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Personality tests can be a useful tool to help better understand a person’s characteristics, personality traits, and methods of communication that will resonate with that individual.
In your career, you may have come across employers who request job candidates to take a personality test as part of their interview process. It may seem intimidating for those who have never encountered one, but they can be very effective at helping to define a person’s strengths and weaknesses.
While these personality tests are typically deployed by employers to help them better understand their candidates, they are actually very useful for professionals who may be seeking a change in their career due to low job satisfaction or a particular set of challenges within an industry that prevent career development.
If you are in a pivotal moment in your career, a personality test can provide insight that may lead you towards a better career choice and a career trajectory that will ultimately be more fulfilling.
This article will provide a detailed overview on how personality tests work and recommend a couple that are reputable and reliable in their results.
How do personality tests work?
Personality tests typically function through a series of questions that are answered based on a scaling system. The answers rely on an honest self-assessment from the person who is taking the test, which is then calculated into a final result based on number of factors. The questions are usually categorized into common personality areas such as introversion or extroversion.
Are personality tests reliable?
Not every personality test is created equal.
While the internet is full of many ‘fun’ personality quizzes that provide novelty results, there are others that are considered reliable and effective in their methodologies. It’s important to use a personality test that is well-established and has some grounding in a scientific approach.
With that said, it’s also critical for users to understand the intent of personality tests and the nature of human beings in order to get the most out of any given test.
Human beings are wonderfully complicated creatures that have multifaceted perspectives, which undergo constant evolution based on new experiences. Learning and attempting to understand yourself is a consistent practice in self-exploration.
Getting to know yourself and how you think or react to particular situations is always a useful endeavour and it can help inform your career path with more clarity on yourself at any particular stage of your life. However, your perception as a recent graduate versus a senior level professional may be very different, so it’s important to understand that your personality test results are a snapshot of your current state, rather than a perpetual definition of yourself as an individual.
The Best Personality Tests for Career Change
1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, in the early 1920s and consistently developed over the courses of their lifetimes. After the first MBTI manual was published in 1962, this methodology garnered more support from UC Berkeley, Michigan State University, and other professionals in the field of psychology.
The MBTI test results sort psychological traits into grouping of 4 dichotomies with a resulting combination of 16 potential personality types.
2. The Big Five Personality Test
The Big Five personality test is based on five personality traits that was developed in the 1980s as part of the psychological trait theory.
The theory helps to identify the following personality groupings:
- Openness to Experience
The test helps participants understand the unique combination of these traits that contribute to their overall personality. Research indicates that genetic inheritance and lived experience both contribute to the outcome of personality traits that are developed during childhood and typically persistent into adulthood.
3. The Enneagram Of Personality
The Enneagram of personality is a theory of human psyche which is based on an interconnected relationship between nine fundamental personality types. The contemporary version of the Enneagram theory was developed by Claudio Naranjo, a Chilean psychiatrist, in the 1970s.
The fundamental personality types in the enneagram of personality include:
- Reformer / Perfectionist
- Helper / Giver
- Achiever / Performer
- Individualist / Romantic
- Investigator / Observer
- Loyalist / Loyal Skeptic
- Enthusiast / Epicure
- Challenger / Protector
- Peacemaker / Mediator
Enneagram personality tests provide an interconnected mix of these personality traits that combine a set of characteristics common to each personality type.
Be Honest About Yourself
When it comes down to it, personality tests are only as accurate as your answers. It’s important to think deeply about yourself and be honest about who you are.
This will not only help you produce more accurate results in a personality test, it will also help you understand yourself better so that you are more prepared to make challenging decisions in your career path. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ personality, so don’t be afraid of some self-reflection. It might just take you to exactly where you need to be.