Updated by Sean Welch

At a glance 

Type of assessment 

Workplace Behavior / Personality 


The competencies required for success in your organization's roles. 


Varies depending on how many competencies are assessed but generally averages between 5-10 minutes 


An adaptive assessment.  

Candidates complete up to 6 questions per trait (generally around 60 questions in total) 

Workplace outcomes 

Better performance, higher productivity, increased job satisfaction and engagement, improved communication and teamwork, and reduced turnover. 

Recommended for 

Illustrait is suitable for all occupations, industries and seniorities. 



Illustrait gives you an accurate, targeted picture of each candidate’s competency potential, based on their unique mix of behavioral traits and preferences. It helps you quickly identify candidates with the potential to succeed in your organization’s roles.  

When a candidate’s behavioral traits and preferences match a job’s requirements, they’re more likely to be effective, productive, and perform well in the role.  

When you use Illustrait, our system can automatically recommend the appropriate competencies for the role, or you can choose your own from our extensive library of over 38 competencies. This enables you to design an assessment that is specifically focused on the unique requirements of your role. 

Candidates only complete questions that are related to the selected competencies, making the assessment brief, targeted, and highly job-relevant.  


Illustrait is an untimed assessment that can usually be completed in around five minutes. The assessment time will vary depending on the number of competencies being assessed for the role. 

When candidates complete Illustrait, they indicate the extent to which each statement accurately describes their behavior and how they see themselves in a typical work environment. Candidates respond to each question by selecting one of the five options from an agreement scale. As an intelligent assessment, the questions in Illustrait are adaptive and will adjust based on a candidate’s previous responses, providing a tailored and positive experience for each candidate, with no irrelevant questions, and a simple and brief candidate experience. 

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Add work styles for a more in-depth profile of each candidate 

If you’d like to also view additional information about a candidate’s behavioral traits and preferences – which is useful when onboarding a successful candidate, for team building and development, or any other instance when you want a more general overview of each candidate’s workplace behaviors, you can choose to add a Work Styles report when adding Illustrait to a job. This will add more questions to the assessment and will generally take the total assessment time to around 10 minutes.  


Illustrait measures the competencies required for success in your organization's roles. The assessment works out-of-the-box to assess the 38 competencies in the Criteria Competency Framework, which are based an expert mapping exercise conducted by Criteria’s I/O Psychology team for over 900 O*NET jobs.  

The full list of competencies in the Criteria Competency Framework are provided below: 

Leading Others 

  • Directing and coordinating 
  • Developing and coaching 
  • Strategic mindset 
  • Motivating and inspiring 
  • Change management 

Working With Others

  • Client and customer service
  • Effective communication
  • Cooperation and collaboration
  • Consulting advising
  • Networking and building relationships
  • Interpersonal acumen
  • Selling
  • Managing conflict
  • Persuading and influencing
  • Inclusion and diversity

Thinking and Deciding 

  • Investigating, analyzing, and evaluating 
  • Solving and improving 
  • Safety and risk management 
  • Business acumen 
  • Creativity and innovation 
  • Decisive 
  • Calculated risk-taker 
  • Managing complexity and ambiguity 

Completing Tasks 

  • Delivering and persevering
  • Checking and monitoring 
  • Organizing and planning 
  • Complying with requirements 
  • Writing and reporting 
  • Technological and scientific proficiency 
  • Numerical and statistical proficiency 
  • Manual and mechanical proficiency 
  • Independence and initiative 

Managing Self 

  • Learning and self-development 
  • Coping with pressure 
  • Ethical 
  • Resilience and self-confidence 
  • Drive and ambition 
  • Adapting 


Setting up Illustrait  

Illustrait is designed to work ‘out-of-the-box’ and will automatically recommend the competencies required to perform in the job you are hiring for. You can add Illustrait to a new job in the same way you add a custom test battery to a job. View instructions for adding Illustrait to a job here.

Once you’ve selected the competencies most relevant for a particular vacancy, Criteria’s Illustrait assessment will build a tailored assessment to evaluate each candidate’s potential for those specific competencies. 

If you are recruiting for different positions, you should create a separate competency set for each job, since the competencies required for job success will vary from one position to another.    

Score Reports  

The Illustrait score report displays an individual's percentile ranking which indicates the degree of personality alignment between candidates’ results and the competencies you have selected. For example, a score of 89% indicates that the candidate’s level of alignment is greater than 89% of people who have also completed Illustrait for this role. 

The report includes a detailed breakdown of the candidate’s percentile score for each of the competencies that were assessed as well as a detailed analysis of what the candidate’s score on each competency means. This will help paint the ‘picture’ of how they are likely to engage with activities in the workplace that align with the competency. 

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The report also provides recommended interview questions based on each candidate’s responses.  These competency-based interview questions highlight areas you may choose to explore if the candidate proceeds to an interview. 

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In addition to the competency report, you may also choose to generate a Work Styles report for your candidates. This report provides insights into a candidate’s traits in terms of eight broad styles and four work roles, compared to the general population. These insights are useful for onboarding and development purposes. 

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If you prefer to view a spreadsheet of your candidates' results, the following information can be included in the report:

  • Percentile
  • Competency scores
  • Scatter Score
  • Validity
  • Assessment Version Number

Candidate Experience 

Because Illustrait is work-related and the assessment is adaptive with fewer questions, it offers a faster and more pleasant experience for candidates. You can also elect to send candidates a Workplace Insights report that highlights their unique traits, their work styles and information on leveraging their strengths at work.  

Illustrait is device-agnostic. This means candidates can take the test on any digital device they choose – a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop – in any location and at any time. 


Additional resources 

About Illustrait 

View a brief overview of Illustrait, including key benefits.

Creating and Using Competency Sets

Instructions on how to get started with an Illustrait competency set.

Information Brief

Provides more detailed information about Illustrait.

Sample Illustrait Score Report 

Outlines the candidate’s overall competency potential and performance against the selected competencies. This is the default report for Illustrait. 

Workplace Insights Sample Report

You can choose to send candidates a feedback report once they complete Illustrait. 

Sample Illustrait Work Styles Report 

Provides insights into the candidate’s work-related traits and styles, which is ideal for onboarding, development and teamwork. You can choose to include this report when adding Illustrait to a job. 

Score Report Guide 

Information on interpreting the Illustrait score report. 

Criteria Competency Framework 

An overview of the 38 unique competencies available for Illustrait with their definitions.

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