Are you a college student with no clue about which major to choose? Or maybe you’re feeling stuck in a career that you’re neither excited about nor engaged with? In any case, if you’re looking for solid guidance on your career direction, a personality career test can offer some welcome insights.
What is a personality career test?
A personality career test, also called a career aptitude test or a career interest test, can help you discover which jobs best align with your interests and preferences. Different tests are structured in different ways, but they all aim to uncover your strengths and determine the career paths in which you’re most likely to be fulfilled and successful.
Benefits of taking a personality career test
Discover your strengths
A personality test can help you learn about your various strengths, some of which may not be obvious. It can also help you identify areas where you may wish to improve your skills, like if you have your heart set on getting into a particular field that requires a niche skill set.
Learn about career options
One of the hardest parts about choosing a career path as a young person is that it’s impossible to know about all the different jobs that are out there. A career aptitude test can introduce you to careers you didn’t know existed and encourage you to consider jobs you may not have thought of for yourself.
Gain direction in your job search
Scrolling through endless posts on job boards can be overwhelming. A career personality test can help you narrow your focus when job searching, honing in on positions for which you’re more likely to be a strong contender.
Gather intel for job interviews
The results of a career aptitude test contain useful insights you can use to impress prospective employers. For example, you might learn that you’re a natural communicator or have a knack for organization, which are strengths you can cite in a future job interview.
What do career aptitude tests measure?
Different tests measure different qualities, but here are some of the main characteristics they zero in on:
- Technical skills: graphic design, HTML, market research, etc.
- Soft skills: problem-solving, adaptability, creativity, etc.
- Interests: music, writing, cooking, gardening, etc.
- Preferences: working with people vs. working independently, working in an office vs. working outdoors, etc.
- Personality traits: extroversion, introversion, optimism, honesty, etc.
Together, the above traits can be strong indicators of the jobs that are likely to be a good fit for your unique personality and skill set.
Are career aptitude tests accurate?
Career aptitude tests are based on data via the questions you answer and the information you share about yourself. Some of them have been developed over many decades of research and real-world testing.
You should take any aptitude test results with a grain of salt–after all, no one but you can say for certain which job is right for you. However, they’re generally a reliable guidepost of the industries and types of positions that will be most appealing to someone with your profile.
10 most popular personality career tests
Here are 10 of the most widely recognized personality career tests. Some take only a few minutes, while others take an hour or more to complete. This list should give you a diverse set of options for gaining clarity on your career path.
1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, assesses personality and preferences based on four sets of characteristics: extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. It can give you insights into your strengths and ideal communication style, which can be applied to identify your most suitable professions.
2. Big Five Personality Test
The Big Five Personality Test evaluates test-takers in five key areas: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. This comprehensive assessment can give you a more nuanced understanding of your personality. With this information, you can match your personal attributes to those listed in job requirements and make application decisions that are aligned with your inherent strengths.
3. Truity Career Personality Profiler
The Career Personality Profiler delves into your traits, interests, and values and uses the data to deliver the most closely matching career paths. By assessing preferences in work environments and tasks, it offers personalized insights for informed career decisions. It takes just 15 minutes to complete and is suitable for individuals age 16 and up.
4. O*Net Interest Profiler
The O*Net Interest Profiler is one of a set of career exploration tools that can help you discover the occupations you’re most likely to find exciting. It’s based around preferences for six categories of work: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. It’s available in English and Spanish and offers a pen-and-paper version.
5. Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment
The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, sometimes shortened to just Predictive Index, is a tool that analyzes your tendencies in the workplace. It evaluates factors such as dominance, extroversion, patience, and formality and can give you deep insights into the role in which you’ll most naturally thrive in a team setting. While this test won’t point you to a specific career, it can be instrumental in identifying the type of positions you’ll succeed in. Many big-name employers use this tool when developing talent, so if you’ve already taken it you’ll be one step ahead.
The CareerFitter aptitude test is a 60-question assessment that asks a mix of yes/no and ‘would you rather…’ questions. Upon completing the assessment, you’ll receive a report that details your personality strengths, optimal work environment, and even your income potential.
7. Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential Test
The Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential, or MAPP, test, is an evaluation of your intrinsic motivators. It will help you better understand your core values and work-related motivations, which are key to choosing a career path that will be both satisfying and fulfilling.
8. Career Explorer
This assessment asks test-takers to reflect on past experiences and future goals to determine what makes you unique. Based on the findings, you’ll be presented with a set of suggested matches and a library of more than 1,000 career paths to explore, with insights on who thrives in each job and why.
9. Clifton Strengths Finder
Developed by the data professionals at Gallup, this test identifies your top five strengths out of a set of 34. It’s rooted in positive psychology, which leverages inherent talents for personal and professional success. This comprehensive assessment comprises 177 questions and takes about an hour to complete.
10. Princeton Review Career Quiz
The short but insightful quiz prompts you with 24 pairs of statements and asks you to choose which is most accurate. For example, ‘I would rather be a tax lawyer’ or ‘I would rather be a newspaper editor.’ At the end, you’ll be given a list of well-matching careers and a description.
By identifying your personal attributes and matching them with specific professions, personality career tests can be a valuable asset in finding a career that you’re good at, that you enjoy, and that you’ll be fulfilled by for years to come.