Psychometric tests are often used as part of the recruitment assessment process by human resource professionals, but many people find them a valuable element of a performance improvement or career development coaching process. Many clients have found insights into their own personality – and how it compares to their colleagues and clients that they deal with – helpful for team building, business development and relationship management purposes.

This blog provides some basic information, but please contact me if you would like further information

The NEO PI-R psychometric test

NEO is psychological personality assessment inventory using 240 questions to measure the “Big Five” personality traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience. It is recognised internationally as a “gold standard” for personality assessment.

Neuroticism: identifies individuals who are prone to psychological distress

  • Anxiety – Level of free floating anxiety
  • Angry Hostility – Tendency to experience anger and related states (frustration, bitterness)
  • Depression – Tendency to experience feelings of guilt, sadness, despondency and loneliness
  • Self-Consciousness – Shyness or social anxiety
  • Impulsiveness – Tendency to act on cravings and urges rather than reining them in
  • Vulnerability – General susceptibility to stress

Extraversion: quantity and intensity of energy directed outwards into the social world

  • Warmth – Interest in and friendliness towards others
  • Gregariousness – Preference for the company of others
  • Assertiveness – Social ascendancy and forcefulness of expression
  • Activity – Pace of living
  • Excitement seeking – Need for environmental stimulation
  • Positive Emotion – Tendency to experience positive emotions

Openness to Experience: the active seeking and appreciation of experiences for their own sake

  • Fantasy – Receptivity to the inner world of imagination
  • Aesthetics – Appreciation of art and beauty
  • Feelings – Openness to inner feelings and emotions
  • Actions – Openness to new experiences on a practical level
  • Ideas – Intellectual curiosity
  • Values – Readiness to re-examine own values and those of authority figures

Agreeableness: the kinds of interactions an individual prefers from compassion to tough mindedness

  • Trust – Belief in the sincerity and good intentions of others
  • Straightforwardness – Frankness in expression
  • Altruism – Active concern for the welfare of others
  • Compliance – Response to interpersonal conflict
  • Modesty – Tendency to play down own achievements and be humble
  • Tender mindedness – Attitude of sympathy for others
  • Conscientiousness – Degree of organisation, persistence, control and motivation in goal-directed behaviour

Competence: Belief in own self efficacy

  • Order – Personal organisation
  • Dutifulness – Emphasis placed on importance of fulfilling moral obligations
  • Achievement striving – Need for personal achievement and sense of direction
  • Self Discipline – Capacity to begin tasks and follow through to completion despite boredom or distractions
  • Deliberation – Tendency to think things through before acting or speaking.

Digman (1990) organised these big five personality trait into OCEAN to remember them more easily.

Personality assessment services

As well as a degree in psychology, a post-graduate diploma in professional coach/mentoring and being an NLP practitioner, I am a qualified British Psychological Society test user for NEO PI tests. For example, one of my services includes:

  • An initial 15 minute telephone conversation to determine your aims, background, role and areas of interest
  • A questionnaire and questions booklet is sent to your home or work address. It takes about 30-40 minutes to complete
  • Within a week, you receive:

o    an explanatory summary chart showing your scores compared to national averages

o    A written report on what the scores may mean in terms of your aims and aspirations

  • Shortly after, we arrange a 50 minute confidential meeting (in a Central London location) where we discuss the implications of the chart and report

Use in the professions

Amongst the professions, some HR teams use colour inspired personality assessments – based on the work of Jung. These categorise people as: cool blues, earth greens, fiery reds or sunshine yellows.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is also common. This is where people determine which of the 16 four letter types they are based on their scores on Introversion-Extroversion, iNtuitive-Sensory, Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving scales.

Related information

I produced a short video on a simple personality analysis – Cats, Dogs and Bears

And I looked at the link between creativity and personality profiling