Predictive Index - Behavioral Test Preparation with Samples questions , Tips & Scores Guide
David Meshulam

David, Predictive Index Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep.

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What is the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment?

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a short personality test which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. In the test, you must create two lists of personality characteristics from a list of 86: one list for expected behavior, and one for your perceived actual behavior, or self concept.

The number and type of personality traits you choose, as well as the comparison between the two lists, reflect how well you interact with people, process information, and deal with structure - ultimately indicating whether or not you are a good fit for the job.  

The PI behavioral assessment is untimed, and you are not evaluated on the time it takes you to answer. However, it is pretty short relative to other personality tests, and will probably take you about 10-15 minutes to complete. The purpose is to help you answer quickly and spontaneously, as it is assumed that spontaneous reactions better reflect your true behavior.


Other popular personality tests include the Caliper Personality Profile, Hogan, HPI Test, and Korn Ferry Leadership Test


Watch 3 simple steps to answer and pass the Predictive Index behavioral assessment:

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What You Should Know Before Taking the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment

In the first step of the PI Behavioral Assessment, you will see a list with 86 personality traits or adjectives and be asked to choose the qualities you think other people expect you to demonstrate. This represents your perception of the way you think you are supposed to act, for example how self confident or self disciplined you should be.

In the second step, you will see the same list, but this time you will be asked to mark the words that describe your actual behavior. This represents your self concept, who you feel you are in almost any situation. We’ll get into it in depth later on.


💡 Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Expert Tip #1

Choose enough qualities, but not too many.

You should choose enough qualities so there will be sufficient data to understand your character, but on the other hand be careful not to choose too many.

If you mark 80 out of 86 adjectives that describe you, it will not provide your employer with almost any meaningful information, since such a wide response will not be able to indicate what are your dominant and least dominant qualities are. 

We therefore recommended choosing between 20-50 adjectives in each list.


Want to try PI behavioral assessment sample questions that will give you a taste of what the test is all about? Go to our Free PI Behavioral Assessment page to practice. 

Why Practice With JobTestPrep?

Predictive Index developed this unique type of personality test that allows employers to understand your profile and predict your success based on your behavior.

It is a big misconception that behavioral and personality tests don't require preparation, candidates usually struggle with the test format and answering strategy since they never took a a similar test before. 

Understanding the unique elements of the Predictive Index behavioral assessment is your best way of ensuring that your strengths are properly represented in the results and that you don't miss out on that job. JobTestPrep's PI Behavioral PrepPack will help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, this way you can practice and improve your results on the question types you struggle with the most.



The PI Behavioral Assessment is frequently given together with the PI Cognitive Test. You can also access our Predictive Index Test Bundle that offers prep for both PI Tests.

What Does the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Measure?

On the PI Behavioral Assessment, employers are looking to assess your personality type, which is structured according to 4 primary characteristics: 


PI Factors


1. Dominance

Dominance measures the degree to which you seek to control your environment. 

If you are the type of individual who is able to control an environment by sharing ideas and opinions, and can get things done, then you are high in the dominance quality.

2. Extroversion

Extroversion measures to what extent you seek social interaction with others, as well as the degree to which you seek to control your environment. 

If you are outgoing, self confident, and persuasive, you have this drive. You can simply put this as a people person and a team player.

3. Patience

Patience measures the degree to which you seek consistency and stability in your environment. 

Are you methodological, self disciplined, and calm in your work environment? Are you happy with long-term tasks and prefer consistency rather than changes? If this sounds like you, you likely have the patience drive. 

4. Formality

Formality measures the degree to which you seek to conform to formal rules and structure.

This type of trait could also be known as a perfectionism. An employee with high formality will be very attentive to details, extremely organized and highly conformant to the rules. 


The big question is how to get the right score on each of these characteristics to fit the requirements of the job

For example, what is the ideal score in the extroversion for a management role? What is the appropriate score in patience for a technological position? What is considered a good score in dominance for a junior management position? Or, whether the score in formality for an administrative position should be higher than the extroversion’s score.

The PI behavioral assessment PrepPack™ focuses on teaching you the answers to these questions.

💡 PI Behavioral Assessment Expert Tip #2

You should avoid selecting qualities that are all related to the same characteristic. Rather, select a mix of qualities to demonstrate the various characteristics that you wish to highlight as more dominant or less dominant in your personality.

The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment

Employers are often interested in measuring cognitive ability to complete the profile provided by personality tests such as the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment. Therefore, there is a good chance you will also need to prepare for the Predictive Index cognitive assessment.

Check out JobTestPrep's PI Cognitive Assessment PrepPack, which includes extensive PI cognitive assessment practice resources that will help you land that job. We also have a Free PI Cognitive Test for you to test your skills!

 Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Tips to Help You Choose the Best Answers

Each one of the adjectives in the Predictive Index behavioral assessment that you will choose falls into one of the four characteristics we reviewed earlier. Understanding this breakdown and being able to classify most of the adjectives is a vital step in passing the test.

You will also need to analyze the job description and discern which characteristics are the most desirable for the role and which ones are the least. It sounds a bit complex, but in the PI behavioral assessment PrepPack™ you will get a detailed guide that will teach you how to do just that.

Then, you will classify each adjective on the list and see if it matches the profile you built, helping you will understand which adjectives to choose that suit your job. What matters the most is the group that the adjective belongs to rather than the adjective itself.


Let’s practice a sales position example together:

How To Answer PI Assessment Sales


It might look simple when only 6 qualities are presented. But things will get complicated when analyzing 86 qualities without practicing or thinking about them in advance. It gets even harder when you need to fill out 2 questionnaires with different instructions.

This is exactly the purpose of the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment PrepPack™, which sheds light on the test and make it simpler - helping you pass it successfully.

Now, let's do a mental exercise and think about how to answer the test for a clerk position:

How To Answer PI Assessment Clerk


Unlike a sales position, a clerical position demands higher levels of formality and patience and lower levels of dominance and extraversion. To build the ideal profile for this role, you should mark words such as conscientious, loyal, and tolerant while leaving out words such as brave, persuasive, and daring.


If you would like to try out some PI behavioral assessment sample questions that will demonstrate what the test is all about, go to our PI behavioral assessment questions page.


The 17 Predictive Index Reference Profiles

The Predictive Index reference profiles are workplace personality types that are based on the results of the PI behavioural assessment. Each reference profile describes the test takers based on the balance of the four factors that appears through their results, and helps the employer gain valuable insight into the workstyle preferences, social interaction, and personality traits - creating a better hiring process. 

Learn more about each PI reference profile and how you can use them to improve your chances of passing the PI behavioural assessment, on our Predictive Index Personality Types Page.

Understanding What Your Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Scores Mean

When the PI behavioral assessment is scored, each adjective chosen contributes a 'point' to its related characteristic.

Three profiles are generated. The first is based on your answers on the first list. It represents the way you think you are expected to behave in the workplace. The second is based on the second list and represents your self concept, or how you believe you act most of the time.

Both lists have equal importance in your score. Combining them together, by summing the points of each characteristic, creates your full profile, that predicts your actual performance at work.

Then, a hierarchy, or ranking, is created between the characteristics that determine your profile typecast.

You can see here an example of how a different hierarchy between the characteristics, creates 2 distinct personality profiles.


PI Hierarchy


The left profile describes people who naturally take charge, lead, but sometimes can move too fast for others. They are very proactive and see risk as an opportunity.

The profile on the right describes a person who easily accepts other’s decisions and focuses on getting things done in a proper way. 

Learn more on our  Predictive Index Scores page!

How to Prepare for the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment

For the Predictive Index, in order to control your score and prove your suitability, you must recognize which characteristic each adjective belongs to, with respect to the specific job you are applying for.

Also, there are no absolute high and low scores, and for each role and employer, the "passing profile types" change, as the requirements and values of the company are different.

Your full profile gives the employer insights into whether there is a match between the perception of how you are expected to be in the environment and your self concept.

Our guide will teach you how to avoid a situation where the two profiles are incongruent. If they aren’t aligned, it will be interpreted as you being ambivalent, which could make things tough for you.


💡 PI Behavioral Assessment Expert Tip #3

The ratio between the number of adjectives you choose on each list of the personality test is significant.

This is an additional metric that reflects how responsive you are in the workplace environment, and it is measured by the difference between the number of qualities you chose on the first list and the second self concept list.

Find out how many adjectives you should choose on each list to get a good score.

This and many other answering strategies along with practice tests that help you get familiar with question types and test format with our PrepPack. Get access to comprehensive study guides and expert tips that will teach you how to answer the test to the best of your abilities. 


Predictive Index Behavioral Test FAQs


I took a free practice Predictive Index test, what next?

Taking a free practice test is great but it’s not enough. You want to make sure you meet all the test criteria, and that you emphasize the right qualities for the job you applied for.

To accomplish this, you need to learn the rules of the test and practice them. You also want to develop the skills to identify what is the preferred profile your future job is looking for.

What is the difference between the Predictive Index behavioral assessment and the cognitive one?

The PI Behavioral Assessment and the PI Cognitive Assessment are both pre-employment tests created by the Predictive Index assessment company. While both help employers screen potential employees, each of them assesses different aspects of the individuals personality.

Behavioral assessments test your behavior and how well you fit to a certain company culture, assessing your drives and needs, which workplace environment is right for you, what guides you when making decisions, and more. The cognitive assessment tests your general cognitive abilities, such as your ability to solve problems under pressure. The latter gives the employer a sense of your learning skills and how well you cope with cognitive demands.

What are the Predictive Index reference profiles?

Those are personality profiles that represent groups of people who share similar drives and therefore will have similar behavioral patterns. They are divided into 4 categories: analytical, president, social and stabilizing profiles.

It is nice to know them. But you don’t need to dig into them since each role can have several Reference Profiles that match it. To success in your PI assessment, it is important to focus on your specific job description and understand which qualities to highlight.

Can you fail the Predictive Index test?

You can’t officially fail the test, but it will determine if you will progress to the next stage of recruitment.

Your PI behavioral assessment score is compared to those of other candidates, with the goal to predict which of the candidates has a good behavioral match to the role.

Why do companies use Predictive Index?

Predictive Index is one of the industry's leading assessment companies, with years of proven experience in creating high level assessment tests that offer in depth insights. Their reputation has led to them being trusted by numerous leading employers worldwide and used by hiring managers in their recruitment process.

Can you see your Predictive Index assessment results?

Unfortunately not. However, you will get some feedback from your employer, but he will decide how much he wants to share with you. You will know a week or two after you take the assessment if you move on to the next stage.

Other Personality Tests 

Below are some free resources for common personality assessments:

Free Caliper Test

Free Hogan Test Sample

Free Korn Ferry Assessment Questions

Predictive Index, PI Behavioral Assessment, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders is affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.