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The Big 5 is probably the most famous and most commonly used personality model in the workplace and employers commonly use it in the selection process. Unsurprisingly, this model has five personality traits. An easy way to remember the traits is to use the acronym OCEAN. The following table shows the relationship between these five traits and job performance.

Personality Trait Brief Description Link to Job Performance
Open to experience/closed to experience From being open to new experiences and imaginative to being less open to new experiences, narrow-minded, and unimaginative Predicts training performance
Conscientious/disorganised From being well-organised, focused on targets, goals, and deadlines, dependable and good at paying attention to detail to being impulsive, disorganised, and less detail-focused Predicts performance across most jobs and organisational settings
Extroverted/introverted From being outgoing and good at dealing with people (managers tend to be more extroverted than the average person) to being less outgoing and comfortable in own company or that of their close friends Predicts performance for some jobs – sales, for example
Agreeable/tough-minded From being usually good-natured, keen to co-operate with others, careful to avoid conflict, easy to get on with, and not argumentative to being unfriendly, strong-willed, and not averse to conflict Nice to have at work and can be useful in customer-facing roles but studies report it being the weakest Big 5 predictor of good job performance
Neurotic/stable From having a tendency to experience negative states such as anger, anxiety, and guilt, to being stable, rarely upset, and typically calm Predicts poor job performance
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