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Hogan Development Survey (HDS): {YEAR} Guide to the Development Assessment

Hogan Development Survey (HDS): 2024 Guide to the Development Assessment

What Is the Hogan Development Survey (HDS)?

The Hogan assessments are used by companies to assess candidates for a job opening. These tests can be used to assess new applicants or existing employees seeking a promotion.

The tests focus on assessing personality traits, leadership style and individual risk factors associated with work-based performance, such as an employee’s spontaneity, tendency to act without thinking, or naivety.

The HDS looks for what they refer to as ‘dark side’ personality traits, which can impact a worker’s performance and efficacy.

The results of the Hogan assessments give an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate’s personality. Organizations can use the results of the personality test to inform key decision-making within their recruitment process so that their vacancies can be filled by what they consider the ‘ideal’ candidate.

These assessments are available in over 40 languages and have been used by more than 50 organizations worldwide.

With over three decades of experience providing personality tests and other recruitment assessments, Hogan has served a range of clients including those in the financial, retail and pharmaceutical sectors.

Popular Hogan assessments include:

  • Motives, Values and Preferences Inventory (MVPI)
  • Hogan Development Survey (HDS)
  • Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI)
  • Judgement
  • Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

When you apply for a job or are seeking a promotion, you may be asked to take one or a combination of Hogan assessments.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the HDS, including:

  • Hogan Development Survey tips to help you prepare
  • Examples of Hogan Development Survey questions
  • How the test is scored

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Hogan Development Survey Sample Questions: A Peek into the HDS Test

The questions on the HDS take the form of statements that correlate to the 11 dark personality traits, followed by the options to:

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

You need to read the sentences carefully and consider how they relate to you and your behaviour and performance at work, then select to how much you agree with the statement.

HDS Practice Test: Sample Questions and Tip

When you take the HDS you may be asked questions similar to the following:

  • I tend to act first and think about the consequences later
  • People think I am shy when they first meet me
  • When someone wrongs me, I am unlikely to forget it
  • I usually perform better than everyone around me
  • I am always willing to take on any challenge at work no matter what it is
  • It would feel wrong to accept a position I was overqualified for
  • I prefer to work alone
  • I like routine and react badly to change
  • People I meet often end up disappointing me
  • I avoid putting myself forward in case my ideas are criticized

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How Is the Hogan Development Survey Scored?

An ideal score on the HDS does not exist. There are 170 questions, and it is usually taken online.

The survey does not have a time limit but most test takers report that it takes 15–20 minutes to complete.

The test uses 11 personality scales and 33 subscales designed to measure a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and leadership abilities, and indicates the likelihood of them showing problematic behaviors in the workplace.

The 11 traits, also known as ‘job derailers’, also have a further three subtraits:

  • Excitable – The amount of enthusiasm and passion an employee shows at work; also their tendency to get frustrated and give up. (Subscale: volatile, easily disappointed, no direction)
  • Skeptical – How trusting a person is and whether they can identify and deal with deceptiveness in others. (Subscale: cynical, mistrusting, grudges)
  • Cautious – How risk averse a person is, their attitude to failing and if they can accept criticism. (Subscale: avoidant, fearful, unassertive)
  • Reserved – Whether a person take the feelings of others into account, how sociable they are and their tendency to act with indifference. (Subscale: tough, introverted, unsocial)
  • Leisurely – Whether a person is likely to act as if they are working as part of a team when in fact following a personal agenda and disregarding other people’s ideas or assuming that they know best. (Subscale: passive aggressive, unappreciated, irritated)
  • Bold – How confident and fearless a person is. People who score highly may struggle to admit mistakes or learn from others or even from their own experience. (Subscale: entitled, overconfident, fantasized talent)
  • Mischievous – This looks for impulsive and risky behaviors. (Subscale: risky, manipulative, impulsive)
  • Colorful – Whether a person enjoys being the center of attention and how extroverted they are. (Subscale: public confidence, distractable, self-display)
  • Imaginative – This part of the test assesses creativity and creative thinking. Low scorers will lack the ability to come up with new ideas and will crave routine. (Subscale: eccentric, special sensitivity, creative thinking)
  • Diligent – How hardworking and detail-focused a person is. High scorers will have high standards for themselves and others which may lead to micromanagement. (Subscale: standards, perfectionism, organized)
  • Dutiful – How compliant and eager to please a person is. Low scorers will often be rebellious and dislike authority, though high scorers may act without authenticity to please others. (Subscale: indecisive, ingratiating, conforming)

Displaying dark side traits can, in some instances, be positive at work. The HDS looks for answers that place a candidate on the extreme end of the scale.

Scoring in an extreme way can indicate a higher chance of the negative behaviors impeding future performance in the workplace.

For example, someone who scores extremely low on the Skeptical scale might be naïve and trust others without question.

Conversely, scoring very high on the Skeptical scale might indicate a cynic who is unable to believe in or trust others.

Your score card will indicate how high you have scored on each of the 11 personality traits, then how highly you score on the three subsections that relate to that trait, giving your potential employer further insight into how your answers reflect on you as a person and employee.

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Hogan Development Survey (HDS): Guide 2023 to the Development Assessment
Hogan Development Survey (HDS) Guide and Tips

The score report indicates a score out of 100 per trait, with 1 being the lowest risk and 100 the highest.

A candidate who generates an extremely high score is considered a high-risk candidate for problematic behaviors in the workplace.

Consistently low scores might also indicate someone with underused or underappreciated skills.

High-risk candidates are considered more likely to cause disruption or controversy in the workplace. Consistently low-scoring candidates might get overlooked or have a low impact at work.

Can You Prepare for the Hogan Development Survey?

You cannot prepare for a personality test in the same way as for an exam that tests specialist knowledge or IQ.

However, you will have an advantage if you know what to expect from the test and have prepared yourself for the layout and types of questions.

If you prepare for the Hogan Development Survey, you will know:

  • What to expect from the questions
  • The format and layout of the test
  • How long it takes you to complete the HDS

You should also do some independent research to gain critical insight into what the company is looking for in their ideal candidate.

Consider this as a benchmark for your answers.

How to Prepare for the Hogan Development Survey in 2024

You cannot study for a personality test in the same way you can for other types of tests.

However, there are certain things you can do to prepare.

Step 1. Take a Hogan HDS Practice Test

If you want to get an idea of what to expect on the Hogan Development Survey, try some Hogan HDS practice test questions before you take the real test.

There are plenty of sample questions available online.

Step 2. Focus and Concentrate

Ensure that you are well rested on test day. Being overtired will mean you are more likely to struggle with concentration and might give answers that do not accurately reflect you.

Stay calm and focus on the questions, read them thoroughly and make sure you understand what is being asked of you.

Dark side traits are thought to be more prevalent in situations of stress or extreme emotion, so make sure you have the basics covered on test day:

  • Sleep well the night before
  • Stay calm
  • Focus
  • Make sure you are hydrated and have eaten at least a light meal or several snacks beforehand

Step 3. Answer Honestly

It is important that your answers accurately reflect you. It’s not ideal to secure a role only to find out that you are unsuitable for it, or that you don’t fit in with the company’s culture or don’t share its vision.

At the same time, you need to think sensibly when answering the questions.

For example, an extremely high score on ‘I anger very quickly’ is unlikely to reflect well on you.

Your answers need to give an honest insight into who you are as an employee and how you may behave under pressure, whilst also making you look like an attractive candidate.

Step 4. Research and Dive into Hogan Development Assessment

Prepare for pre-employment screening tests like the HDS just as you would for other aspects of the recruitment process such as your interview.

Make sure you have researched the company and the role in question.

If the original job posting included ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ characteristics for the role, keep these in mind while you prepare for and take the test.

This is a description of the ideal candidate from the company’s perspective.

What Are the 11 Dark Side Personality Traits in the Hogan Development Survey (HDS)?

Exploring the nuances of personality traits through the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) can yield valuable insights.

This section reveals the intricacies of the 11 dark side personality traits identified within the Hogan Dark Side Assessment.

By delving into the HDS, individuals can draw inspiration for understanding dark side performance and navigating the intricacies of the Hogan Dark Side, thereby fostering personal and professional growth.


The Excitable trait involves heightened emotional reactions to stressors. Individuals with this trait may become anxious, irritable, or overly expressive under pressure, potentially impacting their relationships and decision-making.


Skeptical individuals tend to distrust others and question their motives. This trait can lead to a lack of collaboration and hinder effective teamwork, as those with a skeptical disposition may find it challenging to build trust with colleagues.


Cautious individuals are characterized by an aversion to risk and a tendency to overanalyze situations. While this trait can contribute to thorough decision-making, excessive caution may hinder adaptability and slow down the decision-making process.


Reserved individuals may withdraw from others under stress, making engaging in open communication or collaboration challenging. This trait can lead to a lack of transparency and hinder the sharing of critical information within a team.


The Leisurely trait involves a tendency to resist change and a preference for maintaining the status quo. Individuals with this trait may struggle to adapt to new circumstances, potentially impeding organizational progress and innovation.


Bold individuals are prone to seeking attention and taking risks. While boldness can be an asset in certain situations, an excessive expression of this trait may lead to impulsivity, conflict, and a lack of consideration for the consequences of one's actions.


Mischievous individuals may display a sense of playfulness and a penchant for bending or breaking rules. While this trait can manifest as a form of creativity, it may also result in a lack of adherence to protocols and standards.


Colorful individuals are characterized by a desire to be the center of attention. This trait can lead to self-promotion and a focus on personal achievements, potentially undermining teamwork and collaborative efforts.


Individuals with the Imaginative trait tend to be highly creative but may struggle with practical implementation. While creativity is valuable, overemphasizing imagination without execution can lead to unrealized projects and unmet goals.


Diligent individuals may become perfectionistic and overly focused on details, potentially slowing down processes and creating tension within a team. While attention to detail is crucial, an excessive emphasis on perfection can impede efficiency.


The Dutiful trait involves an intense desire for approval and a tendency to go to great lengths to meet others' expectations. While a strong work ethic is commendable, excessive dutifulness can lead to burnout and may result in individuals neglecting their own well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find sample questions for the HDS online as well as guides on how to prepare for the test.

Hogan assessments are used by a range of companies across many sectors including Dayton Freight, Blizzard Entertainment and Array.

There is no ideal score on the test as it is a personality test but very high scores and sometimes very low scores on certain questions might flag you up as high risk.

You might be asked to take the HDS more than once if you apply for jobs with different employers.

You can find sample test questions that relate to Hogan Assessments online.

After you take your HDS your potential employer will view your results and contact you accordingly.

If they still think that you are suitable for the role you will move onto the next step in the recruitment process which may be a further interview or training.

You can find guides and practice questions about all of the Hogan Assessments online.

They will give you tips on how to prepare for the test and some ideas of the kinds of questions you might be faced with.

The Hogan Assessments are a group of personality tests that are widely used in pre-employment screening.

Their questions are designed to assess performance-based risk factors, personality traits, leadership skills and decision making ability.

There are 11 dark side personality traits that the HDS is testing for.

Scoring highly on these may suggest an employee will show problematic behaviour later down the line.

Final Thoughts

Taking a personality test as part of pre-employment screening can feel daunting.

Rather than evaluating your skills or knowledge or relying on your work experience, in this instance a recruiter requires data about you as a person when assessing your suitability for a role.

You know yourself better than any employer or assessment can. If you are applying for a job that realistically fits your skill set and you are aware how to adapt your behaviour to suit different situations in the workplace, you should not have anything to worry about when taking the Hogan Development Survey.

By taking time to prepare for the test, practicing some Hogan Development Survey sample questions and staying calm and focussed on test day, you will give yourself the best chance of performing well.

A good score on the HDS means that you are one important step closer to your ideal job role.

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