Is there a personality test for careers?
Many people look to career assessment tests and personality tests as a means to help identify what jobs they're best suited for. While no test can perfectly define what career is best for you, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the best-known tests to assess personalities and to help people choose an occupation that fits their personality type. Other tests, too, can help people assess their strengths and skills.
In this article, we’ll look at what these tests are, how they’re used, and some of the various options out there.
What do personality tests measure?
Generally, a personality test assesses a person’s personality traits and behavioral characteristics. What a personality test measures depends on the test type and what it’s looking to explore.
For the most part, there’re two basic types of tests — self-report inventories and projective tests.
Self-report inventory tests
Self-report inventory tests require the test taker to answer questions by rating how much they feel a statement applies to them.
An example of this type of test is The Big Five Inventory (BFI).
A projective test presents scenarios, words, or images to the test taker, asking them to interpret or blindly react to them. One of the most popular projective tests is the Rorschach test.
How can personality tests help you choose a career?
People may use personality tests to measure and predict their or someone else’s potential job performance or satisfaction.
Having an awareness of what you might be good at can potentially help you pick the right career. Because of that, you’re more likely to be successful in that career because it matches your inherent skills and personality.
Because of this, many people use personality tests to help them determine the type of occupation that might work best for them. Employers, meanwhile, might use personality tests to determine if a job candidate is the right fit for a job or to help them place their current employees in positions where they fit best.
How can personality tests be used by a potential employer?
Some employers will use personality tests to determine if a job candidate fits the position and the team dynamic. This can include using tests that look at strategic thinking as well as interpersonal and leadership skills.
Employers may also use personality tests to assess their current employees to ensure their inherent skills match up with their current roles, to assess the dynamics of teams, and for other reasons.
How can I pass a personality assessment?
Generally speaking, you don’t need to “pass” a personality test. These tests are designed to assess your personality and inherent skills. To navigate these tests, you should answer questions thoughtfully and honestly.
Other tips for someone taking a personality test for a job include:
- Be honest with yourself
- Take your time
- Read all the directions and ensure you follow them
- Keep any written answers short and to the point
Popular career personality tests
Below are a few more popular tests and resources; some are free, and some you may have to pay for.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-reported questionnaire that helps people assess how they perceive the world and make decisions. The test does this by assigning a value to four categories: introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. The questionnaire produces a four-letter test result, for example, ISTP (meaning Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving). People use that result to assess how they function in the workplace, among other ways.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
Keirsey Temperament Sorter assesses an individual's temperament based on four temperament types: artisan, guardian, idealist, and rational.
MyPlan offers various career assessment tests, including a values assessment, a personality test, and a skills profiler.
Career Fitter has developed a career test that uses someone's personality traits to help determine what careers they match with, their income potential, and their strengths.
Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment
The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment uses data to help predict workplace behaviors so businesses can make more thoughtful decisions about the needs of a specific job role, team, project, or business strategy.
Personality tests can be valuable if you’re looking for ways to determine what careers you might be best suited for and what your inherent skills are. They might also be used to assess job applicants and their current employees.