Kenexa/PSL RPQ

Kenexa’s Rapid Personality Questionnaire (RPQ) is a 5 factor model questionnaire which looks at an individual’s preferences in the workplace. Similar to the Occupational Personality Inventory (OPI), the questionnaire uses behavioural statements to which a respondent indicates the extent of how much that statement relates to them. This is done using a 5-point Likert-type scale of Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree.

The RPQ relates strongly to the widely accepted model of Personality known as the Big-5. The personality areas looked at in the questionnaire are:

  • Extraversion
  • Confidence
  • Structural
  • Tough-Mindedness
  • Conformity

The responses to the questionnaire are computed to produce overall scores for each of the 5 areas above which are then compared to a comparison group of individuals who have previously completed the RPQ; this group, also known as a 'norm' group, is taken from the general population. This allows the assessor to see how your personality sits when compared to others. For example, how ‘Extrovert’ you are in comparison to others in the 'norm' group.

The questionnaire consists of 80 items provided as adjectives. The RPQ takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. There is no time limit associated with this assessment.

Faking and Distorting the Questionnaire

As with most good assessments, the RPQ has a number of systems in place to prevent this from happening. One of the most common ones is the reversal of items where you are asked the opposite of a question you have already been asked previously. For example, a question on ‘Extroversion’ may be “I enjoy meeting new people”; a reversed question may be “I feel uncomfortable when meeting new people”. The responses for the ‘reversed’ items are then reversed before they are scored.

Our advice

Complete the assessment as honestly as possible and it is as simple as that. You do not want to be flagged up as someone who is distorting an assessment. Furthermore, you want to be able to provide behavioural examples which are often sought based on your profile – being honest will provide a truer picture of you, and you will therefore be able to respond with genuine examples, easily. Finally, it is important to both the applicant and the employer to ensure that the person-job fit is good. For example, imagine an Introvert who manages to distort the questionnaire to suggest they love meeting new people as the role requires networking as part of the Marketing Manager Job. It is unlikely that an Introvert would be very happy in their job as a Marketing Manager if they are consistently being placed out of their comfort zone having to do things that are contrary to their personality preferences. For more information, see ‘Personality Tests’ under the ‘Psychometrics’ tab.

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