A Must Do, No-Fail Assignment: Take a Personality Test

September 29, 2022   |   Career Management

Personality tests offer another avenue for self-awareness that gives the professional a tangible set of observations about the way they work. Many professionals use personality tests to get a snapshot of their preferred pattern of behavior at a point in time – when many tests are taken over a number of years, trends can be identified. As a jobseeker, the use case for a personality test demands the results be given full consideration. This consideration may encourage the professional to make some minor changes in the way they work but; moreover, what is gleaned from the results can help the professional hone their job description toward their strengths and preferences.


Which personality test is best? This debate is lively and practically meaningless to the job seeker who is using the personality test to help them identify the best job fit. Yes, we’re suggesting you spend less time researching the “best” personality test and more time applying the results of whichever test you use to the way you position yourself as a value-add candidate. Personality tests are useless on their own, the job seeker must apply the results to their work style and communications. There are several sources available for overviews of types of tests and places to take personality tests for free. Use these links to explore further:


Said another way, the only way a personality test benefits a job seeker is if that person internalizes the results to improve themselves as a job candidate. If the objective is to show an organization how one will be a value-add to the organization’s work, candidates who understand their personalities, including both strengths and weaknesses, will be positioned to confidently take on tasks that leverage their strengths. In the case a task is not aligned with the candidate’s strengths, the candidate who understands themselves will know which kind of support they will need to successfully complete the task. For example, a frontline fundraiser recently shared this, “I can do data analytics to assess the readiness of a donor for a call from me but, I’m much better at calling donors from a list for which someone else has already done the data analysis.” In this example, the frontline fundraiser knows they are stronger at relationship building than data analytics and is advocating for their job description to leverage that relationship building strength. Meg George, guest on episode 8, wrote a piece, Introverts vs. Extroverts: Is there a better fundraiser?, that is an example of how one might leverage their personality preferences.


As a final note, remember that a personality test is a tool that reflects a certain moment in time. Over the past two decades, I have watched my own personality test results change. An extraordinary insight was revealed to me through my latest test and reflection, I once was a stickler for detail—now, not so much. This means my focus tends toward the big picture instead of minutiae. As a result, I ask colleagues to review final plans or budget extra time in a project plan to focus on details. This shift is not necessarily positive or negative. There is not an ideal state or a way to “get an A” on personality tests. They are simply a tool for self-awareness.


Which personality tests are your favorites? Have you gained any extraordinary insights about your work through personality tests?


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