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.
#2 – Ambition
Ambition is one’s competitiveness, drive, self-confidence, and goal orientation.
#3 – Inquisitive
Inquisitive describes one’s openness to new ideas, imagination, and strategic thinking.
#4 – Interpersonal Sensitivity
Interpersonal sensitivity is a cumulative name for how tactful and communicative people are in their relationships – friendliness, diplomacy skills, etc.
#5 – Learning Approach
Learning approach describes one’s attitude towards learning and acquiring new knowledge.
#6 – Prudence
Prudence is a person’s thoroughness, conscientiousness, and self-discipline. It also includes organizational skills and attention to detail.
#7 – Sociability
Sociability is the need and skill for social interaction, also referred to as extraversion.
Here’s an illustration of how the HPI test interface looks like:
- 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.
I have very clear goals in life.
I enjoy speaking in front of an audience.
Subscale inconsistencies in your HPI profile may raise a red flag. You can read more about subscale consistency in the Tips section.
I tend to react impulsively.
Even when provoked, I seldom overreact.
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.
When I see a new mechanism, I often like to learn how it works.
It is really important to me that people around me feel well.
As a child, I had good grades.
With only 4 subscales, the Learning Approach scale is the smallest of the 7 HPI scales.
In social events, I mostly prefer keeping to myself.
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:
- 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:
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!