Can personality tests help you find the right job?

Careers, Jobseekers / 14 June 2022

Deciding on the right job, even the dream job, comes easily to some people. For others, however, that ideal career path remains annoyingly elusive. One way to solve this puzzle is to take advantage of the insight offered by a personality test.
Can personality tests help you find the right job?

What is a personality test?

A personality test assesses the different aspects of your personality to provide a complete picture of who you are as an individual. This includes factors like:

  • strengths and weaknesses
  • work preferences and style
  • drives and fears
  • emotional intelligence
  • self-awareness
  • introversion and extroversion
  • willingness to learn

Questions generally ask for a response to a statement, such as ‘I enjoy working as part of a team’ or ‘I don’t need validation for my accomplishments’. Responses to these statements are usually on a sliding scale between two extremes. For instance, you might be asked to respond on a scale between ‘strongly agree’ and ‘strongly disagree’. Alternatively, the response may be reduced to false for me, true for me, and neutral.

Unlike academic tests, there is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions. You are simply required to answer honestly. In fact, many personality tests include questions that are designed to root out dishonest answers and identify inconsistency in responses.


What personality tests can you use as an individual?

There is a wide variety of personality tests on the market. Many are used by employers to screen candidates or to develop employees. However, there are plenty that are available for personal use and insight. These include:


How can a personality test help you find the right job?

Deciding which job is the right choice for you can be a challenge. There’s so much to consider:

  • your work history and experience
  • your skills and education
  • your values in life
  • the type of company culture that appeals to you
  • what you need to earn, where you must be located, and the type of working pattern that is best for you

All of the above will help you to choose a suitable career, but your personality is an important factor too. For instance, do you work best in a team or independently? Using a personality test can help you find the right job in a number of ways.


Reframe good and bad traits

There is a tendency to see certain personal traits as positive and others as negative. For instance, introversion is often seen as a disadvantage in a busy, competitive, corporate world because it is assumed that it hinders communication skills and indicates a lack of confidence. Of course, this isn’t the case. Many introverts are skilled communicators and have a great level of self-esteem. Equally, the drive to achieve can be seen as a positive trait but in certain circumstances can lead to burn-out or isolation.

While personality tests do consider your drives and traits individually, this is done to build a complete picture of who you are. The evaluation of how your traits work together demonstrates that there are no good or bad traits, but simply areas to be developed, adapted, or maintained.


Clarify your strengths and weaknesses

You may already know what your strengths and weaknesses are, but a personality test can clarify this for you. Some strengths are obvious, for instance, leadership skills, but others such as emotional intelligence can be more difficult to identify. The same applies to weaknesses. You may be fully aware that you find big crowds of people a challenge, but not recognise your lack of openness to new experiences.

By identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to understand how those traits work together to make you the person you are and the type of role that they are a good match for.


Point to jobs you hadn’t considered

Most personality tests, such as the Enneagram test or the Myers Briggs test, will point to jobs and industries that are a good match for your personality. While these may simply confirm what you already believed, some may come as a surprise. Taking a personality test can open your eyes to a job that you would never have thought about otherwise.


Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fresh to the job market, returning after a break, or considering a career change, deciding on the right job can be a challenge. However, the insights provided by a personality test can prove invaluable in building an understanding of who you are as a person and as an employee.

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