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Shelley Spilberg
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Melani Singley
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Pre-Offer Personality Testing in the Selection of California Peace Officers

Scores on pre-employment personality tests – particularly those measuring conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, and integrity – have been shown to aid in the prediction of on-the-job performance across a wide variety of occupations, including peace officers. Unlike psychological examinations, pre-offer personality tests can lawfully be administered early on in the hiring process, prior to the extension of a conditional offer of employment.

To assist agencies in determining if pre-offer personality testing should be incorporated into their peace officer selection process, POST has developed the Pre-Offer Personality Testing in the Selection of Entry-Level California Peace Officers: Resource Guide (pdf).  The Resource Guide provides law enforcement agencies with the information necessary to weigh the costs and benefits of adding a personality test to the pre-offer phase of the peace officer hiring process.  It provides a summary of the current state of pre-employment personality testing, as well as practical advice on how to evaluate individual tests.  The Pre-Offer Personality Testing in the Selection of Entry-Level California Peace Officers: Technical Report (pdf) provides more detailed technical information.

In conjunction with these documents, an online database of test publisher-provided information on individual personality tests is available. The Pre-Offer Personality Test Information database provides agencies with background information, test descriptions and uses, and technical details of individual pre-offer personality tests.  Currently, the database includes information on nine tests: 16 PF Protective Services Report, California Psychological Inventory (CPI), Employee Reliability Inventory (ERI), HBI-R, Hogan Development Survey (HDS), Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), MPULSE Inventory, Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), and Work Personality Index (WPI).