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Questions relating to the questionnaires, AI and algorithms used by AssessFirst

  1. Where do AssessFirst's Swipe, Drive and Brain questionnaires come from? 
  2. What information is recorded by AssessFirst when a Candidate completes the
  3. Does the calculation algorithm used by your questionnaires use personal data?
  4. Do any AssessFirst features use personal data?
  5. How do you produce AssessFirst profiles of Candidates? How do your personality
    questionnaires work? 
  6. You say that you eliminate cognitive biases. How do you eliminate these biases?
  7. How do your profile models work? 
  8. How do you create your personalized job recommendations? 


Where do AssessFirst's Swipe, Drive and Brain questionnaires come from?

The questionnaires offered by AssessFirst are developed in-house by our Science team. These questionnaires are based on the most tried and tested theoretical models and statistical methodologies recognised by the scientific community.


The "Swipe" questionnaire enables us to understand the behaviours that individuals naturally tend to exhibit, whether in normal or stressful situations.

The theory behind the SWIPE questionnaire is the Big Five model. It is the most widely used personality model in the professional and scientific worlds, and the most empirically supported.

The Swipe questionnaire aims to measure 20 facets of personality:

  • Leadership and influence:
    • Takes the lead over others
    • Seeks to convince others
    • Goes spontaneously to others
    • Demonstrates diplomacy
  • Consideration of others:
    • Is emotionally involved
    • Is open to others' ideas
    • Accepts critics
    • Consults before deciding
  • Creativity and adaptability:
    • Is attracted by varied tasks
    • Is interested in abstract things
    • Shows inventiveness
    • Adapts to changes
  • Rigour in work :
    • Organises with method
    • Attaches importance to details
    • Perseveres in the face of obstacles
    • Goes beyond prescribed tasks
  • Personal balance :
    • Shows a relaxed attitude
    • Focuses on the positive aspects
    • Controls his/her emotions
    • Seeks stability


The “Drive” questionnaire consists of 90 questions. It aims to measure the dimensions of a person's motivations. 


The following theories were used to design the DRIVE questionnaire:                      

  • Self-Determination Theory (SDT) - Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan: this theory is an authority in work psychology. It postulates that a person cannot be motivated by extrinsic incentives over the long term. They must find intrinsic sources of motivation to maintain their commitment to a task. It also refers to the satisfaction of 3 basic needs: the need for competence, autonomy and affiliation.
  • Multidimensional Theory of Person-Environment Fit - Jansen & Kristof-Brown (2006) and Edwards & Billsberry (2010): research into the work carried out in recent years has led AssessFirst to go further in the way it understands the notion of motivation, particularly through the modelling of different levels of fit between a person and his or her work environment. These levels of adjustment influence three main indicators: commitment, intention to leave one's job, and job satisfaction.


The "Drive" questionnaire aims to measure 20 dimensions of motivation divided into 4 areas:

  • What the person wants to do:
    • Meet new people
    • Create new things
    • To challenge his/herself on a daily basis
    • Have clearly defined tasks
    • Analyse data
    • Caring about aesthetics
    • Caring about quality
  • How he/she wants to do it:
    • Work in a team
    • Have influence
    • Have autonomy
  • In what environment he/she wants to do it:
    • Work in a relaxed environment
    • To have a positive impact on the world
    • Maintain his/her personal balance
    • To work in a disciplined way
    • Work in a safe environment
  • Why he/she wants to do it:
    • To be recognised by others
    • To receive rewards
    • To help others
    • To achieve regular success
    • To have an attractive salary


The “Brain” questionnaire is an adaptive questionnaire (the level and number of items adapt to the person taking the questionnaire). It aims to measure the level of reasoning and speed of execution.


The "Brain" questionnaire is based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll model. The Cattell-Horn-Carroll model is a theory that describes human intelligence and cognitive abilities in the form of a hierarchical structure in which narrow factors predict broader cognitive factors, which in turn predict the general intelligence factor.


It is currently considered to be the best predictor of career success and coping skills in the broad sense.


What information is recorded by AssessFirst when a Candidate completes the questionnaires?

When answering the questionnaires, AssessFirst records :

  • the answer to each question
  • the time taken to answer them
  • the number and length of breaks taken
  • whether the questionnaire was completed in good conditions
  • whether the questionnaire was completed in the Candidate's native language

For the “Brain” questionnaire, other elements are also recorded:

  • the stages of final response construction
  • the validation of the correct understanding of the “Brain” instruction
  • the number of resets


In its data processing algorithm, AssessFirst only records the answers to the questionnaires and the time taken to answer the questions.


Does the calculation algorithm used by your questionnaires use personal data?

No. AssessFirst does not use any personal data in its calculation algorithm for its questionnaires.

Our Swipe, Drive and Brain questionnaires are based on data that has been anonymised as defined by the CNIL, i.e. data that is no longer considered personal data.

Only the answers to the questions are kept, with no link to the surname, first name, gender, IP address or any other personal data collected by AssessFirst relating to the person concerned.


Do any AssessFirst features use personal data?

Some AssessFirst features - which are offered after the person's profile has been established by the calculation algorithm - for example the job recommendation to the Candidate, known as "orientation", use information such as "current job title" in order to offer jobs which are consistent with the Candidate's profile.


How do you produce AssessFirst profiles of Candidates? How do your personality questionnaires work?

The reports we produce following the completion of the Swipe, Drive and Brain questionnaires contain two types of information: quantitative (in the form of scores) and qualitative (in the form of comments).


As far as the quantitative information is concerned, its objective is to place the Candidate in relation to a reference population which was used to calibrate our questionnaires. This reference population was determined by AssessFirst. This population comprises several hundred thousand anonymous profiles, of all ages, genders, levels of study, levels of responsibility and functions.


Initially, a user's responses to the questionnaires enable us to calculate an initial raw score on the various traits and dimensions measured by our questionnaires. These raw scores are calculated by taking into account all the answers related to a personality or motivation criterion. Each criterion is evaluated several times through our questionnaires, in order to ensure the reliability of the measurement. For all three questionnaires, our scoring methodologies are based on an IRT (Item Response Theory) approach.


However, these raw scores are not interpretable as they are: they need to be "translated" into another scale, which will give them meaning. Most of our raw scores are calibrated on a scale of 1 to 10. It is this score which is directly presented on the application, and which allows to understand the positioning of a person.


In concrete terms, the person's raw score is calibrated according to a Gaussian calibration. Each score from 1 to 10 thus corresponds to a positioning in relation to a reference population: thus, a score of 1 corresponds to the 2% of the population with the lowest raw scores, while a score of 10 corresponds to the 2% of the population with the highest raw scores. 


It should also be noted that there are no "good" or "bad" scores per se. It is the responsibility of the human resources professional who interprets it to relate it to a professional context.

For example, a score of 2 for the personality trait "Diplomacy" reflects a direct, straightforward mode of communication. In some professional contexts, this mode of communication is valued, in others it can be limiting, and finally it can also have no positive or negative impact on the situation.


In addition to this quantitative information and scores, AssessFirst also provides qualitative information in textual format. The content generated is based on the scores obtained by the individual. In this sense, they allow a textual interpretation of the score, provide explanations and facilitate the understanding of the profile.


You say that you eliminate cognitive biases. How do you eliminate these biases?

AssessFirst's rigorous methodology and expertise enable us to neutralise potential bias at each stage of the process:

  • at the level of the psychometric questionnaires: the psychometric qualities of AssessFirst questionnaires demonstrate the absence of bias in the questionnaires. Our Science team does everything possible to ensure the scientific robustness of the questionnaires, and is an affiliated member of the ITC (International Test Commission), a benchmark for standards in the development of assessment tools.
  • In terms of score calculation: our algorithms only take into account "neutral" variables, i.e. the scores on the questionnaires. Under no circumstances do these algorithms take into account other variables that would be discriminatory, such as gender, age or origin.


AssessFirst enables companies to limit cognitive bias by collecting high quality, highly standardised data (through our questionnaires) and by applying systematic processing (through our algorithms).


How do your profile models work?

AssessFirst creates and makes available "predictive models": these models define the personality traits, motivations and levels of reasoning that enable us to anticipate success and fulfilment in a target position. We have three types of models.


1. Benchmark model

This is the default model.

The benchmark model includes jobs that have already been set up by AssessFirst to serve as a reference (around 400 jobs at the moment, with more than 3000 targeted). Each model includes the personality traits, motivational dimensions and levels of reasoning expected in the job.


2. Personalized model

For this type of model (optional), the Client completes a questionnaire proposed by AssessFirst to qualify the objective and the professional context associated with the predictive model. The Client can also directly select the dimensions they wish to include in their model. A predictive model is then generated by AssessFirst based on the answers provided by the Client.


3. Artificial Intelligence model

In this optional model, AssessFirst takes into account indicators relating to Candidates identified by the Client in its contacts as well as the scores of the AssessFirst questionnaires of the Candidates.


These elements are analysed to create a predictive model for the recruiting Client, which can then highlight certain criteria that are important in a particular industry or specific to the Client (it is possible to personalise the criteria for a given position on the basis of 41 criteria determined by AssessFirst).


How do you create your personalised job recommendations?

The personalised job recommendations function allows you to discover the jobs that most closely match the characteristics of the Candidate's AssessFirst profile.


This list is not intended to lock the Candidate into a particular direction, but rather to allow each person to broaden their thinking.


The recommendations are based on several factors:

  • The Candidate's suitability for the job position’s predictive model;
  • The Candidate's career objective: exploring new occupations close to their own, moving to a position with a higher hierarchical status, or changing career paths.