discover what motivates you and what is likely to propel you forward on your career path

What Format Does the Korn Ferry Test Take?

There are a few different types of Korn Ferry test – which are divided into two main sections:

  1. One section deals with personality testing
  2. Another section tests your aptitudes

The Korn ferry personality inventory tests examine how you are likely to behave in certain workplace scenarios. You can expect to be presented with a series of situations and choose what you would do. From these, the employer can see how you would behave in the position applied for.

These will reveal your leadership and problem-solving skills

The Personality Tests

Personality tests can be the most difficult tests to prepare for. Our natural tendency is to say, “This is who I am.” However, personality tests, or psychometric tests, are developed by psychologists and assess who you are in the workplace.

When doing the personality tests you are answering as the person who fills a role at work. It is important to keep that at the forefront of your mind when doing the tests.

The questions asked are relatively straightforward but reveal a lot about the person responding. To learn more about personality tests, read here.

Expect to be presented with a series of statements where you will be asked to answer in a range from “Completely untrue”, to “Completely true.” Expect statements along the line of:

  1. I laugh a lot
  2. I like working as part of a team
  3. I like to see a task through to the end.

The personality tests can include:

Korn Ferry Dimensions Test

This personality questionnaire covers 3 main sections

  • People and Relationships
  • Tasks and Projects
  • Drives and Emotions

Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential (KFALP)

This is for applicants for high-level roles. Therefore, your leadership skills will have an important part to play in the recruitment process. The tests are designed to identify your strengths and weaknesses and how well you can judge situations that might arise in your future role.

The following example gives an idea of what to expect from this test.

KFALP situational judgement sample question:

You are a department manager, and you have thought of a new procedure you believe would improve the work process. Some employees in your department agree with the change, and some don’t.

One of your employees voices their criticism of your director.

What would you do in this situation?

Response #1: You decide to ignore the criticism to avoid conflict.

Response #2: You reprimand the employee for going over your head to the director. You dismiss the criticism and work to promote your idea with even more enthusiasm.

Response #3: You meet the employee to discuss their criticism and explain that bypassing your authority is unacceptable.

Response #4: Employees’ trust in their manager is important, so to keep your employees satisfied, you implement only some changes.

Expect tests also that aim to discover how you would prioritize tasks at work.

Korn Ferry Four-Dimensional Assessment (KF4D)

The KF4D is all about testing different behaviours of candidates in the workplace and how they would fit with the company ethos. The test focuses on four dimensions:

  • Biodata
  • Strengths
  • Personality
  • Drives

To discover more about personality tests, click this link for a free sample test.

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Aptitude Tests

Here the employer is testing your role-related skills. Again the employer is looking at your strengths and weaknesses. The tests are adaptive and geared to your ability levels.

A question answered correctly will be followed by a more difficult question, just as a question answered incorrectly will be followed by an easier one.

These tests allow the employer to compare candidates objectively so rather than shying away from being presented with difficult questions, try to see them as a measure of how well you are doing.

Numerical Reasoning Tests

Numerical reasoning is a fancy way of saying that this is the maths section. As we mentioned before, the Korn Ferry Assessments are particularly popular for financial institutions and high-level jobs, so numerical literacy is a must for many jobs.

The assessments will test you on your ability to draw inferences from statistical and numerical data. This is to see if you can comfortably work with numbers. These tests will not just be testing your basic mathematical calculation skills, but also your ability to make accurate decisions under pressure.

Although you never know what question will come up, it is definitely worth doing practice questions in advance of these tests. It has probably been a few years (at least) since you studied maths at school, and it can take a little practice to get back in the swing of mental calculation

Example question:

OS and data analysis.
* OS = Overseas
** Percent out of full tuition fee

How many BA overseas (OS) students study in the UK?

A) 156,000
B) 210,725
C) 236,700
D) 301,000
E) 339,750
F) 342,500
G) 571,975
H) 721,000
I) 874,000
J) 1,021,200

Correct Answer:
The correct answer here is H. The sixth column gives you the percentage of overseas students for each course. So you need to use that percentage to calculate the number of overseas students for each course, using the second column. Adding them all up will give you an answer.

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Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning tests evaluate your language skills by analysing your comprehension of written passages and your ability to draw conclusions from a text. It helps them to measure your capacity to analyse and interpret written texts.

There will usually be two parts to this test, one at a medium level and the other will be harder.

You will be given a written passage of text of a professional nature, and a question that relates to the text. You will have one minute to answer each question, and you are allowed to make notes on a scrap of paper during the test if you need to.

*Top Tip: Read the question before you read the text, so you know what to look out for. Then read the question again before answering it.

Non-Verbal Reasoning Test

Nonverbal reasoning tests are the logical reasoning tests that assess your logical reasoning. It will look at your ability to understand logical patterns. They are often abstract and require you to manipulate the information you have been given to reach a logical conclusion.

These questions present a pattern of shapes. You will then need to choose which shape would complete the pattern. This is another test that definitely benefits from practice, especially as you will have to do it against the clock. Here is an example from Job Test Prep to help you understand what you will be coming up against.

Example question:

Please identify the missing symbol:

Source: Job Test Prep


Correct Answer:
The correct answer is # @ #. In each row, the middle column holds the key. The left symbol in the middle is on the left and right for the left-hand cell, and the right symbol is on the left and right for the right-hand cell. The middle symbols are different to any other symbols in the row.

Cognitive Ability Test

The final assessment is the Cognitive Ability Test. These tests measure a mix of reasoning skills that can include verbal, non-verbal, and numerical tests, but also mechanical comprehension and spatial awareness.

They will be looking at your ability to switch between different styles of questions and challenges, and as they are timed they will also be measuring how you manage under pressure.

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Why Are Korn Ferry Tests So Hard?

Korn Ferry tests can be challenging, although as they are adaptive, the difficulty of the questions will adapt to your level as you go. Preparing for the test is essential for a number of reasons:

  1. You will be in competition with high-level achievers. Adequate preparation will ensure you stand out.
  2. As you will have seen from the sample test, the questions are deceptively simple. As you will be working under time constraints, it can lead even the calmest of us to becoming flustered and making errors.

Preparation & How To Get a Good Score on The Korn Ferry Assessment

Use sample tests

Allowing sample tests to take centre stage at every preparation session you do will allow you to:

  1. Get advance experience of the real test. Getting this experience will ensure there are no surprises when the real assessment comes along.
  2. Hone your skills. Don’t expect superb scores on your first effort. But as you continue doing test after test you will become familiar with the areas that cause you most difficulty. Session by session you will manage to weed them out.
  3. Perfect your timing. Again don’t expect to get this right on your first attempt. You will need to work out how much time you can spend on each question and stick religiously to it. You will also have to develop the confidence to leave a question unfinished if it is eating into too much time.

Working like this will guarantee you reach test day well prepared and confident.

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Can You Fail Korn Ferry Assessment?

Korn Ferry assessments have no actual pass or fail mark. However the higher you score the better. Different companies may set a certain benchmark that they want candidates to hit before they hire them.

A Final Tip

It may be a while since you last did a test or school exam. That doesn’t mean you have recovered from the exam nerves every teenager suffers from. Adults get them too!

Develop an arsenal of stress-busting techniques you can call on before the day. Deep breathing, yoga, whatever works for you, have them on standby.

You have worked hard for this. You don’t want your efforts wasted because of any unexpected nervousness.

If you are preparing for the Korn Ferry Assessment and need the resources to help you prepare head here to JobTest Prep’s awesome preparation resources.

Related Study Guides


1. What is a Korn Ferry assessment?

Korn Ferry assessments are personality tests that measure a person’s preferences and tendencies. The assessments can be used to help people find the right job or to help organizations choose the best candidate for a position.

2. Is the Korn Ferry assessment hard?

The Korn Ferry assessment is not hard, but it is comprehensive. The test measures a variety of skills and abilities, so it is important to prepare for it by studying the topic areas that will be covered.

3. How do I pass the Korn Ferry employment assessment?

The Korn Ferry employment assessment is a test that measures cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and personality traits. To pass the assessment, you need to score in the top quartile. There are no specific strategies that will help you pass the assessment, but studying and practicing can help you improve your score.

4. How do I prepare for Korn Ferry leadership assessment?

The best way to prepare for a Korn Ferry leadership assessment will vary depending on your individual strengths and weaknesses. However, some tips that may help include studying the company’s history and values, practicing situational judgment questions, and reviewing common interview questions.

Additionally, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that are typically asked in leadership assessments, such as those measuring cognitive ability, personality, and motivation.

5.  How are Korn Ferry tests scored?

Korn assessments are graded using a rubric that is based on the Common Core State Standards. The standards specify what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Grades are assigned based on how well students meet or exceed the standards.

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