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Talent Q Test: Guide & Tips

Talent Q Test: Guide & Tips

Updated January 26, 2023

Written by the WikiJob Team

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Talent Q is a set of psychometric tests companies use to learn about a person's personality, skills, abilities and motivation during the hiring process and to help their employees grow. We explore what the Talent Q tests are about, what to expect from practice Talent Q test questions and how to improve your chances for success.

Talent Q is a leading provider of psychometric tests and is used by businesses to recruit the most qualified people, from recent graduates to senior leaders. Talent Q has a wide range of aptitude tests that can be used to evaluate and understand a candidate's abilities, competencies, behavior, personality and motivations.

In this article, we will examine why recruiters increasingly turn to Talent Q tests as part of their recruitment strategies. We'll explore what you could expect from the tests and give some insights and tips on preparing for a test.

Let's get started.

What Is the Talent Q Test?

Roger Holdsworth first launched Talent Q in 2006. If the name sounds familiar, it's because this is the same person who also developed the SHL testing company – another well-known name within the aptitude test sphere.

Holdsworth wanted to create a new test that was responsive and agile to the individual. Most aptitude tests are standardized, allowing recruiters to compare and contrast candidates directly. While this approach is highly efficient, it does provide limitations where employers cannot gain further insight into a candidate's potential.

So instead, Holdsworth created a form of testing that is adaptive to the respondent – if they get an answer right, the next question becomes harder.

If you've researched the Talent Q test, you may have come across Korn Ferry, another consulting firm that conducts personality tests and aptitude tests. This is because the Hay Group bought Talent Q in 2014, and the tests are now delivered by Korn Ferry, which the Hay Group also owns.

As a result, employers can now benefit from a blended approach. For example, they can combine the traditionally cognitive assessments offered by Talent Q (such as numerical, verbal or logical reasoning) with the personality and leadership assessments that made Korn Ferry successful.

Which Employers Use Talent Q Tests Within Their Recruitment Campaigns?

The Talent Q psychometric test is globally recognized and is available in 40 languages worldwide. The tests have been used by employers as far-reaching as the Royal Mail, KPMG, P&G, HSBC, the NHS and Unilever.

What Makes the Talent Q Test Different to Other Forms of Psychometric Tests?

As we've mentioned, the adaptive nature of the Talent Q test makes it a welcome addition for employers. As the candidate gets more questions right, the test becomes progressively harder. This allows an employer to see beyond the traditional standardized parameters of a psychometric test and identify how well a candidate is performing.

When the test questions reach a ceiling where a candidate is performing at their maximum capacity and can no longer get any more correct answers, the questions automatically become easier.

Respondents may be expected to participate in a wide range of test types, adding to the complexity of a Talent Q test. In addition, multiple-choice questions may have a choice of five answers (rather than the traditional three). There are also extremely tight time frames to consider.

Talent Q tests are a type of blended assessment. This means that the same test can be used in many different ways to evaluate a candidate. This saves the company money and reduces the time the candidate spends taking tests.

What Types of Questions Are on the Talent Q Test?

The Talent Q tests cover all facets of a candidate's strengths, limitations, abilities, motivations and competencies.

We can break them down into five different categories:

  • Elements
  • Motivations
  • Situational Judgement Tests
  • Aspects
  • Dimensions

Let's examine each category in turn and look at some Talent Q practice test questions as well.

Talent Q Elements Test

The Elements tests (primarily created for graduate and executive recruitment) assess a candidate's verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and logical abilities.

Whether taking a Talent Q Elements numerical, verbal or logical test, you'll be given questions about numerical data, text passages or the arrangement of different forms and symbols. In addition, you will be asked to identify flaws, patterns and inconsistencies.

Candidates are given 15 minutes for each assessment to complete the questions. You will have to respond to 15 questions on the verbal test and 12 questions on the logical and numerical assessments. Therefore, you need to work quickly to identify the answer. Once you've hit the 'submit' button, you cannot go back to change a previously submitted response.

Talent Q Verbal Test Example Question

During a Talent Q verbal reasoning test, a brief passage of text will be shown to you, followed by six claims based on that passage.

There are instances when you must select only one response; other times, you must select two, and in certain circumstances, you must determine which of the arguments is true or false based on how you have interpreted the text. You can find an example of a Talent Q verbal test question below.

Example Question

Read the following text and answer the question below.

Text adapted from a BBC News report

More water is getting into the Arctic. Scientists couldn't see any patterns in the region's amount of snow, rain and freezing rain for a long time, but now they can.

A study by the University of Alaska Fairbanks found that between 10% and 15% more rain has fallen since 1950. This is statistically significant.

It's getting wetter everywhere and in all seasons. Snow changes to rain at the edges of the Arctic, where temperatures are highest. From October 2021 to September 2022, it rained the third most in the last 72 years. The assessment is in the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card for 2022. This is an annual report (NOAA). This peer-reviewed document has been tracking the effects of climate change in the polar north for the past 17 years.

It keeps an eye on key Arctic indicators, or "vital signs", and this year, rain is being added for the first time. Rain that freezes is becoming a bigger problem. Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska, recently had a 35mm drop. The layer of ice that is left behind is the problem. It makes roads more dangerous and it’s hard for animals to find food until the spring thaw.

Other problems include heavy snowfalls that melt quickly, which can cause flooding. When it gets warmer, more water from the ocean evaporates. This water will eventually fall to the ground as snow or rain. But the higher temperatures are also melting the sea ice, which lets more water evaporate and causes more rain.

Which two statements are definitely correct in light of the text?

  1. Until recently, it has not been possible to monitor for any patterns or trends in the amount of snow or rain in the polar north.
  2. 20% more rain has fallen since 1950.
  3. It is only getting wetter in the winter months.
  4. Ice is a bigger problem than the amount of rain falling.
  5. Global warming is making snow melt more quickly.
  6. The peer-reviewed document has been tracking the effects of climate change for 72 years.

Talent Q Numerical Test Example Question

You might be given a table, some supporting data and a question based on part or all of this data. You will need to understand and interpret the data provided to create your final response.

You will have the chance to use a calculator.

Below you will find examples of Talent Q numerical test questions.

Example Question


If Ellie has a basic book subscription, how many books can she take out per year?

Example Question


Over the course of a year, what is the price difference between the basic and the premium plan?

Talent Q Logical Test Example Question

You will be given a 3x3 table with each cell containing one or more symbols. One cell of the matrix will be blank. You need to identify the missing symbols based on your ability to identify and interpret patterns.

Example Question

Identify the missing characters

Circle the correct answer

Talent Q Test: Guide & Tips
Talent Q Test: Guide & Tips

Talent Q Motivations Test

The Talent Q Motivations test allows an employer to understand what encourages a person to work hard. It looks at their motivational drivers and their personal values.

This is highly beneficial for employers because it helps them to refine and tweak the end job role to their preferred candidate. This not only supports you to work in a position that matches your strengths but also means that both parties can make the most out of the relationship.

Within the motivation test, you'll notice several statements referring to topics that could spur an individual to put in more effort to succeed at a job. You must assign them a priority between ‘not important’ and ‘very important’.

Talent Q Situational Judgement Test

The situational judgement test from Talent Q aims to analyze how you react to everyday job challenges.

You'll have to read various scenarios and choose your desired action from various options. The criteria for the specific role you’ve applied for will then be matched to how you've chosen to react to see if you're a good fit.

Talent Q Aspects Tests

If the Talent Q Elements test is based on reasoning, then the Talent Q Aspects category could be viewed as a competency-based assessment tool. Within these tests, employers can evaluate the behaviors and character traits you're likely to exhibit at work.

Employers frequently use Talent Q Aspects tests during the initial phases of hiring to quickly and accurately identify which applicants possess the required qualities.

The tests only take eight minutes to complete, so neither the applicant nor the company must spend much time on them.

Aspects tests can be broken down into two subcategories.

Aspects Ability: This test evaluates a candidate's verbal, numerical and accuracy abilities. It is most frequently used for hiring sales or customer support positions.

Aspects Style: This questionnaire evaluates your professional persona regarding the essential skills required for the position.

Talent Q Dimensions Tests

The Talent Q Dimensions test questionnaire is another type of personality test that goes hand in hand with the Aspects category.

This questionnaire is often used for staff development or in the latter phases of the hiring process.

Within the test, you can expect to be presented with various statements. You will need to rank them from ‘very true’ to ‘completely untrue’ based on your personal feelings. You can find Talent Q Dimensions sample test questions in online practice packs.

The data will tell an employer a lot about that person's personality, such as understanding how they will interact with and manage others and insights into how they might control their emotions and energies. The survey offers data on a person's personality divided into three main categories: people and relationships, tasks and projects and drives and emotions.

The Talent Q Dimensions test can be finished in around 25 minutes.

How to Prepare for a Talent Q Test

Talent Q tests are tricky – and because they are adaptive to your level of knowledge, they get harder and harder until they have you working at your maximum capabilities.

The easiest way to prepare for a Talent Q assessment is to practice your logical, verbal and numerical skills. There are Talent Q practice tests available through sites such as JobTestPrep allowing you to work through the questions at your leisure. Not only will this acquaint you with the style of questioning, but it will also help you to practice your timing.

You can pursue Talent Q assessment practice free of charge by completing free logical, verbal and numerical tests but an accredited paid-for practice pack will provide a much more accurate representation of the actual tests.

Sticking to a free Talent Q test can be tempting. However, we recommend paying for an accredited practice pack because numerous resources claim to offer Talent Q practice tests free but they bear little resemblance to the types of questions you may expect when test day arrives. Furthermore, as Talent Q assessments are often used within mid-senior level recruitment, the small investment into a paid-for practice pack will be far outweighed by the benefits of being hired in your chosen job.

Talent Q tests are about skills. You want to gain the transferrable skills to help you identify patterns or spot the correct answers. Therefore, pay close attention to any questions and answers. Then, by reading the explanation explaining the Talent Q assessment answers, you will understand how to find the right answers when test day comes.

Answer the Talent Q Aspects test questions honestly. As mentioned, the Aspects and Dimensions categories are about understanding your character traits. Therefore, you need to answer honestly based on your opinion, not what you think the employer wants to hear. This is so you can feel comfortable in your potential working environment and to ensure that there is a seamless match-up of expectations between yourself and your employer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Talent Q is a type of test that is delivered by Korn Ferry. It pledges to assess a candidate's personality, ability, competency and motivation at work.

There is no official pass/fail mark. Instead, your score is based on the number of questions you answer and the level of questions you are answering.

Talent Q test questions can be challenging because they are adaptive. As you get correct answers, the questions will become harder and harder until you reach your maximum potential. A wide range of potential answers could trip you up, and you have a short time frame to complete each Talent Q assessment.

As Talent Q test questions differ from other psychometric tests because of their adaptability, you should look to use packages from sites such as JobTestPrep to help you prepare. Alternatively, visit Korn Ferry (which delivers the Talent Q tests) to make the most of its practice assessments.

There are three elements to the Talent Q test. The verbal reasoning test features 15 questions. The numerical test and the logical test both have 12 questions.

Talent Q test scores are based on how many questions you answer and the difficulty level of questioning. There is no set score. Instead, individuals are compared to other people who have taken the test. If you want to be confident of achieving a high score compared to your peers, you should aim to achieve a score of at least 80% or more.

This depends on how a company chooses its employees. There could only be one application period per year, which means you can't take the Talent Q test again until the next time you can apply. To find out if you can retake the Talent Q test, contact the HR department or customer service team of the company you are applying to.

Sites such as JTP have a wide range of practice Talent Q test example questions for as little as £39.99.

Many high-profile companies worldwide use the Talent Q assessment, including Royal Mail, KPMG, RBS, Ford and Virgin Atlantic.

The Talent Q tests are designed to help employers see how candidates react when under pressure. The Elements portion of the test allows insight into an individual's capabilities, while the Aspects category takes a more in-depth look at your personality.

There are time limits for many of the Talent Q tests.

  • Elements Verbal: 16 minutes
  • Elements Numerical: 16 minutes
  • Elements Logical: 15 minutes
  • Aspects Ability Verbal: Eight minutes
  • Aspects Ability Numerical: 10 minutes
  • Aspects Ability Checking: Six minutes

This depends on the individual employer. Some may choose to implement Talent Q tests at the start of their recruitment campaigns, while others may implement them later down the line when they are choosing between specific individuals. In addition, you may be allowed to review your score and see where you can make future improvements.

Korn Ferry has a useful Talent Q test site designed to help candidates learn more about the test and improve their chances.

Final Thoughts

The Talent Q test offers employers a different opportunity to gain deep insights into potential employees. The adaptive technologies behind the online test mean that you can see the complete capabilities of candidates, far beyond the boundaries of standardized testing.

Talent Q personality and ability tests aren't designed to trip you up. Employers don't want to see you fail. Instead, they want to have an accurate understanding of who you are and what you are capable of. Therefore, you need to be honest and accurate in your answers.

To improve your chances of success, it’s worthwhile spending time reviewing practice Talent Q test questions. Being aware of what types of questions you could be asked, going over Talent Q assessment answers and knowing how much time to allocate to each question could make a substantial difference to your final score.


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