Personality Tests vs. Behavioral Assessments—What’s the Difference?

Our clients often ask us to explain the difference between personality tests and behavioral assessments. We find that companies often use the words personality tests and behavioral assessments to mean the same thing, when in fact, there is a difference.  According to the dictionary, personality is defined as the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual; behavior is defined as the response to stimuli. Not only is there a difference between personality tests and behavioral assessments, but equally important is the employer’s reason for administering one of these tools and what the employer is trying to determine.

Personality Test

While personality tests attempt to identify an individual’s personality type, behavioral assessments expose information relative to the individual in one’s work environment. With personality tests, after someone’s personality “type” is identified, it may allow people to better understand how to work alongside one another. Unfortunately, a variety of personality tests have entered into pop culture, thanks to the Internet, many of them with questionable validity. While interesting, they may provide little insight for employers. While most are descriptive, few of them are predictive.  

Behavioral Assessment

With a reliable behavioral assessment, however, managers can have valuable insights into how potential hires can be expected to behave in a given role or work situation. This helps ensure they hire and onboard only the best-fitting candidates. Such assessments can also provide guidance for team development, giving team members awareness into better ways to communicate and understand each other.

As employers focus their efforts on finding the right person for each position, whether for new hires, supercharging teams or identifying future leaders, more are turning to assessments to aid them in their quest.

HHG Consulting is Proud to be a PI Certified Partner

As a Predictive Index® Certified Partner, HHG Consulting is pleased to offer the Predictive Index® Behavioral Assessment as the assessment of choice.  With millions of assessments taken over 60 years, the PI® is not a personality test; it is a proven behavioral assessment designed to identify individuals’ unique drives and needs that motivate or excite them. We help organizations objectify workplace behaviors to build stronger teams.

Predictive Index®—Proven—Scientific—Accurate—EEOC Compliant