The IPIP-NEO in an acronym for ‘International Personality Item Pool Neuroticism, Extraversion & Openness’ and is a personality questionnaire that assesses people on the Big Five model (Created by Costa et al.) of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness & Neuroticism. It is a scientifically based test of personality traits, and is generally accepted worldwide as one of the more highly regarded, and accurate, personality questionnaires. Individuals’ answers to the test are compared with others’ results, giving a standardised way to test personality, and without the comparison to others results the test becomes less meaningful.


The five traits mentioned above are thought to be at varying degrees the main parts that make up a person’s personality:

Openness The degree to which an individual is creative and imaginative or conventional and grounded.

Conscientiousness – The measurement of an individual’s ability to control their impulses.

Extraversion – The extent to which someone is out-going and enjoys interacting with the external world.

Agreeableness – The measure of social harmony, non-confrontation & cooperation that an individual may pursue.

Neuroticism – The amount of negative feelings/emotions an individual may feel.

It takes a normative, likert-type scale approach to its questioning, meaning there can be problems in reliability of data with falsified answers from social desirability bias, etc. but these are usually found out with further measures of competency.


What Is It Used For?

These tests can be highly advantageous to companies hiring on a large scale, as they can compare scores between possible candidates and find the most suitable person for the role. The type of jobs that psychometric tests are usually used for, are those that are fast-paced with a high level of stress attached; it is therefore very important that employers find candidates who have the personality traits to deal with the challenges they may face. Although a personality test may seem low in the list of measures an individual must undergo during the recruitment process, it has been found that personality characteristics are crucial to how an individual will later perform in their job role.

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