Job Analysis: Methods Of: Questionnaire

Classification Systems used as basis for or resulting from job analyses:

Common Metric Questionaire (CMQ)

The Common Metric Questionnaire (CMQ) is targeted toward both exempt and nonexempt jobs. It has five sections: (1) Background, (2) Contacts with People, (3) Decision Making, (4) Physical and Mechanical Activities, and (5) Work Setting. The Background section asks 41 general questions about work requirements such as travel, seasonality, and licensure requirements. The Contacts with People section asks 62 questions targeting level of supervision, degree of internal and external contacts, and meeting requirements. The 80 Decision Making items in the CMQ focus on relevant occupational knowledge and skill, language and sensory requirements, and managerial and business decision making. The Physical and Mechanical Activities section contains 53 items about physical activities and equipment, machinery, and tools. Work Setting contains 47 items that focus on environmental conditions and other job characteristics. The CMQ is a relatively new instrument. It has been field tested on 4,552 positions representing over 900 occupations in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), and yielded reasonably high reliabilities. (Harvey, 1993)

Fleishman Job Analysis Survey

Another job analysis methodology—the Fleishman Job Analysis Survey (F-JAS), formerly the Manual for Ability Requirements Scales—contains a taxonomy of abilities that is buttressed by decades of research (Fleishman & Mumford, 1991). The taxonomy includes 52 cognitive, physical, psychomotor, and sensory abilities that have strong research support, and the FJAS uses level of ability rating scales that specify level of functioning requirements for jobs. FJAS is a job analysis method; it has not been applied to a large number of jobs in the U.S. economy to produce an occupational database.

Functional Job Analysis Scales

Beginning in the 1940s, Functional Job Analysis (FJA) was used by U.S. Employment Service job analysts to classify jobs for the DOT (Fine & Wiley, 1971). The most recent version of FJA uses seven scales to describe what workers do in jobs: (1) Things, (2) Data, (3) People, (4) Worker Instructions, (5) Reasoning, (6) Math, and (7) Language. Each scale has several levels that are anchored with specific behavioral statements and illustrative tasks. Like other job analysis instruments, FJA is a methodology for collecting job information. While it was used for many years as a part of the DOT, the Department of Labor is replacing the DOT with O*NET and will not be using FJA in O*NET. There is no current database of jobs (other than the DOT) containing FJA data for jobs in the national economy.


The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is in the process of developing a database of information on federal jobs using Multipurpose Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory-Closed Ended (MOSAIC). Toward that end, OPM has been conducting a series of occupational analysis projects, each project handling a different set of occupations (e.g., clerical, managerial, etc.). Each job analysis inventory used to collect data for OPM's system includes a variety of descriptors. The two primary types of descriptors in each questionnaire are tasks and competencies. Tasks are rated on importance and competencies are rated on several scales including importance and requirement for entry. The MOSAIC database is intended to include all government occupations. Clerical, technical, and managerial job sections are complete. Information on the reliability of MOSAIC questionnaires has not been reported.

Occupational Analysis Inventory (OAI)

The Occupational Analysis Inventory (OAI) contains 617 "work elements." It was designed to yield more specific job information than other multi-job questionnaires such as the PAQ while still capturing work requirements for virtually all occupations. The major categories of items are five-fold: (1) Information Received, (2) Mental Activities, (3) Work Behavior, (4) Work Goals, and (5) Work Context. OAI respondents rate each job element on one of four rating scales: part-of-job, extent, applicability, or a special scale designed for the element. The OAI has been used to gather information on 1,400 jobs selected to represent five major occupational categories. Reliabilities obtained with the OAI have been moderate, somewhat lower than those achieved with the PAQ.

Position Analysis Questionaire (PAQ)

The Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) developed by McCormick, Jeanneret, and Mecham (1972) is a structured job analysis instrument to measure job characteristics and relate them to human characteristics. It consists of 195 job elements that represent in a comprehensive manner the domain of human behavior involved in work activities. The items that fall into five categories:

  1. Information input (where and how the worker gets information),
  2. Mental processes (reasoning and other processes that workers use),
  3. Work output (physical activities and tools used on the job),
  4. Relationships with other persons, and
  5. Job context (the physical and social contexts of work).
Over the course of many studies, PAQ researchers have aggregated PAQ data for hundreds of jobs; that database is maintained by Purdue University. A wealth of research exists on the PAQ; it has yielded reasonably good reliability estimates and has been linked to several assessment tools.

Work Profiling System (WPS)

Saville & Holdsworth's Work Profiling System (WPS) is designed to help employers accomplish human resource functions. The job analysis is designed to yield reports targeted toward various human resource functions such as individual development planning, employee selection, and job description. There are three versions of the WPS tied to types of occupations: managerial, service, and technical occupations. The WPS is computer-administered on-site at a company. It contains a structured questionaire which measures ability and personality attributes in areas such as Hearing Skills, Sight, Taste, Smell, Touch, Body Coordination, Verbal Skills, Number Skills, Complex Management Skills, Personality, and Team Role. Saville & Holdsworth aggregates information provided by users into a database when users make those data available. Saville & Holdsworth does not require WPS users to submit their data.