Talent Q

Talent Q covers a range of psychometric tests used by companies to assess personality, competency, ability and motivation during the recruitment process and for colleague development.

The tests were established in 2006 by a small team led by Roger Holdsworth, one of the world’s leading authorities on objective assessment and a co-founder of the testing company SHL. The team aimed to develop a new approach to psychometric testing.

In 2014, Talent Q was acquired by the Hay Group, an international management consulting organisation. Today, the tests are administered by Korn Ferry, part of the Hay Group.

talent q tests

Contents

  1. How Is Talent Q Different from Other Psychometric Tests?
  2. Who Uses Talent Q Tests?
  3. Types of Talent Q Tests
  4. How Talent Q Tests Work 
  5. How to Practice Talent Q Tests
  6. Tips for Success
  7. Final Thoughts
  8. Further Reading

How Is Talent Q Different from Other Psychometric Tests?

Traditionally, aptitude tests served very different purposes, with different tests used for recruitment, development, team-building and identifying potential.

Talent Q set out to provide flexible psychometric assessments where a single test could be used for a wide range of different applications (eg verbal and numerical proficiency, logical ability, as well as personality assessments). A candidate could be assessed once and then different reports generated when they were needed.

Talent Q tests differ from traditional psychometric tests in several ways:

  • As mentioned above, Talent Q tests are blended assessments. This means that the same test can be used to analyse a candidate in many different ways. This reduces the time the candidate spends taking tests and saves the company money.

  • Talent Q tests are ‘adaptive’ to the candidate's ability level. A candidate's response to a question will determine the level of difficulty that they will face in the next set of questions. If a candidate gets a question wrong, an easier one follows; if they get it right, a harder one follows. This is known as computer adaptive testing (CAT) and allows the test to quickly determine the candidate's maximum performance level, reducing the time required for testing and improving test accuracy.

  • Talent Q tests are thought to be much more challenging than other psychometric tests. For example, significant amounts of irrelevant data are included within a question, to make it harder for the candidate to find the correct answer. They also often have a larger number of potential answers, making it harder to guess.

  • The Talent Q ability tests are designed to thoroughly test a candidate's ability to answer questions quickly and under pressure. The company acknowledges that, given sufficient time, most people could find the correct answer; hence the particularly tight timeframe.

Who Uses Talent Q Tests?

Talent Q tests are becoming increasingly well used. Organisations that use Talent Q tests include: 

  • RBS
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Royal Mail Group
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Ford
  • B&Q
  • Citi
  • AstraZeneca

Types of Talent Q Tests

The innovative way that Talent Q tests are designed means that they offer a small number of very flexible tests, as detailed below.

Dimensions

Dimensions is a flexible personality questionnaire that considers an individual’s preferences within the workplace, their style of relationship management, how they approach tasks, and what they find energising and motivating.

Ultimately, it is an indicator of how an individual will perform at work.

The test will present a series of statements that the candidate will rank from ‘Completely untrue’ to ‘Very true’.

These personality dimensions are then used to generate a range of reports including:

  • A trait profile
  • A behavioural type at work report – How an individual prefers to work
  • A team profile – Exploring how an individual is likely to work within a team
  • A sales profile – How comfortable an individual is with each element of the sales process
  • A role match profile – How well an individual’s dimensions report matches the requirements of a particular role
  • A derailment report – The personality characteristics that may cause an individual to come off track in times of pressure or stress
  • A potential report – The individual’s likely strengths and development areas in relation to leadership potential

Motivations

This is a questionnaire that explores an individual’s motivations, values and drivers at work.

This can then be used to coach individuals on what sorts of roles/tasks might fit with them, or help leaders understand how to engage and motivate their teams.

The questionnaire provides a series of statements that relate to motivation and the candidate must rate them from ‘Not important’ to ‘Extremely important’.

Elements

The Elements ability tests are designed for graduate, professional, managerial and executive-level recruitment. They assess verbal, numerical and logical reasoning, among other skills. 

During the Elements test, you might be asked to review and analyse passages of text, data, and shapes or symbols. The checking test looks at how quickly you can spot errors in data.

Try an Elements practice test on the Korn Ferry website. 

Aspects

  • Aspects Ability – These are designed for volume recruitment for frontline, customer service and sales roles. They assess verbal, numerical and checking skills.

  • Aspects Styles – This is a questionnaire that assesses behavioural preferences at work, and compares these to the competency requirements of a particular role. It is used in volume recruitment to help quickly reject candidates that do not hold certain key competencies.

Try an Aspects practice test on the Korn Ferry website.

Situational Judgement

This situational judgement test is designed for volume recruitment. It helps identify how an individual will respond in particular situations and compares this to the requirements of a particular role.

The Talent Q situational judgement test will present the candidate with some work-based scenarios and a number of potential actions, and will ask them to decide which will be the most effective. 

How Talent Q Tests Work

If you have been asked to take a Talent Q test, you will normally be sent a link from the company you have applied to, and will be required to log in to the Talent Q assessment system to take the test.

Yiu can take the personality questionnaires on a tablet or mobile device. The Aspects and Elements tests are best taken on a laptop, as the question types are more complex.

For numerical tests, you will need a calculator and a pen and paper to hand. 

Only the ability tests are timed; they take between 5 and 15 minutes to complete. Each question will be individually timed.

These time limits are set to be challenging. They are testing your ability to find the answer quickly and in a pressurised environment. 

The personality tests are not timed; they typically take between 8 and 25 minutes to complete.

If you feel that you need extra time or other adjustments due to a disability or other special requirements, get in touch with the recruiter, as various adjustments can be made to the test.

After the test, the results will be sent to the recruitment contact at the company you are applying to. They will then contact you with your results and next steps.

The ability tests are scored either via a ‘benchmark score’ that is set by the company you are applying to, or by a percentile score calculated by comparing your performance to a test group of people who have previously taken the test.

There is no official ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ score.

Psychometric tests are normally assessed via a report on the personality traits you display.

How to Practice Talent Q Tests

As with all psychometric tests, to perform at your best you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with the types of questions used, the timings involved, and the general look and feel of the material.

Developing skills such as general and verbal reasoning, logic and maths will help you succeed in these tests.

Remember, Talent Q tests can look quite different from other psychometric tests so it is worth taking the time to sit some practice tests, such as those offered by JobTestPrep.

Tips for Success

  • When taking personality tests, remember to be yourself. Never try and second-guess what you think the right answer should be; there are no right answers. The test is designed to find out more about you, your approach to different work scenarios and your preferences.

  • The Talent Q tests are usually taken online, either at home or at an assessment centre. Make sure you have a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for the duration of the test, and that your internet connection is reliable. All tests should be taken in one sitting, but if you lose internet connection, you will be able to log back in to that point in the test.

  • Take the practice questions that are offered at the start of the test. It will help you to familiarise yourself with the test system and format of the questions.

  • Work quickly but accurately. The Talent Q ability tests measure your speed, but don’t rush. Read the question properly and spend a few moments checking you have chosen the correct answer. Each question will be timed individually. so you will be able to see the time left for each one as you’re working.

Final Thoughts

If you have been asked to take a Talent Q ability or personality test as part of the recruitment process for a new job or while at work, don’t panic. Thorough preparation and practice will help you succeed.

Personality questions aren’t designed to trip you up, so answer them thoughtfully and honestly. Talent Q’s ability tests might require some practice, but they are designed to be responsive to your level of ability.

Further Reading

You may be interested in these other articles on WikiJob:

Kenexa Tests

Cubiks Tests

SHL Tests

CAPP Tests

Revelian Tests