Position Analysis Questionnaire

Mecham, R. C., et al. (1969). Users manual for the Position Analysis Questionnaire. University Book Store, 360 W. State St., Lafayette, IN 47906.


Comments: According to the authors, the Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) is a structured job analysis questionnaire that provides quantified information about the nature of jobs. It differs from most checklist instruments in that the items describe job characteristics, or job contexts, which may be found in a wide variety of occupational areas. The instrument generates data that may be applied in employee selection and placement, job evaluation and classification, performance appraisal, determining the similarity of jobs, and the like. The analysis is carried out by numerically rating the degree to which each of 194 job elements (items) applies to the job or position being rated. Based on this rating, it is possible to compare jobs, quantitatively, in terms of similarities, or differences, as to their job dimension profiles.

Reliability: The PAQ has extensive manuals and technical documentation that provide complete and detailed information on the development of the scales and the approach, or application, in utilizing the questionnaire. In addition, complete information is provided on reliability and validity of the scales.

Questionnaire Divisions: The questionnaire is divided into six major divisions. (1) Information input: Where and how does the worker get the information that he uses in performing the job? (2) Mental processes: What reasoning, decision making, planning, and information processing activities are involved in performing the job? (3) Work output: What physical activities does the worker perform and what tools are required in performing the job? (4) Relationships with other persons: What relationships with other people are required in performing the job? (5) Job Context: In what physical and social contexts is the work performed? (6) Other job characteristics: What activities, conditions, or characteristics other than those described above are relevant to the job?

These six divisions are further divided into sections and subsections. Each is composed of a group of related job elements (items within the questionnaire).


Mecham, R. C. (1974). Comparison of job evaluation methods. Journal of Applied Psychology 59:633–37.

Rashkovky, B. (2005). Extending the job component validity (JCV) model to include personality predictors. PhD dissertation, Alliant International University, Los Angeles.


Position Analysis Questionnaire

Sample Items

  1. Reasoning in problem solving
  2. Amount of planning/scheduling
  3. Advising
  4. Negotiating
  5. Persuading
  6. Instructing
  7. Interviewing
  8. Routine information exchange
  9. Nonroutine information exchange
  10. Public speaking
  11. Job-required personal contact
  12. Supervision of nonsupervisory personnel
  13. Direction of supervisory personnel
  14. Coordinates activities
  15. Staff functions
  16. Supervision received
  17. Frustrating situations
  18. Strained personal contacts
  19. Personal sacrifice
  20. Interpersonal conflict situations
  21. Non-job-required social contact
  22. Updating job knowledge
  23. Working under
  24. Recognition
  25. Attention to detail
  26. Time pressure of situation
  27. Following set procedures
  28. Repetitive activities


Scoring: Each category contains a six-point rating scale that measures importance to this job. N = Does Not Apply; 1 = Very Minor; 2 = Low; 3 = Average; 4 = High; and 5 = Extreme.