FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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What is the Cognitive Assessment?
The PI Cognitive Assessment is a 12-minute timed assessment that helps target the right cognitive fit for a job. It provides insight into a person's capacity to learn, adapt and grasp new concepts.
What does the Cognitive Assessment score measure?
The PI Cognitive Assessment measures general cognitive ability. The Cognitive Assessment does not measure IQ or previously acquired knowledge (e.g., job-specific knowledge), skills or willingness to make an effort to learn new things but indicates how fast an individual can be expected to acquire new knowledge.
What is "g"?
"g" refers to general cognitive ability. It is the ability to understand, adapt, learn and problem-solve; "g" is considered to be the best single predictor of job performance. The PI Cognitive Assessment score is a valid measurement of "g".
Is the Cognitive Assessment the same thing as an IQ test?
Intelligence (measured with an IQ test) and “g” are closely related, but they are not the same thing. Valid IQ tests are longer and more in-depth than the PI Cognitive Assessment, which is a 12-minute timed assessment. It is best to think of “g” as the ability to learn and deal with complexity, as opposed to IQ, which is a more complete measure of a person’s intelligence as compared to the broader population.
How does the Cognitive Assessment work?
The Cognitive Assessment is designed to provide a range of questions grouped into three broad categories (Verbal, Numerical, Abstract Reasoning) to create a representative domain of content to measure cognitive ability. Similar to the Behavioral Assessment, you can customize the email sent to a candidate and then use the candidate’s results to compare against a job target.
Why does the Cognitive Assessment have a 12-minute time limit?
Speed is a very important element of general cognitive ability. Without the timed element, it becomes much easier to answer the questions correctly, and the test would no longer measure someone’s ability to learn quickly. In addition, it has been shown that scores between timed and untimed assessments are not comparable.
What is the extended time Cognitive Assessment?
Extended time Cognitive Assessments are for respondents who can receive reasonable accommodations, in accordance with your company's policies and legal requirements.
How long does the extended time Cognitive Assessment take?
There are two options for a time limit for the extended time Cognitive Assessment,18 or 24 minutes. These times allow for time-and-a-half or double the original Cognitive Assessment time.
Which time limit should I choose for the extended-time Cognitive Assessment?
In the United States, the time limit should be specified by a medical professional for a respondent. This will often be time-and-a-half or double the original time. Outside of the United States, a medical professional or respondent may specify the time needed.
Who should be sent the Cognitive Assessment?
Your company should determine its own policy around use and administration. The Cognitive Assessment is meant for candidates or existing employees applying for a new position. Cognitive Assessments may not be needed if the job has a low cognitive demand.
Should Cognitive Assessment scores be shared?
Cognitive ability scores can be very sensitive. We recommend keeping actual cognitive scores confidential, even among internal stakeholders. We further recommend that authorized administrators communicate results based only on candidates’ fit to the job or ranking compared to other candidates (e.g., “they are a moderate fit to the job” or “they are better for the position than most candidates we have seen”), rather than disclosing candidates’ raw scores. Internal use for decisions other than hiring is not a valid use of the assessment (unlike the PI Behavioral Assessment, which is for hiring AND employee development) and invites interpretations and comparisons that we can’t support as valid or appropriate. What matters most is a score relative to target scores for hiring purposes. The Predictive Index has even made such comparisons easy with the addition of match scores to the PI software. In addition, confidentiality issues arise when the score is used internally, because PI Cognitive Assessment scores are personal information (just as one wouldn’t share annual reviews, etc.). Additional information regarding scores can be found in the Administrator's Guide to the PI Cognitive Assessment.
Should I use the Cognitive Assessment to make hiring decisions?
The cognitive score should be used in combination with other relevant data such as behavioral fit experience, education, etc. The Cognitive Assessment score is not intended as the sole determining factor in the hiring process.
Can someone cheat on the Cognitive Assessment?
If you are concerned that someone may have cheated on the PI Cognitive Assessment, it may be a good idea to test them a second time under your supervision. This can be done by having them complete the assessment on-site or through the use of a web camera. See the Administrator's Guide to the PI Cognitive Assessment for more
What potential legal risks are associated with the PI Cognitive Assessment?
For information on potential legal risks, please contact Straightline Consulting Group to review the Administrator's Guide to the PI Cognitive Assessment.
What is the Behavioral Assessment?
The Behavioral Assessment provides a pattern of a person's core drives that offer insight into their needs and behaviors to help predict workplace behavior.
Is the Behavioral Assessment Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliant?
The EEOC does not mandate rules or guidelines for test construction, nor does it “approve,” “certify,” or “evaluate” individual assessments. However, if an assessment is found to be unfair, then the EEOC does get involved and will request proof that an assessment is related to job performance or require that an alternative test be used in the future. They do not review assessments unless there is adverse impact. Appropriate use of the PI Behavioral Assessment, including for a job analysis (the Job Assessment), and strong training will greatly increase a company’s legal defensibility against most EEOC claims. For more information, see the Science POV “EEOC Compliance”, available through your Partner or Consultant.
What about the risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being used in hiring?
NYC has passed a law effective January 1, 2023, concerning the use of AI in hiring. PI's software is not an “automated employment decision tool” under the law which is defined as a tool that substantially assists or replaces discretionary decision-making. PI has consistently stated that its tools should be used as one of many factors in an employer’s decision-making process and strongly discourages the use of its tools in any other manner.
Can someone cheat or “game” the assessment?
The reality is that anyone, on any assessment, can do things to alter their scores. However, the PI Behavioral Assessment has two advantages over many other personality-based assessments:
Unlike assessments where the “right” answer may be obvious (e.g., “I follow the rules every day”), the adjective checklist approach provides less clarity around which responses are considered more “desirable” and is therefore more difficult to manipulate.
Because PI Behavioral Assessment scores are reported and interpreted using a within-person format, meaning a person’s results are not directly comparable to another person’s, manipulating the assessment is quite challenging. An assessment taker who tries to distort his or her responses must not only choose the “right” words for the desired pattern but also correctly identify the right combination of words (e.g., more A than B, fewer C and D) to arrive at an ideal pattern for a job. This would be challenging for any but the savviest assessment taker.
Inevitably, there will be situations where candidates try to purposefully distort their responses.
Should I have someone retake the assessment?
We recommend that an individual only complete one Behavioral Assessment during their employment at an organization. As such, all software tools and reports use the individual’s oldest Behavioral Assessment results (the self, self-concept, and synthesis) and the corresponding reference profile. Note: if you encounter a candidate that has already been assessed while applying for a job at another company, instead of asking them to retake the assessment, ask the candidate to enter their Behavioral Score ID using the survey invitation link.
What if someone is refusing to take the assessment?
If an employee is resisting taking the PI Behavioral Assessment, it is often because either the employee is a skeptic of assessments in general or they are uncertain about how the data will be used, fearing that the data may be used against them; this can create anxiety over taking the Behavioral Assessment. How you present the Behavioral Assessment can make a difference. It is important that you explain to the employee what the Behavioral Assessment is and how your company is using the results. It is also important that they understand that the results of the assessment will be shared with them upon completion and the data will be used only to help, not to hurt. Sometimes, the employee just needs to see that the PI Behavioral Assessment is used for positive, not negative, outcomes. Give it a few months and reconnect with the employee to see if they are now willing to take the assessment.
Should I share someone’s results?
Yes! The Behavioral Assessment results are not confidential. Sharing the Behavioral Assessment results can help your organization get the most value from PI, because you are all speaking the same language. In fact, we recommend that you print PI Placards and post them in a visible area so peers can know each other’s behavioral preferences and how to best work with together.
Can the PI Behavioral Assessment be used with minors?
There are no restrictions on how old a respondent must be to take the PI Behavioral Assessment, but since the PI Behavioral Assessment is developed and validated only with working adult samples (age 18 and older), test users should exercise extreme caution when using or interpreting results collected from minors. In general, use of the PI Behavioral Assessment with minors is not recommended, but if a test user needs to administer the assessment to a minor to maintain consistency in hiring practices across their organization, it is important that the test user understands the potential limitations of using minors’ PI Behavioral Assessment scores. If you're using the assessment throughout the employee’s tenure (not just at hiring), clients should create a policy regarding whether employees are allowed to retest. Clients should make sure that all applicants understand the assessment and how it will be used, and clients should comply with their region’s applicable laws concerning employment and testing of minors.
How much time should I give an assessment taker to complete the Behavioral Assessment?
The assessment taker should be given an unlimited amount of time to complete the Behavioral Assessment.
How do I respond if an assessment taker asks me what the instructions of the assessment mean?
Simply state, "Read the instructions and respond accordingly."
How do I respond if an assessment taker asks me what a specific word means?
Simply state, "If you do not know the meaning of a specific word, skip it."
Are there right answers to the Behavioral Assessment?
No. There are no right or wrong answers to the Behavioral Assessment.
How do I respond if an assessment taker asks me how I'm able to know the information I'm reading back to them?
Respond by stating, "The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a specific measurement, and I am reading back its output data."
What do I do if an assessment taker disagrees with my statements during a readback?
If this happens, explore potential sources of disagreement, and also look at Self-Concept changes.
What if the assessment taker asks me whether they should respond to the survey from a work or personal perspective?
Simply state, "Respond according to what you feel best represents what is expected of you."
What do those dots mean?
They're a graphical placement of each Factor's score on the Behavioral Assessment.
Should I explain the science of the Behavioral Assessment during a readback?
No. Conduct the readback without explaining the science. Avoid using PI jargon (High A, Low B, etc.) and use language that the survey taker will easily understand.
Cognitive Assessment FAQs
Behavioral Assessment FAQs
What is the Job Assessment?
The Job Assessment allows you to define the behavioral and cognitive requirements for a job to help target the right candidates for each position within your organization.
What is a Job Report?
The Job Report provides a brief overview of the results of the Job Pattern. The overview includes a summary and job characteristics.
How often should I do a Job Assessment?
A Job Assessment is recommended for new jobs or when you are hiring for an open job.
Can we all just get together and do all our Job Assessments at once?
We recommend that each stakeholder complete the Job Assessment on their own and then get together with the other stakeholders to have a conversation about the combined results. The reasons we suggest this are to allow each person time to think through their answers, to get an unbiased view of what each stakeholder believes are requirements for the job, and to prevent results from being swayed by a stakeholder that may be more vocal or dominant in opinion than others. Understanding why each stakeholder chose certain requirements can have a great impact on how the final Job Pattern will look.
Why do I need to create a Position first?
It is required that you create a Position in the software so that the Job Assessment results can be linked to a specific job.
Does the Job Pattern get created automatically after everyone’s assessments are in?
No, the Job Pattern is not created automatically. Once the Job Assessments are completed, the stakeholders should meet to discuss where there are similarities and differences among the assessment results and decide what the final Job Pattern should be. The Job Pattern discussion is a critical conversation between stakeholders to ensure that everyone is aligned on the expectations of the job. The discussion allows stakeholders to align on the job description, the Key Performance Indicators and the behavioral requirements of the job.
What is the difference between a Job Assessment and a Job Pattern?
A Job Assessment is an assessment sent to key stakeholders to help determine the behavioral requirements of a job. Once the Job Assessments are completed by key stakeholders, the stakeholders should meet and discuss the results to finalize the behavioral requirements of a job and create the finalized Job Pattern.
How many Job Assessments should I send out?
We recommend sending the PI Job Assessment to three to five key stakeholders of the job. Key stakeholders would be those who are top performers in the job or who would work frequently with someone in the job, such as an HR representative, manager or peers.