The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) – The Most Detailed Overview in 2023

Using a complicated scoring method and a unique True/False test format, the Hogan HPI is one of the most professional and challenging personality tests to tackle.

Important Note

Many websites describe the Hogan HPI test as a traditional Likert-scale test.

That is not the case.

In 2023, the Hogan personality test follows a True/False format.

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a personality test based on the big 5 model. The test uses a complex scoring method based on 7 scales and 42 subscales. That method is especially useful to assess managers and other high-end positions.

This, combined with its unusual Tre/False format, makes understanding how to pass the Hogan HPI test quite challenging.

That is why this guide tackles this complexity with extensive research and very detailed coverage of all topics – format, scoring, free practice and inside tips for success.

Have a question on the Hogan Personality Assessment? Contact Us!

Basic Details

206 statements
Personality profiling
Untimed
True/False

What Is the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) Test?

The HPI (Hogan Personality Inventory) test is a pre-employment personality test provided by Hogan. As Hogan’s most popular and widely used test, it is often referred to simply as “the Hogan Assessment”.

The test contains 206 statements and is officially untimed. You are expected to complete the test within around 20 minutes.

In most cases, the HPI will be taken alongside other assessments – most commonly the Hogan HDS, which is designed to measure your “dark side”, and the Hogan HBRI or Raven APM Test, designed to measure cognitive skills.


Test Structure and Question Format

The Hogan Personality Test contains 206 statements describing you. You should mark the statement as either “True” or “False”.

Here are some examples for statements that may appear on the assessment:

  • I am normally a calm person.
  • I actively pursue goals in my life.
  • It is easy for me to put myself in another person’s shoes.

Being a personality profiling test, answers to particular questions on the Hogan HPI are meaningless. What matters is your overall profile.

In the Free Practice section we give a detailed overview of sample questions and recommended answers.

The HPI’s True/False format is confusing to many candidates, who have a hard time marking a statement that partly describes them as “False”. That makes it crucial to be familiar with how the Hogan personality test is scored.


What Does the Hogan Personality Assessment Measure?

The Hogan Personality Inventory assesses 7 primary scales, divided into 42 subscales. Every statement on the test assesses one of these scales.

Here is a brief overview. We get into more detail on how scales and subscales work in the Scoring section.

#1 – Adjustment

Adjustment is the ability to regain composure and tolerate stress under instability, change, and challenge.

Adjustment Subscales

  • Calmness
  • Empathy
  • Even Tempered
  • Good Attachment
  • No Complaints
  • No Guilt
  • Not Anxious
  • Trusting

#2 – Ambition

Ambition is one’s competitiveness, drive, self-confidence, and goal orientation.

Ambition Subscales

  • Accomplishment
  • Competitive
  • Identity
  • Leadership
  • No Social Anxiety
  • Self-Confident

#3 – Inquisitive

Inquisitive describes one’s openness to new ideas, imagination, and strategic thinking.

Inquisitive Subscales

  • Culture
  • Curiosity
  • Generate Ideas
  • Intellectual Games
  • Science Ability
  • Thrill Seeking

#4 – Interpersonal Sensitivity

Interpersonal sensitivity is a cumulative name for how tactful and communicative people are in their relationships – friendliness, diplomacy skills, etc.

Interpersonal Sensitivity Subscales

  • Caring
  • Easy to Live with
  • Likes People
  • No Hostility
  • Sensitive

#5 – Learning Approach

Learning approach describes one’s attitude towards learning and acquiring new knowledge.

Learning Approach Subscales

  • Education
  • Good Memory
  • Math Ability
  • Reading

#6 – Prudence

Prudence is a person’s thoroughness, conscientiousness, and self-discipline. It also includes organizational skills and attention to detail.

Prudence Subscales

  • Avoids Trouble
  • Impulse Control
  • Mastery
  • Moralistic
  • Not Autonomous
  • Not Spontaneous
  • Virtuous

#7 – Sociability

Sociability is the need and skill for social interaction, also referred to as extraversion.

Sociability Subscales

  • Entertaining
  • Exhibitionistic
  • Experience Seeking
  • Likes Crowds
  • Likes Parties

Here’s an illustration of how the HPI test interface looks like:

Hogan HPI Test Interface

  • Each screen contains several statements about you (usually 6).
  • Each statement is related to one of 7 main scales, divided into 42 subscales. You can read about the HPI scales in the Test Overview section.
  • Statements can be marked as either “True” or “False”.
  • You can go back to previous screens and change answers (but that’s usually not recommended. Read why in the Tips section – “#4 – Don’t Turn This into Math”).

Hogan Personality Test (HPI) Free Practice

In this section, we will show several sample questions adapted from the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) + recommended answers.

However, remember that in the Hogan Personality Test, as in any personality profiling test:

  • Individual statements have little to no meaning – the overall profile is what matters.
  • And yet, there are better answers for particular statements.
  • These better answers depend on the job you want.

For more information, see the Scoring and Tips sections.

Good luck!


Statement #1

I have very clear goals in life.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Ambition

Subscale: Identity

This question relates to the Ambition scale. High Ambition scores are sought in management and leadership positions. The Identity subscale in specific indicates inner motivation, goal setting, and planning abilities. All these traits are crucial for those who want to effectively lead others and set policies.

On the other hand, in positions such as team members and caregivers, Ambition-related traits are not as desirable and may even be considered as hinderance.

Statement #2

I enjoy speaking in front of an audience.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Ambition

Subscale: No Social Anxiety

This statement, somewhat surprisingly, is not related to the Sociability scale, but rather to the Ambition scale, and its No Social Anxiety subscale.

Choosing “True” in statement #1 and “False” in statement #2 may cause subscale inconsistency (some traits on the scale are high, others are low). On the Ambition scale, for instance, that may indicate a person who is very internally motivated, has clear goals and a strong sense of identity, but does not have the confidence to act upon them.

Pro Tip

Subscale inconsistencies in your HPI profile may raise a red flag. You can read more about subscale consistency in the Tips section.

Statement #3

I tend to react impulsively.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Prudence

Subscale: Impulse Control

For most candidates, a high score in the Prudence scale is crucial. Employers generally seek dependable, organized, and trustworthy employees.

That said, there may be specific positions that will require lower Prudence scores – especially in fast-paced environments where adherence to rules and procedures may negatively impact results.

Take the specific details of your job into careful consideration.

 

Statement #4

Even when provoked, I seldom overreact.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Adjustment

Subscale: Even-Tempered

The Adjustment scale is the most versatile scale of the Hogan Personality Assessment, and also the largest (9 subscales). It assesses things like empathy and trust on one hand, and relationship with authority figures on the other.

This scale is very important for most positions, although scores that are too high may be considered detrimental for team members, as they might indicate arrogance and resistance to feedback.

Pro Tip

Being the largest scale on the test, the Adjustment scale is most likely to include subscale inconsistencies – something that might raise a red flag for your employer. Read more about subscale consistency in the Tips section.

 

Statement #5

When I see a new mechanism, I often like to learn how it works.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Inquisitive

Subscale: Curiosity

While the Inquisitive scale has multiple implications on one’s personal life, in the job-related setting assessed by the HPI, the main implication of your Inquisitive score is whether you are a tactician or a strategist.

By the way, a similar aspect of your personal profile is assessed by the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI).

Employers may look for candidates with lower Inquisitive scores for jobs that require short, execution-oriented tasks.

Jobs that require strategic planning, constant learning, and complex problem-solving will naturally show preference for candidates with higher Inquisitive scores.

 

Statement #6

It is really important to me that people around me feel well.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Interpersonal Sensitivity

Subscale: Caring

Similar to the Sociability scale, a very low score on the Interpersonal Sensitivity scale is undesirable. Employers are mostly seeking aggregable team-players who can be a part of a positive organizational culture.

And yet, in some positions, especially in the top of the organizational hierarchy, very high levels of Interpersonal Sensitivity may be a disadvantage. While it is important for senior managers to be caring towards their employees, their ability to be accountable, make the right decisions, and move things forward (Ambition and Prudence) is more important.

Managers with a very high score on the Interpersonal Sensitivity scale may be “too soft” on their employees and allow emotions to interfere with their judgment.

 

Statement #7

As a child, I had good grades.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Learning Approach

Subscale: Education

Generally speaking, a high Learning Approach score is usually more desirable than not. In today’s fast-changing, knowledge-oriented job market, the ability to learn, develop, and remain up to date is ever more important.

Pro Tip

With only 4 subscales, the Learning Approach scale is the smallest of the 7 HPI scales.

 

Statement #8

In social events, I mostly prefer keeping to myself.

Suggested Answer

Scale: Sociability

Subscale: Exhibitionistic

As years go by, employers are putting more and more emphasis on sociability and interpersonal skills, so a very low score in the Sociability scale is generally undesirable.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to present yourself as the life of the party on every occasion. Again, that depends on your job.

Jobs like PR, which require interacting with large numbers of people or participation in events will seek candidates with high Sociability scores. On the other hand, in jobs that require long hours of solitary work, like programmers, a lower score on the Sociability scale may even be an advantage.

Pro Tip

Don’t conflate Sociability and Interpersonal Sensitivity. The former describes how extroverted and sociable you are, while the latter describes how well you communicate and maintain relationships. These two do not always go hand in hand.

HPI Test Scoring

How Is the HPI Test Scored?

Here’s an illustration to briefly explain how your HPI scores are calculated:

Hogan Personality HPI Scoring

  • The HPI assesses 7 main scales, divided into 42 subscales.
  • Each of the 206 HPI test statements is related to one subscale and one main scale.
  • Each subscale on the test contains between 3 and 6 statements.
  • For every statement you mark, you get one point for that subscale accordingly. (For instance, marking “False” in the statement “I am not as successful in my life as I wanted to be” will gain you one point for the Accomplishment subscale in the Ambition main scale.
  • The calculated score is a combination of your raw scores on the subscales with a percentile score on the main scale.
  • The subscale scores provide extra interpretation and depth for the main scale scores.

All information is adapted from the Hogan Subscale Interpretation Guide.

As you can see, the candidate in the above illustration has a subscale inconsistency. While the candidate demonstrates high internal Ambition (Identity and Competition), the external Ambition (Self Confidence, No Social Anxiety, and Leadership) is low.


What Is a Good Score on the HPI Test?

There really is no such thing as a “good” score in personality profiling tests. What matters is this:

Does your profile match the ideal profile for the job you want?

To answer this question, you must be very familiar with the test itself, the scoring method, and probably try some test questions yourself.


How Were the HPI Scales Developed?

The HPI is based on the Five-Factor Model of Personality (aka Big 5) with emphasis on two dominant themes:

  • Getting along with others
  • Getting ahead in the social hierarchy

So, the five original personality traits were “split” into seven to better apply for these two themes:

  • Adjustment correlates with Neuroticism.
  • Ambition and Sociability correlate with Extraversion.
  • Interpersonal Sensitivity correlates with Agreeableness.
  • Prudence correlates with Conscientiousness.
  • Inquisitive and Learning Approach correlate with Openness.

HPI Test Tips

Considering all the unique features of the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) Test, here are 5 tips for acing it:

Tip #1 – Pay Attention to Subscale Inconsistency

If you read the page, you probably know what subscale inconsistency is by now. If not, well, it’s when your scores on some of the subscales of a specific HPI main scale are high, while others are low.

For example, you may be a trusting person who never complains, but on the other hand, be anxious and full of guilt and regrets. All of these are subscales of the main scale of Adjustment.

Subscale inconsistency is not always bad, and most of us have inconsistencies in our character. However, they may become a problem when they indicate a difference between what you believe and how you actually act.

In an example we’ve given in the Scoring section, we have discussed a candidate for a with a subscale inconsistency in the Ambition scale – high Identity and Competition, but low Leadership and Self-Confidence. It’s easy to see how this kind of person might struggle with a management position.

The main point here is that you should be aware of subscale inconsistencies, and that they may provide the employer with further insight into your character.


Tip #2 – Maintain a Realistic Profile

Theoretically, you could mark all statements in your test as “True”, and outshine everyone as an ambitious, friendly, well-adjusted person who is also caring and empathic and is always open to new ideas.

And yet, you know it for yourself that you will probably be immediately disqualified. An unrealistic personality profile is ALWAYS a red flag for employers, as these people simply do not exist.

An unrealistic profile does not allow your employer to know who you really are – and so, will most likely move on to the next candidate.

The secret of success in the Hogan HPI test is NOT to completely and entirely change your profile to match the job. Rather, it is to understand just these little modifications to allow the best of you to shine through the 200+ statements.


Tip #3 – Do Your Best to Avoid “Well Below Average” Scores

If you paid careful attention to the subscales on the Hogan Personality Assessment, you might have noted that they are all “positive”.

For instance, you will not find subscales such as “Anxious”, “Guilt”, or “Hostility”, but rather “Not Anxious”, “No Guilt”, or “No Hostility”.

That is because the HPI scoring method automatically highlights very low scores.

To put it in their own words:

“[scores that] are well below average compared to the global working population and should be interpreted accordingly.” (The Hogan Subscale Interpretation Guide, p. 5).

We are all humans, and we all have disadvantages. However, if you know the traits that are most crucial for your job, try not to show your weaknesses specifically there.


Tip #4 – Don’t Turn This Into Math

There really is no point in turning your entire personality on its head to get this specific job. Not only because it’s bad for the job, but because it’s bad for you as well.

However, if you did pick a specific job, most chances are that you have the character and preferences that suit this job.

So, when preparing for the HPI test, and even more importantly, while taking the HPI test, DON’T treat this as a math challenge to get all your subscale points exactly where you need them to be.

And by the way – DON’T take too long to complete the test, DON’T go back and change your answers too many times. These all indicate that you are “doing math”.

Instead, learn how to quickly understand to which scale and subscale each statement relates, and what your job requires. Then, make those little but essential modifications to let your profile shine.


Tip #5 – Keep the Interview in Mind

As part of their candidate score report, Hogan will often provide employers with interview recommendations as well.

That serves both as a verification method for the employer, and as an opportunity to further explore your match for the job.

Remember that there is a good chance that your interviewer will be holding your score report during your interview – so, again, be consistent!

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