About Talent Q
Talent Q has been in operation since 2006, developed by Roger Holdsworth. It has since been acquired by the Hay Group, with the tests administered by Korn Ferry. Roger Holdsworth is a leading assessor, who also co-founded the testing company SHL. Holdsworth's vision for Talent Q was to build an assessment programme that would activate its difficulty inline with the candidate's own ability and skill.
Today, Talent Q tests are used by some of the biggest names in finance, such as Lloyds, RBS, Deutsche Bank, and Citi Group. The training programmes and unique brand of dynamic psychometric assessment technology are offered in over 40 different languages, making Talent Q an extremely popular choice for companies searching for the most elite candidates.
How are Talent Q assessments different?
The key differentiating factor of a Talent Q assessment is its adaptive design. The candidate's own level of ability shapes the assessment; the candidate answering a question correctly directly translates to the following question gaining in difficulty. In the same way, if the candidate answers incorrectly, the next question following will be easier than the last. This is known as Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) and gives a clear indication of a candidate's maximum performance ability.
Within its unique assessment design, Talent Q also harnesses ingenious ways to keep candidates on their toes. One part of this is the deliberate inclusion of irrelevant data in the questions as a deliberate way to distract candidates from the relevant information. This means that it makes it much harder to guess away a tricky question. To further reduce the candidates' capacities for guessing and to also measure their ability to maintain focus, the time frame for answering questions is limited.
Talent Q Assessment Categories
There are five different Talent Q tests:
1. Elements Suite
2. Aspects Suite
5. Situational Judgement
Typically reserved for recruitment for specific positions at supervisory, graduate, managerial and professional levels. The Elements Suite measures your numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and logical reasoning abilities.
Elements Numerical entails 12 separate questions, designed to measure candidates' ability to understand, analyse, and draw accurate conclusions from numerical data examples given. The assessment will be set as multiple choice. The data that you will be questioned on will typically be presented to you in graph or tabular form, so to be at your optimum level of performance, you should practice as much as possible with this type of data. Brushing up on your knowledge of basic mathematical concepts such as percentages, ratios, and currencies is also paramount to your success in achieving a good score.
This is a timed assessment, so as well as this being a test of your practicality, it is also a way to prove your capacity for swift, logical thinking. The first question will have a time limit of 90 seconds, with every subsequent question on the same table or graph having a respective 75 seconds to answer.
Consisting of 15 questions, the verbal part of the Elements assessment is designed to calculate understanding and comprehension skills; i.e. how well a candidate can process and understand written information.
The Elements Verbal assessment will consist of a total of 15 questions. Each question will give 6 different answer options, but only one of these will be the correct one, with the exception of a few rogue questions that require two correct answers to be selected by the candidate. Each of the questions in the test will be individually timed for 60 seconds, so it is highly advised to practice for the assessment under similarly timed conditions, so that you can build up your answering speed accordingly. It is also advised to watch out for skim-reading the questions; you may miss crucial information, such as how many answers you may select, if you read too quickly and without paying proper attention.
Containing just 12 questions, the logical reasoning test exists to measure candidates' inductive and problem-solving abilities. Each of the twelve questions provides a different series of shapes and symbols. The questions will be based around each set of shapes and symbols, requiring the candidate to identify patterns and categorise the next logical image based on the abstract information provided. Each question in the test usually has a time limit of 75 seconds for solving it.
Talent Q's Aspects Suite is designed for frontline volume recruitment such as customer service, sales and support. Aspects measure skills that are essential for customer-facing roles. There are two different types of Aspects tests:
Aspects Styles - This assesses your behavioural preferences against key competencies required for the position, to determine your suitability.
Aspects Ability - This measures your verbal, numerical, and checking skills. Aspects ability consists of the following tests:
- Aspects Ability Verbal
There will be a total of twelve questions in this assessment. Each question will be set in a multiple choice format and will be individually timed. The first question on a given paragraph will have a time limit of 75 seconds for answering, so it is very important that you become familiar with answering questions in a limited time frame.
The Aspects Ability Verbal assessment provides the recruiter with an evaluation of the candidate's written comprehension skills.
- Aspects Ability Numerical
As with the Aspects Ability Verbal assessment, the Aspects Ability Numerical Assessment will be presented in 12 questions, in a multiple choice format, with each question under individually timed conditions. The time given for each question will be 90 seconds, and every subsequent question on the same table to be answered in 75 seconds.
The data that you will need to answer the questions on will be shown in tabular format. Initially, you will be required to analyse the data from the table, and then pick the correct answer based on this analysis. In order to correctly answer the questions, you will need to have quick-fire knowledge of basic mathematical operators and conversion formulas.
- Aspects Ability Checking
The Aspects Ability Checking assessment is designed to measure your ability with recognising mistakes in data. The assessment will consist of data represented in a tabular form, in a similar format to the Aspects Ability Numerical Assessment. There will be eight different tables, and you will be required to evaluate the data given in each, comparing the tables against each other, whilst continuously examining each table for incorrections. For every row, 10 seconds are allotted, so if a table has five rows, its questions will have to be completed in 50 seconds.
Motivations is a relatively short questionnaire that lasts 30 minutes. Within it, you will be expected to answer a series of statements regarding motivation at work. These statements will be arranged in blocks of four. Within each block, you will need to rate each statement on a scale from 'Not Important' to 'Extremely Important'.
If you give the same rating to two different statements, the questionnaire will automatically generate a question, prompting you to rank one of the statements as the most true, and the other as the least true.
In the event of the candidate giving two different statements the same rating, the questionnaire will generate a question, asking you to rate one of the statements as the most true, and the other as the least true.
Motivations is a questionnaire that is typically given to a candidate either at a later stage in the recruitment process, once other assessments have successfully been passed, or for career progression within the company.
Talent Q also offers personality and competency-based questionnaires that reflect a candidate's suitability for a job role based on their individual traits. Dimensions is Talent Q's main personality assessment. Although it only takes 25 minutes to complete, it will provide the recruiter with specific insight on your functionality as a member of the company's team. It will also provide information about your style of working, compatibility with the company's culture, and your development potential. This means that in theory, the recruiter will be able to gain an insight into how you will manage your composure and energy, both as an individual, and as a member of the workplace team.
The format of Dimensions is based on the candidate answering questions on a scale of 1 to 5, between 'very true' and 'completely untrue'. Statements are given, followed by the question, "How true is each statement about you in relation to your behaviour at work?". In the event of the candidate giving two different statements the same rating, the questionnaire will generate a question, asking you to rate one of the statements as the most true, and the other as the least true.
When the questionnaire is completed by the candidate, the questionnaire will break down the information provided into three areas; People and Relationships, Tasks and Projects, and Drives and Emotions with multiple scales in each providing additional detail.
Generally speaking, the Dimensions questionnaire is usually only taken towards the latter end of the recruitment process when the candidate has successfully completed all other assessments.
Lastly, Talent Q presents as situational judgement assessment, known as Situational Judgement. This assessment is designed to show clearly how candidates will respond to a variety of workplace situations. This assessment is multiple choice, requiring the candidate to pick a response to a realistic workplace scenario or problem that they judge to be the most suitable.
On completion of the assessment, the candidate's responses within the assessment are compared directly to the company's required competencies for the particular role, generating a 'fit' score.
What Financial Employers Use Talent Q Tests?
Talent Q assessments are popular within the finance industry, with many big names using them in their recruitment process. This includes:
Tips on Preparing for and Passing a Talent Q Assessment
Practice under timed conditions
The Talent Q assessments are on a strict time limit, so it is best first and foremost to get used to practicing under these conditions.Through practice, your performance is bound to improve.
Read instructions with care
For example, some questions vary in terms of how many answers are expected. Make sure to thoroughly pay attention to instructions so that you make the best possible use of the time given to you.
Connection and hardware
Your assessment is online, meaning that a reliable and fast internet speed is paramount. It is advisable to keep a couple of pens and some paper to hand, and to make sure that if you are sitting the test from home, that your environment is quiet and undisturbed.
Practice makes perfect
The more you practice within the test format, the more used to the format and style of the Talent Q assessment you will become. This will result not only in more confidence, but will also enable you to answer questions with greater speed and accuracy.
What do I need to complete the Talent Q assessment?
Your Talent Q assessment will take place either at home or at an assessment centre. The test is taken online and will be compatible with mobile phones, computers, and tablets. However, the test may look different according to the device that it is being viewed on, so a laptop or a computer is usually best.
It is also useful to have a couple of pens and some scrap paper to hand, in case you need to jot down any calculations to aid you as you work through questions.
Are Talent Q tests difficult?
In order to keep their test system succinct, but simultaneously all-encompassing, Talent Q assessments are generally more demanding than other assessment systems. One of the key difficulties that trip up many candidates when being assessed via Talent Q is the inclusion of excess information within the questions. The timed nature of the questions is also a significant stumbling block. However, with diligent practice, candidates can become familiar with being timed and with having to sift through information in order to find the relevant data.
What's the difference between Talent Q and Korn Ferry?
Korn Ferry are a US test publisher. Both Korn Ferry and Talent Q are owned by Hay Group. Korn Ferry administer Talent Q's assessments.
How are Talent Q tests scored?
Each test is scored according to the scores of previous candidates who have already completed the ability test, with the result given as a percentile (for example, if you are scored in the 80th percentile; you will have excelled 80% of other previous candidates).