Unleashing the Power of The Predictive Index for Unforgettable Interview Questions

May 16, 2023

Ashley Meyer

Ashley Meyer

As a hiring manager or recruiter, the last thing you want is to hire a candidate who isn’t the right fit for your team. This is why it’s essential to have a hiring process that’s not only thorough but also objective and that levels the playing field for all candidates. One tool that can help with this is The Predictive Index (PI). 

Smiling beautiful businesswoman in glasses talking to young businessman in meeting room

Ask Generic Questions, Get Generic Answers, Hire Generic Candidates 

On paper, a candidate can look AMAZING. The right skills, the right schools, they’ve been in their role for longer than the industry average AND they’re pointing toward their accomplishments! Hire them now, right?! 

Hold your horses, let’s not get carried away. It looks like we’ve got some great data on the WHAT, the WHERE, and the WHEN but that’s only a part of the story. The HOW and the WHY are the great separators. So, you led your company in sales and you made the President’s club… but HOW, and WHY? 

Using The Predictive Index, organizations can tailor interview questions to assess whether a candidate’s behavioral dynamics match the benchmark set by the hiring team. This is crucial because asking generic questions can result in generic answers, leading to the hiring of generic candidates. 

The Predictive Index is a behavioral assessment tool, that has, since its introduction in 1955, been honed and developed to help organizations identify the behavioral dynamics of their employees and potential hires. 

It is based on the concept that every person has a unique combination of behaviors and strength of drives, and understanding those behavioral drives and traits can help determine how they’ll fit into a particular role or team, and how they will show up at work. By identifying how a candidate’s natural strengths and behavioral tendencies lend themselves to the work they will be doing (and the people they will be working alongside), we can determine how energized/drained they may be, and how that impacts their potential success. 

The Predictive Index isn’t a pass-fail, it is a set of data points that work together to use how people think and behave to predict how they will assimilate with your team. Understanding these parameters as part of our Head, Heart, and Briefcase philosophy can improve your insight into how this person may respond to certain situations, and how you can ask questions to ascertain the accuracy of those predictions. As you can see it goes much deeper than skill alignment or achievement. 


The Predictive Index focuses on 4 key behavioral drives, which are called Factors:

  • Factor A (Dominance): The drive to exert one’s influence on people or events 
  • Factor B (Extraversion) : The drive for social interaction with other people 
  • Factor C (Patience) : The drive for consistency and stability 
  • Factor D (Formality) : The drive to conform to rules and structure 

Each of the four Factors highlights a drive to behave in a particular way, and each individual has all four Factors in their total pattern of behavior.

Important to know about Factors is that they are tied in to drives, needs and behaviors. For example, imagine you have someone in a competitive role, say for example sales. Someone with a High drive for Dominance (Factor A), may feel a need to be in the driver’s seat or want to win, and as a result you may see behaviors tied into dominance, like competitiveness, wanting individual recognition, and autonomy to break the mold etc. Someone with a low drive for Dominance (A), may not feel the need to want to exert their influence on people or events, and may seek out opportunities to collaborate, preferring to be in a team setting. Behaviors seen would then be someone harmonious or collaborative. 

The Predictive Index has 17 different people types, each with its own set of behavioral traits. These people types are based on two primary factors: Dominance and Extraversion. Dominance refers to how assertive and decisive a person is, while Extraversion relates to how outgoing and sociable they are. 

The Predictive Index has 17 different potential results of patterns, each with its own pattern of behavioral traits with common themes based off of the Four Factors. We call these different results reference profiles. Here’s a brief overview of each sub-type: 


  • Venturer: assertive, results-driven, takes charge 
  • Maverick: non-conformist, independent, challenges norms 
  • Specialist: analytical, precise, detail-oriented 
  • Captain: strategic, decisive, confident 
  • Strategist: Big picture thinker, naturally introspective, factual leader 


  • Promoter: outgoing, energetic, persuasive 
  • Persuader: influential, enthusiastic, seeks recognition 
  • Counselor: empathetic, supportive, team player 
  • Coach: develops others, encouraging, collaborative 


  • Guardian: dependable, stable, consistent 
  • Artisan: meticulous, precise, deliberate 
  • Operator: practical, efficient, down-to-earth 
  • Stabilizer: predictable, consistent, methodical


  • Conformer: compliant, reliable, respectful 
  • Traditionalist: loyal, respectful, prefers structure 
  • Specialist: analytical, precise, detail-oriented 
  • Inventor: creative, innovative, seeks variety 
  • Analyzer: detail-oriented, thorough, high need to make informed decisions 

Social Profiles

Social Profiles are highly extraverted (Factor B) compared to other behavioral drives. In the workplace, people in this group tend to focus on relationships. 

  • Altruist: Congenial and cooperative with an efficient, precise, work ethic. 
  • Captain: Problem solver who likes change and innovation while controlling the big picture 
  • Collaborator: Friendly, understanding, willing and patient team player 
  • Maverick: Innovative, “outside the box” thinker, undaunted by failure 
  • Persuader: Socially poised, risk-taker. A motivating team builder 
  • Promoter: Casual and uninhibited. A persuasive extravert with a tendency for informality. 

Stabilizing Profiles

Stabilizing Profiles have a low amount of Dominance (Factor A) and Extraversion (Factor B), with high Patience (Factor C) and Formality (Factor D). They are generally steady, detailed, and work well with structure and processes. 

  • Adapter: Bridge-builder, able to adapt to situations easily. 
  • Artisan: Accommodating and analytical, while producing highly precise and accurate work 
  • Guardian: Unselfish and approachable with a preference for detailed, skill-based work 
  • Operator: Patient, conscientious and relaxed. A cooperative team player 

Persistent Profiles

Persistent Profiles are more dominant (Factor A) than extraverted, with a high amount of patience (Factor C). In the workplace, they are generally task-oriented and deliberate, and thrive when they have control over their own work. 

  • Individualist : Highly independent and persistent, while remaining results-oriented. 
  • Scholar: Accurate, reserved and imaginative. Seeks a high level of technical expertise. 

Analytical Profiles

High Drive for Formality/Structure- Factor D 

  • Analyzer: Intense with high standards and a disciplined, reserved personality 
  • Controller: High-quality, detail-oriented worker. Conservative with a preference for technical expertise. 
  • Specialist: Highly precise worker. Skeptical while respecting authority  
  • Strategist: Results-oriented, innovative and analytical with a drive for change
    Venturer: Self-starting, self-motivated, risk-taker with strong goal-orientation. 

How The Predictive Index Unlocks the Ultimate Recruiting Edge

Knowing the reference profiles of The Predictive Index is crucial when it comes to building a high-performing team. When you understand the behavioral dynamics of each team member, you can ensure that they are in roles that align with their strengths and that they’re working together in a way that maximizes their contributions. For example, if you have a team that’s heavy on Mavericks, you may need to provide them with more autonomy and encourage them to think outside the box. On the other hand, if you have a team that’s heavy on Guardians, you may need to provide more structure and guidelines to help them feel comfortable and confident in their work. Ultimately, understanding the individuals on your team and their Predictive Index reference profile results can help you create a team that‘s diverse, complementary, and highly effective. 

Young woman shakes hands with employer at job interview.

When job boards like Monster.com and Indeed can filter resumes by keywords and come up with an 89% match we know that’s only a part of the story. Resumes don’t show up to work. Just because someone says they can cook doesn’t mean they know that chicken has to be brought to a temp of 165 degrees. Just because someone has the skills doesn’t tell you how they either integrate or alienate the team around them. 

Instead, by using PI-influenced interview questions, hiring managers and recruiters can gain insight into how a candidate is likely to behave in a particular role or team. For example, if a role requires someone to work independently, a question tailored to someone with a high drive for Dominance might be, “Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision quickly.” “Describe a situation when you needed to solve a problem with little input from others”.In contrast, a question for someone with high Extraversion might be, “What’s your favorite thing about working in a team and how do you handle situations where it feels like one person is slowing down the process?” “Describe the last time you had to persuade someone on your team to go along with your idea or decision. How did you go about convincing them? What was the result?” or “Describe the last time you had to present an idea to your team, how did you gain buy-in? Were you energized by giving the presentation?” OR “Where do you get more energy: completing tasks or having social interaction and connecting with people?” 

By tailoring interview questions based on The Predictive Index, hiring teams can gain a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses where the candidate may naturally play to their natural strengths and behaviors, and where they may need to flex or make adjustments whether they are easy, moderate or difficult. This, in turn, can help ensure that the candidate they choose is the right fit for the role and the team. 

Effectively Using The Predictive Index to Win the War on Talent

In conclusion, The Predictive Index is an essential tool for any hiring team looking to make more informed hiring decisions. By understanding the behavioral dynamics of a candidate, hiring managers and recruiters can ask tailored interview questions that go beyond surface-level responses. This can ultimately lead to the hiring of candidates who are the right fit for the role and the team. So, remember, ask generic questions, get generic answers, ask valuable questions, and gain valuable insight.  


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