Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) Test

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a personality test developed by Hogan Assessments, designed to explore human personality traits, behavioral preferences and characteristics.

This style of personality test is often encountered during the early stages of a company’s recruitment process to assess both alignments with workplace culture and values and give insight into the strengths and qualities of candidates.

Hogan produces well-respected, science-based assessments that many top employers and large organizations rely upon when hiring new staff.

The company serves over half of the Fortune 500 and administers its assessments across 56 countries and in 47 languages.

The Hogan Personality Inventory (as part of the Hogan Personality Assessment) is grounded in over 40 years of research and is trusted to provide a good prediction of future performance and leadership potential.

This article will introduce you to the HPI assessment and its purpose, along with what to expect from the test and how it is scored.

We’ll also cover example questions and how you can prepare for your upcoming HPI test, to give you the best chance at success.

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What is the Hogan Personality Inventory?

The Hogan Personality Inventory is part of the Hogan Personality Assessment, which includes the three following tests:

Depending upon the employer’s needs, these may be taken as individual tests or in combination.

The Hogan Personality Assessment was developed by Dr Joyce and Dr Robert Hogan in the 1980s, informed by socio-analytic theory.

This theory outlined that the two dominant themes of social life were getting along with others and advancing in the social hierarchy.

The test is based on the Five-Factor Model of Personality (FFM), developed by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa, which involves the hierarchical assessment of personality traits concerning five dimensions:

  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Neuroticism
  • Openness to Experience

Within the Hogan Personality Assessment trio, the HPI test is designed to define what it describes as ‘normal’ or ‘bright-side’ personality qualities.

These qualities make up your personality and indicate how you relate to others when you are at your best.

Ultimately, this Hogan test answers whether you possess the personality traits required to excel in the advertised job role.

It seeks to convey to prospective employers how well you work collaboratively and whether you possess the qualities needed to be a successful leader as well as a team player.

In contrast, the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) focuses on identifying what is classified as ‘dark-side’ personality traits.

These traits can turn into weaknesses in stressful contexts, impacting how you manage relationships and complete tasks – becoming ‘job derailers’.

The Hogan Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) gives insight into whether you are a good fit for the company and will succeed within the work environment and culture.

To do this, it focuses on the values and motivators behind your behaviors – exploring your interests, goals and drivers.

In addition to the tests within the personality assessment, there are two other tests published by Hogan:

  • The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI)
  • The Hogan Judgement (J) Assessment

These are cognitive ability assessments, which may be taken alongside the personality assessment to assess a candidate’s mental aptitude and agility.

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What Is the Hogan Personality Inventory Test Used For?

The Hogan Personality Inventory is designed to assess positive personality traits, particularly concerning leadership capacity and cooperation within a team.

It gives valuable insight into how individuals work and lead, indicating how successful they could be within an organization.

Due to this, the HPI is often used for assessing candidates applying for a supervisor or management-level position.

When administered during the recruitment process, the test allows recruiters to streamline the talent pool using the insight provided by the questions.

It efficiently translates a subjective topic, personality, into an objective score that can be used to assess and rank candidates, effectively identifying those with the greatest potential unbiasedly.

The Hogan Personality Inventory may also be used for career development purposes to explore the personality strengths of employees and evaluate their leadership qualities.

Hogan Assessments cites an employee’s growth potential as an important metric for personal achievement and, therefore, company success.

How Does the Hogan Personality Inventory Test Work?

The Hogan Personality Inventory test contains 220 questions, which explore perspective employees’ personality traits, behaviors and motivators to judge how they would work within an organization.

The test has no set completion time, but it should take 15 to 20 minutes. As with all untimed tests, however, the pace is still a factor.

An overly long completion time would suggest indecisiveness or difficulty completing the assessment. This could harm your chances of progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process regardless of your score.

The test is completed online, most often from your home, as part of the early stages of a recruitment process.

It may, however, also be encountered at an assessment center stage along with other ability and group assessments.

How is the HPI Test Scored?

As you complete the Hogan Personality Inventory, your personality is assessed against seven primary scales and 42 subscales.

The primary scales are:

  • Adjustment (openness to feedback, levels of self-esteem and self-confidence, ability to work under pressure)
  • Ambition (ability to be a good team player, level of competitiveness, wish to lead others, ability to act on initiative)
  • Sociability (ability to work independently, desire for social interaction, levels of extraversion)
  • Interpersonal Sensitivity (tact, ability to deal with conflict, relationships with others, likeability)
  • Prudence (flexibility, self-discipline, dependability, willingness to take responsibility)
  • Inquisitive (level of practicality, inquisitiveness, imagination, creative ability)
  • Learning Approach (learning style, enjoyment of learning, desire to obtain new knowledge outside of current specialty or interests, technological ability)

The HPI also assesses candidates against its six occupational scales to predict performance in each area:

  • Service Orientation
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Reliability
  • Clerical Potential
  • Sales Potential
  • Managerial Potential

Your test results will be available to the employer or administering organization immediately after completion.

Your access to the full results and the timeframe of receipt will be at their discretion.

It is not possible to explicitly fail the test as there are no right or wrong answers to the questions.

Certain candidates will emerge with personality profiles more favorable for particular roles and responsibilities.

In identifying your alignment with the traits contained in the seven primary scales, the HPI gives a good indication of your ability to work with others, leadership skills and future potential.

If your result does not reflect the qualities and attributes desired for the open position, you may not proceed to the next stage in the hiring process.

You will receive your scores as part of a personality report, divided into three sections: an executive summary, your percentile scores for the primary scales and a look at your sub-scale results.

The executive summary will focus on your strengths, giving you the highlights of your positive qualities.

The percentile score section will display your result for each primary scale as a percentile score.

This shows you how well you performed when compared to thousands of other HPI test takers.

  • A percentile score of 0 to 25 is considered low
  • A score of 26 to 50 is deemed below average
  • A score of 51 to 75 is regarded as above average
  • A score of 76 and above is considered high

In the third, a more detailed section of your personality report, you’ll see your primary scale percentiles with your subscale scores listed beneath each and your six occupational scale percentiles.

Example Hogan Personality Inventory Questions

The questions encountered in the HPI will be composed of brief statements, with either an agree/disagree or true/false question component.

Agree or Disagree

For these questions, you’ll need to indicate whether you agree or disagree with the statements presented. You’ll need to log your responses using a 4-point Likert scale (from strongly agree to strongly disagree).

Included statements will be along the lines of:

  • “I make friends easily”
  • “I find routine claustrophobic”
  • “I am the type of employee that finishes their work early”
  • “I like to take charge”
  • “I like to attract attention”
  • “I think there is always room for improvement”
  • “I am innovative when coming up with new ideas.”
  • “If someone is struggling, I will take the time to assist.”

True or False

The other type of question encountered will involve an indication of whether the statement is true or false in relation to your personality preferences.

These questions are very similar to the above, only the framing is different.

You’ll need to be decisive as to whether the statement applies to you or not.

Example statements include:

  • “I sometimes struggle to convey my opinion”
  • “I work best in a team”
  • “I enjoy responsibility”
  • “I am highly organized”
  • “I find criticism difficult”
  • “I enjoy being the center of attention”
  • “I know when to delegate”

How to Prepare for the Hogan Personality Inventory Test

Whilst there are no incorrect answers, it is still important to be well prepared to sit all the tests comprising the Hogan Personality Assessment.

For the HPI, you’ll need to be able to display that you possess the key qualities sought and can successfully perform the responsibilities of the role.

A strong indication of leadership potential will likely also help you secure the job.

Prepare for HPI Test

To ensure you achieve a favorable personality report upon completion of the HPI test, make sure you:

Familiarize Yourself With the Test

Before sitting the HPI test, ensure you fully understand the question format – statements and agree/disagree, true/false options – and the purpose of the test.

If you know what to expect and what insights employers are seeking to gain through the test, you are less likely to be thrown by any of the components and more likely to work at a steady pace to secure a solid personality report for your chosen role.

Practice the Questions

The best way to become confident in approaching the Hogan Personality Inventory is to practice by answering similar questions online.

Job Test Prep provides Hogan Personality Assessment preparation, including a full HPI style personality test, personalized feedback to your job level, HPI personality study guides and 30 single trait practice tests.

Get practice tests from JobTestPrep

If you’re also required to sit the Hogan Development Survey or the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory alongside the HPI, tailored practice resources are available too.

The more HPI-style personality questions you encounter, the better you will get at rapidly self-reflecting and answering in line with the job description and desired traits for your chosen role.

Reflect the Desired Qualities

Leading on from the above, it is essential that you complete the HPI with an awareness of the key qualities and traits sought for the responsibilities of the role for which you are applying.

Keep in mind that there are no incorrect answers.

The ‘ideal’ answer is subjective and will shift depending on the nature of the role being assessed.

It is up to you to recognize the most important qualities for the role in question and solidly display your possession of them.

Give Yourself the Best Chance of Success

As with any assessment, it is vital to get enough rest before taking the test. Sometimes, because the HPI is taken from home, candidates can neglect to prepare in the same way they would for a test center exam.

Make sure you have a quiet environment, free from distractions, in which to sit the test. Remember, although the test is not timed, the pace is still relevant. You don’t want to have your focus broken by intrusions.

Ensure your equipment is up to scratch. Check that your browser is updated to reduce the chance of difficulties loading the questions and that your internet connection is strong.

Get yourself a glass of water, ensure you are comfortable and only start the test when you are ready.

What to Remember When Taking the HPI Test

As proceeding in the recruitment process is dependent upon your results, online psychometric tests can be daunting.

When taking the Hogan Personality Inventory, remember to:

Answer Sincerely

When working your way through the 220 questions on the test, make sure you are being true to yourself with your answers.

To avoid getting stuck, it may help to answer with your gut reaction when reading the statement, as this should be reflective of your true position.

The test measures honesty and integrity, so seek to display this through how you complete the test.

Be Realistic With Your Answers

It is important not to overthink the answers and select all the options you think your prospective employer wants to see.

This will be obvious to a recruiter when looking at your personality report and will likely harm your prospects.

Instead, answer honestly and realistically. Different people have different strengths and preferred ways of working, so embrace and indicate yours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

The Hogan Personality Test, or HPI, is a personality assessment commonly used within the recruitment process. It assesses your day-to-day personality traits against seven primary scales.

Where can I find the best guide for taking the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

JobTestPrep’s Hogan assessment resources give you access to all the materials you’ll need to prepare for and ace the Hogan Personality Inventory and increase your chances of securing your chosen job role.

Is the Hogan Personality Inventory test free to take?

As the HPI is most often taken as a requirement during the recruitment process or set by an employer to review career development, the cost of the test falls to the prospective or current employer, not the candidate or employee.

What does the Hogan Personality Inventory test assess?

The Hogan Personality Inventory is designed to assess positive personality traits – particularly in relation to leadership capacity and cooperation within a team.

It gives valuable insight into how individuals work and lead, indicating how successful they could be within an organization.

What is the passing score for the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

There is no pass or fail score for the HPI, and the desired strength of different traits will vary according to job role and responsibilities.

A percentile score of 76 or above is, however, considered a high score.

You’ll receive percentile scores for each of the primary scales as well as the detail of your performance regarding the subscales in your results report.

How will I be notified about my results for the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

The results of your HPI will be distributed to you through the employer by email.

This may be immediate, as employers receive the scores themselves upon your completion of the test, or it may be once the deadline for taking the test has lapsed and some internal evaluation has taken place.

Be patient, but if you don’t hear back, contact the recruitment team to inquire about your results.

Where can I prepare for the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

Preparation is as important for personality assessments as it is for aptitude tests.

To proceed to the next stage of the hiring process, you’ll need to achieve favorable results across all psychometric assessments set.

Use Job Test Prep’s practice questions and preparation guide, so you’re ready for the HPI.

Where will I be able to work after taking the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

The Hogan Personality Inventory is usually set by a specific employer during their recruitment process.

If you have a copy of your personality report, however, you can use this to your advantage to help evidence your strengths – alongside workplace examples – in any future hiring process.

How can I take the Hogan Personality Inventory test online?

If you’re taking the HPI as part of a selection process, you’ll be emailed the link to sit the test by your prospective employer. The same goes if you have been asked to sit the test for career development purposes.

All details on how to sit the test, the deadline and the results procedure will be conveyed to you by your employer.

How long does it take to complete the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

The test is composed of 220 questions. There is no time limit, but it should take 15 – 20 minutes to work through the test.

A steady pace is still important, as a long completion time suggests indecisiveness or difficulty completing the test.

Is the Hogan Personality Inventory taken in isolation?

The HPI is one of three tests that make up the Hogan Personality Assessment.

You may be asked to sit one or both of the other two tests – the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) and the Hogan Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI), alongside the HPI.

Your cognitive ability may also be assessed through the [Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI) and the Hogan Judgement (J) tests.

What online services can I use to help me pass the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

To prepare for the Hogan Personality Inventory, look for personality test questions of a similar style to practice answering.

JobTestPrep has a full practice HPI style test available, as well as 30 single trait practice tests.

What is the next step after taking the Hogan Personality Inventory test?

Once you’ve taken the HPI test, you’ll be contacted by the recruitment team who set the test with your results and the outcome of the test.

If you’ve dedicated time to your preparation, you should have no trouble proceeding to the next stage of the hiring process.

This is often an assessment center or interview invitation.

How long will my Hogan Personality Inventory test results be valid?

The HPI doesn’t exactly expire, but you won’t be able to transfer your results between recruitment processes.

Unfortunately, if you encounter more than one hiring process that requires you to sit the assessment, you’ll need to take the test again to generate a new personality report.

Final Thoughts

The Hogan Personality Inventory is the most commonly encountered of all of the Hogan tests.

It gives employers valuable insight into the suitability of prospective candidates through the assessment of everyday working traits on the seven identified primary scales.

Through your answers, recruiters are able to discover your ways of working, leadership qualities and potential for success.

To ensure a favorable personality profile for your chosen role, answer honestly whilst keeping the key traits required for the role in mind.

While the test is untimed and taken from home, the importance of preparation through practice questions should not be underestimated.

If you take the time to understand the demands of the HPI, the question format and the primary and sub-scales, you’ll increase your chances of proceeding to the next stage in the hiring process and securing a role.

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