Online personality tests

This content is 18 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

A week or so ago, I spent two days on a technical leadership course as part of my work. I’m not sure that the course really spent much time teaching me to lead (it’s kind of implicit in my role), but it was an opportunity to take stock of where I am and made me realise that I need to think about where I want to go next.

My higher education was entirely technical but I do find it fascinating to look at some of the business models that other people employ, and some of the behavioural models that are used to categorise people. Particularly interesting on my recent course were concepts such as the Johari Window and the four Cs of leadership (credibility, capability, career management and character), the accelerated learning ladder and the situational leadership model. I was also able to take some online tests including the leader behavioural analysis II (LBAII) self-profile and the occupational personality questionnaire (OPQ32).

Whilst the LBAII was interesting, it is entirely based on my own perception of how I would react in a given scenario (and it’s only natural to answer with what is considered to be the “best” answer – i.e. how I should act), but it does seem that I adapt my leadership style to meet the needs of those I am leading – something which surprised me.

Although it’s also based upon self-assessment (and hence possibly different to the way in which others view you), OPQ32 is harder to fool (not that I deliberately tried to fool any of the tests) – for anyone who has ever taken this sort of test, it’s the one often used for psychometric profiling as part of interview processes, with many questions, each subtly different where you often think “haven’t I answered this already?”. Amazingly though, having read the report from the analysis of my answers, it’s pretty spot on in assessing my personality (as verified by my wife, who knows me as well as anyone).

Both of these tests require payment to the companies that own them; however I stumbled across a free, online, personal DNA report whilst casually surfing from blog to blog last night. My personal DNA report indicates that I am a “respectful leader” (fitting in with my LBAII and OPQ32 responses) – anyone who is remotely interested can mouse-over the graphic below to see how it categorised me:

At the end of the day, you can read as much or as little into these personality tests as you like, but I found the OPQ32 to be frighteningly accurate and the personal DNA test is very similar in some ways. If you still don’t believe it then you can get others to assess you (based on their view of your personality) – now that could be really scary!

2 thoughts on “Online personality tests

  1. Mark

    You may or may not be aware that there is a consistency check on the OPQ32i so if someone does try to fake the questionnaire it will be picked up.

  2. I’ve done things like this and I think they’re interesting to at least make you think about how you act and, if you feel you want or need to, change what you would do in certain situations. Its good to get your experiences from it too Mark!

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