Key Tips

  • Normative tests are very common for assessing Personality.
  • These tests provide a behavioural statement and ask the test taker the extent to which they agree with it on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • Normative tests are easy to complete, but employers feel they are easy to ‘fake’ (unlike ipsative tests)
  • It is best to answer as honestly as possible as these tests have built in measures that can assess any attempt to portray a different image. e.g. Social Desirability
  • Our Work Personality Questionnaire (WPQ) has been developed by previous SHL and Kenexa test developers and uses the same Big 5 model as SHL CEB’s OPQ and Kenexa’s OPI.
  • Take the Work Personality Questionnaire (WPQ) now and get a FREE personalised feedback report including insight into your social desirability score.

Normative Tests

The most common questionnaires use normative questions. These questions are presented in the form of statements (for assessment) to which the test taker is required to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement on a scale of 1 to 5.

Unlike the ‘ipsative‘ assessment, these types of questions are easy to interpret and therefore respond to as they do not require one to reason between or against other (equally attractive) statements. However, the questions are argued by some to be too transparent, in that, individuals may be tempted to distort their response in order to create a favourable impression – and will probably be able to do this easily. However, these questionnaires generally include a social desirability scale which assesses any distortion by a test taker providing a good indication of whether the individual has been presenting themselves overly favourably.

Avoiding the Social Desirability/Lie Scale Pitfall

Examples of questions that assess social desirability include:

“I never lied to my parents when growing up”

“I never gossip”

These scales are also ‘Normed’ (see ‘Glossary‘ for more information) so it is apparent how favourable or critical one has been of themselves; this scale also indicates how one may be presenting themsleves (or their self-perception) in comparison to the rest of the population. Honesty in these questions pays off and does not flag you as someone who is distorting their responses.

Take the Work Personality Questionnaire (WPQ) now and get a FREE personalised report which highlights your social desirability!



View our range of tests and select the combination that's right for you.