You might be grappling with the question: Should personality tests be used for hiring? Or why do employers use personality tests in the first place?
Personality tests can be especially helpful when determining whether or not someone is a good fit not only for the role, but also for the company culture. While personality tests alone shouldn't determine whether or not someone gets the job, they can add valuable insights that can help to make or break a candidate's chances.
So what do employers look for in a personality test for the career at hand? They look for tell-tale signs that the candidate who took the test has the right soft skills and interpersonal skills to succeed in the role and at the company. For example, if a candidate for a teaching job takes a personality test that finds that they're not very helpful or they're super shy, the candidate whose test suggests that they are very helpful and on the extraverted side (so they're more comfortable standing before a classroom, for example) may be a better contender for the job opening.
But personality tests for job aren't only for employers to give to candidates. Job seekers can take personality tests for jobs, as well, in order to help them determine the best jobs for their personality types.
So what is the best career test?
8 personality tests for jobs
Here are eight personality tests to determine your dream job.
The Myer-Briggs Personality test (also known as MBTI) is arguably the most popular personality test out there. It's not free (it costs $49.95), but it's worth the money because it's touted as an extremely accurate account. This psychological personality test identifies your specific strengths and weaknesses in relation to your likes, dislikes, relationships and career goals (amongst other factors). It then gives you your personality type, which is a combination of four letters, like "ENTJ" (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) or "INTP" (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving) or "INTJ" (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) for examples.
Learn more about the best careers for your MBTI personality type.
16 Personalities is another seriously popular personality test out there that gives you one of 16 personality types. The whole test takes about 20 minutes and, at the end, you're told where you fall on four different spectrums: how much you like to make decisions versus keeping your options open, how much you make choices based on emotions versus logic, how much you're a details person versus a bigger-picture person and how much you think aloud versus how much you think before you speak. Then you're categorized as a certain archetype, such as a "defender" or a "commander," for examples.
The Big Five Personality test will take about 15 minutes to complete, as there are about 50 questions. The big five personality traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism, which are often listed under the acronyms, CANOE or OCEAN. While this isn't a career test, it will help you to explore your personality type to determine a career path that's fitting for you.
MyPlan's Career Values Assessment is one of the many career planning tolls that MyPlan boasts. This test, which includes 20 questions that'll take 12 minutes to finish up, gives six core work values at the end (independence, recognition, achievement, support, relationships and working conditions). It ranks these values, and it also ranks hundreds of ideal job titles that all reflect your answers.
The MAPP Career test launched in 1995, and millions of people have taken this free assessment test since. It helps them to determine the best jobs and career paths for them in just 22 minutes. At the end, you're given over 1,000 possible careers that are suitable for you, based on your answers. The test has even been certified as being a reliable one by psychologists, which is why career coaches, recruiting firms and school counselors use it all the time, too.
The Career Clusters Interest survey will test you on your personality type, hobbies and the things that you like studying. This career test only takes about five to 10 minutes to complete and, at the end, it will offer you a series of career clusters that are each designed by university career services centers. So, while this is not a full-on personality test, it's still an assessment that can match you with careers based on your personality type and the activities and disciplines that you enjoy.
The Predictive Index test takes under five minutes to complete. All you have to do is circle the words from a list that best describes you, and you also circle words from the same list that you think others would use to describe you. You then have to measure all of those against four main characteristics to determine your work style and how you'd handle various team dynamics. Of course, this test is useful then in choosing your career wisely.
8. Enneagram Test
Enneagram tests are similar to the classic Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. Essentially, an Enneagram helps you find the specific traits that make up your personality type. According to the Enneagram Institute, there are nine Enneagram types and “it is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself." The one that stands out is "your basic personality type.” The nine Enneagram types include the following:
- The Reformer — the rational and idealistic type
- The Helper — the caring and interpersonal type
- The Achiever (sometimes referred to as the Motivator) — the success-oriented and pragmatic type
- The Individualist (sometimes referred to as the Artist) — the sensitive and withdrawn type
- The Investigator (sometimes referred to as the Thinker) — the intense and cerebral type
- The Loyalist (sometimes referred to as the Skeptic) — the committed and security-oriented type
- The Enthusiast (sometimes referred to as the Generalist) — the extroverted and spontaneous type
- The Challenger (sometimes referred to as the Leader) — the powerful and dominating type
- The Peacemaker — the easygoing and self-effacing type
If you're on the hunt for some reliable enneagram tests, we tested some out here!
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.