Leadership Assessment Test: Everything You Need to Know

Moving upwards in one’s career usually entails more responsibilities and taking on leadership roles. If you are looking to apply for a supervisory position within your present company or outside, then your recruiter will most likely have you take a leadership assessment test.

Good and steady leadership can make or break a project, or even the business itself. While a lot of famous leaders seem to have intrinsic leadership characteristics, you can still learn and prepare for the role that you aim for.

What Is a Leadership Assessment Test

Leadership skills are important for all companies. Leaders not only can lead teams and departments but also leaders are also a huge factor in employee retention and development. They bring out the best in other people and lead their teams toward success for the company. There are various Leadership Assessment Tests available for companies. All of which test various managerial characteristics of the applicant.

Most Leadership Assessments can be categorized into either Personality Tests or Situational Judgment Tests (SJT). Personality tests aim to uncover one’s leadership personality and characteristics, while SJTs assess leadership skills through situational questions which the candidate will assess and try to solve.

Some of the most used leadership assessment tests are:

Hogan Leadership Assessment

The Hogan Leadership Assessment is a series of leadership and ability tests that assesses your working potential. This is based on your working style, attitude, strengths, and weaknesses. Some of the tests under this umbrella include the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI), and the Hogan Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI). These tests help recruiters with a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s leadership capabilities:

  1. Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)contains 220 statements, which the applicant will rate on a 4-point scale: from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The test typically takes 15-20 minutes to finish.
  2. Hogan Development Survey (HDS)contains 170 behavioral tendencies statements, which the applicant will rate on a 4-point scale: from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The test typically takes 15-20 minutes to finish.
  3. Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI) – contains 24 multiple-choice questions divided into three sections. The test has a time limit of 30 minutes, giving test takers approximately one minute and fifteen seconds per question.
  4. Hogan Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI) – contains 200 preference statements, which the applicant will rate on a 4-point scale: from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The test typically takes 15-20 minutes to finish.

DISC Assessment

The DISC Assessment, also known as the DISC Personality Inventory, evaluates the applicant’s traits based on four types: Dominance (task-oriented and active), Influence (people-oriented and active), Steadiness (people-oriented and reserved), and Conscientiousness (task-oriented and active). This assessment helps identify an individual’s leadership style and provides insights into their approach to problem-solving, decision-making, and team collaboration. You will be presented with 12-30 pairs of statements and choose which one applies to you the most. Since it is short, the test only takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)

The LPI is a survey that evaluates your strengths and areas of growth using the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Modeling the Way, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others to Act, and Encouraging the Heart.

DDI Leadership Assessments

The DDI Leadership Assessments is another series of leadership assessment tests that gauge leadership skills and personality traits. The tests include the Leadership Insight Inventory, Leadership Readiness Assessment, Leader3 Ready, Manager Ready Assessment, and the Health Care Leader Career Battery. These tests assess various competencies and readiness depending on the position or experience needed. For example, the Health Care Leader Career Battery is specifically made for managers and leaders in the healthcare industry.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment

The MBTI is one of the most famous personality tests, used not just in hiring processes. There are a total of 16 MBTI personalities, all of which are evaluated on the four factors: introversion or extroversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. In most MBTI assessments, you will be asked to rate a statement if it is most similar to you to not at all.

Leadership Temperament Index (LTI)

ExecuSmart’s LTI is a leadership evaluation that centers around 12 cognitive preferences, which serve as indicators of an individual’s leadership approach. These preferences are categorized into four groups: Coach, Director, Strategist, and Counselor.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Leadership Test

Previously known as the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, the Gallup StrengthsFinder assesses your areas of excellence. It identifies strengths by categorizing traits into four themes: Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Influencing, and Executing. Gallup encourages a strengths-based culture in organizations to engage employees and find managers who can coach them into becoming the best versions of themselves. The assessment consists of 177 paired statements, and your task is to choose the ones that most accurately describe you. The test has a time limit of 30 minutes.

If you are preparing for your pre-employment or promotion assessment, make sure to ask human resources for the specific type of leadership assessment that you will be taking.

Which Companies Use the Leadership Assessment Test

Most, if not all, medium- to large-sized companies use leadership assessment tests as part of their hiring processes. As of writing, the following companies use leadership assessments:

  • General Motors – an American multinational automotive manufacturing company; uses Hogan Assessment
  • The Coca-Cola Company – an American multinational corporation, manufacturing beverages, concentrates, and syrups; uses the Hogan Assessment
  • Apple – the world’s largest multinational technology company; uses DISC Leadership Assessment
  • The Estée Lauder Companies – an American multinational cosmetics company and the second largest cosmetics company in the world; uses Gallup StrengthsFinder
  • Fortune 500 Companies – a list of the 500 largest companies in the United States, both public and private; more than 80% use MBTI in their hiring process

Kindly note that this list may change and companies may change their preferred leadership assessment tools at any moment. To be sure, ask your hiring managers or personnel about the right test to prepare for.

Why is the Leadership Assessment Test Used?

These pre-employment assessments or personality tests are helpful tools for recruiters and human resources managers across all industries. Not only do they help speed up the hiring process, but they also save up on time and resources and provide unbiased data, which can help in the decision-making process.

Recruitment has evolved over the years, and leadership roles are no exception. Rather than simply giving an empty position to the next guy, setting proper standards and giving other candidates a chance to prove themselves have become the norm. These assessment tools also help recruitment managers foresee the potential development of an employee within the company.

Format and Questions to Expect in Leadership Assessment Tests

Each type of leadership assessment test varies in format, time limit (or lack thereof), and number of questions. Whichever you will be taking, it is important that you read all instructions and guidelines beforehand to avoid making mistakes or worse, accidentally forfeiting your application altogether.

Hogan Leadership Assessment

The Hogan Assessments have mostly similar formats, but each test has its own characteristic that it assesses. Check out the following examples of statements per test:

Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI):

I feel more comfortable supporting and assisting others in their tasks and goals rather than taking charge and making decisions for the group.

Strongly Disagree | Disagree | Agree | Strongly Agree

For this statement, leaders should have the initiative in taking charge. However, keep in mind that support and harmony should be maintained, especially when the position will work closely with a team.

Hogan Development Survey (HDS):

I have a natural inclination to pursue innovative ideas and explore uncharted territories.

Strongly Disagree | Disagree | Agree | Strongly Agree

For this statement, your openness to innovation and risk behavior is tested. While as a leader you should be quick to adapt to changes, you should also remain cautious and calculative when taking risks. The “preferred” answer to this statement depends on the risk behavior usually expected of your position.

Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI)

In a school, all students who participate in the science club are excellent in academics. All students in the chess club are excellent in academics. Are all the students who participate in the chess club also part of the science club?

Yes | No | Insufficient Information

The correct answer is Insufficient Information. This is an example of logic questions that you can expect in the HBRI.

Hogan Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI)

I believe in embracing the finer things in life, such as delectable cuisine, delightful beverages, and exciting and memorable moments.

Agree | Disagree | Undecided

This statement tries to see how you personally prefer your workplace environment. Make sure to know more about the company you are applying to and get to know their employee culture. You can read more about the Hogan Assessments over at JobTestPrep.

DISC Assessment 

The DISC assessment can be done online within 5 to 10 minutes. Expect questions along the lines of:

Select the statement that aligns with your natural tendencies:

a. I like to maintain a fast-paced work environment and focus on achieving results.

b. I prefer a relaxed work environment where relationships and team dynamics are emphasized.

Indicate which statement resonates more with you

a. I am comfortable expressing my opinions and challenging the status quo.

b.  I prefer maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict whenever possible.

Whichever you choose will reflect your DISC personality.

Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) 

The LPI questionnaire will ask you to rate statements from 1 to 10. Based on their Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, here are some sample statements that align with each practice, which you can look out for in the test itself:

  • “I actively seek opportunities to clarify and communicate shared values and goals to others.”
  • “I regularly communicate a clear and inspiring vision that creates a sense of purpose and direction for the team.”
  • “I am open to experimenting with new ideas and approaches, even if they involve risks or uncertainties.”
  • “I create a culture that recognizes and appreciates individual contributions and encourages teamwork.”
  • “I celebrate milestones and successes to foster a positive and uplifting work environment.”

DDI Leadership Assessments 

The DDI assessments have their own purposes. Its format also varies depending on the test.

  • Leadership Insight Inventory – Generally used for complex leadership positions and looks for specific character traits needed for the leadership position
  • Leadership Readiness Assessment – Generally used to measure job-related behavioral abilities to find the applicant most fitted for the position and has the most potential for return of development investment
  • Leader3 Ready – This test may come with short videos, and was developed to determine if applicants or current leaders are ready for higher leadership positions. The test also assesses advanced technical skills.
  • Manager Ready Assessment – This test will provide scenario-based problems which the applicant will try to solve. It assesses if the applicant is fit for a frontline leader, dealing with customers and other stakeholders if an incident is escalated.
  • Health Care Leader Career Battery – Made specifically for healthcare personnel aiming to be supervisors and leaders

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment

Applicants will answer a list of questions, all of which will help determine which of the 16 personality types they most likely show. See the example below:

Which of the following statements resonates more with you?

a. I am energized by spending time with a large group of people and engaging in social activities.

b. I find rejuvenation and inner reflection through spending time alone or with a small group of close friends.

This question relates to the Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I) preference in the MBTI. Respondents would select the statement that aligns more with their natural tendencies and where they draw energy from — either from social interactions and external stimulation (Extroversion) or from quiet reflection and internal processing (Introversion). There is no right or wrong answer for the MBTI assessment. Although some companies may prefer certain personality types, being earnest in your answers will weigh more than trying to rig the results.

Leadership Temperament Index (LTI)

Here are some sample statements that align with each aspect of the leadership style, which could be either Coach, Director, Strategist, or Counselor:

  • “I enjoy providing support and feedback to help individuals reach their full potential.”
  • “I am comfortable setting clear expectations and holding others accountable for results.”
  • “I believe in thinking strategically and considering the broader impact of decisions.”
  • “I believe in creating a safe and supportive environment for individuals to express themselves.”

Keep in mind that the statements and scales used in the assessment will vary based on the company.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Leadership Test

For the Gallup StrengthsFinder Test, you will be shown 177 paired statements and will be asked to choose which one you agree with the most. See the following example paired statements:

a. I prefer to build upon my existing strengths and develop them further.

b. I enjoy exploring new areas and acquiring new skills outside of my comfort zone.

You will then choose on a 5-point scale which statement best aligns with your personality, with the third or middle point being Neutral. This paired statement question aims to assess your preference and inclination towards leveraging strengths versus focusing on weaknesses. At the end of the assessment, the applicant will see their top 5 strengths out of a list of 30 possibilities.

These are only seven examples of leadership assessment tests. The test you may be taking might not be even on this list. Make sure to clarify the hiring process with human resources. You can read about the other assessments over at our partners at JobTestPrep, and check out their test practice bundles as well.

How Do I Prepare for the Leadership Assessment Test

It might seem overwhelming, but preparing for a leadership assessment is easier than you think. Follow our tips for the best ways to prepare for your next leadership test:

  • Know which test you are taking

Given that there are many possible leadership assessments out there, the most important thing is to know beforehand which test you will take. For example, if you will be taking the MBTI Test, you can look up the leadership styles of every personality and compare them to yours. If you are taking a Gallup StrengthsFinder, look up the list of strengths or themes and determine which ones are the most needed for the position you are applying for.

  • Look inwards

Leaders do not just give out criticism; they must also know how to take it. Look back on your experiences as a leader, if you have been one, even back in school. How do you prefer to lead? How do you take on challenges and distribute tasks? What is your biggest weakness as a leader? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a leader will help you improve yourself and answer better in the assessments.

  • Practice with trusted materials

When you look up leadership assessment tests online, you might get overwhelmed by the number of “free” and “premium” and other words thrown at you to get your attention. It is important that you vet practice materials properly and prepare with practice tests designed by experts.

  • Ask yourself why

Why do you want to advance your career? Why do you want to take on this position, and why do you think you will make a good leader? If you have never been in a leadership position at work, why do you want to start now? Taking on bigger responsibilities means bigger accountability; so aside from the practical benefits of being promoted or getting a management position, ask yourself why you should be in this position. This will also help you in ensuring that the results of your tests truly reflect your personality during your interviews.

  • Keep on learning

Some people forget that they can still grow and develop even if they have already finished their degrees. Freshen up on leadership theories and concepts and update your current knowledge. There are also many professional development opportunities available out there, many of which can be done after work or during weekends. In addition to taking practice tests, you can take short online courses on leadership to help you prepare. Not only can they be listed in your resume, but it also shows your dedication to learning and development.

  • Take care of your mental health

Leadership positions are not for everyone. They can take a toll on your mental and even physical well-being if you do not take care of yourself. Remember, leaders lead; they do not carry the weight or problem of the entire team. To prepare for this role, you must also prepare your mental health so you can manage stress properly when the time comes.

  • Trust your gut

After all your preparation, reading materials, and trying to embody the roles of a great leader, you must also stay true to yourself. Most companies nowadays prefer leaders with an edge or unique personalities, rather than cookie-cutter leaders who just pass down memos or instructions from upper management. Trust yourself and know that you have prepared well for the assessment tests.

How the Leadership Assessment Test Results Affect Your Application

The weight of leadership assessment test results varies per company or recruiter. Other factors are also considered in your application, such as background, experience, and results of other tests, whether technical or personality. It is not the sole decision maker for human resources managers.

You may also be asked to come in for an interview before your test, the results of which can also affect your ranking among other job applicants. Either way, it is important that you give importance to each step or test of your application process.

Leading the Path towards a Better Career

Leadership assessment tests are pre-employment or human resources tools designed to help companies assess applicants’ leadership skills. The ability to not just lead but also mediate, maintain harmony, and inspire other employees is critical to the growth of a business.

There are various leadership assessments available for use. Those seeking higher positions will inevitably face one or two of these questionnaires or tests. It is important to not just prepare for the test but for the role itself. Embodying the characteristics of a good leader takes time, but with enough practice and reflection, you can be a leader you can be proud of.