McQuaig Word Survey: Examples/Guide/Tips

The McQuaig Word Survey is a type of personality assessment. 

Survey responses are used to measure a candidate’s key personality traits and compare these with how they are currently behaving in the workplace. 

The results from the survey indicate whether a candidate is behaving naturally in their current role, or whether they are making changes to their behaviour.

This article will help you pass the McQuaig Word Survey assessment test by giving you all the tools and practice questions you will need.

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What Is the McQuaig Word Survey?

The McQuaig Word Survey is a personality assessment tool used by hiring managers and recruiters as part of the hiring process. 

The survey is based on the work of Jack McQuaig, a pioneer in the field of personality profiling and talent assessments. 

This UK-established DISC-style survey has been used by recruiting employers all over the world for more than 40 years. 

DISC-style surveys are designed to measure four key personality characteristics: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.

With this in mind, the McQuaig Word Survey is used to learn more about a prospective employee’s personality in the following key areas:

  • Authority
  • Impact
  • Stability 
  • Obedience

The survey is registered with the British Psychological Society and reviewed by the Psychological Testing Center. 

It is trusted by major employers, including Caffè Nero, Chanel, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Interstate Hotels. 

When taking the survey, the responses that you give will help the recruiter learn more about:

  • How you behave in your current job role
  • How you are likely to behave at work in the future
  • How they can enhance and improve the interview process to ensure a high-quality hiring decision
  • The best ways for them to recruit, develop and retain high-quality staff for their organisation

Many different employers use this survey, so you might be asked to complete it on more than one occasion during the course of your career. 

Each employer has its own policy on contacting prospective employees, but if you are unable to demonstrate the skills an employer is looking for, you may not receive any further correspondence from them. 

The McQuaig Word Survey is not a pass/fail assessment, so not hearing back does not mean you have failed the survey. 

In most cases, it simply means that you do not have the skill set the employer is looking for

Try not to be discouraged, and remember to ask for feedback on your survey report. 

What Is the Format of the McQuaig Word Survey?

Although the McQuaig Word Survey can be administered in person, you will usually be asked to complete it online

Most people take up to a maximum of 20 minutes to complete the survey, although it is not a timed test and there is no maximum timeframe within which you must complete it. 

The format of this survey is different to many other types of tests or assessments. 

Rather than answering questions, you will be required to consider several different groups of words and decide which words most closely match your behaviour at work

The survey is made up of two collections of words. Each collection is split into 21 groups and each group is made up of four words. There are a total of 42 groups to work through. 

For each group, you will be asked to decide how relevant the words are to you. 

For the first collection, you will need to identify how you believe other people perceive you

For the second collection, you will need to indicate how you perceive yourself

When working through the second collection, you will not be able to refer back to your answers from the first collection, so it is important to respond honestly throughout all parts of the survey

Get practice tests from JobTestPrep

 

McQuaig Word Survey Example Questions

The following is an abridged version of the McQuaig Word Survey

It is designed to give you an idea of how the survey is presented, and help you think about how you might respond. 

Part 1 

Mark each of the following groups of words as A, B, C or D, according to how you believe other people would describe your behaviour in the workplace. 

A = Most like you
D = Least like you

Group 1  Group 2   Group 3 
Head-strong ___ Dependable ___  Relaxed ___
Enthusiastic ___ Calm under pressure ___ Safety conscious ___
Trustworthy ___ Cautious ___   Determined ___
Easily swayed ___ Persistent ___ People-person ___

For example:

Group 1  Group 2   Group 3 
Head-strong _D_ Dependable _A_  Relaxed _D_
Enthusiastic _B_ Calm under pressure _C_ Safety conscious _A_
Trustworthy _A_ Cautious _B_   Determined _B_
Easily swayed _C_ Persistent _D_ People-person _C_

Part 2

Mark each of the following groups of words as A, B, C or D, according to how well the words describe you.

A = Most like you
D = Least like you

Group 1  Group 2   Group 3 
Generous ___ Gets things done ___ Motivator of others ___
Driven ___ Builds friendships quickly ___ Steady ___ 
Socially gifted ___ Reliable ___ Appreciative ___
Restful ___ Compliant ___  Fearless ___

How Is the McQuaig Word Survey Scored?

This survey is not scored in the same way as a traditional test. There is no set score to pass or fail. 

Instead, the survey data is analyzed and divided into 10 broad sections, which can be split into three main categories

Within your results from the survey, your profile is presented as a graphical summary

This section offers an illustration of your temperament and behavioural patterns, including your natural behaviour style and any changes you have made to your behaviour as a result of your current role or work environment. 

The three main categories are expanded upon below.

Understanding

This category covers your aptitude for leadership, selling style/strategy and overall strengths and weaknesses

It also considers whether the behaviours needed for your work environment come naturally to your personality type. Data from this category is used to consider any areas where you might need [extra support or training. 

Promoting/Recruiting

This section shows how your personality attributes transfer into positive and negative factors, including behavioural patterns and your general temperament

In addition, it helps the recruiter to come up with interview questions that will help them to learn more about your past work experience and high-scoring personality traits

Managing

This category covers your general performance and personality attributes

It helps the recruiter to learn more about your approach to learning, key motivators and your team-working skills

It also helps them to determine which types of work environment you are best suited to and which work-based situations lead you to work outside of your comfort zone. 

The prospective employer will use your survey results to make a decision on whether you would be a good fit for the job role and the organization overall.

They may also use them as part of your induction, training or development programme. 

Your McQuaig Word Survey report is a useful tool for your personal development, so you should always ask to receive a copy

The McQuaig Word Survey: Preparation Tips

As there are no right or wrong answers, it is not possible to revise for the McQuaig Word Survey

However, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the survey and become familiar with the format, leading to a less stressful experience and more accurate results. 

If you have been asked to take the McQuaig Word Survey, here are some tips and important points to remember. 

The McQuaig Word Survey Is Not a Test 

This is a survey, not a test, so there are no right or wrong answers

The purpose of the survey is to collect information and provide a non-judgemental overview of your personality. 

Respond Honestly

In the full version of the test, you will notice the same words appearing more than once

You will also see synonyms (similar words) and antonyms (opposite words). 

When your results are analyzed, any patterns will be highlighted to the recruiter. 

It might seem tempting to answer in a way that makes you look like the ideal candidate, but if you do not answer honestly, this will be obvious in your analyzed results.

It may also lead to you entering a role you are unsuited to and experiencing chronic stress from this misfit.  

Try Not to Overthink Things

Unlike other assessments, it is best to trust your gut and give the first answer that springs to mind. 

If you do not understand one of the words, you will find a definition list on each page of the survey – just click on the arrow at the bottom of the screen. 

Complete Practice Surveys

Doing a McQuaig Word Survey practice test will help you to become familiar with the format of the test and the type of words you can expect to see. 

Knowing what to expect can help you to feel more confident. 

If you are searching for McQuaig Word Survey practice test free resources, you can access free and paid-for practice personality tests on websites such as Practice Aptitude Tests, JobTestPrep and Psychometric Success.

Read the Survey Instructions Carefully

Always make sure that you are familiar with what is expected from you before you start completing the online survey. 

Completing McQuaig Word Survey sample questions before the day of your actual test is a good way to learn what to expect from the survey instructions. 

Understand the Purpose of the Survey

This survey is not only useful in the hiring stages of recruitment: it is also used to identify training and development needs and also identifying potential for progression

By taking the survey, you will be letting your prospective employer know more about your personality and way of thinking, making them well-equipped to support and train you in the future. 

Ask Work Colleagues, Family and Friends for Help

Consider asking people in your social and work networks for their thoughts on your personality. What words might they use to describe you? 

Think back to previous work situations and how you handled them. 

For example, when faced with a challenge, did you feel calm about resolving the issue, or did you feel a sense of panic? 

When joining a new team, did you feel confident about building up working relationships with your new colleagues, or was this something that you found difficult? 

Try to Relax

If you have been asked to complete the McQuaig Word Survey, the recruiter has already identified you as having the essential requirements for the job role.

Taking the survey will help them to understand whether you would be a good fit for the team and work environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the McQuaig Word Survey?

The McQuaig Word Survey is a type of personality assessment

It is a popular choice for employers all over the world. 

The results can be used to make hiring decisions, produce development plans, and identify areas for further training. 

It offers an insight into a candidate’s personality traits and behaviours in their current job role. 

How do I prepare for the McQuaig Word Survey?

You cannot pass or fail the McQuaig Word Survey, so it is not possible to revise for it. 

That said, there are several things you can do to prepare. 

Completing mock surveys will help you to become familiar with the format of the survey, allowing you to feel more confident when it comes to the real thing. 

You could also talk to family members and friends to gain insights into your personality and how your behaviours are perceived by others. 

Is the McQuaig Word Survey free to take?

Yes, the McQuaig Word Survey is free to take. 

The cost of administering the survey is covered by the recruiting organization. 

Where can I find more info and tips on the McQuaig Word Survey?

You can look at the McQuaig Word Survey website.

There also are many other online resources providing further information and tips on the McQuaig Word Survey. 

Psychometric Success offers free resources for anyone who has been asked to take the survey, while a paid-for membership with the JobTestPrep website will help you to prepare for a variety of personality tests including this one.

How many questions are in the McQuaig Word Survey?

The McQuaig Word Survey is formatted differently from many other personality assessments. 

When taking the survey, you will be presented with two separate collections of words. Each of the collections is divided into 21 groups, with each group being made up of four words. 

There are a total of 42 groups to work through

How many times can you retake the McQuaig Word Survey?

There is no maximum number of times that you can retake the McQuaig Word Survey, although each individual recruiter may restrict this number.

You may be asked to complete it on several occasions during the course of your career. 

Where can I find more sample tests to prepare for the McQuaig Word Survey? 

JobTestPrep provides access to a variety of sample personality tests through its paid membership packages. 

What employers require you to pass the Survey?

There is no set ‘pass’ score for the McQuaig Word Survey

However, McQuaig products such as the Word Survey are an important part of the recruitment, training and retention processes for many major international employers, including BPP, Caffè Nero, Chanel, Mitie and Perrys. 

What is the McQuaig Word Survey meant to test in a candidate?

The McQuaig Word Survey is designed to offer recruiters an insight into a candidate’s main personality traits and how they currently behave in the workplace

This personality profiling tool provides hiring managers with 10 useful reports. 

What is the deadline for completing the McQuaig Survey?

Your invitation to complete the McQuaig survey will include a deadline date, by which you must fill in and return the survey. 

Most candidates need a maximum of 20 minutes to work their way through the entire survey. 

What online services can help me pass the McQuaig Word Survey?

You can access free online resources via the Psychometric Success website, including information and tips on completing the McQuaig Word Survey. 

If you are looking for a McQuaig Word Survey practice test, a membership with JobTestPrep will allow you to access resources to help you prepare for a range of different personality assessments. 

What is the passing score for the McQuaig Word Survey?

There is no pass or fail score for the McQuaig Word Survey

Your results from the survey will be analyzed to determine whether you are likely to be a good match for a particular job role or organization. 

Where can I prepare for the McQuaig Word Survey?

You can find many online resources to help you prepare for the McQuaig Word Survey

If you are looking for tips on completing the McQuaig Word Survey, you can find information on the Psychometric Success website

For access to mock personality assessments, sign up for a membership with JobTestPrep

Final Thoughts

Personality tests like the McQuaig Word Survey are a popular tool used by recruiters. They offer employers plenty of invaluable information for the hiring process and also helps inform training and development plans. 

Try not to feel stressed about taking the survey. View it as a way to learn more about your personality, strengths and weaknesses. 

Complete McQuaig Word Survey practice tests, and talk to your friends, work colleagues and family to learn more about your personality attributes and characteristics. 

Always ask to see a copy of your report, and discuss your results with the recruiter. Asking for feedback is vital, as it can be used to inform your future development.

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