This study investigated the adequacy of a rating scale with a large number of response categories that is often used in panel surveys for assessing diverse aspects of job satisfaction. An inappropriate scale usage is indicative of overstraining respondents and of diminished psychometric scale quality. The mixed Item Response Theory (IRT) approach for polytomous data allows exploring heterogeneous patterns of inappropriate scale usage in form of avoided categories and response styles. In this study, panel data of employees (n = 7036) on five aspects of job satisfaction measured on an 11-point rating scale within the “Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia” (wave 2001) were analyzed. A three-class solution of the restricted mixed generalized partial credit model fit the data best. The results showed that in no class the 11-point scale was appropriately used but that the number of categories used was reduced in all three classes. Respondents of the large class (40%) appropriately differentiate between up to six categories. The two smaller classes (33 and 27%) avoid even more categories and show some kind of extreme response style. Furthermore, classes differ in socio-demographic and job- related factors. In conclusion, a two- to six-point scale without the middle point might be more adequate for assessing job satisfaction.