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What is the OPQ Test (OPQ32)

The SHL occupational personality questionnaire, called OPQ32, is a highly complex SHL personality test; administered online. As a talent management assessment that is taken as part of the recruitment process, it aims to evaluate your personality traits, thinking style, skills, workplace behaviour and preferences and predict your future performance on the job. 

The OPQ test has several versions, and most contain 104 questions, presented as blocks of 3 or 4 statements. On each question, you must choose one statement that best describes you and another statement that describes you the least (these are called “ipsative questions”). These measure 32 specific personality characteristics.

You’ll most likely be asked to answer the common OPQ32r, which has 104 questions, each presented as a block of 3 statements:


*Source - JobTestPrep OPQ Test Guide.

In the newest version of the OPQ32 test, the format is presented in a more interactive way. For example, you’ll need to choose which statement describe you best (termed ‘most’):


*Source - JobTestPrep OPQ Test Guide.

Let’s say we choose the first one, once you choose this statement (marked bold), it subsequently disappears from the screen, and you need to choose again, from the remaining statements, which one describes you best:


*Source - JobTestPrep OPQ Test Guide.

Although the format of this SHL occupational personality questionnaire might be different, the statements and scoring of these two versions of the OPQ32 test are identical. It is only the platform that is different, so you cannot change your answer once choosing each statement, and instead of choosing the statement that least describes you, you must choose the second-best statement.

To get a feeling of the new interactive OPQ32 test, you can take a free online OPQ test, provided by SHL. Note that you’ll be required to create an account to access the SHL OPQ practice test. After completing the exam, you will receive a descriptive feedback report of various behavioural tendencies via email. These SHL OPQ test results are different than those provided to employers, as they do not include the same scales.

OPQ Test Sample Questions

Take a look at the following question and think about how you would answer:


*Source - JobTestPrep OPQ32 Test Practice Course.

How to answer this SHL OPQ32 test question?

Since each position requires different characteristics, you need to understand which qualities are most important for your position to choose the best answers. On our full preparation course, you can easily discover the key qualities for your position and learn how to choose the best answers accordingly. Here is an example of answers and explanations for this OPQ question for manager roles:

Recommended answer for management positions

 Most Like Me

  • Recommended Statement: I am invested in others' well-being

A key aspect of a manager’s role is to support the well-being of his/her team. Employee well-being and strong performance go hand-in-hand, and managers are well placed to positively influence this. 

Neutral (not chosen)

  • Recommended Statement: I feel very hopeful about the good things to come.

An important secondary issue is creating an atmosphere of positivity and optimism. Workplace optimism forges a creative and engaged team climate, a sense that team members can make a positive difference plus it inspires the resilience to persevere despite difficulties and barriers.

Least Like Me

  • Recommended Statement: I aspire to be ‘Number One’

Personal achievement and career progression are worthy individual goals. If being No one becomes central to all workplace behaviours, organizational goals and progress can be compromised. High scores on these factors are thus not seen as the most desirable manager qualities.

Here are some more examples of OPQ questions:


*Source - JobTestPrep OPQ32 Test Practice Course.

To receive recommended OPQ test questions and answers for each question, get our full OPQ test practice. It includes an updated study guide, full simulation test with a personality report, 100 additional opq32 practice questions, and interview preparation questions, tailored for your position.

How do you pass an OPQ32 Test?

Many believe personality tests are impossible to prepare for, as there are no right or wrong answers, or that you better be "honest" when answering them. Our experience shows this isn't the case, and there is a socially desirable way to address them.

If, for example, you tend to avoid confrontation, should you choose that statement on the SHL personality test?

Answering in a completely straightforward manner here could cause more harm than good. This is because your answers are not interpreted in a "naive" way, but are treated as indications of your workplace behavior. So, stating you rather avoid conflicts is actually like saying you have trouble solving work conflicts.  

So how should you answer?

As mentioned, answering OPQ32 test questions requires tailoring responses to showcase key qualities for your position. Therefore, the first and most important step to pass it is knowing which qualities are most important for your desired position. These are the traits or behaviours that your employer expects you to demonstrate as a successful employee.

These are some of the desirable qualities for most roles:

  • Resilience to workload and colleague pressure
  • Staying focused
  • Modelling optimism and resilience
  • Emotional intelligence

On each OPQ32 question, you must first identify which items express the key characteristics of your job, and favour those over other possible wrong answers first.

To discover the full list of essential qualities specifically for your position, use our full OPQ test practice. It includes an OPQ32 study guide and practice test for any position in the following categories: 

  • Sales Positions
  • Management Positions
  • General Team Member Positions
  • Research and Data Management
  • Government and Regulatory Positions
  • Management Change Positions

To answer questions in a way that exhibits those essential qualities, use guidelines and tips tailored for the unique OPQ32 question format:

3 Key Tips to Pass Your OPQ32 Test

We have compiled the three most important tips you must read before answering OPQ32 questions:

  1. Choose ‘Most Like Me’ Answers Tailored for your Job- The statements you choose as ‘Most Like Me’ should be genuine personal strengths that are also central key qualities of the role.
  2. The Statements you Don't Choose are Equally Important - Statements you did not choose as ‘most/ least like me’, that is ‘Neutral’ statements, will receive a moderate rating, not zero. Therefore, it is equally important to consider which statement you do not choose, or choose second in the new OPQ32 test version. 
  3. Don't Try to Be Perfect- Choosing ‘least like me’ for all statements that are negative or less important for the job can flag a fake response (since everyone is expected to have some negative/less important responses). To avoid this, you should also choose some less important/ negative qualities as neutral every once in a while.

So, how do you choose which statement to leave neutral?
Or how many negative and less important qualities is not too much?

Uncover practical guidelines for each of these tips in our OPQ test study guide:

SHL Personality Test Results

The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32) gives organizations a focused picture of how aspects of your personality and behaviour will impact performance at work. It provides detailed information on 32 specific personality characteristics, also called OPQ dimensions, proven to influence work performance. These are grouped into three key areas:

  • Relationships with People- how you connect with others and lead the group.
  • Thinking Style- how you evaluate and make sense of facts and information.
  • Feelings and Emotions- how you internally think and feel about various events. This also includes dynamism- how much you strive for change, growth and achievements.

In our SHL Personality Test guide, we provide possible interview questions for each of these categories so you
could also prepare for the next stages of the hiring process.

Invited to take more SHL tests? Start practising now with our free SHL test practice!


What is the SHL OPQ32 test?

The SHL OPQ test is an occupational personality questionnaire designed to assess your work-related behaviours, traits, and ways of thinking in a working environment. The OPQ test is often taken together with other SHL tests, such as SHL Verbal Reasoning Test, SHL Numerical Reasoning Test, SHL Inductive Reasoning Test, SHL Deductive Reasoning Test, and the SHL Motivational Questionnaire.

How is the OPQ test used?

The OPQ32 was written by Saville and is distributed by CEB SHL Talent Management.

Using the OPQ32 helps organisations in the following ways during the hiring process:

  • Identifies the best-fit applicants for a given role
  • Improves interview hit rates
  • Identifies future leaders
  • Re-deploys talent across the business
  • Evaluates the talent pool following a merger /acquisition/ restructure
  • Creates "winning" project teams
  • Manages the transformation of a technical specialist to an effective people manager

What are the OPQ Dimensions?

The OPQ Dimensions are 32 personality characteristics assessed by behavioural questions on the OPQ test. These are grouped into four categories: Relationships with People- how you interact with individuals and groups (including leading), Thinking Style- how you evaluate information, and Feelings and Emotions- how you perceive and feel about different events. 

How to pass OPQ32 test?

Technically, there is no passing score for the OPQ test. However, to move on to the next step of the hiring process, you need to demonstrate the traits and characteristics required for the job you applied for. You must therefore demonstrate your authentic strengths that align with the role's essential qualities to pass this SHL personality test.

How do I prepare for OPQ?

You should familiarize yourself with the OPQ32 format and types of questions before taking the OPQ test, focusing on how to emphasize the required qualities on the job in a way that aligns with your authentic self.

How many questions are on the OPQ32 Test?

The OPQ32 SHL personality test comprises 104 questions organized into blocks of 3 or 4 statements.

What does OPQ32 measure?

The OPQ32 measures 32 personality characteristics related to work-related behaviours, tendencies, and preferences.

Which organisations use the SHL OPQ32 test?
In recent years, more and more organisations have looked for more than cognitive abilities in their employees but also search for the people who best fit their culture and values.
Hence the SHL OPQ assessment is an occupational personality questionnaire that measures your behavioural traits and characteristics, the test is used by many organisations, from leading banks and finance firms such as HSBC, Jefferies, and Deutsche Bank, to major airline companies like NATS, British Airways, and Qantas, to other forefront organisation including Mott MacDonald, Agoda, InterSystems, Northern Rail, and the Irish Army.

Are SHL OPQ tests proctored?
SHL OPQ32 tests are internet-based evaluations used for recruitment and selection purposes. Proctoring may be required during administration, depending on the organisation's requirements.

Start preparing now for your SHL personality test:

  1.  Full simulations and additional OPQ32 practice questions
  2. Full personality report
  3.  Study guides tailored for specific roles
  4. Detailed answering methods and tips


Have any questions left?

Avia Author

Avia, Expert on the SHL Personality Assessment at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at:

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