What Is a Career Personality Test and Should I Take One?

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 20, 2022

A Therapist Can Help You Assess Your Career Strengths And Options

Choosing a career is easy for some people. They know exactly what they want to do with their life, sometimes from an early age. However, for others the path isn't so clear. One way to proceed is to start by taking a career personality test or a "who am I?" quiz to better understand yourself and your strengths. 

What Is a Career Personality Test?

There are several different types of career personality tests. Some are tests to find your personal characteristics. Others focus on your preferences or your interests. Still others measure your aptitude for various jobs.

Test Format

These days, career personality tests are typically done online. You simply click on your preferred answer among the two or more options available for each question. In certain situations, you may take the test with pen and paper. When you finish, the results are delivered to you, although you may need to set up an account and/or pay a fee before you can receive them.

Who Gives the Tests?

You can take the test on your own at a testing website. Sometimes testing professionals go to jobsites or colleges to give the tests. If you're going to college or preparing to go, you can usually take career tests at the counseling center, either through a testing professional, online, or directly on their computer system.

Some career personality tests can be given by your mental health counselor. For some of them, the person giving the test must be certified to administer the test and explain the results.

What Test Results Show

A career personality test's ultimate payoff is a list of occupations you're best suited for. You might also be given information on the types of tasks you prefer, your communication style, your interest areas, and your personality.

Purpose of Career Personality Tests

The main purpose of a career personality test is to find out what career is right for you. This can be helpful if:

  • You're getting ready to start college or trade school.
  • You're thinking of changing your major.
  • You're getting ready to enter the workforce for the first time.
  • You want to find your weak areas in your work for career development.
  • You're considering a career change.
  • You're reentering the workforce after not working for a period of time.

How Do Companies and Organizations Use the Results?

In some cases, you might also be asked to take a career personality test when you apply for a job or are considered for a different position within your company. Some managers use career personality tests as a part of a team-building exercise or during conflict resolution.

MAPP Test

The Motivational Appraisal of Person Potential Assessment (MAPP test) is a 71-question online test that you can do in about 15 minutes. When you complete the test, you get a list of the top 20 careers you're best suited for, as well as summaries of your aptitude, temperament, interaction style, math, language and reasoning abilities, and aptitude.

With the free online version of the MAPP, you get the list of careers, but the top 10 careers for you are blacked out. You also get some basic information, but you have to pay to receive those top 10 results.

Strong Interest Inventory

The Strong Interest Inventory is a test that helps you discover your interests in the six areas of: realistic, artistic, investigative, social, enterprising, and conventional. The data from the test is then related to the types of careers and leisure activities that you would probably enjoy most.

The test divides test takers into 6 general categories according to the answers they give and the careers that would interest them the most. These are: the organizers, the doers, the thinkers, the persuaders, the helpers, and the creators.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that's quite popular among corporations and other organizations. According to the theory used in the test, there are 16 different personality types.

After choosing an answer for each of the questions, you receive the results stating which of the 16 personalities you're most like. However, the real MTBI isn't free. You or your company will need to pay for the results. The results reveal what general type of personality you have and correlate that to what types of jobs you might do best to choose.

DISC

DISC stands for the core areas of behavior: influence, dominance, steadiness, and conscientiousness. These are the areas assessed by the DISC test in an online questions and choice format. The test costs about $30, and you can finish taking it online in about 30 minutes. One of the best things about the DISC test is that it gives you vocabulary to use in describing your strengths to employers.

Gallup's CliftonStrengths 34 Assessment

The Gallup CliftonStrengths 34 is an assessment of your greatest strengths. This online test is based on sorting personality strengths into four categories: strategic thinking, executing, influencing, and relationship building. The results you get from this test will show you which type of personality you have within each category.

Is There a Totally Free Job Personality Test?

A paid personality career test can be expensive, especially if you're on a student's budget or between jobs. However, if you don't have cash to spend on a full-blown career test with detailed reports, you can still take a free career personality quiz. Here are some of the options to consider.

Princeton Review Career Quiz

At the Princeton Review online, you can take a simple free career personality quiz. It's a quick 24-question test with two options to choose from for each question. The test describes jobs or tasks and asks you to choose which you prefer.

A Therapist Can Help You Assess Your Career Strengths And Options

The results of this test show up as Your Interest and Your Style. Your Interest is a summary of the types of job responsibilities and jobs you might prefer and the careers that match up to them. Your Style is a section discussing how you typically perform your job. Both sections are labeled with a color representing the general type of career that might be right for you.

Random Online Career Personality Quiz Options

By searching for career personality tests, you can quickly find a wide range of tests to choose from that are advertised as free. The validity of these tests is sometimes questionable, and you typically have no recourse if you don't get helpful results. But, it's free, so there's no real risk most of the time.

In most cases, you'll still need to give something to get something, though. Most often, you give your email address. If you do so, you may receive lots of unwanted junk mail. Another thing to watch for is download buttons that are placed on the page but not a part of the test. These can cause you to download things you don't want or add a browser extension, for example.

Some options are TestQ, 123test, and human metrics. Each of these free job personality tests offers to tell you the right career for your personality type. One thing you should avoid is taking a career personality quiz that is posted on a social media site. These are often phishing expeditions, and your information may be used to type you for marketing or other ploys.

Can You Choose Not to Take the Test?

Of course, you always have the option not to take an individual online career personality test. If your employer suggests you take the test, though, it might be unclear whether you'll lose your job for not taking it.

However, according to the Myers-Briggs Foundation, it's unethical and may even be illegal to require that a job applicant take the MBTI. Even if they do, their administrators can't ethically point them to a particular career based on their type alone. Other assessment founders also have ethical guidelines about giving the test.

The bottom line is that if you want to take the test, you can, but if you don't want to, you can always refuse it.

Should You Take a Personality Test for Jobs?

The question of whether you should take a career personality test for jobs is totally for you to decide. No one can force you to take such a test. On the other hand, the results may prove valuable as you're working through what your next career move will be.

Another way to address career uncertainty is to talk to a licensed counselor at BetterHelp.com. When you arrive at the website, you can take a short quiz to be matched with a therapist most suited to helping you with your issues. Your counselor can help you assess your career strengths and options. If you have self-esteem issues or identity issues, you can benefit from therapy aimed at resolving those problems.

Career personality tests are typically aimed at finding strengths and preferences of healthy people. The idea is that you are well-suited to some type of career or job. The only thing you need to do is find out which choice is best for you!

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