personality tests

4 Commonly Used Workplace Personality Tests

There’s more to your working habits than meets the eye.
August 25, 2019
9 mins read

Almost everyone believes that nobody knows their own personality better than they do. But while you might think you know everything about yourself, taking personality tests might uncover certain attributes you never knew you had. Depending on which personality tests you take, your results can identify which profession you are most likely to succeed at and what skills you can bring to team-based projects while you’re in school or the workplace.

Below are three of the most well-known and commonly-used personality tests designed to give insight into how people’s behavior, preferences and attitude contribute to their performance at accomplishing tasks. And many employers use a pyschometric test for recruitment.

Three of these assessments — Everything DiSC, MyersBriggs and Hogan Suite — are a bit costly, considering only certified professionals who are familiar with the questions can administer the tests and aid in the analysis of results. Fortunately, there are free versions of these tests online, though you might not understand the full meaning of your results without a specialist’s explanation.

Unlike these three distinguished tests, the fourth one on this list is available online for free. While the Eysenck test is more accessible, its reliability and validity are often called into question. If you choose to take the free assessment, it’s best to take the feedback with a grain of salt, since its algorithms might not be the most accurate representation of your personality. Oftentimes to prepare for a job interview, some people will also consult a free strengthsfinder test, which can help you know what your strengths are.

1. Everything DiSC

The main purpose of DiSC is to make you understand why you might work better with some coworkers than others. DiSC answers this question by claiming that everyone belongs to either one or two of four personality styles: Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness and Steadiness. People of the same personality style work more efficiently together than those with different styles. The characteristics DiSC ascribes to each style are as follows:

People possessing the qualities of being direct, results-oriented, firm, strong-willed and forceful are aligned with the Dominance style. People who are outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited and lively fit into the Influence style. Those who are analytical, reserved, precise, private and systematic belong to the Conscientiousness style and attributes such as being even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble and tactful sort into the Steadiness style.

Keep in mind that regardless of what style the assessment places you in, everyone at some point in their lives have characteristics from all four styles; your results aren’t set in stone.

While the price to take this personality test ranges from $64.50 to $170.50, there is also a free (though not as detailed) version here that will still accurately place you in one (or a combination) of the four styles.

2. Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator draws heavily on the theories of psychiatrist Carl Jung, specifically his notion that a person’s behavior isn’t random, but is consistent based on their individual preferences. MBTI lists four different sets of binaries associated with their focus on the world, synthesis of information, decision-making tendencies and the overall organization of life.

Depending on how you answer a question on the assessment, there are two personality traits you can fall into. For how you see the world, you can either be labeled as an extrovert if you care about what happens to the world at large or an introvert if you care about your own world or bubble.

On understanding information, you are characterized as “sensing” if you take in info at its most basic level, or as “intuition” if you go more in-depth to find its meaning. When it comes to making decisions, you are considered “thinking” if you resort to reason and logic, or “feeling” if you contemplate the effects your decision has on others. Regarding the extent of how regimented your life is, you’re classified as “judging” if you dislike having a change to your plans, or “perceiving” if you’re able to adapt to change.

3. Hogan Suite

The Hogan test suite consists of three different personality tests: the Motives, Values and Preference Inventory (MVPI), the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) and the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), all of which show the opportunities and challenges found in the workplace.

The MVPI, as the title suggests, explains how an individual’s motives, values and preferences correlate with their productivity in different work environments and positions. There are 10 primary scales test takers score in, falling on a spectrum depending on how high or low their scores are.

Some primary scale examples people get tested on include Recognition, Power, Hedonism, Altruistic and Security. An example of what low and high scores say about a person’s personality in the Recognition scale includes low scorers choosing not to take all the credit for themselves, while high scorers like to have their accomplishments seen and praised.

Concerning the HPI (aka “the bright side of personality”), this test is meant to demonstrate how well people work when they’re at their optimal self or when people are in their most desirable profession, environment or position. HPI also has primary scales, including Adjustment, Ambition and Sociability. Personality traits associated with low scores in the Adjustment scale include being open to feedback, with high scores indicative of people who are resistant to feedback.

For the HDS, it reveals the “dark side of personality” that can lead to problems in relationships between colleagues. For the Reserved primary scale, low scores constitute personality traits of caring too much about other’s feelings, and high scores represent people who are unsympathetic toward people’s emotions.

4. Eysenck’s Personality Inventory

The Eysenck’s Personality Inventory sorts you on two spectrums — being either an extrovert or an introvert — while the other is the balance between stability and neuroticism. What makes this personality test different from the others is that it also tests whether or not you answer the questions honestly or if your answer is influenced by what’s socially acceptable.

Along with getting an “E” score (on the extrovert scale) and an “N” score (on the neurotic scale), you will also get a “lie score,” with any score above a five representing deviance from how you actually act or think.

After receiving your lie score, chances are you’ll disagree and say that you were honest in your responses. While this could be a fault in its validity, it behooves you to retake the test to see if your lie score changes, pondering on whether your responses conform to what’s communally appropriate.

Regardless of whether you take all or just one of these personality tests, the results will acquaint you with a better understanding of who you are, helping in your future personal or professional endeavors.

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