In this resource, you will be able to find all the information you need about which personality tests you should take, where to take them, and how they can help you in your career. Whether you’re a career counselor, a student trying to decide on a major, a professional already comfortable in your industry, or simply someone looking for a career change, all these tests can help you better understand yourself and how your personal skills can match up with a job.
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Personality and Career-Matching
Until more recent years, personalities in the office have often been stifled. However, much of the previously held notions about individuality have changed, and more offices are encouraging employees to use their personality to their advantage. Let your personal quirks shine, and your overall personality will just add to the diversity and culture of the workplace.
Much of this is for good reason. Having diverse personalities and experiences is often what leads to more innovative thinking and creative problem solving. Plus, having the self-awareness to identify your personality can be a great asset for any employee; it can give you the opportunity to identify your weaknesses and your strengths, so you can work on becoming a more well-rounded employee.
Type A Personalities
It is not always necessary to take a test to match your personality to appropriate careers. There are a few common personality “type” descriptors that get used so frequently today, you might find yourself identifying with them without even knowing the history of the term or having a test or professional label you as a certain type. For instance, “Type A” personalities vs “Type B” personalities have become a popular way to broadly categorize people. If you’ve heard people describe you as being Type A, or even believe yourself to be a Type A personality, you may want to learn more about what exactly that means, where it comes from, and how it can help you find the right career path.
Highly Sensitive Person/Empath Personalities
Alternatively, you might have a reputation for being highly empathetic, or even have been told you are a highly sensitive person. Like Type A, this is a personality type that gets brought up casually today, but actually has a very real meaning and theory behind it. If you’re known as, or consider yourself, an empath or highly sensitive person, you can learn more about what that means and how you can use that knowledge to your advantage.
If you are not yet certain what “type” profile best describes you, or simply want to explore different personality tests to find one that you are comfortable with, you have plenty of options. Keep in mind that although these tests can be fun and enlightening, they should never be used to put limitations on your life or the life of your peers. Understanding your personality is important for identifying your strengths and weaknesses, but that doesn’t mean you’re incapable of improving or changing over time.
The Big Five Personality Traits and Test
As many psychologists have found, the most important traits to identify are all referred to as the “Big Five.” They are: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and intellect or imagination. There are also many other traits that some people can express, but these five tend to be the most common and broadest personality markers across all people.
There are several online “Big Five” personality tests, which are based on the ideas of the original psychologists that created this theory: Ernest Tubes and Raymond Christal in 1961, and further expanded upon by Lewis Goldberg in 1990 and Oliver John, respectively (there are also other psychologists who helped identify and narrow the list of personality traits to just five).
Online tests of other sorts — such as the Myers-Briggs or DISC Assessment — can provide more specific details about where you fall in relation to those five major traits, and how you can improve or find a better balance between all your traits.
Of these five core traits, some of them might be difficult to change, while others might be more fluid. Yet, how can you know which traits are capable of adjustment? It has to do with your personal temperament versus your flexible personality traits.
Free Big Five Personality Tests Online
Here are some of the most common variations of personality tests based on the theory of the “Big Five”:
- OpenPsychometrics: Big Five Personality Test
- Psychology Today: Big Five Personality Test
- Personality Assessor: Big Five Inventory
DISC Personality Test and Profile
The DISC Assessment test was created by William M Marston in 1928 — the same man who later created the icon Wonder Woman character. This short test is used to identify your strengths and weaknesses by examining how you rank in four different areas of behavior: dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance (hence the acronym: DISC).
The basis of this theory, according to Marston, is to determine how people interact with their environment, and how people express their sense of self. Emotional behavior also plays a major role in this assessment. The first dimension of the test is whether a person’s environment is favorable or unfavorable, and the second is whether the person feels in control or not in control in their environment.
Marston was the creator of the theory, but the test wasn’t created until 1956, by Walter Clarke. Clarke’s original intention for the test was to help businesses choose qualified employees. In the modern day, many businesses use the results to determine how teams of people can better interact with each other and become more effective by identifying strengths and weaknesses of individuals.
Free DISC Personality Tests Online
Some websites offer free versions of this test, but traditionally a more in-depth analysis of your results require a purchased assessment. If you would like to see how your behavior is assessed, try these free versions:
Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is often the most popular personality test, and is commonly used to recommend careers based off of your personality.
The creators of the test were Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, who were both fascinated with personalities but were also self-taught in psychological theory. They found the conceptual theory of the personality test through the research of Carl Jung in 1923, and together built the MBTI during World War II. The original intention of the test was to help women — many of whom were entering the workforce for the very first time to help with war-time efforts — find a suitable job that matched their skills and personality. Their first MBTI assessment was published in 1944.
In some ways, the theory behind the test is similar to that of the Big Five. Carl Jung identified specific human emotions related to worldly experiences using four principal psychological functions – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. Myers and Briggs expanded upon those categories even further, and created 16 personality types: intuition versus sensing, introversion versus extroversion, feeling versus thinking, and perceptions versus judging.
However, the MBTI test is also fairly controversial. Many psychologists note that the test is inaccurate, often showing different results for the same people on different occasions, and missing certain variables (such as neuroticism, which is included in the Big Five).
Despite these concerns, it hasn’t stopped the MBTI or Jungian Typology test from becoming one of the most popular formats of testing personalities.
Free Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Online
There are many different variations of this test, including free and paid versions. Here are some free versions available online:
More Free Career Aptitude Tests
There are many different free and paid versions of aptitude tests online. The general purpose of these tests is to measure your ability to learn and acquire skills, or to measure your existing skills to determine if you would be a good candidate for a job. Virtually any personality test can be used as a career aptitude test if you understand what it tells you about types and traits, and what characteristics are associated with different occupations or even specific companies.
In fact, you may have taken career aptitude tests in the past when applying to jobs. They often come in the form of asking questions about specific situations and give you a selection of answers to choose from, which are dependent on your preferences. Many employers use these tests to determine if you would be a good fit for the company or not compatible.
For example, a test may ask: “I enjoying meeting new people.” Your response might be on a scale of “strongly agree” to “neutral” to “strongly disagree.”
Here’s a list of some of the most common and most creative personality or aptitude tests that you might find online:
Department of Labor Career Aptitude Tests
There are some tests that look solely at your personality, while there are other tests that look solely at your professional skills. These professional or skill-matching aptitude tests are designed strictly to determine how your skills — both soft skills and learned skills — can match up with a career path. If you’re thinking of changing careers or are brand new to the job market, these tests can help you determine which jobs are the best fit for you. However, it is also important to understand your personality, and you might want to take a personality test before you take a skill-match aptitude test so you can get a complete picture of yourself and the best job for you.
Two free versions sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor are available here:
There are different versions of this test available online, but the idea is to determine your personality based on the colors you like the most and the colors you like the least. One free online version is Test Color.
Similar to the color test, this assessment is fairly straightforward: choose the stock image that best describes your answer to a question. Once the test is over, it will provide a detailed assessment of your personality. One free online version is the “Who Am I?” Visual DNA Test.
Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP)
This test asks you a series of questions revolving around how you approach certain scenarios. The goal is to determine your emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) in a workplace setting and to provide feedback on how to improve your lower EQ areas. The IHHP offers a free EQ test on their website.
Goleman’s EQ Test
Another EQ test, this one offers short stories and asks how you might respond to those scenarios. Whereas the IHHP test is more business-oriented, the Goleman test (named after Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and journalist with the New York Times) is more geared towards everyday scenarios and how you handle or manage your emotions and stress. Some free versions of this test include:
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