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Blog : The big personality test


The big personality test

Newest to the purple palace, David de Banke - Business Development Manager, takes a look at the personality profiling phenomenon.

How does your personality shape your life? Can it dictate whether you are in the right job, make or break your relationship, influence your health and even how long you'll live? Last weekend saw the BBC’s ‘Child of our Time: The Big Personality Test’ hit our screens, and made for great viewing.

As well as exploring the progress of a group of children who Professor Robert Winston has been monitoring for the last 10 years, the programme invited our nation to take part in an online personality test. Over a quarter of a million people took the test (myself included) and the results were revealed and explained in a brilliantly ‘viewer-friendly’ way. It marks the biggest ever investigation into the personality of the nation.

For so many of us to take the time to complete this test shows that we are looking inwards more than ever before. We want to know what makes us tick, and what makes us who we are.

The test profiled 5 personality characteristics: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Ratings went on a scale from low to high. The programme explored each characteristic how they relate to our work, health and relationships. I was particularly interested in how our personality makes us more or less suitable for particular jobs, and how our choice of career is related to our individual personality characteristics.

For example it illustrated a particular company where the largest amount of ‘extroverts’ were in the sales department – where outgoing people appear to be the best fit when encouraging clients to buy products, and the most ‘neurotic’ department was administration – which has advantages in terms of attention to detail and procedure adherence.

At Purple Cubed we use two psychometric tests with our clients and course delegates, and with ourselves. When Purple Cubed began, these two tests were chosen for being the most accessible, reliable, and accurate. iWAM® (inventory of Work Attitude and Motivation) and SDI® (Strength Deployment Inventory®). They are easy to administer, cost effective and can be used for recruitment, managing and motivating, coaching and retaining all types of individuals, enhancing team dynamics and performance.

At the interview stage with Purple Cubed I was asked to complete the iWAM test in preparation for my second interview. This enabled Jane to obtain an accurate profile of my work attitudes and motivators and be able to compare my results with hers, and with those who I would be working closely with.

The SDI test identifies individuals’ personal strengths and motivations and how these relate to those of our colleagues during ordinary working conditions and also in when in conflict or during a difficult situation.

As a company, we put all our results together and look at the team as whole. The beauty of this is that we examine what makes each other tick, we understand why each of us handle our work differently and communicate with each other in different ways. It also helps us to avoid conflict, and we consciously consider each others’ characteristics every day which I strongly believe is instrumental in the great way we work together in the purple palace and with our associates.

I feel that the BBC has helped prove that we as individuals have a hunger to know more about ourselves, how we relate to each other, and how our personalities affect our lives and future. In the workplace, I feel that those who have invested in psychometric testing have gifted their teams with the elevated understanding of themselves and their colleagues that dramatically maximizes the success of teams, their engagement and overall happiness at work.

What has your experience with personality profiling / psychometrics been?

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