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What Can You Learn From a Predictive Index Test?

Picture this: you’re in school and you’re taking a career test. The results of that test will tell you exactly what it thinks you should do for the rest of your life. You often get a little blurb about the jobs, their salaries, and average levels of education you’ll need. While some career tests are great for giving you ideas, they’re mostly based on your interests. What the test doesn’t tell you is if you’ll actually be a good fit for the job based on your personality. That’s where the Predictive Index comes in.

If you take it on your own, the Predictive Index is that you can use the results to better understand yourself, your work ethic, and what type of job environment you will work best in.

However, they’re more commonly given by employers. Employers use the Predictive Index test to evaluate the cognitive abilities and personality traits of a potential employee. In other words, it lets them know if you’ll be a good fit for the job and the company.

What is a Predictive Index Test?

At its core, a Predictive Index Test is a personality test given by employers to determine a candidate’s potential fit at their company. There are two main types: the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA) and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA).

Predictive Index tests are impossible to fail because there are no right or wrong answers. Those that take it are encouraged to answer as truthfully as possible to receive the most accurate result.

Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment

The PICA objectively tests a candidate’s cognitive ability and abstract intelligence. The PICA aims to eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process by gauging your ability to learn new skills and how quickly you can adapt to changing conditions in the workplace.

It tests verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. Test takers are given 50 questions and are required to answer as many as possible in the provided time allotment. Don’t worry — it’s impossible to fail because there are no right or wrong answers.

Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment

The PIBA tests your cultural fit in the workplace by discovering your personal motivations and needs.

Candidates are given two lists of adjectives in the PIBA. One list is used for words others would use to describe them and how they are likely to behave, while the other is used for expressing their own opinion about themselves.

What Does Predictive Index Measure?

As we mentioned before, the Predictive Index is impossible to fail because it doesn’t measure right and wrong. Instead, it helps pinpoint key personality traits such as dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality.

Scoring high or low in any of those four areas does not mean you’re a bad employee. Employers are looking for certain qualities and this test simply outlines if you have those qualities or not. Most employers are very open minded too, so they could still hire an extravert in a highly introverted setting, for example.


Dominance pertains to an employees drive to control the situations, events or the people that surround you. People who have a higher dominance score tend to be strong leaders, independent, self-confident, and assertive. They’re not afraid to face challenges or conflict alone.

On the flip side, someone who has a lower dominance score is often more comfortable working with team members. They’re happier to collaborate and help others.


Extraversion measures how you like to interact with others. If you’re an extravert, you probably like to engage in conversations, don’t mind larger groups of people, easily connect with strangers, and enjoy public recognition.

The opposite end of extraversion is introversion. If you’re an introvert, you’re likely more independent and prefer to work behind the scenes instead of on the front lines. You’re likely more drawn to facts, creative endeavors, privacy, and alone time, than large crowds.


Patience relates to your drive to cultivate a stable, consistent environment. If you have a lot of patience, you’re more likely to work at a steady pace and avoid changing situations. You have the ability to put time and effort into forging long-term relationships like it’s nothing.

Whereas those with lower patience tend to thrive when presented with variety. You tend to work faster for shorter amounts of time and aren’t fazed by fast turnovers.


Formality refers to the want to conform to a set of rules and established structure. If you prefer a more formal setting, then you will likely excel when you have clear and organized expectations set in front of you. You tend to be detail oriented and disciplined.

Those who are less formal are often more spontaneous. You’re likely to perform your best in an environment that has a balance of freedom and rules.

How To Use PI to Make a Hiring Decision

The results are quite easy to use. Most employers know the culture of their company and have a goal in mind: do they want their new hire to fit the mold, or break it to entice others to do the same?

Let’s go over an example. Say you’re hiring a door-to-door salesman. You’re going to want someone who is an independent worker, a bit extraverted, has patience with people but can go with the flow as well, and isn’t too formal so they can go off script. The predictive index tests can tell you all of that so you don’t have to guess during interviews.

If you’d like to be trained on how to utilize Predictive Index for your company, contact us at the BC Team. Our experts know the tests front and back and have used them countless times themselves. We’d love to help you make the right hiring choice through our PI training. Give us a call today!

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