What Is A Korn Ferry Assessment?
The management consulting firm, Korn Ferry, offers a series of aptitude and personality tests to assist employers in streamlining their hiring processes and selecting the best talent.
The assessments it provides were previously known as TalentQ but, through its acquisition of The Hay Group in 2014, Korn Ferry became responsible for this portfolio of tests. All businesses under its name were rebranded as Korn Ferry in 2018, and Korn Ferry assessments emerged.
Which Tech Employers Use Korn Ferry Assessments?
Many employers trust Korn Ferry to assist in securing the top talent for their organisations. The tests result in data which gives a clear insight into candidate skills and can be used to make objective hiring decisions.
Companies that use Korn Ferry tests as part of the recruitment process for their technology roles include Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, Betfair, AstraZeneca, Royal Mail and Ford.
How Korn Ferry Tests Work
Korn Ferry tests are multiple-choice assessments. They tend to be encountered during the hiring process, either after application submission or later, during an assessment centre day.
They are, however, also used within employee cohorts to identify high potential, assess professional development needs, and gauge leadership talent.
The tests aim to give insight into the strengths and skills of each candidate or employee, to reveal the potential of the talent pool.
The most common reasoning tests assess mathematical aptitude, critical thinking, and communication skills, whilst situational judgement and personality tests provide information on a candidate's behavioural traits and drivers.
Korn Ferry ability tests have strict time limits, whilst the other assessment types have recommended completion times.
The different tests offered by Korn Ferry are explored in greater detail below:
Korn Ferry Personality Tests
Personality tests help employers explore the behaviour and motivations of prospective employees. These tests are often tailored to reflect a company's culture and values, to allow for an assessment of organisational fit. Korn Ferry's stand-alone personality assessment is known as Dimensions and Drives.
Personality questionnaires require candidates to rate a series of statements according to the degree to which the sentiment is true of their behaviour. These statements may relate directly to behavioural preferences, or to reactions, motives, or drivers.
The statements are presented in blocks of four. You must rate each statement on a scale, which ranges from 'completely untrue' to 'very true'. Once you have logged your responses to a block, you will not be able to edit your answers.
You should answer the personality test decisively and honestly. Although this Korn Ferry test does not have a time limit for completion, the time elapsed will still be logged.
The test should take around 25 minutes to complete. Taking too long to answer a personality questionnaire can signal indecisiveness or a slow processing speed to an employer.
The Korn Ferry competency-based questionnaire has a similar format to the personality test. When administered as a stand-alone test, it is referred to as Aspects Styles. It is designed to measure behavioural preferences related to the key competencies needed for a role.
Statements are presented in blocks of four, and you will be asked to indicate the degree to which the statement reflects your behaviour – on a scale from 'completely untrue' to 'very true'.
This test is shorter than the personality test, taking only eight minutes to complete.
The Korn Ferry motivations questionnaire seeks to focus on what drives you within the workplace. You will be presented with a series of statements relating to motivation at work. They will again be arranged in blocks of four.
The statements must be rated, according to how important their sentiment is to you. The scale will range from 'not important' to 'extremely important'.
If you select the same rating for several statements in a block, you will be asked to rank these in order. It is best to avoid giving the same rating to more than one statement.
The motivations questionnaire should take around 30 minutes to complete.
Korn Ferry 360
The Korn Ferry 360 is a competency-based feedback questionnaire, used for evaluating yourself and others (i.e., team members or managers).
The questions cover three areas: People and Relationships; Tasks and Projects; and Drives and Emotions.
Each section presents a series of behavioural descriptors. You are required to rate your performance against each, on a scale from 'far below competent' to 'fully competent'. There is also a 'no evidence' option, for if you have not yet been able to exhibit the skill in question at work. If desired, comments can be added.
The questionnaire takes around 25 minutes to complete.
Alongside the self-review, there are sections for reviewers – managers, reports and close colleagues - to provide feedback on your performance.
If you are asked to complete the self-review, you will likely also be asked to complete a peer review. This follows the same format as the self-review, with reviewers grading competencies on a scale. You have the option to complete a detailed review, if you work closely with the individual, or a simple review, if you have less contact.
A simple review takes five minutes to complete, and a detailed review takes around 15 minutes.
Korn Ferry Aptitude Assessments
Korn Ferry's aptitude assessments measure reasoning skills - such as numerical, verbal, and logical ability – and error checking skills. For these timed tests, the overall time limit also translates to a set time limit for each question, so you will need to be comfortable working at pace.
All the cognitive ability tests employ adaptive testing. This means that the questions that arise are impacted by your performance.
If you answer a question correctly and within the time limit, the next question will increase in difficulty. If you answer a question incorrectly, or fail to complete it within the time allowance, an easier question will be presented next.
This process continues throughout the test and ensures that strong test-takers feel adequately challenged by the material.
Numerical Reasoning Test
The Korn Ferry numerical reasoning assessment tests a candidate's ability to deal with numbers. Numerical data may be present in the form of graphs, charts, and tables.
Multiple-choice questions feature mathematical concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, sequences, currency conversion, and basic algebra.
The data presented may relate to the company in question or be more abstract. Regardless, a numerical reasoning test gives good insight into mathematical ability and capacity to think quickly and accurately under pressure.
The numerical reasoning test has a duration of 16 minutes.
Verbal Reasoning Test
A verbal reasoning test assesses the ability to understand, analyse, and interpret written information, to come to correct conclusions.
The test features several passages of text, which need to be read and absorbed rapidly. There are then a series of questions relating to each paragraph.
The most common question type presents a statement regarding a textual inference, deduction or argument, and the candidate must determine if it is 'true', 'false' or if 'you cannot say' from the given information.
Other questions involve word meanings, synonyms, and antonyms. It is also worth refreshing your knowledge of correct spelling, sentence structure, and grammar before taking the test.
There is a time limit of 16 minutes to complete the verbal reasoning test.
Logical Reasoning Test
The Korn Ferry logical reasoning assessment, also known as the Raven's Matrix Test, measures your ability to analyse and interpret abstract information, and then extrapolate this to make correct judgements about patterns and trends.
The test presents candidates with a series of shapes and symbols, displayed in a 3 x 3 grid (referred to as a matrix). You will be required to select the square that is missing from the matrix. This is achieved by analysing the patterns to ascertain the rule(s) governing the transition from square to square.
There will be five answer options to choose from which, if you are stuck, can be used to help you to decipher the logic of the matrix.
The test is entirely non-verbal and relies upon shapes and figures alone. It has a duration of 15 minutes.
Checking Skills Test
A checking skills test is designed to assess your ability to detect errors in data both quickly and accurately. A dataset will be presented, and candidates will have six minutes to highlight all mistakes.
Other Korn Ferry Assessments
Situational Judgement Test
A situational judgement test is used to provide insight into your behavioural preferences, motivation, attitude, and key competencies. It maps these against company values and culture to judge organisational fit.
The Korn Ferry situational judgement test presents candidates with a series of theoretical workplace scenarios and a selection of actions. You will need to highlight which course of action most closely resembles your own in the given situation.
The test assesses your ability to make effective judgements that align with a given company's culture and behavioural values (situational judgement tests are commonly tailored to an individual employer's needs).
Upon completion, the Korn Ferry situational judgement test generates a fit score, indicating how well matched a candidate is for the organisation in question.
In-tray And E-tray Exercise
This test format presents candidates with a set of work-related materials, such as reports, case studies, memos, and emails. You are required to work through the emails and documents, rationalising, prioritising, and completing the tasks that arise.
An in-tray or e-tray exercise gives insight into time management and organisational skills, alongside the ability to communicate well and solve problems rationally and proportionately.
Korn Ferry Blended Assessment
Korn Ferry offers employers the choice of administering the above assessments as separate tests or as a blended assessment.
The blended assessment merges multiple tests into a single assessment, so employers can measure cognitive ability, personality, and culture fit simultaneously.
The assessment will present questions from the tests explored above in a random order, so you will need to have the cognitive agility to jump between answering numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, personality, and situational judgement questions at speed.
Like the individual aptitude tests, the assessment is adaptive, and the difficulty of questions is influenced by performance.
The blended assessment enables the time candidates spend taking assessments to be reduced, leading to greater satisfaction with the recruitment process. As a company's hiring process reflects directly upon its brand, a user-friendly and well-executed process is important.
You should be told which form of Korn Ferry testing to expect within the hiring process. If you are unsure, contact the recruitment team to clarify what will be expected of you during psychometric testing. This will help you to be fully prepared.
How To Pass Korn Ferry Publisher Tests
Sit Practice Tests
Prepare for your test by completing practice papers similar to Korn Ferry tests. This will enable you to familiarise yourself with the format and content of the test, as well as the style of the questions. You may have encountered ability tests before, but they differ according to the publisher. Seek to prepare specifically for your Korn Ferry tests.
Read the Questions Thoroughly
Although the Korn Ferry cognitive ability tests are timed, it is important not to rush. Read the questions carefully, absorbing all information that may be useful for reaching the correct conclusion. This attention to detail is particularly crucial in verbal reasoning assessments, which require candidates to make the right deductions from the written information presented.
Prepare Using Exam Conditions
When practicing, use exam conditions. The pace is particularly important in Korn Ferry tests, as each individual question has a time limit. This means your pace must be steady throughout. Even if you are not sitting a full practice test, time yourself when answering questions. Becoming accustomed to the required pace will help you to feel more comfortable under pressure come the official test.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Korn Ferry assessments require focus, as you will need to work accurately and at pace. Sit your official test in a quiet environment, free from distractions. Update your browser and check your internet connection before beginning, to ensure that technical difficulties won't interrupt your test.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do Korn Ferry Tests Take To Complete?
The individual Korn Ferry assessments each have different time allowances or, if untimed, estimated finish times. The time for completions ranges from eight minutes to half an hour. For the timed tests, each question is individually timed. This means that pace is incredibly important to overall success.
Each test must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return to any of the assessment types. Though, if you have multiple tests to complete, these can be taken on separate occasions.
Can You Fail A Korn Ferry Assessment?
No, you can't officially fail a Korn Ferry assessment – there is no pass/fail threshold. A low score, however, will mean that you won't be considered for the next stage in the recruitment process. Fully illustrating your skills and competencies by achieving a high score is vital, so invest time in preparing for your test(s).
Individual companies may set their own benchmark scores so, if having a mark to work towards will aid your practice, it could be worth enquiring directly.
How Are Korn Ferry Tests Scored?
Korn Ferry aptitude tests are scored using percentile scores. This means you will receive a score that indicates the level of your performance compared to others in the testing cohort. For example, if you receive an 80th percentile score, this conveys that you have scored better than 79% of test-takers.
The personality, motivations, and competency-based questionnaires – and the situational judgement test – are scored according to how you measure against organisational values, preferred behaviours, key competencies, and company culture. You will be issued with a score indicating your 'fit' with the company.
Will I Need To Take A Verification Test?
As Korn Ferry online assessments are often administered at home, some companies choose to include a verification test later in the recruitment process to confirm the score achieved. This will be taken in a supervised setting, such as at an in-person assessment centre day or via an invigilated video call. The results of the tests will then be compared to check for consistency of performance.