It is widely administered by various large organizations as part of the initial recruitment screening process.
You may also be given one by an employer at any time, to assess your suitability for a future role in a prospective leadership position.
Individual questions are carefully crafted to assess both behavioural and cognitive aspects of your personality.
The underlying test set keeps constantly evolving, updated regularly against industry standard norm groups.
So read on – you better stay prepared for this assessment in advance if you are aiming to be a prime contender for that dream job!
Basics Of The Caliper Personality Test
The Caliper Personality Profile test set is comprised of two sections – behavioural and cognitive.
There are 180 questions in total.
Questions are all objective type in either multiple choice or true-false form.
The test is not timed.
You can pause and come back to complete the test as many times as you want.
However, Caliper also gives an employer the option to administer the test in a controlled setting under a proctor.
It should take around two hours to complete the entire assessment depending on how you space it out.
Remember, you must answer all questions to complete the test.
Once you finish answering all the questions, hit submit and you are done.
Results of the Caliper Profile personality assessment are immediately generated as soon as you end the test.
The result of the assessment is analysed and presented as a snapshot of your inherent behavioural traits and cognitive skills.
It highlights your key areas of strengths and weaknesses including primary motivators and stressors.
This is what is referred to as your Caliper Profile.
The scoring is presented as a percentile against a norm group score.
PRO TIP#1: The invitation for taking the assessment is sent through a link via e-mail.
Check the link carefully.
Caliper provides the requester of the test with an option to schedule a specific test taking window.
In that case, you need to complete your assessment within the given date, beyond which the link will get deactivated.
PRO TIP#2: If you need to pause the test midway and come back later, use the same invitation link to log back in.
You can resume after the last section completed.
PRO TIP#3: Unlike other psychometric tests, percentile scoring in the Caliper Profile personality test also considers the culture or country in which you are going to work by using different norm groups.
Thus, depending on the country where the role is based, the ‘ideal’ personality traits for a job might vary.
Now here’s a little known fact – based on the job role you are being assessed for, you may also be presented with a shortened version of the Caliper personality assessment.
Some organizations opt for this abridged test, known as the Caliper Quick View assessment.
It is used mainly for entry level positions with high volume of applicants.
This test is administered especially where abstract reasoning is not a critical success factor for the role.
This version of the Caliper personality test consists only of the behavioural questions.
All cognitive ability items are excluded. This too is untimed.
You can reasonably expect to complete it in an hour.
These are the ten jobs Caliper recommends as Quick View validated:
- Account Service Specialist,
- Bank Teller,
- Customer Service Representative,
- Document Management Specialist,
- Foreman, General Workforce,
- Health Information Technician,
- Hunter Sales, Operator and
- Service Associate.
What Are The Focus Areas Of The Caliper Personality Test
The key to ace the Caliper profile test is to understand the key skills and personality traits that are likely to be assessed in the test questions.
Following are the seven competency areas on which you may want to focus while you prepare for the tests:
1. Leadership: Tests leadership maturity, leadership communication, ability to drive results, lead change, manage innovations and quality, team building acumen, capacity to coach, delegate, direct and fact-based management and strategic talent management skills.
2. Active Communication: Tests skills of influence and persuasion, conflict management, negotiation, active listening, communicating and listening.
3. Interpersonal Dynamics: Tests interpersonal dynamics, helpfulness, service focus, relationship building, collaboration and teamwork, organization savvy and global mindset.
4. Decision Making: Tests deliberative decision making, decisiveness, strategic thinking, organizational citizenship, information seeking skills.
5. Problem Solving: Tests creativity and innovation, analytical thinking, learning agility, scientific and business acumen.
6. Process Management: Tests quality focus, compliance, response orientation, safety focus, process management, time management, planning and priority setting, organizing and documenting information and application of standard practices.
7. Self- Management: Tests composure and resiliency, ability to generate and express enthusiasm, strength of conviction, achievement motivation and perseverance, self- awareness, adaptability, initiating action, accountability, professionalism, continuous learning, extended task focus and comfort with ambiguity.
It must be remembered, however, that not all of these skills and traits are tested for everyone.
Caliper has pre-set models which map to specific sets of these items.
Consequently, the assessment questions you are expected to encounter will vary according to the type of position.
The ‘position types’ are clubbed under ‘Management’, ‘Sales’, ‘Service’, ‘Technical’ and ‘Others’.
For example, if you are being assessed for a Project Management role, the Caliper personality test questions are expected to be tuned to identify your strength and weaknesses vis-à-vis the following traits: negotiating, communicating, organizational savvy, information seeking, quality focus, process management and plan & priority setting.
Traits like scientific acumen and deliberative decision making, among others, are unlikely to be assessed.
On the other hand, if the evaluation is for the role of a nurse, the Caliper Profile test will be based on a different competency job model altogether.
The questions will then be mapped to positions like registered nurse, home health aide, critical care nurse, staff nurse, nursing assistant, health technologist etc.
The assessment will therefore probe around the following traits: interpersonal sensitivity, service focus, collaboration and teamwork, communicating, deliberative decision making, information seeking, learning agility, quality focus and composure & resiliency.
You have to focus on the desired skillsets and behavioural traits of a particular position to anticipate probable assessment questions.
NOTE: Unlike most other evaluation tools, Caliper personality test assessment results are stored.
These are meant to be re-used again after the initial administration.
There can be situations where your current management may like to check how you have fared on your improvement areas after a few years in the role.
Your Caliper Profile may then be used to decide on your readiness to move to the next level. So, take the test honestly and to the best of your ability.
It could highlight your consistent personality traits and be the stepping stone towards career progression.
Types Of Caliper Personality Test Questions
Overall these are the typical type of assessment questions you can anticipate:
Type 1: Multiple choice behavioural questions.
Each item consists of a situational statement followed by different possible responses.
You are to identify both your ‘most likely’ and ‘least likely’ responses based on your own viewpoint.
You may encounter variations of the type, but the underlying aim of the questions would be the same – identify how you would react to a subjective scenario in your day-to-day work-life.
Unless you mark both options you cannot move to the next question in the assessment.
Type 2: Similar to type 1 but the responses to a given statement need to be indicated based on the scale of agreement spanning from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’.
There could again be other variations with choice of responses like ‘almost always’, ‘very often’, ‘never’, ‘always’ etc.
In cases, simple ‘true/ false’ options too may be presented.
Here again there are no right or wrong choices.
Mark your answers reflecting the way you would react if you were to encounter those depicted situations in real-life.
Type 3: Multiple choice abstract reasoning questions.
These would deal with abstract patterns, numbers and letter sequences or combinations thereof.
You are to find out either a missing member of the sequence or identify what comes next.
Evidently, all these questions have single correct options and the section presents an opportunity to ‘score’ well on assessment of your cognitive abilities.
Some of the pattern and puzzle questions may be real tough and can only be cracked with rigorous practice.
Sample Caliper Personality Test Questions
Sample Q#1 (Behavioural)
From the following, mark one statement that best describes you and one statement that least describes you:
This question analyses your response to predict the kind of work environment you are most likely to thrive in.
For example, if you mostly prefer to let a meeting run its course, it may not be suitable for a leadership role in an emergency response service organization.
However, it could be a welcome trait for a creative agency director as lengthy ideation and brainstorming sessions are common and acceptable there.
As you can see, here there is no right or wrong answer.
Specific role fitment is the key.
Remember of course, you have to pick two statements as asked for.
Else the assessment will not move ahead.
Sample Q#2 (Behavioural)
To what extent do you agree or disagree to the following statement:
I do not like giving negative feedback.
Yet again, there is no watertight right or wrong answer.
Depending on the organization culture (and possibly even the country in which the role is based), the preferred profile would vary.
Safe bet, be yourself!
One tip: read the given statements carefully – sometimes double negatives can be confusing and may present a challenge.
Sample Q#3 (Behavioural)
You are all working in a small project with a very tight deadline.
While you have almost completed your part of the assigned work, you find a new colleague sitting next to you constantly talking on the phone.
He is endlessly making personal calls, seemingly oblivious to the risk of slippage if the work is not completed by the end of the day.
What would be your most likely and least likely responses?
This kind of questions test your situational awareness and overall work ethics.
The following explanation may demonstrate how responses to the given scenario can be compared against preferred traits in a team-oriented work environment:
Option 2 should be the least desirable option.
Not only does it reflect bad team work, but it also insinuates talking behind the back of a colleague.
And that in itself is highly undesirable.
It could end up compromising the entire team spirit.
Option 3 is also undesirable.
It does not reflect positive team spirit.
Reporting a team member to the manager immediately in the first instance could result in a spirit of mistrust.
This could, in turn, negatively alter the team dynamics.
Option 1 could keep the team spirit intact but may also engender slippage and be detrimental to the entire team in the long run.
It also does not augur well for collective responsibility in a functioning team.
Option 4 is by far the most desirable option.
It shows positive team spirit as well as portrays an encouraging attitude to support the overall team objective.
By asking whether the supposedly errant member wants support, we can also find out the root cause of his apparent wayward behaviour.
Communicating effectively can often provide valuable insights.
For example, it could so happen that an unforeseen medical emergency at home is keeping him preoccupied.
Supporting a team member in need could go miles in creating a cohesive and performing team.
Sample Q#4 (Cognitive)
Select the option for “?” that continues the pattern:
3, -6, 12, 4, 20, ?
The series can be re-written as follows: 3, (3-9), (3+9), (3+9-8), (3+9+8), (3+9+8-7), (3+9+8+7), (3+9+8+7-6)……
i.e. 3, -6, 12, 4, 20, 13, 27, 21…..
Notice that the difference between numbers in odd number places decreases in the following sequence: 9, 8, 7…..
Also, the difference between numbers in the even number places decreases in the following sequence: 10, 9, 8….
Combining both, we get the given sequence.
Sample Q#5 (Cognitive)
Choose the figure that is missing from the series of figures in the top row:
Answer is the 3rd figure from left. Option (c).
Notice the change in colour and dash type of the constituent elements and try to deduce a pattern.
Once you look closely, you can see that the small triangle moves diagonally opposite and turns from transparent to black in successive steps.
That leaves option (c) and option (d) as possible choices from the given answer set.
Furthermore, in each subsequent step, the vertical solid line also turns dotted and a solid vertical line comes perpendicular to it touching the tip of where the ‘transparent’ small triangle originally was.
Both these patterns are satisfied only by option (c) , i.e. the 3rd figure from the left.
Sample Q#6 (Cognitive)
Choose the answer that best completes the visual analogy:
Answer is the 2nd figure from left. Option (b).
For these kind of questions try to deduce a pattern from how the constituent elements move.
Generally clockwise and anticlockwise movements, change of colors and relative position among objects form the base of these question types.
In the given problem, the tiny triangle moves clock-wise, skips a tip and settles on the next tip corner of the pentagon (moves 144 degrees); so leaves the 1st and 2nd options as possible choices from the given answer set.
Also, in each consecutive step, the ‘pendulum’ moves anti clock-wise, skips a tip and settles on the next tip corner of the pentagon (moves 144 degrees); also the color of the ‘circle of the pendulum’ changes.
That leaves only the 2nd option (option b) as it satisfies both these criteria.
How Caliper Scores Tests And Reports Results
As mentioned earlier, the Caliper personality test creates your profile and predicts fitment based on comparison of your responses with a validated job model.
The final scoring is done as a percentile against the Caliper norm group.
This ensures removal of unconscious biases while evaluating potential candidates.
Once you finish the assessment a detailed report is sent to the prospective employer.
In case the test is being used to find development needs or role suitability in the present organization, it will be directly shared with your current employer.
The results, though, will not be visible to you.
The commissioning manager can directly access it on the online portal and may in turn decide whether or not to share the details with you.
The Caliper Profile report starts off with an overall fit score.
This gives a top level prediction of behavioural and cognitive fitment for the particular role.
The fit score is derived by a complex weighted algorithm compared against the Caliper norm group.
All scores in the profile report are color coded and are typically bucketed under three heads based on range:
(a) 60-99: if you score in this range, you are deemed a natural fit; indicates strong role alignment. The more you score in this range, the higher is the probability of you being a perfect match for the job role against which you are being assessed.
(b) 40-59: you may require further training to explore this competency and can be inconsistent; indicates moderate alignment.
(c) 1-39: you require considerable focus and this competency area is not found to be one of your strong areas; indicates weak alignment.
Thus, it is obvious, the higher your score is, the more is your Caliper profile aligned to the ideal profile for the given job role.
The overall fit score is followed by a consolidated competency overview.
This in turn is segregated into three main sub-parts.
Individual scores for constituent traits corresponding to each sub-part are made available – reading of these scores follow the same interpretation as that of the overall score mentioned above:
i. Critical Competencies:
a. Driving Results
b. Fact Based Management
c. Coaching and Developing Others
ii. Important Competencies:
a. Leadership Communication
b. Process Management
c. Organizational Savvy
iii. Supporting Competencies:
b. Team Building
The next part of the report gives a summary of Key Findings.
It outlines the personality traits most likely to contribute to your success in the role along with areas where there is room for improvement.
The findings are segregated and labelled separately as ‘Most Natural Behaviours’ and ‘Behaviors To Investigate’.
This is followed by a role-specific summary of the critical, important and supporting competency areas and gives an overview of your personality traits under two heads: ‘Strengths To Lean On’ and ‘Possible Challenges’.
Your Caliper Profile report then moves on to give a high level insight into your Preferred Styles in the context of work.
This complements the fitment prediction in previous sections.
Information about your preferred work environment along with indicative potential stressors are highlighted, along with suggestions on how to counter them effectively.
The preferred style prediction is done under the following broad categories:
ii. Interpersonal Dynamics
iii. Problem Solving and Decision Making
iv. Personal Organization and Time Management
Based on the traits discovered during the Caliper personality assessment, each of the above contains key predictions on the following:
ii. Preferred Prioritizing Environments
iii. How to Prioritize with Them
iv. Potential Stressors
v. Reaction to Stress
vi. How to Minimize Stressors
The report is then signed off with a graphical break-up of how you have scored against each of the twenty one desired attributes.
Following attributes are considered: abstract reasoning ability, accommodation, aggressiveness, assertiveness, cautiousness, ego-drive, ego-strength, empathy, energy, external structure, flexibility, gregariousness, idea orientation, level-headedness, openness, risk-taking, self-structure, scepticism, sociability, thoroughness and urgency.
As with all Caliper Profile scoring, the results for individual attributes are measured as percentiles against the Caliper norm group.
This serves as a summary snapshot of all your major personality traits assessed during the Caliper Profile personality test.
Caliper Suggested Behavioural Interview Questions
This is not all!
Your Caliper profile also includes suggested Behavioral Interview Questions based on the Key Findings outlined above, followed by Manager Recommendations.
The latter can be used by your prospective manager to get an early glimpse into your behavioral working style.
The behavioral interview questions are open ended, designed to offer an interviewer insights to probe into areas that are not your natural strengths.
Samples of such questions as available from information published by Caliper are given below:
Sample Interview Question#1: Please discuss a situation that required you to restructure workflow processes. What data did you use to determine your approach?
Please describe the scope of the change you proposed, the challenges you faced in implementing it, and its ultimate impact on the business.
Sample Interview Question#2: Please provide an example of a time when you used team rewards and celebration of accomplishments to achieve better performance from a team.
How did you balance rewards or feedback for individual versus team performance?
Sample Interview Question#3: How do you determine what data are most relevant when making a decision?
Please provide an example of a situation where you had to make such a judgment.
Sample Interview Question#4: Describe a situation in which you identified a person’s strengths, development needs, or goals and then used that knowledge to appropriately coach and motivate that person.
PRO TIP#4: This is where you run the risk of getting exposed in the interview in case you ‘successfully’ manipulated the behavioral questions part of the test.
Ensure that your interview answers tally with and reflect the assessment answers.
Caliper already provided your would-be-interviewer with a set of interview questions to cross-check!
How To Prepare For The Caliper Tests
Keep in mind, the Caliper Profile personality test is more probing that most of the run of the mill personality tests.
While you answer the questions, the background algorithm evaluates all aspects of your personality to prepare your personality profile. Take serious preparations so that you can successfully present yourself as an ideal fit for the coveted role.
Here are a few general tips that might help as you prepare for the assessment:
1. Practise all question types.
Since most middle to senior level jobs require your ability to be comfortable with abstract reasoning, specifically focus on the abstract type of questions.
That is also the real ‘scoring’ part of the assessment.
As you keep on practising more and more of these question types, you will find out certain ‘patterns’.
Ample practice will make you more confident on the assessment day.
2. Expect a few of the questions in the cognitive section to be really tough.
If you are unable to work it out directly, try other techniques like method of elimination for improbable options.
That way, even if you take a guess, the probability of getting the right answer increases once you tick out one or more of the four options as implausible.
If you must, better to take an educated guess than flying blind.
3. Maintain your focus during the length of the assessment.
Unless you are focussed, it is common to encounter fatigue.
You might then be tempted to rush through the test without giving due attention to the details in the questions.
Even though the Caliper personality test allows you to pause and come back, too many breaks might disrupt the focus and concentration.
Best bet, get mentally prepared to write the entire test in one run. Plan out the time and place and go for it!
4. Some of the behavioral questions are meant to be fluid and may be open to interpretation.
Do not ‘over-think’ a response – more often than not, the first response that comes to your mind after reading through a question is the one that best predicts your response in real life.
5. Thoroughly research the profile you are applying for. It should give you a general idea of the specific skills and traits your employer is looking for.
This would come in handy while tuning your responses in the behavioural part of the assessment.
A note of caution though – while it is theoretically possible to try and partly guess the preferred behavioral traits required for a job role, it may not be in your best interests in the long term.
If your innate personality traits are majorly at variance with what is required for a specific position, there is always a risk of burn away, fatigue or under-performance.
Try to answer the assessment questions honestly.
If there is a fitment, nothing like it. If there is not, it is not the end of the world!
6. Take the test in a set-up with stable internet connectivity, do not worry in case you experience technical difficulties or connectivity issues. Once you are back online, the test will resume right after the last section that was completed.
PRO TIP#5: For optimal experience, it is recommended that you take the Caliper Profile personality assessment on a desktop or laptop computer running the latest version of Firefox or Chrome web browsers.
7. Finally, get a good night’s sleep before you plan to take the assessment.
Stay hydrated and find a place where you will not be disturbed for a good two to three hours.
Brace yourself to take the entire assessment in one go.
Be confident and give it your best shot.
Good luck and Godspeed!