An introduction to personality questionnaires

  • Gain powerful insights into the strengths, styles and motivations of people at work, details of which are provided inour portfolio of engaging reports
  • Extensively validated over 30 years of development and used by major employers across the world
  • Two comprehensive off-the-shelf questionnaires or the unique option to create your own bespoke personalityquestionnaire
  • Occupationally orientated items written in a variety of languages
  • Self-report measure using a 5-point rating scale
  • Trait approach gives detailed information suitable for use in recruitment or development contexts
  • Fully responsive across multiple platforms including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phone
  • Automatic feedback option for every candidate
  • Available in normative or ipsative formats

Clevry Personality Questionnaires are unlike anything else on the market. We don’t subscribe to a one-size-fits-all approach to personality; the CPQ offers unparalleled flexibility by allowing you to pick and choose the elements you want to measure.

The CPQ is made up of 46 scales split across five key areas of personality at work. These elements are:

Interpersonal Style

The candidate’s approach to working with others, taps into their style of communication and preferences for working around others

Thinking Style

The candidate’s approach to tasks, decisions and challenges

Emotional Style

The candidate’s reaction to the emotional demands of the role


Understanding what drives the candidate and helps them to feel energised and motivated at work

Culture Fit

Understanding the style of environment that is best suited to the candidate

What is a Personality Scale?

A personality scale is a duel ended trait tapping into a singular element of a person’s personality at work. Candidates rate their preference for adopting the trait across multiple items. Their score is generated by calculating their ratings across a number of items and then comparing this to a large group of people who have taking the questionnaire before (otherwise known as a norm group).

Scores can be reported in a range of different formats, though the most common is as a Sten Score. A score between 1 and 10 indicating their strength of preference, compare to others, from one end of the scale to the other.

For example, a score of 8 on the scale Listening indicates a strong preference, compared to others, for taking time to consider other people’s opinion. The individual considers themselves easy to talk to and is prepared to take the time to listen to the people around them.

Things to consider when reading personality data

All of these points are reiterated at the front of every report.

When reading Sten scores try to remember the following points:

  • Scores of 5 or 6 indicate that the individual sees themselves as fairly typical in this area compared to others, or may be heavily context dependent.
  • Scores of 7, 8, 9 and 10 suggest a progressively stronger tendency towards the high end of the scale.
  • Scores of 4, 3, 2, and 1 suggest a progressively stronger tendency towards the low end of the scale.

When reading personality information in general please remember the following points:

  • Personality is not fixed – it may vary over time, change through training/development, or simply vary depending on the situation.
  • There are no rights or wrongs. The scores do not measure ability, skills, capability or competence. They are merely indications of preferences or typical styles of behaviour.
  • The questionnaire is very reliable but not infallible.
  • All profiles are based on the self-perceptions of the individual – it does not provide a totally objective
  • For further interpretation over and above what you see in the reports, you should seek the advice of a trained Clevry user.
  • The results of a personality questionnaire should be kept within the bounds of confidentiality agreed with the individual.
  • The results must be kept securely and not retained beyond the period agreed with the individual.

Clevry Core and Enhanced Personality Questionnaires

These two questionnaires were designed to act as our standard, off the shelf questionnaires. They also ensure compatibility with some of our model-basedreports.

The Clevry Core (21 Scales)

Comprehensive insight into the typical preferences and tendencies for behaviours, feelings, values and motivations that are important in the workplace. This questionnaire takes about 20 minutes for the candidate to complete. Alongside all of our standard reports, using the Core questionnaire will give you access to the Team Strengths Report and the Sales Report.

The Clevry Enhanced (30 Scales)

Builds on the Clevry Core, offering a deeper insight across a breadth of elements of personality in an occupational setting. This questionnaire will take candidates approximately 30 minutes to complete. The Enhanced questionnaire is compatible with all Clevry profile reports, including our Leadership Report.

Clevry Core and Enhanced Scale Selection(those in italics only appear in the Enhanced PQ)


Interpersonal Style Thinking Style Emotional Style Motivations Culture Fit


Rational Optimistic Striving Competition
Listening Decisive Self-Esteem Variety Order
Gregarious Creative Stress Management Friendship Humour
Influential Strategic Calm Status Change
Poised Rigorous Internal Control Self-Development Profit
Adaptable Caring Ethics

+ Social Desirability

You can see the full description of the personality scales here

Why were these scales chosen?

  • The scales encompass some of the most commonly used and popular scales from our Clevry Personality Questionnaire (CPQ) scales library
  • The scale combination is applicable across a wide range of contexts and is not specific to a certain role type or level
  • Both questionnaires only use the strongest scales with good reliabilities
  • They work with our off the shelf, type-based reports (Team Strengths, Sales and Leadership Reports (Enhanced only))
  • The scales are great for use with the Onboarding report, delivering a profile that gives the individual and manager a good overview of preferences and style at work
  • An even number of scales across the five core headings helps to give a well-rounded view of the individual

When to use one of these questionnaires

  • If the role/placement does not fit with any of the industry/role specific questionnaires
  • If you want a good, general overview of the candidate’s preferences and tendencies at work
  • If you want to use the Sales Strengths, Team or Leadership report
  • If you do not have a person specification, competency framework or values framework to work with
  • If you are using it solely for development purpose – e.g. helping to build a candidate’s self-awareness/offer feedback
  • If you’re used to working with other tools such as OPQ or Saville Wave (the headings are similar in these questionnaires, without Motivations or Culture Fit)

Bespoke Option

Clevry allows you to build your own personality questionnaire so you can tap directly into the traits you are interested in for the role you are recruiting for or developing. You can pick any combination of the 46 scales in the Library and structure the selection according to your own values/competency framework, or use our default headings. Reports generated will structure themselves under your personalised headings to incorporate your organisation’s tone of voice.

Once you have your scale selection, you can choose to job-match your questionnaire. This means that you can tell the system which part of the scale is most suitable for the role. For example, in a role that requires an individual to spend a lot of time working alone, you may be looking for a candidate who has a low score on the Gregarious Scale. Telling the platform ‘what good looks like’ will give you access to the Selection Report. This will tell you how close of a match the candidate is to the role using a traffic light system.

You can include your organisation’s logo on the reports and candidate journey free of charge.

Industry Specific Questionnaires

Our industry specific questionnaires have been developed through role research and the expert knowledge and experience of our Business Psychologists, and are designed to give clients the opportunity to select a pre designed personality questionnaire, aligned to some common industry/role profiles.

How the headings/scales were chosen

Every personality questionnaire is based on extensive research into the typical role and person profile for the role type. This process includes:

  • Reviewing a large number of job specifications for similar roles, to then collate together the most common competencies organisations look for. Thematic analysis is then carried out to group these together into the headings you see.
  • Reviewing our own 25 years of experience of working on these role profiles and what role profiles we have found to link highly with job performance
  • Literature reviews of research which links certain personality traits to job performance in certain role types

When to use one of these questionnaires

  • If it fits the placement you are recruiting for. For example, if the role type is the same, and if, looking at the scales/headings, it feels like a good fit to your needs and expectations.
  • If you are unsure of exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate, and need some guidance.
  • If you do not have a person specification, competency framework or values framework to work with.

Our Current Offering

Remote Working

Scales used:

Adaptability Autonomy Confidence Self-Management
Adaptable Gregarious Self-Esteem Rigorous
Optimistic Self-Sufficiency Stress Management Structured
Creative Internal Control Decisive Tenacious
Change Praise Independent Striving


Scales used:

Focus Empathy Grit Appetite
Calm Gregarious Resilient Influential
Rigorous Poised Optimistic Decisive
Creative Adaptable Stress Management Striving
Strategic Listening Internal Control Profit
Rational Self-Esteem Self-Development Competition
Variety Humour Change Assertive

Call Centre

Scales Used:

Empathetic Solving Customer Complaints Resilience
Approachable Tenacious Calm
Listening Detail Focused Resilient
Cooperation Order Optimism
Caring Decisive Cautious
Ethics Adaptable Self-Sufficiency

Customer Services

Scales used:

Making Customers Happy Delivering Great Service Bouncing Back
Poised Rigorous Calm
Approachable Tenacious Resilient
Adaptable Decisive Internal Control
Listening Striving Optimism
Humour Order


Scales used:

Initiative Motivated Commercial Awareness Interpersonal Skills
Originality Tenacious Authority Adaptable
Self-Development Internal Control Listening Approachable
Variety Stress Management Strategic Poised
Competition Gregarious

Recruitment Industry

Scales used:

Empathy Focus Results Orientation Resilience
Adaptable Detail Focused Striving Calm
Approachable Structured Stress Management Resilient
Listening Tenacious Competition Optimistic

Project Manager

Scales used:

Relationship Management Planning Delivery
Assertive Structured Internal Control
Influential Strategic Rigorous
Diplomatic Decisive Resilient
Approachable Creative Variety
Calm Striving

Legal Sector

Scales used:

Interpersonal Style Thinking Style Environment
Influential Detail Focused Self-Development
Listening Rational Risky
Direct Rigorous Resilient
Intelligence Structured Calm
Poised Tenacious Order

IT Professionals

Scales used:

Problem Solving Analytical Communication
Tenacious Independent Approachable
Rational Detail Focused Direct
Rigorous Order Listening


Scales used:

Creativity Commitment Analytical Teamworking
Originality Tenacious Structured Listening Adaptable
Creative Resilient Detail Focused Intelligence
Change Stress Management Rigorous Direct
Calm Concrete


Note: This is a standalone, shorter questionnaire using specialised blue collar traits. It is designed to assess personality areas recognised as important in production and manufacturing roles.

Scales used:

Interacting with People Approach to Task Self
Team Membership Structured Energy
Leadership Quality Cheerful
Mechanical Empathy Pace Resilience

Human Resources

Scales used:

Communication Leadership Self-Discipline Integrity
Adaptable Creative Detail Focused Caring
Approachable Stress Management Decisive Ethics
Listening Low Praise Tenacious Authority
Calm Orientation Variety
Resilient Change


Scales used:

Support Quality Process Driven
Supporting Detail Focused Structured
Listening Rigorous Striving
Adaptable Tenacious Order
Approachable Calm


Scales used:

Communication Innovation Project Management
Adaptable Creative Stress Management
Influential Originality Detail Focused
Listening Spontaneous Rigorous
Gregarious Rational Resilient
Poised Striving
Calm Strategic


Scales used:

Dedication Conflict Management Approachability Task Style
Caring Stress Management Adaptable Tenacious
Ethics Assertive Approachable Detail Focused
Intelligence Optimistic Listening Creative
Resilient Poised Rigorous


Scales used:

Commitment Teamwork Customer Orientation Resilience
Detail Focused Authority Approachable Calm
Tenacious Cooperation Gregarious Resilient
Variety Friendship Listening Stress Management
Caring Humour


Our Personality Questionnaires generate a choice of reporting options for both selection and development purposes. The reports are designed for different audiences and can be used during different phased of the candidate journey.

Multiple reports can be generated from the same questionnaire to avoid candidates having to complete the PQ again and again.

Insights Report – Describes the individual’s personality profile and contains information about every scale. Information is presented as a summary, highlights their strongest preferences, and then detailed insights about each scale included in the questionnaire.

Interviewer Report – Suggests interview questions based on the personality profile and gives detailed guidance about interpreting the social desirability scale.

Onboarding Report – Designed for the line manager of the successful candidate, it tells the line manager how to get the best from the individual based on their unique personality.

Personal Feedback Report – Feedbacks the scores to the individual and gives them valuable advice for self development.

Team Strengths Report – Explores the individual’s style and areas of strength within a team.

Sales Report – Uses personality information to inform about the individuals strengths within a sales role.

Leadership Report – Uses Clevry’s Leadership model to illustrate the individual’s key strengths and development needs in a leadership role.

Selection Report – Describes degree-of-fit between the individual and the requirements of a given job role (available if questionnaire is job matched)



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