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Saville Wave Personality Assessment Test Preparation – 2024

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The Saville Wave Personality Assessment is a popular choice for assessing personality in the pool of candidates. Employers often use it to influence their decisions not only for hiring but also for the roles they place people in and the advancement of individuals within the firm. As such, the results of the test follow employees throughout their entire career with the company.

The flexibility offered by the Wave personality assessment is a big part of the attraction. Offered only online, the assessment is given in two different styles: professional and focus. This allows employers to adjust how extensive the test will be based on their needs for the position.


What Is the Saville Wave Personality Assessment?

The Saville Wave Personality Assessment is a psychometric assessment that allows employers to understand how graduates and job-seekers function within teams, in a work environment, and more. The results of the test allow companies to shape the culture of the workplace by hiring candidates who not only have the right skills but also the right personality for the position. In this way, the Wave Personality test helps match the right candidate with the organization’s culture and environment. This means that the test plays a major role in whether or not a candidate is hired.

The assessment is used with a number of other Wave reports as well and is convenient for employers and candidates since it is completed online and sent via email to the applicant. The test is not limited on time and comes in two different lengths. The Professional Styles version takes about forty minutes while the Focus Styles version takes about thirteen.


What Is on a Saville Wave Personality Test?

The Saville Wave Personality test is a combination of normative and ipsative testing. The initial questions are normative and require candidates to rate a set of statements on a nine-point scale, while the second set of questions for statements rated equally is ipsative and requests that the candidate choose the statements that most and least describe them. As mentioned earlier, there is no limitation on time, though most candidates take about forty minutes for the long version and thirteen for the shorter one.

The tests, regardless of style, are broken down into four clusters. The four clusters focus on thought, influence, adaptability, and delivery. These clusters are then broken down into twelve sections, which further break down into thirty-six dimensions. From the dimensions, the facets are derived. Some of the sections tested are delivery, conscientiousness, structure, and drive.


Styles of Wave Personality Assessments

The Wave Professional Styles measures a hundred and eight facets with two questions apiece—one on Talent, and the other on Motive. This allows employers to see where the gaps are between talent and motive in an applicant, something that is fairly unique in personality assessments. Some gaps are expected, but gaps that are too large may be cause for concern. The Professional Styles contains 216 questions.

The Wave Focus Styles is the shorter test and measures only thirty-six facets. Like the longer version it has two questions per facet—one to assess Talent and one to assess Motive. The test is multiple choice in format and is also compatible with other Wave reports employers may wish to utilize to match candidates with the position. The Focus Styles version contains seventy-two questions.


Types of Questions

The phrasing of the question alerts the candidate to what type of question it is. Talent questions are directly related to some aspect of personality and contain “I am” phrases. Motive questions are less direct and typically contain phrases such as “I prefer” or “It is important to me”.

The phrasing on the test questions does matter because, as noted earlier, it denotes whether the question is focused on Talent or Motive. The goal for any candidate taking the test is to minimize the gaps between these two by answering in ways that are truthful but also consistent.


How to Prepare for the Saville Wave Personality Assessment?

Personality assessments are among the more difficult psychometric assessments to prepare for since they are meant to help employers understand who you are, not to test any particular skill. Because of this, assessment companies often say there is no right or wrong answer. However, since your employment with the company may depend on how you answer the questions, there is still a right and wrong way to answer to some degree.

Since there is no hard and fast rule for taking personality assessments, how can you best prepare for the test? First of all, remember that your goal is to answer all questions truthfully but consistently. When rating questions, try not to rate any of the statements with the same rating if possible. If you do end up rating them equally, you will be presented with the statements again and asked to choose the one that describes you best and the one that describes you least.

If presented with this situation, you should recall what you answered on the previous set of statements and how you ranked these particular statements. You will want to ensure that the one you rate as best describing you is the one that had the highest rating in the previous type of question.

Choosing as best the one that had the lower rating of the statements will cause gaps between your Talent and Motive which may not be reflective of your actual personality. This is one major way that you can increase your chances of standing out in your Wave assessment.


Tips for Success

  • Be consistent in your ratings.
  • Try to minimize gaps between Motive and Talent questions in the same facets.
  • Take the test in a quiet place free of distractions.
  • Try not to take too long on the test even if there is no set time limit.
  • Focus on how you respond in a work environment.
  • Keep your rankings for statements consistent between the first and second types of questions.
  • Be prepared to take the test a second time for score verification.



Because employers use the Wave Personality assessment and its corresponding reports during the entire employee lifecycle, it is important to perform in a way that reflects your workplace personality and how you respond to things. This test is one of the biggest predictors the company has of how you will perform and what kind of role you will take on if hired, so it influences the roles you are given as well as your advancement in the firm. It should not be taken lightly.

Practice and preparation are key to doing well just as with any other psychometric aptitude test. Just because the test is asking questions about your personality and is not directly testing skills does not mean it is any less important.

So, take the time to do practice tests and look over sample questions to familiarize yourself with the layout and the way the test is geared for testing your personality. Then review the job description and try to answer questions in a way that highlights the ways you meet those qualities in the job description. Finally, be yourself and employers will notice. There is no particular score you are going for. Your goal is simply to show employers who you are as a professional.