Skill level: Specialty
Different careers or occupations can be a better fit for certain personality types. Results from a personality type assessment can be a factor in choosing a career.
Many types of assessments are available, with some of the more common ones listed below. Usually, an assessment will take the form of a questionnaire that measures a person’s perceptions, preferences, and approach to decision making.
Occupations have also been classified and correlated to personality types that would be the most satisfied or successful, or offer the best fit.
No system for categorizing personality is perfect and most individuals will be a combination of several types. Therefore, when using these tools, it is important to consider the results as just one indicator of career fit.
- Can help to select a career field that is a good fit for your personality
- Can increase awareness of your learning style and help you benefit from career-related education
- Can help an individual better manage job challenges
- Can aid in a job search, both in marketing yourself and in evaluating opportunities that arise
How to Use
Personality type assessments can be administered by career counselors, coaches, or other professionals who then interpret the results and usually provide very detailed reports. Assessments can also be found online and will provide varying levels of details and accuracy.
Some well-known or commonly used assessments follow.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Uses a lengthy questionnaire in which results are scored by four types of preferences:
- Extroversion (E) or (I) Introversion
- Sensing (S) or (N) Intuition
- Thinking (T) or (F) Feeling
- Judgment (J) or (P) Perception
Results are indicated by letters that stand for the preferences (for example, ENTJ or ESFP), with 16 combinations possible.
Characterizes behaviors into four major personality types or groups:
- Dominance – relating to control, power, and assertiveness
- Influence – relating to social situations and communication
- Steadiness – relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness
- Conscientiousness – relating to structure and organization
Results are usually reported in a grid format tht gives a number score for each category.
A few other types of assessments include:
- Big Five personality traits
- Birkman Method
- HEXACO (Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, eXtraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience) model of personality structure
Steve is interested in pursuing a job in sales. He has taken a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, and for one of the preference indicators he ranked on the “extroverted” side. On the inventory trait section, for the gregarious-intimate scale, Steve was on the “intimate or introverted” side.
Steve can verify this result. He is most comfortable in one-on-one relationships and his friendship circle tends to be smaller and long-lasting. These results indicate that
Steve would be ideally suited for a situation where sales and maintenance of existing accounts is very important. His preference for more intimate relationships will be an asset, as he will naturally cultivate relationships with these existing accounts.
On the other hand, he may not be a good fit in situations with a lot of cold-calling or that depend on selling a big-ticket item to a customer who likely won’t make another purchase for several years. While he may be able to handle such a situation, the circumstances would not allow him to draw upon one of his important people strengths, so he would need to find ways to compensate for that missing connection.