What is a behavioral assessment?

A behavioral assessment is a type of psychological exam that is used to examine an individual’s patterns of behavior. They are becoming increasingly popular with employers as they can help provide insights into a prospective employee’s behavior, thoughts, emotions, and motivations.

Historically an assessment process typically included interviews, questionnaires, and observations to get a better understanding of an individual’s inner workings, but these assessments are now digital. Employees can send behavioral assessments as a pre-screening tool to help shortlist candidates that would be most successful in the role they’ve applied for, based on their results.

The information gathered from a behavioral assessment can be used to help assess strengths and weaknesses.

As a prospective employee taking a test, there are no right or wrong answers but you should reflect on the skills needed to be effective for the job.

Why behavioral assessments are important

behavioral assessment example

A behavioral assessment is an important tool that can be used to help identify natural strengths and weaknesses. Behavioral assessments can also help employers to better understand the reasons behind people’s behavior.

This understanding can then be used to select the most suitable candidates for a role. They can also help identify potential problems and areas for improvement.

Which traits can these assessments measure?

There are many different types of behavioral assessments, but all share the common goal of trying to understand the function of the behavior of a prospective employee. Behavioral assessments measure different traits that can be difficult to quantify.

For example, they can measure things like how well a person handles stress, how adaptable they are, and how well they work in a team. While these traits are important, behavioral assessments don’t always give a complete picture of a person. They’re just one tool that can be used to help assess someone’s suitability for a job.

The traits assessed are typically associated with the OCEAN model of personality, which are:

1. Openness to experience

People who are more open to experience enjoy exploring new things and seeking out new challenges. They are often creative and flexible in their thinking, and they tend to be curious about the world around them. Openness to experience is one of the five major dimensions of personality, and it has been found to be a predictor of success in various domains, including creativity, innovation, and leadership.

2. Conscientiousness

Behavioral assessment of personality reveals that conscientiousness is a reliable predictor of job performance.

From hiring to promotions and pay, employers use personality tests to screen candidates and identify the most successful employees. Conscientiousness is also a major factor in job satisfaction and career success.

3. Extroversion

Personality is one of the most important factors in determining an individual’s behavior. Extroversion is a personality trait that refers to the degree to which a person is outgoing, socially engaged, and assertive.

Extroverts tend to be more outgoing and social than introverts. They enjoy being around people and are often the life of the party. They are also more likely to take risks and be less inhibited in their behavior.

Extroverts are not always the best at making decisions because they can be impulsive and may not think things through carefully enough. However, their outgoing nature means they are usually good at networking and building relationships with others.

4. Agreeableness

Agreeableness is generally described as a concern for others. People who are high in agreeableness are typically kind, affectionate, and cooperative.

Agreeableness is often assessed through behavioral assessments, which measure an individual’s reactions to different situations. These assessments can be used to identify whether an individual is likely to be cooperative or confrontational in different situations.

People who are high in agreeableness tend to be more successful in relationships and social interactions. They are also more likely to experience positive emotions and less stress.

5. Neuroticism

Neuroticism is a personality trait that refers to the tendency to experience negative emotions. Individuals who are high in neuroticism are more prone to experiencing anxiety, depression, and anger. Neuroticism is typically assessed through behavioral assessments, which can help identify individuals who may benefit from psychological interventions.

Behavioural Assessment Format

There are two main formats of behavioral assessment. The first is an interview format which is conducted by an interviewer who asks a series of behavioral-style questions. The second format is a Likert scale personality assessment.

Behavioral style interview

A behavioral style interview is a type of interview that assesses a job candidate’s ability to handle specific situations that may arise in the workplace. This type of interview is also known as a “competency-based interview.”

In a behavioral style interview, the interviewer will ask the candidate questions about how they have handled certain situations in the past. The interviewer is looking for specific examples of the candidate’s behavior in order to gauge their suitability for the job.

Behavioral style interviews are an effective way to assess a candidate’s soft skills, such as their ability to handle stress, solve problems, and work well with others. This type of interview can be especially helpful for positions that require strong people skills.

Behavioral Assessment Example: Interview Questions

Most job interviews today are behavioral style interviews.

This type of interview is based on the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. In a behavioral style interview, the interviewer will ask you specific questions about how you have handled situations in the past.

The interviewer is looking for examples of behaviors that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Some common behavioral style interview questions include:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer/client.
  • Describe a time when you had to go above and beyond to get the job done.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make an important decision under pressure.

How you answer these questions will give the interviewer insight into your work style and whether or not you would be a good fit for the job.

Behavioral online assessment

The behavioural online assessment is delivered through questions which test-takers will either select check boxes for or choose adjectives that describe themselves on a Likert scale measuring the extent to which they agree with descriptive statements.

Behavioral Online Assessment Example: Likert Scale

The Likert scale requires the users to select; select strongly agree, disagree, neither, agree, or strongly agree.

  • Example Question 1: I find it easy to get my own point of view across to others
  • Example Question 2: I adapt easily to change
  • Example Question 3: I quickly pick up on others’ feelings and emotions

The benefits of behavioral assessments

Behavioral assessments provide a fair approach to candidates giving them an equal opportunity to show their natural strengths and behaviors. Traditional methods of recruiting like CVs, are open to biased hiring issues compared to behavioral assessments which only provide objective data.

They tend to be less expensive and time-consuming than traditional face-to-face assessments.

It’s also a better experience for candidates to participate in digital assessments compared to interviews. When under pressure in an interview candidates may not provide authentic or comprehensive answers compared to digital tests which can be completed in a relaxed and comfortable environment.