Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Guide & Sample Questions (2023)

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What is the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Test?

The Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment is a personality test used by many organizations to aid in the understanding of how candidates are likely to deal with employment situations and managerial styles.

The PI Behavioral Assessment measures you in 5 key dimensions:

  • Dominance
  • Extraversion
  • Patience
  • Formality
  • Objectivity

Unlike Predictive Index’s cognitive assessment, the ‘correct’ answer will vary depending on the job position. Different jobs require different traits, so the PI Behavioral Assessment provides employers with a clear breakdown of how well each candidate fits the exact traits required for that specific job.

Figuring out how to present your traits in a way that fits the job you’re applying for is a very difficult challenge to navigate. Prepterminal’s Rapid Predictive Index Mastery Course has been designed by psychometric experts to teach you the best answer patterns to fit any job position and show that you’re the best fit for the job. Click on Get Started now to begin your preparation with instant online access and take the most important step towards securing your career!

How to Beat the PI Behavioral Assessment

Looking to overcome the PI Behavioral Assessment and progress through the interviewing process towards your desired job? Prepterminal offers all the components you could require for success in this area, providing a professional stepping-stone in your career path.

Our PI Behavioral Assessment preparation pack provides various modules comprising text and video modules to inform and educate you on the structure and intended metrics gathered by the assessment, as well as giving mock exams so that you may begin gauging your own performance through completing the self-assessment online.

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Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Format

The PI Behavioral Assessment is delivered as an untimed self-report survey in a free-choice setting. It is found to usually take between 5 to 10 minutes.

The test is administered in two stages. First, the candidate is given a list of 86 adjectives and is required to select which the candidate believes best describes their behavior – this is the ‘Self’ component of the assessment. Then, the candidate is faced with the same adjectives and is required to select those which they believe best describe how others perceive the candidate – this is the ‘Self-Concept’ component of the assessment.

The 86 adjectives can cover positive or negative traits, and many of the adjectives used are synonymous to make sure that the test-taker is giving consistent answers.

Flexible   Firm   Punctual  
Answer: Punctual should always be selected, Helpful and Firm are situational


Being punctual is seen as a universally required quality of an employee no matter where you go, so selecting its checkbox should always be done in the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment.

Flexible and firm, on the other hand, depends on the position that you are aiming for.

Are you expected to interact with clients where the ability to negotiate and compromise is needed on a daily or regular basis? Then you are expected to select it as a trait of yours.

However, if the position that you are applying for requires you to be rule-bound and highly compliant with procedures of the workplace and the company instead of making compromises with customers, then selecting ‘Flexible’ will be beneficial to you.

Approachable   Distant   Cooperative  
Answer: Approachable and Cooperative should be checked, Distant is situational


This section will deal more with the second part of the Behavioral Assessment, where you are to select how you think people perceive you.

No matter where you go, you are expected to have some level of approachability and cooperativeness either with your coworkers, customers, or clients.

Distant, on the other hand, should only be selected if the position requires you to focus on the task at hand with minimal interruptions from others for a long period of time in order for you to deliver projects and meet deadlines on time or as early as possible.

PI Four Core Personality Traits

The PI measures four core personality traits:


The degree to which an individual seeks to control their environment. High-scorers on this dimension are independent, self-confident, and assertive, while those who score low on this dimension are agreeable, accommodating, and cooperative.


The degree to which an individual seeks social interaction with others as well as social acceptance. Those who score high on this dimension are persuasive, outgoing, and socially affluent, while those who score low are serious, task-oriented, and introspective.


The degree to which an individual seeks consistency and stability in their environment. Those who score high on this dimension are consistent, deliberate, and patient, while low-scorers are intense, fast-paced, and urgent.


The degree to which an individual seeks clarity and understanding of rules. High-scorers on this dimension are self-disciplined, organized, and precise, while those who score low are uninhibited, informal, and casual.

In addition, the PI combines the four primary personality traits in order to measure two secondary personality traits:


Measures how an individual processes information to make decisions. Those who score high on this dimension are primarily influenced by facts and data, being objective and logical individuals. In contrast, those who score low are mainly influenced by feelings and emotions, being more subjective and intuitive.

Response Level

Measures an individual’s overall responsiveness to the environment, as reflected by their energy, activity level, and stamina. High-scorers on this dimension are seen to have an increased capacity to sustain activity as well as increased stress tolerance, while those who score low on this dimension tend to have a far lower capacity.

How Many Adjectives Should a Candidate Choose?

There are 86 adjectives on each of the two lists, and it is essential that a candidate doesn’t choose too few or too many.

Generally speaking, if a candidate selects fewer than six adjectives on each list or more than 80 adjectives on each list, their results may interfere with the statistical validity of the assessment. The employer may get a detailed score report that mentions how many adjectives the candidate selected, and they will consider this if they notice extreme patterns in a candidate’s profile. In some cases, if the results are too extreme, the employer may ask the candidate to resit the test.

The number of adjectives a candidate selects is called the M factor, where M means Moral – the response level. While it doesn’t have a direct impact on factor analysis, if the candidate chooses too few adjectives, it may mean that they are less likely to engage in the workplace.

In short, a candidate should aim to choose a reasonable amount of adjectives from each list. It is recommended that they select between 20 to 50 adjectives.

A trait will be seen as a characteristic of the candidate if they select enough adjectives that belong to that trait. For example, if an applicant chooses many words that describe social traits, such as persuasive, open, talkative, and influential, then their self-pattern will read that they are an extrovert – which is a good trait for many jobs.

Should the Adjectives a Candidate Selects on the Two Lists Be Different?

Typically, there is no issue with marking different adjectives on each list. However, it is common to have differences between the two states, and various jobs will depend on unique behaviors.

Nevertheless, consider the following:
If the difference between the candidate’s two adjective lists is extreme, this may catch the attention of the employers. In cases where the two lists reveal entirely different personas, the employer may decide not to choose that candidate, or they may want to know how much stress is needed to manage this discrepancy.

Some questions that a candidate could experience if the candidate’s PI report has a very different self and self-concept results: If your current employer could make the job the ideal place for you, how would it vary from where it currently is?

If the job the applicant is applying for is similar to their present job, extreme differences may show the employer that they are not a good fit for the job. As it shows that they are currently dealing with a gap between who they are and what the job demands. If the gap is large, then this will come at a cost. An employer may simply decide to move on to another candidate. In short, it is about balance. All candidates should try to avoid extremities in both lists.

Tips for the PI Behavioral Assessment

Every single decision made in the assessment affects the picture you paint of yourself. Here are a few tips to sharpen the image you portray to prospective employers:

  • #1. Before taking the PI, do your research on the employer and job role. This will provide invaluable information as to what the employer expects from successful candidates.
  • #2. With this information in mind, consider every adjective from the perspective of the employer in relation to the job role.
  • #3. For every single adjective, consider the parameters of the job role and the ethos of the company in order to decide the value that particular adjective holds.
  • #4. Maintain consistency in your selection of adjectives – if you are seen to be inconsistent, you are not painting a picture of yourself; rather, you are muddying the waters with contradictory choices and will inevitably fail.

On the surface, personality tests appear to seem very simple, and many test-takers make the mistake of not taking them seriously. Most applicants believe that they have the personality traits required to pass this test without a second thought. As the test makers lay out a number of traps in order to lead the test-takers to a false sense of security, preparing for the Predictive Index Test is a must.

Prepterminal’s PI Behavioral Assessment preparation pack dissects each component in-depth and explores how your responses in the assessment portray each dimension of your personality. To ensure that you are accurately and effectively communicating who you are to a prospective employer through the PI Behavioral Assessment, sign up for our course and master the assessment in a matter of hours.

PI Behavioral Assessment Test Results

After completing the assessment, a report is generated that covers the categories of Self, Self-Concept, and Synthesis of self and self-concept. It provides a rating on four scales:

  • Collaborative – Independent
  • Reserved – Sociable
  • Driving – Steady
  • Flexible – Precise

With an additional scale in Synthesis:

  • Subjective – Objective

Following this, a number of qualitative descriptions are given:

  • Strongest Behaviors
  • Summary
  • Management Style
  • Influencing Style
  • Management Strategies

These descriptions are intended to provide prospective employers with a full behavioral profile of the candidate so that they may fully inform their decisions for the recruitment and/or development of the candidate in question.

As this is a behavioral test, it is scored differently from the more commonly-encountered cognitive test. Answers are used to construct a profile of the candidate based on the four aforementioned traits rather than assess based on performance on a set of questions with an outright correct/incorrect answer. As such, it is not appropriate to practice giving the ‘correct’ response.

The key to doing well in this assessment is about correctly gauging what one’s prospective employer is seeking from candidates and using that information to discern how best to showcase those qualities through the answers one puts forth in the assessment. While it is not recommended to lie outright in the assessment, the appropriate preparation and research can facilitate the true representation of oneself through one’s answers, showing prospective employers one’s suitability for a job role.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the PI Behavioral assessment reliable?

The PI Behavioral Assessment is utilized by thousands of companies every year and has been administered more than 20 million times. While the results are deemed to be very accurate, it is up to the employer to decide which key traits a candidate should score high or low to be deemed a good candidate.

What does my PI Behavioral assessment score mean?

The PI Behavioral Assessment doesn’t measure the candidate’s skill in a certain area; rather, it shows the candidate’s employer a bit about what drives them and what the candidate needs to be successful in a role within their business.

Why do companies use the PI behavioral assessment?

The PI Behavioral tests help companies find the right candidate for a job position. They can only learn a certain amount from a candidate’s CV. They may also want to see how the candidate’s needs and personality will fit the job. Hiring the best person the first time around saves the company money and time. Businesses also use the PI behavioral assessment to promote employees.

*Note: The Predictive Index and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with PrepTerminal or this website.
Michael Lerner

Created by: Michael Lerner

BSc, Psychometric Tutor, Prepterminal Test Expert

460 students,
, 93 Reviews

Hey, I’m Michael, PrepTerminal’s Predictive Index expert. I am here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about the PI Test. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

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