Birkman Personality Test: Method, Report, and Question Types

What Is the Birkman Test?

The Birkman Test is a personality assessment that measures psychological characteristics and behavior. The test is used by companies for hiring and as a career assessment for college students to help identify the candidate's strengths and weaknesses in the areas of motivation, behavior, communication, and teamwork.

The assessment is used by over 8,000 companies, and it not only provides test-takers with career suggestions but it also matches them to companies and organizations where people with similar characteristics report success and personal satisfaction in those jobs. Some organizations that utilize this assessment are P&G, Philips, Coca-Cola, Shell, JPMorgan, AT&T, and IBM.

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Breakdown of the Birkman Method

The assessment is based on the Birkman method and was inspired by Dr. Birkman's experience in the US air force, during which he observed that people’s underlying perceptions and motivations impact their ability to perform in training.

The factors can be categorized into Four Perspectives of Personality:

Perspective 1 - Motivation

Birkman motivation (Also known as Birkman interests analysis) measures your level of interest in different types of jobs each emphasizing the use of a different skill numerical, creative, or persuasive. It can help you identify what tasks you thrive on and which deplete your motivation and interest quickly.

Perspective 2 - Self Perception

The self-perception part of the analysis also called ‘usual behaviors’ measures how you perceive yourself when handling tasks, relationships with co-workers, and overall contribution to the workplace.

In essence, it measures how productive you are when your needs are met; for example, taking initiative, staying organized, or being competitive.

Perspective 3 - Social Perception

Social Perception analysis tests your perception, self-awareness, and understanding of the social situation you are in, which influences your comfort level as well as how you are likely to react to specific circumstances.

This report can also help you understand what type of environment can help increase your productivity and behaviors from your surroundings that can lead to unnecessary stress. Examples of environmental needs are direct supervision, definitive plans, and feeling accepted by your team.

Perspective 4 - Mindset

The Birkman mindset analysis provides insight into what a person believes to be true about himself and the people surrounding him.
According to Birkman, the Mindset assessment encompasses the interpersonal, intrapersonal, and work alignment of individuals.

As a result of the report, individuals are able to see new ways of thinking and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of their perspectives and belief systems as well as identify the main drivers behind their actions and behavior patterns.

The Format and Question Types of the Birkman Questionnaire

The Birkman online questionnaire is a computer-based test that consists of 298 questions 50 of them are multiple choice and the rest are true or false type questions.

There is no time limit for the assessment but it usually takes around half an hour from start to finish and results are granted instantly.

Examples of True or False Personality Questions

Identify the following statements as True or False

  • Things worry me.
  • I think twice before I say something.
  • I’m a “Type A” achiever. I’d rather die than give up.
  • I feel overpowered, and I’m not sure what to do.
  • My decisions are based on logic.
  • I don’t follow trends.
  • I’m most worried about letting down others.
  • I discuss problems with others to find answers that meet everyone’s desires.
  • I’m prepared to hit a brick wall and break through it.
  • I often feel exhausted and drained.

Birkman Signature Report

The results of the Birkman assessment are very complex. There are over 40 different report styles available, and results can reflect an individual respondent, a one-to-one comparison, and a group of respondents. For each category (behaviors, stress management, motivations, organizational orientation) there is a different way of breaking down and analyzing the results. Typically, it takes 1-1.5 hours for a Birkman specialist to explain and expand upon candidates' results.

However, despite having so many different reports, Birkman compartmentalizes its overall behavioral report descriptions into various categories, which are then compiled together into one chart.

The chart, also known as the Birkman Map, is divided into four quadrants. The right and left quadrants determine if you are task-oriented or people-oriented. The top and bottom quadrants determine if you work best with direct involvement/communication or indirect involvement/communication. Then, within the aforementioned four quadrants, there are four colors — red, blue, green, and yellow. Each color represents characteristics of your personality.

Finally, within the chart, there are four symbols — asterisk (which is used to indicate where your interests lie), diamond (which is used to indicate what your usual style is), square (which is used to indicate your stress behavior), and circle (which is used to indicate where your needs lie).

All of these features play a distinct role in determining your results, so be sure to look over the listed information before beginning the practice as it will help familiarize you, making the assessment portion easier.

Birkman Exam Sample Question


Focus: Expediting, solving real problems, achieving tangible results, and working in the physical world.

Characteristics: Decisive about the necessary actions needed to achieve tasks, uses energy in a practical/hands-on manner, emphasizes action and speed, manages crises


Focus: Planning, ideas, innovation, creativity, intuition, subjectivity, and reflection

Characteristics: Considers new or unusual approaches to things, uses creativity to produce results, maintains a broad focus


Focus: Communication, selling and persuading, promoting and motivating counseling, and teaching

Characteristics: Works comfortably in social interactions, demonstrates flexible and supportive behaviors, focuses attention on others/external world, easily relates to others


Focus: Organizing, rules, and procedures, scheduling and details, consistency and cautiousness

Characteristics: Works well with numbers and systems, creates processes for implementing tasks, handles details

What Are the Benefits of Birkman Tests for Employers?

Many large companies use personality tests generally and the Birkman assessment specifically as part of their hiring process.

One questionnaire can lead to a variety of signature reports that can help the hiring manager to assess candidate skills across a wide range of personality traits and categories.

By learning how to foster the right environment, organizations can increase employee productivity, retain high-performing employees, address engagement issues, and handle miscommunications in the workplace.

Getting Familiar with the Birkman test

The best way to prepare for a personality test is to familiarize yourself with the types of questions and contemplate the answers

By taking these tests, you will gain a better understanding of your behaviors and motivators, enabling you to be more reflective during job interviews or improve your abilities and attitude as a worker.

Though there is no ‘wrong’ answer when it comes to personality tests practice can help you better understand the intentions behind the questions and learn to classify them in the correct category.

How to Prepare for The Birkman Personality Assessment?

To prepare for the Birkman Personality Assessment apply the following tips:

1. Find out More About the Company and The Role

Employers will look for certain traits and behaviors based on the type of role you're applying for. Therefore, make sure you understand what is expected of you before applying for the role.

2. Think About how The Questions Relate to Your Work Environment

Think about the questions in the context of the workplace, where you show a different set of behaviors and motivations from the way you behave around family and friends, so when answering the questions, keep that in mind.

3. Remember, It's Not a Race

In personality tests, there is no time limit, so you can take as much time as you want. There can be questions deliberately phrased in a way that is confusing or designed to trap you if you don't answer naturally. It is important that you read the questions attentively, and review the answers at the end.

4. Don't Over Analyze

While you should approach the questions from a professional point of view, do not overthink them. Trust the test and its 300 questions to reflect the characteristics that describe you the best.


Can You Fail the Birkman Test?

The answer is no you cannot fail the Birkman Method test there is no wrong answer when it comes to personality. The aim of the test is to measure how well your unique personality type matches the required traits of the position. Doing well requires knowledge of the test and report format.

What is the Cost of the Birkman Assessment?

The cost of a product varies depending on its type the Birkman basics report costs 129$ and provides you with an understanding of how your personality influences communication, relationships, and performance.

You can find more information about prices, here.

What is the Birkman Career Assessment for College Students?

This Birkman Career assessment helps future students to better understand their behavioral traits and select a career that capitalizes on their strengths while aligning them with the fundamental beliefs that they hold dear.

The assessment helps pinpoint the following problems:

  • Find out what type of work environment you prefer.
  • Help you avoid burnout by finding your purpose.
  • Assist in understanding the career goals of the candidate and their overall match to his personal strengths.
  • Increase the confidence level during the hiring process.
  • Make the candidate more aware of his passions and interests.
  • Help the candidate understand why he is dissatisfied with his current job.

How Accurate Is the Birkman Assessment?

According to the national library of medicine(NCBI), the Birkman test is accurate in identifying personality changes in students: “the reliability and validity of the Birkman Method instrument have been evaluated in depth. Test-retest reliability has been demonstrated across the 27 scales used within the 298-item assessment, with correlations ranging from 0.57-0.91 (Mean = 0.79).”

What is the Birkman Abilities Inventory (BAI)?

The Birkman Abilities Inventory, or BAI, is a tool used to measure a person's reasoning and thinking abilities. It provides an overall score of a person's general reasoning ability, which gives an indication of their overall ability to think and solve problems. 

The BAI also includes a number of subscales, which measure specific aspects of a person's reasoning abilities. These subscales give a more detailed picture of a person's strengths and weaknesses in different areas,

What is the Birkman Leadership Assessment for Managers?

The leadership assessment can evaluate your ability to manage and lead others. It evaluates managers based on a variety of factors

  • Difficulty in providing effective feedback to employees.
  • Low employee morale and motivation.
  • Lack of purpose and clarity among team members.
  • Individual motivations and blind spots are not well understood.
  • Challenges with managing team dynamics.
  • Different work styles that lead to misunderstood communications.


JobTestPrep is a leading test prep company that offers accurate practice simulations for hundreds of pre-employment tests. Since 1992, it has helped 1M+ candidates. If you have any additional questions about the Birkman Personality Test, feel free to send us an email, we usually reply within 24 hours.


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