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The Hogan Personality Inventory Test

The Hogan Personality Inventory Test

Updated July 14, 2022

By Lauren Jobling
Lauren Jobling

A personality test is an assessment of human personality. Each test is designed to measure the character traits people might exhibit in different situations.

This could be something undertaken for employment – to ensure your personality matches what the organization/business requires. Educational practitioners also make use of personality tests.

One of these tests is called the Hogan Personality Inventory. This article will touch upon what the test involves, practice tests and more.

What Is the Hogan Personality Inventory?

In short, the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a test designed to describe bright-side personality – how people relate to others when they are at their best.

Employers might use HPI for extra insight as to whether they are hiring the right candidate for a specific role. This could be for leadership positions and roles where certain personality traits might come into play.

It could also assist hiring managers in finding talent with the potential to develop within their roles and move up within the company. This can help to reduce time by ensuring they find the right person for the job.

Sometimes the assessment is used as a pre-screening tool, playing an important part before you even get to the first part of the interview process. The hiring manager might want to save time on interviews by checking on personality traits as a first step.

When Was the Hogan Personality Inventory Invented?

HPI was developed in the 1980s and is based on the Five-Factor Model of Personality created by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa in the mid-20th century, with socio-analytic theory in mind.

Getting ahead of others in the same social roles as yourself is a dominant human theme. The test showcases key behavior that is relevant to these themes.

The test is based on the five-factor model (FFM) of personality – which measures both the bright and dark sides of an individual’s personality.

What Is the Hogan Personality Inventory Test Used For?

The Hogan assessment is used by medium to large businesses as one of the steps in the recruitment process. As the test is developed by Hogan assessments, the employer will be asked the role the test will take within the hiring process.

If you are a potential employee, it is good to know if you will be expected to take an HPI before the interview process so you have plenty of time to prepare – as you would for most tests.

The HPI assessment takes into consideration seven personality traits:

  • Ambition
  • Sociability
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Prudence
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Learning approach
  • Adjustment

As well as testing for the above traits, the HPI also assesses candidates on six occupational scales:

  • Stress tolerance
  • Service orientation
  • Clerical potential
  • Reliability
  • Sales potential
  • Managerial potential

Candidates may not want to achieve a low score, but it may not be good to score either too high or too low for some traits.

Depending on what the employer is looking for, a high score for some traits may come across as too ambitious and forceful.

Sometimes they want candidates who will learn within the position, and while a certain degree of ambition is a benefit, too much might be seen as aggressive. This could also have an impact on how the worker operates alongside their colleagues.

How Does the HPI Measure Traits?

As mentioned above, the Hogan Personality Inventory test helps to decipher the bright side of someone’s personality, describing the qualities a positive person might possess when they are at their best and controlling a certain situation.

Why would you measure the bright side?

An employer will benefit from knowing a potential employee’s growth potential within the workplace – an important metric for achievement, according to the Hogan team.

Soft skills as well as hard skills and training can help determine a person’s habits and whether they have the potential to develop – personality-wise, not just based on experience.

O.C.E.A.N. is the personality model that psychologists use to accurately describe people’s personalities.

They are grouped into five categories:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

This is what the HPI test assesses and measures through a range of questions and activities.

How Does the HPI Work?

The Hogan Personality Inventory test is administered online. It takes 15–20 minutes and is made up of 220 questions.

For the employer, or whoever has requested the assessment, the results can be available immediately once the test has been completed.

There are no invasive or intrusive items and there are no right or wrong answers. Many of the ‘ideal’ responses are subjective based on the nature of the role for which a candidate is being assessed.

For example:

  • If you are interviewing for a graduate position, the scoring would be different than for someone applying for a more senior role, where different attributes will be necessary.

  • If you are applying for a position as a nurse or care assistant, the job requires you to be agreeable. The agreeable trait concerns how much you put someone else’s needs before your own.

  • If you are a senior manager at a large corporation interviewing for a similar position at a bigger organization, the employer might want to see a high score when it comes to ambition, openness and extraversion (how you are in social situations).

How to Pass the Hogan Personality Inventory Test in 2021: Step by Step
How to Pass the Hogan Personality Inventory Test in 2021: Step by Step

Example HPI Questions

Here are a couple of question formats you might encounter during the HPI test.

True or False

You may be asked to mark a set of statements true or false. For example, here are some statements to test your openness:

  • I am innovative when asked to create something new.
  • I find routine claustrophobic.
  • I am flexible when it comes to traveling.

Here is an example of some true/false statements you might receive about agreeableness:

  • I like to put other people’s needs before my own.
  • I find it difficult to stand up for myself or showcase my opinions.
  • If someone is looking for help, I will do what I can to assist.

Agree or Disagree

You might get questions formatted like this:

Do you agree or disagree?

  • You like to take charge.
  • You like to attract a lot of attention.
  • You make friends easily.

These might seem like quick and easy questions, hence the number of questions and the short amount of time you have to complete them. However, you will need to consider the role you are applying for, the company and the traits they might be looking for.

How Can I Prepare for the HPI?

Whether or not you have taken a personality test before, there are plenty of ways you can prepare for the HPI assessment.

Familiarizing yourself with the kinds of questions you will be asked, how long the test will take and how many questions you will be asked is a good start.

Here are some great ways to prepare:

Step 1. Review the Job Description

Look at the qualities and qualifications listed in the original job description.

Make a note of these and then think about how your soft skills are relevant to the job, and what personality traits are required to fulfill the role.

This can help you work out the type of answers the organization might want to see (but don’t ‘fake it’ as you may end up in a role that you aren’t happy in).

Step 2. Practice

Work on practice exams. There are test questions available online.

Keep going until you feel confident about the different question types and your answers.

Find a quiet place to practice the test and write down the types of questions you see, then have a think about them and compare them to past jobs you have had.

Step 3. Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter or the hiring manager at the organization how important the test is in relation to the rest of the process.

This will provide you with a clearer understanding of the relevance of this part of the interview process. You could even ask the hiring manager how they will use the answers.

Step 4. Get Plenty of Rest

Just like any exam, it is imperative that you have plenty of rest the night before.

You need to have a clear mind and feel confident in the answers you are about to give.

If you are tired, you might not have your head fully in the exam.

Step 5. Be Early

Although the Hogan Personality Inventory test is administered online, you will need to prepare the setting where you will take the test.

You do not want to start, then realize the Wi-Fi signal is poor.

Ensure you are somewhere quiet with a good signal, and get there in plenty of time so you are not running late or stressed.

Set up the computer so you are ready to go.

Step 6. Avoid Distractions

If something important is going on around you and you cannot answer the questions with a calm, relaxed approach then it might be best to delay the exam until you are in a better frame of mind.

The test is assessing your normal personality traits, remember.

Make sure the place you are taking the test is not filled with other people, or with technology that could potentially put you off. Calm and quietness are key.

Step 7. Be Honest and True to Yourself

This should go without saying, especially as you are taking a personality test about yourself to find out whether your personality matches the job.

If you feel that the answers you are giving are the truth, but not satisfactory to what the hiring manager wants to see, do not lie; put the truthful answer down.

It is better to be honest about your traits than not be able to do the job in question.

Step 8. Always Be Realistic

A lot of the questions you will be asked will require 'strongly agree', 'disagree' or 'never' answers.

The questions that feature absolutes are designed to test how real you are and your self-awareness.

If you ‘never’ do something, this could be detrimental to the job you are applying for as it could mean you are not adaptable.

Think about the question and what the outcome could entail.

For example, if you say you are always punctual, this leaves no room for weakness, and sometimes circumstances in life might mean you are late occasionally. Showing some weakness is good.

Step 9. Get Feedback

You can always ask a recruiter, or maybe a previous employer, to look over your answers from practice tests so you can see it from their perspective.

This will put you in good stead to think about the answers before committing to them.

You could also get feedback after the exam. You can ask either the recruiter or the hiring manager what they thought of your answers, and what you can improve upon next time you take the test. It is a learning curve, after all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hogan has developed five different personality assessments. If you have been asked to take a Hogan personality Assessment, the assessments include:

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

One of the most popular choices is the HPI. Your results from this personality assessment will reveal information about your ‘bright side’ personality and personality traits. This test is often used by employers who want to find out whether a candidate has the personality and potential for leadership roles.

Hogan assessments have a strong reputation for their accuracy. They provide accurate personality insights and can be a helpful tool throughout all stages of the employee lifecycle. All types of Hogan personality assessments are scientifically verified, which means that they are highly regarded by employers all over the world.

Employers use Hogan assessment tools for a variety of reasons, from hiring to career progression. The tests provide a useful way for employers to learn more about an individual’s personality, motives and potential for future leadership.

They are also a good indicator of how a person will perform in the workplace or whether they would fit into an established team. For many employers, Hogan assessments help to reduce the risk of unconscious bias during the recruitment stage.

In a Hogan assessment, there are no right or wrong answers. You will usually be asked to answer the assessment questions using a Likert scale. The answers you give will be marked against a validity scale, so it’s important to give honest responses.

Try to avoid giving answers that you think the employer wants to hear. Answering truthfully will ensure your results reflect your true personality and suitability for the job role you have applied for.

Many candidates find the Hogan assessment hard. This is not because the questions are difficult, but they find it hard to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

To prepare for this, you might complete a personal SWOT analysis. This will help you to understand your work preferences and behavior, and you can use your findings to identify strategies that will help you to overcome any areas of weakness.

You might be asked to complete a Hogan Assessment under timed test conditions, which can make it more difficult.

To ace the Hogan test, it is vital that you answer every question honestly.

Although there are no right or wrong answers, it is important to prepare yourself for the test by answering plenty of practice assessment questions. Doing this will help you to feel more confident on the day.

Giving truthful responses to each question will ensure that you receive an accurate personality report. This will help the employer or recruiter to decide whether you would be a good match for the job you have applied for.

The Hogan Personality Inventory helps individuals understand how they relate to others when they are feeling at their best. Such tests are done to find who will be great in leadership roles.

A narcissistic personality disorder is when someone has a grandiose sense of self to the point that they struggle to frame others in any other scenario. A narcissist will immediately think of themselves and their well-being before being even able to consider the perceptions or perspectives of others. The Hogan Personality Inventory will ask participants questions that will determine how agreeable or open they are.

For example, a participant may be asked how important they consider it to put a company’s needs before their own. If a participant consistently answers these questions like these in favor of themselves, they likely have narcissistic traits.

It is hard to determine whether someone has a diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder from these questions alone, but you can certainly highlight its presence within someone’s personality. If someone showed a 99th percentile of narcissism, this means that they are more narcissistic than 99 out of 100 people. This points towards someone having narcissistic qualities, but once again it is difficult to label someone with this disorder without specific psychiatric examinations.

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is one part of the Hogan Personality Assessments. An HPI will measure someone’s ‘bright-side’ personality, meaning it is a measurement of someone’s traits when they are at their most open and sympathetic.

Questions are judged on four responses, and they will often be introspective questions that force the participant to think about how they relate to themselves and others in the workplace.

For instance, participants will be asked things such as 'I consider myself a team player when someone is struggling with a work situation'. Participants can answer either: Strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. Such questions put the participant in a position where they must be sympathetic to deal with the problem.

It is important to stress that there are right or wrong answers. The test is an examination of your honest self. With this in mind, it is important to stress that you must be true with your answers because they are a reflection of your personality.

You will be judged on 7 scales, and rather than them being a pass or fail, you will be judged on lower or higher score attributes. Taking one measurement from this scale will make this clearer.

A low score attribute on the primary scale of sociability means that an individual is socially reactive, sometimes avoidant, but can be focused and task-oriented.

In contrast, someone who has a high score in sociability will be more inclined to talk and start conversations within a team environment, but they can be poor listeners.

What job and what position you are going for will determine whether you have passed or failed the HPI test. Different positions require different personalities, therefore it is dependent upon the role as much as the answer you submit.

The Hogan Personality Inventory Test is a measurement of someone’s ‘bright-side’ personality, making it a great test for understanding how an individual interacts with others when they are feeling at their most sympathetic.

The Strengthsfinder 2.0 test is an examination of the top five qualities from 34 different themes. It is one of the better tests for personal development.

The MBTI test is a measurement of your personality type from a total of 16 personality trees. It is great for understanding yourself and your level of introversion or extroversion.

The Wealth Dynamics test is a personality tool used to understand what pathway to wealth best suits you. From the Wealth Dynamics test, there are a total of eight pathway profiles, and it is good for analyzing what pathway you need to choose to accumulate wealth.

Each tool is great for its purpose, and it is entirely dependent on what you want to find out.

There are three types of Hogan personality assessments. The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a measurement of your ‘bright-side’ personality, meaning it is a measurement of someone’s traits when they are at their most open and sympathetic.

The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) is a measurement of how your strengths withstand stress or pressure. It is a measure of your ‘dark side personality traits’, meaning it tests your personality when everything seems to be going wrong.

Finally, the Hogan Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI) is a measurement of how these elements drive your personality. Employers learn about what can make you perform at your very best.

Unlike a mathematics test or an aptitude examination, there is not a final score that determines whether you have passed or failed. Rather, the final results of a Hogan personality assessment will be an interpretation of how your personality will suit a certain workplace environment.

That being said, there are things you can do to ensure that you perform to the best of your abilities.

First, you can familiarize yourself with the questions by sitting mock examinations.

Second, you must be honest with your answers. You cannot give answers that you believe will impress somebody else. Rather, your answers must be as close a reflection of yourself to give you the most honest outcome.

You must also rest and be prepared for the test. Sitting an examination when you have had little sleep, food, or water will not lead to good results.

Finding out how you behave you are at your best is a great predictor of how you will perform at work. Employers use the Hogan Personality Inventory to choose the right employee profiles that fit the job description.

It is also used in talent management procedures. The answers you give in a Hogan Personality Inventory will give an employer a general set of characteristics that may or may not fit with the role being advertised.

It is important to not think in terms of pass or fail when taking the Hogan Personality Inventory Test. The answers you give will enable an employer to draw a general profile of your behaviors.

These may not necessarily fit with the job description, but it is in no way a failure.

For example, you may be applying for a role that requires strong teamwork skills and receptivity to other people’s opinions.

If your results show that you are highly impolite and highly disagreeable, you will not enjoy this role, let alone be suitable for it. Use the results of the Hogan Personality Inventory Test to identify the correct job roles for you.

The Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential (KFALP) is a tool used to judge the leadership potential of an individual. The test typically examines the conditions that drive an individual’s choices, their learning abilities, their core leadership traits, their capacity to improve and handle work, and any derailment risks.

In contrast, the Hogan Personality Inventory Test is a measurement of your ‘bright-side’ personality, meaning it is a measurement of someone’s traits when they are at their most open and sympathetic.

The Hogan personality test is used more in more general recruitment practices, whilst the KFALP is used more for finding the right executive or senior staff members.

Kenexa logical reasoning tests are aptitude tests. They assess an individual’s cognitive abilities and logical thinking patterns as well as their personality and behavioral traits.

SHL is a company that designs and published comprehensive psychometric tests. These tests examine an individual’s numerical and verbal reasoning skills. A candidate’s ability to accurately answer questions in timed conditions. It is mostly used in the UK.

The Hogan tests are more similar to the Kenexa logical reasoning tests as they also examine a candidate’s personality and behavioral traits.

However, the major difference of the Hogan assessments is that they give a strong insight into how an individual’s personality will relate to others within the workplace.

It is a complex and comprehensive personality examination, but it is not a difficult examination. Each part of the Hogan personality assessment takes around 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The questions are all subjective, meaning there is no one correct answer. Individuals sitting the test will have to either strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. However, the pressure of taking the test may make it difficult. Without meticulous research into the job role, you may not understand what personality the employer is looking for. If you do know what the employer wants, it may not exactly be something you can provide, and this can make the test stressful.

There is a great variation in the cost of the Hogan personality test. The more expensive tests used by employers to get a comprehensive insight into a candidate’s personality costs around 400.Incontrast,purchasinganindividualHoganPersonalityInventoryTestjusttotakefortheirowninsightcancostaround400. In contrast, purchasing an individual Hogan Personality Inventory Test just to take for their own insight can cost around 30.

The best way to prepare for this test is to do some research into the job role. If you are applying for a role that indicates the need for candidates to have strong abilities to work by themselves, then you should try and answer the questions to highlight that you have these abilities. Bear in mind that you should try and be honest on the test. If you give dishonest answers, you are only setting yourself up to fail. You may not like the job and you may find it difficult to perform well in that role. It is also important to take your time with the answers and ensure that you are well hydrated. Sitting practice tests and other aptitude tests is worthwhile because it will prepare you for the format of this test.

Each part of the Hogan personality assessment takes around 15 to 20 minutes on average. Usually, they are not timed examinations as the point of the test is not to examine an individual’s cognitive skills or mathematical abilities. Rather, a personality test requires a participant to think carefully about the answers they are giving. The questions are often scenario-based and they are usually related to the workplace environment.

The Hogan Personality Inventory Test examines how well you will relate to a workplace culture or environment. If you give answers that indicate you will fit well within the workplace environment, it is more likely that you will perform well. In contrast, if you portray that you have a personality that will not fit with the workplace culture or the job role, it is unlikely that you perform well in the future. Employers regularly use the Hogan Personality Test to find candidates with the most suitable personality.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, the Hogan Personality Inventory assessment is used by some employers to check the suitability of candidates for certain job roles. If you know you will be asked to complete this test, prepare well in advance and follow the tips in this article to increase your chances of success.

Even if the HPI is just a small part of the interview process, and in some cases might not play a huge part in whether you will get the job or not, it is still good to do your research before applying for work with certain organizations. It’s best to take the HPI seriously whether you know the part it plays in the process or not.