About the PAPI Test

The Cubiks Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI) is a psychometric test intended to determine the personality traits of a candidate in the workplace which might affect their suitability for a given position. It is a powerful labor personality test backed by a wide consensus from the scientific community with regards to its validity. The test has been used for over four decades worldwide, and has been evolving over that time in order to meet the changing needs of the market. It is widely recognized as a valid and reliable measure of personality by a variety of institutions worldwide including the British Psychological Society and the Swedish Test Committee.

The current edition of PAPI, referred to as PAPI 3, was released in 2014 as a result of a three-year research and development exercise involving psychologists and clients from Cubiks in ten countries using an international development sample. This edition led to further clarification and re-orientation of some scales, the introduction of two new scales to the core scores as well as the development of extended versions intended to assess leaders and sales personnel through the use of four additional scales. Additionally, links between the PAPI scales and the Big Five Personality Factors were also developed.

PAPI 3 explores a wide range of work-related personality dimensions through the use of 22 scales which are divided into 7 key areas:

  1. Composure
    • Emotional restraint
    • Optimism
    • Core composure
  2. Engagement
    • Need to be upwardly supportive
    • Work focus
  3. Impact & Drive
    • Need to achieve
    • Need to influence
    • Leadership role
    • Need to be noticed
  4. Organization & Structure
    • Need to finish a task
    • Need for rules & guidelines
    • Attention to detail
    • Planner
    • Need to be organized
  5. Ideas & Change
    • Need for change
    • Conceptual thinker
  6. Interaction
    • Need to relate closely to individuals
    • Social harmonizer
    • Need to belong to groups
  7. Work Momentum
    • Need to be direct
    • Work tempo
    • Ease in decision making

Prepterminal’s expert psychometricians have put together a Cubiks PAPI Test preparation pack in order to help you understand and prepare for the course so that you may effectively convey your most desirable traits to prospective employers and progress to the next stage of the screening process. Featuring text/video-based modules along with Cubiks PAPI practice tests, our preparation packs are designed to get you one step closer to that dream job.

PAPI Test Format

The PAPI test is delivered in two formats: PAPI-I (Ipsative) and PAPI-N (Normative).

The PAPI-I, being an ipsative instrument, examines and compares the attributes of an individual, without allowing the comparison of two individuals – the aim of this test is to understand a particular candidate without making judgements in order to compare with other candidates. As such, this format is more suitable for assessment situations which do not necessitate comparative judgements, where individuals will benefit from presenting themselves more honestly, such as:

  • Counselling
  • Personal development
  • Career development
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Work problem diagnosis
  • Aiding better performance
  • Identifying training needs
  • Team building

The PAPI-I is comprised of items containing three statements paired in a forced-choice format, from which one must be chosen. Half of these items assess ‘Roles’ and the other half assess ‘Needs’.

The PAPI-N is a normative assessment, and as such presents questions as single statements, accompanied by a rating scale. This manner of normative instrument is suitable for the comparison of candidates, so is appropriate for situations where individuals would benefit from presenting themselves in the most favorable possible light, such as:

  • Selection between candidates for a job role
  • Matching a candidate against a ‘template’ for a specific job
  • Development of in-house ‘norms’

The PAPI-N test is a questionnaire comprised of single statements, accompanied by a Likert-like rating scale of 5 responses ranging from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’.

When taking either format of the test, the individual is required to spend approximately 15 minutes completing the questionnaire. Once it is completed, results will be mapped on a PAPI profile ‘wheel’ displaying the respondents profile in a visual format. This wheel, as of the PAPI 3 launch, has been updated to an interactive interface, where each element may be selected and expanded to a more in-depth explanation for the purpose of the exploration of the candidate’s profile.
Following this, the participant is involved in a feedback discussion in which results are explored, giving the candidate the opportunity to verify or refute the hypotheses generated by the profile.

Preparing for the PAPI Test

As with any personality questionnaire, it is widely claimed that there is no ‘correct’ answer in a PAPI test. Given that these tests are presented as a means to select appropriate candidates for a job position, it stands to reason that there are, in fact, preferable traits. The claim that there are no wrong answers is, thus, little more than a tactic to elicit self-sabotage from unassuming candidates.

Prepterminal offers the resources required to avoid these pitfalls and present yourself in the best possible light to prospective employers. Our educational course content featuring text/video-based modules explores each scale in depth so that you may have a comprehensive understanding of what is being measured when you take the test so that you may put your best foot forward. Accompanying this, Cubiks PAPI practice tests are made available so that you may benchmark your progress towards achieving the personality profile you desire.

Ensure that you show your best self to prospective employers with Prepterminal, your partner in test success.