The Complete Guide to the Birkman Assessment (2024)

Personality tests are an invaluable tool for businesses when hiring new employees. They provide insight into how a potential employee's individual traits and characteristics align with the company's culture and values. Among the personality tests, the Birkman assessment is one of the most in-depth, accurate tests, which is trusted by many prestigious companies such as Google or Walmart.

This article will walk you through an overview of the Birkman assessment, what to expect inside it, and practice tips and tricks to ace the test.

About the Birkman assessment

What is the Birkman assessment?

The Birkman assessment is one of the most in-depth personality assessment methods that looks into 4 key aspects of every person: Motivation, Self-Perception, Social Perception, and Mindset. It is widely used by organizations to ensure they are hiring the right candidates, as well as to better understand and improve the performance of their employees. 

Why do companies use the Birkman assessment?

By using the Birkman assessment, companies can gain insights into the motivations, strengths, and stress behaviors of individuals. As a result, employers will be able to:

  • Find the right fit for a role: match employees with roles that align with their personalities and motivations, which increases productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Improve employee engagement: increase employees’ job satisfaction by understanding their motivation and strengths.
  • Increase team dynamics: select suitable team members based on their work style, thus build teams effectively and reduce conflicts.

The Birkman assessment format

The Birkman assessment takes around 30 minutes to complete on average, and is divided into 2 question types:

  • 250 True/False questions: determine whether a given statement is correct to yourself or most people.
  • 48 Multiple-choice questions: choose an option that reflects your interaction style, motivations, behaviors, or signs of stress.

The Birkman assessment questions can be exemplified as follows:

True/False questions

Multiple-choice questions


Four key perspectives of the Birkman assessment

The Birkman assessment looks into 4 key perspectives of every person: Motivation, Self-Perception, Social Perception, and Mindset. By understanding these concepts and their influence on candidates, companies can better understand the emotions and actions of employees.


Motivation represents an individual's interests and passion for work, demonstrate in the Birkman assessment as “Interests”. It is an important factor to consider when it comes to managing employees, as it can greatly impact job satisfaction and engagement. By understanding and utilizing an individual's motivation, employers can create a more productive and enjoyable working environment.


Self-perception, reported as “Usual Behavior” in the Birkman assessment, measures how individuals see themselves and their behavior in the workplace context. Specifically, it reveals how people feel about their approach to tasks, managing relationships, and contributing to their organizations and community.

Social Perception

Social-perception helps employers understand what employees need to feel comfortable and productive in the workplace. The factor is reported as "Needs", and is a great way to uncover the invisible driving force behind an individual's behavior. Social-perception can provide insight into the underlying expectations of an employee, which can be used to create a workplace that allows them to thrive.


Mindset shows an individual's belief system concerning themselves and other people. It is a deeply rooted set of attitudes and perspectives that affects how people interpret and respond to certain situations. By understanding mindset data, we can better understand the reasoning behind each of our decisions or behavior patterns.


How is the Birkman assessment scored?

The Birkman Assessment result is represented visually in the form of Birkman Life Style Grid. To understand the assessment report, you must grasp the elements and symbols used in the Life Style Grid:

  • The four color quadrants: shows 4 behavioral patterns of the general population. You can check out the Birkman Color interpretation to examine these traits in detail.
  • The four symbols: represents your Interests (asterisk), Needs (circles), Usual Behavior (diamond), and Stress (square).
  • The axes: expose the extent of extroverted/introverted and people-focused/tasked-focused you are.


How to pass the Birkman assessment?

Personality tests like the Birkman assessment can be an incredibly difficult assessment, as there is no definitive right or wrong answer, and the scoring method is obscure. However, following these helpful tips can help you accelerate to ace this test type.

Get familiar with the Birkman method

Before further practice, make sure you read about the Birkman Method and its components to understand the purpose and process of the assessment. Understanding the Birkman assessment and how it measures your strengths and potential stressors can help you prepare for related interview questions or discussions with your future employer.

Be honest

It is important to answer all the questions honestly to get a true representation of yourself.

After all, the assessment is just a pre-employment test measuring your cultural fit with a company. If you try to present in a way that is not true to yourself, you may be hired, but that position or company is not always a good match and suitable for your personal development. Instead, you can reflect on yourself and understand your abilities, personality, and everything else. This helps you make the wisest choice on the Birkman assessment.

Be aware of the right and the wrong

Although the Birkman assessment or other personality tests are claimed to have no right or wrong answer, it is important to understand that employers are looking for specific qualities in their candidates. Therefore, you need to research the company and the role prior to taking the Birkman assessment to ensure that your answers accurately reflect the qualities that the employer is looking for.


Frequently asked questions

Which companies use the Birkman assessment?

The Birkman assessment is widely used by corporations around the world. Some notable employers that use the Birkman assessment are: Google, Walmart, JP Morgan, Coca-Cola, P&G, etc.

Can you use the Birkman assessment for personal use?

Yes, the Birkman assessment can be used for personal use. By taking the Birkman, individuals can gain insight into their personality traits, motivations, and stressors, which is helpful for self-discovery and personal development.

Is the Birkman assessment accurate?

The Birkman assessment is generally considered to be one of the most accurate personality tests available, since the data from these tests have been used in numerous studies and research projects. While this does not guarantee accuracy in every individual case, it does suggest that the Birkman Method is a reliable and valid personality assessment tool.

Can you fail the Birkman assessment?

Technically, you cannot fail the Birkman assessment. It is an assessment tool designed to measure a person's interests, motivations, and behaviors in order to help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses, which doesn’t involve accurate answers or a fixed benchmark.

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