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Our Personality Practice Pack covers the common tests and traits you are going to face in the SHL OPQ/OPQ32 Personality Assessment.
The pack includes:
  • Personality Tests
  • Study Guides
Tests: 4 Questions: 380

What Is the SHL-OPQ Test?

The SHL-OPQ test stands for Saville and Holdsworth Ltd (SHL) Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ). The Occupational Personality Questionnaire was created by Saville and Holdsworth Ltd. Sometimes, the test is referred to as the OPQ32 or the SHL personality test.

The SHL-OPQ tests aim to provide employers with more information about the personalities of candidates. The tests aim to determine if candidates are the right fit for a job opening and to predict their future performance at any job.

The SHL-OPQ tests are based on the Big Five Personality Traits of neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness and openness. The tests are based on years of study and research on human personality.

The SHL tests have been translated into several languages worldwide with a comprehensive database that contains records of several millions of candidates. A lot of multinational companies use the SHL-OPQ test to make hiring decisions including consulting firm Goldman Sachs, aviation company Bombardier, soft drink giant Coca-Cola, furniture company IKEA, beer company Heineken, automobile company Volvo and more.

Formats of the SHL-OPQ Test

The OPQ test has three formats, namely: OPQ32r, OPQ32i and OPQ32r. The most popular of them all is the OPQ32r.


It is the shortest test with 104 questions. There is no time limitation, but most candidates complete the test within 25 to 40 minutes.

You get three statements for each question. You then pick the statement that sounds like you and the statement that sounds least like you.


The SHL-OPQ32i is similar to the SHL-OPQ32r, but you get four statements per question instead of three statements per question like the SHL-OPQ32r.


The SHL-OPQ32n is the normative version of the OPQ tests. It is also untimed like the other tests, but you are given 416 questions instead. The 416 questions consist of 416 statements in which you rank from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree.’ The test usually takes about 45 minutes to 60 minutes to complete.    

SHL-OPQ32 Personality Dimensions

The SHL-OPQ measures 32 dimensions of personality to classify candidates across 3 behavioral styles. While there is no wrong kind of personality, some candidates have personality styles that match the performance expectation of a company. The 32 personality dimensions of the SHQ is why the test is often called SHL-OPQ32.

  1. Human relationships

Sociability- outgoing, affiliative, socially confident

Influence- Independent, controlling, outspoken and persuasive

Empathy– modest, caring and democratic

  • Thinking Style

Structure– forward-thinking, detail conscious, rule-following, conscientious

Creating and change– conventional, adaptable, variety seeking, conceptual, innovative

Analysis– data rational, behavioral, evaluative

  • Emotions and feelings

Dynamism- Vigorous, competitive, decisive, achieving

Emotions- relaxed, trusting, worrying, emotionally controlled, optimistic, tough-minded

SHL also has a Universal Competency Framework (UCF) with which test answers are also compared. The UCF was developed by research into various workplace behaviors. Most individual personality tests of the SHL are linked by the UCF.

There are eight general dimensions of competency that contain 20 key competencies.

They are defined as follows:

  1. Deciding and leading: demonstrating leadership, offering direction and taking action
  2. Cooperating and supporting: demonstrating an understanding of values and standards, working and supporting colleagues
  3. Presenting and interacting: presenting information, using influence and persuasion powers, communication and networking
  4. Analyzing and interpreting: analytical thinking, applying expertise and understanding technology, extrapolation of complex problems
  5. Conceptualization and creating: systematic conceptualizing and strategizing, creativity and innovation, research skills
  6. Executing and organizing: adhering to procedures, provision of quality service and meeting of customer expectations, organizational and planning skills
  7. Coping and adapting: Coping with stressful situations, responding to change successfully
  8. Performing and enterprising: achievement of work objectives, becoming forward-thinking and commercially aware

The UCL and SHF frameworks combined to produce your OPQ assessment results.

OPQ Assessment Results

Companies receive the results of the SHL-OPQ32 test in various reporting styles. The reporting styles used will give them the information needed to make hiring decisions. The reporting styles include the following:

  1. Manager report: This is a short written report that describes your personality. 
  2. Manager and Professional Profile Chart: This is a descriptive graphical representation of your results.
  3. User Report: This combines graphical and written reports about your personality.

With the results, your potential employer gets a clear description of your personality with clear analysis and insights made.

You should get a candidate feedback report about your performance on the SHL-OPQ32 test. The report will give you an overview of your personality.   

How to Prepare for the SHL-OPQ32 Test?

  • Be as honest as possible: Be as honest as possible when answering the test questions. SHL has a lot of data in their database regarding the millions of candidates that have taken the test. They can detect candidates that try to trick or game the test. There is a social desirability scale that analyzes if you have tried to trick the test, and there is a consistency scale that analyzes whether your answers are reliable or not. 

The test provides an insight into your personality and will be very helpful to you personally even if you don’t get the job. It will help you make the right career and life choices.     

  • Research the job description: Prior knowledge of the job description will help you understand how your personality fits in with the characteristics of the job description.
  • Be self-aware: Be self-aware and think about yourself with respect to the three personality categories. Think deeply about your thinking style, your relationship with other people, and your emotions and feelings.  
  • Take some practice personality tests: Our practice tests will get you familiar with the test before you take it.
  • Rest well before taking the test: Sleep well, drink a lot of water and ensure that you are not stressed. Stress and lack of rest can affect your judgement and how you answer the test questions.