Saville Wave Personality Tests: Everything You Need to Know

The Saville Wave personality tests are popular assessments used by leading companies to measure how well candidates suit their workplaces. The tests cover a wide range of cognitive and behavioral criteria, giving employers a complete look at their candidates.

This article will go through the components of Saville Wave personality tests, some tips for answering, and frequently asked questions about them.

About Saville Wave personality tests

The Saville Wave personality tests are all taken online via Oasys or Bureau Service. The tests ask candidates to compare statements using rate and rank questions. The rating system starts from “Very Strongly Disagree” to “Very Strongly Agree”, presented by numbers from 1 to 9 respectively. The provided statements are normally descriptions of personality or behaviors. 

Source: Saville

If candidates choose the same answer for some statements, there will be another section afterward. In this section, candidates will choose between the statements that describe them the most and the least. For example, if you “strongly agree” with both statements A and B, then you will be asked again whether A or B describes you better.

The Saville Wave personality tests are currently considered to be the most powerful personality assessments in the market. They surpass many other famous personality tests like OPQ32i™, NEO-PI-R™, Hogan Personality Inventory™, and 16PF5™. Therefore, they are trusted by big companies in diverse fields like Johnson & Johnson, Prudential, Ernst & Young, Dyson, Jaguar Land Rover, E.ON, etc.


What is assessed in Saville Wave personality tests?

The Saville Wave personality tests measure candidates based on 4 main clusters namely Thought, Influence, Adaptability, and Delivery. Each cluster consists of 3 sections, with each section including 3 dimensions, which are also divided into 3 facets each. In total, the tests are based on 108 facets of behaviors and potentials according to the employee life cycle.

Here are 2 diagrams provided by Saville to help you understand the facet hierarchy more:

Source: Saville

Source: Saville

These facets are also the base for Saville’s employer reports. As mentioned, the Wave Professional Styles will produce more than 20 reports since there are more questions. Meanwhile, the Wave Focus Styles will produce 8 reports. 


Types of Saville Wave personality tests

There are 2 main types of personality tests in the Saville Wave package, namely Professional Styles and Focus Styles. The main difference between these styles is their number of questions and reports. Both styles have 2 forms of test taking, which are supervised (proctored) and unsupervised (self-assessment).

Saville Wave Professional Styles

The Wave Professional Styles have 216 questions, take about 35 minutes to complete, and produce over 20 reports for each candidate. It measures candidates based on 108 behavioral facets. There will be 6 blocks of statements appearing at a time for candidates to rate.

The Professional Styles tests are designed for roles at mid-professionals to senior professionals, leaders, and executives levels. They often take place in the selection, onboarding, and development periods.

Here is the testing model of the Saville Wave Professional Styles:

Source: Saville

After that, if you have the same rating for some statements, the test will ask you to choose among them the most and least true to you.

Source: Saville

Saville Wave Focus Styles

The Saville Wave Focus Styles is technically a shorter form of the Professional Styles. It has 72 questions that can be done in around 13 minutes, examining 36 behavioral facets. Similar to the Wave Professional Styles, this test display 6 statements at a time for candidates to rate, followed by ranking requirements if there are any identical responses.

The Focus Styles tests are often used for roles at mid-professionals to senior professionals levels. They also appear in the same period as the Professional Styles, which are selection, onboarding, and development.

Let’s look at some examples of the Saville Wave Focus Styles:

Source: Saville

Source: Saville


Passing tips for Saville Wave personality tests

Many people think that personality tests don’t require practice or preparation to do. While it is true to some extent, we recommend you keep in mind a few tips to utilize your answers.

Tip 1. Know the question types

In the Wave Professional Styles test, each facet has 2 questions. 1 question would be about talent/potential and the other about motive/behavior. Knowing how to distinguish between these questions can be helpful.

In particular, talent/potential questions describe your characteristics. They often start with the phrase “I am”. For example, “I am a good team player”, “I am not afraid of being the center of attention”, etc.

Meanwhile, motive/behavior questions focus more on why you do things. They often start with the phrase “It is important to me that…” or “I prefer to…”. For example, “It is important to me that everyone follows the same goal”, “I prefer to work with people I am familiar with”, etc.

The difference between these question types can be very subtle. Yet, knowing which question you are taking can help you better relate to your experience. You should answer based on real cases of you expressing the traits or motivation in doing tasks. 

Tip 2. Be consistent

Questions in the Saville Wave personality tests can repeat themselves. The tests use a special AI to measure your consistency in answering. This is to detect any lie or change of mind throughout the testing period.

It is advised to stick to your answers throughout the tests. It shows that you know who you are, have experience dealing with multiple types of situations, and believe in your values. 

Tip 3. Stay honest

To be consistent in the tests, it is best to answer honestly. Don’t risk lying just to get the job since it’d be difficult for you to keep up with your lies if get hired. Instead, find the meeting points between the job description and your own values

Tip 4. Use a suitable device

The Saville Wave personality tests can be taken on phones, computers, and tablets. Whatever suits you, make sure to use a stable device that has a strong Internet connection. Saville recommends a device having a download bandwidth of 3Mbps or higher and enabling JavaScript.

For desktops, Saville advises using a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768. For tablets and phones, it’s better to have previous checking on whether you can access the tests on them. While the tests are compatible with most of the mentioned devices, careful preparation could never hurt.


Frequently asked questions 

1. Can I receive the reports of my Saville Wave personality tests?

Your reports will be sent to the employers. They will decide whether to send you the reports.

2. What if I want to start again in the middle of the test?

You should contact the support team of Saville to reset the test. After resetting, all of your previous answers will not be saved.

3. Do the Saville Wave personality tests have deadlines?

Your employer will decide the deadlines. Although these tests don’t have a time limit, you should start taking them soon to avoid being rushed.

4. Can I take the tests outside of working hours?

Yes, you can still log in to the Oasys system of Saville outside of their working hours. However, the supporting team will not be available during those hours.

For more information about other tests of this popular test provider, check out our Saville assessments post.