How to Use a Personality Inventory for Career Searches

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 10, 2022

Your personality might have an effect on the type of work you excel at and enjoy. To get a better understanding of yourself, you might use a personality inventory, a self-assessment instrument. Learning how to use this tool to identify your strengths or preferences can help guide you towards a fulfilling career path. In this article, we define personality inventories, discuss their different types, and offer seven ways you can use them to help discover a career path.

What is a personality inventory?

A personality inventory is a kind of self-assessment, often a standardized questionnaire, that elicits information about an individual's personality. These tests may help determine an individual's strengths and weaknesses across a range of aspects and also their social qualities, motives, and attitudes. While these inventories are often useful for psychological evaluations, they may also assist people in determining their ideal or optimum job path. When people are aware of their skills and weaknesses and what motivates them, they can determine if a job is a good match.

Different types of these inventories

There are different personality assessments that you may use to evaluate your personality and job prospects, including:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) categorizes subjects into four distinct personality types. These categories illustrate how people channel their energy, digest information, make choices, and organize their lives. Participants receive one of 16 personality types based on their responses. This personality type may assist them in identifying their ideal profession or work environment and in comprehending their work and interpersonal interactions.

16 Personality Factor Questionnaire

The 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16pf) assesses subjects using 16 personality qualities instead of types. By responding to these questions, people discover which attributes they gravitate toward rather than being classified as one or the other. For instance, social assertiveness is one of the characteristics. A high score indicates an extroverted nature, while a low number indicates timidity. Individuals may use these characteristics to evaluate their professional and social styles.

Related: Personality Interview Questions and Sample Answers

The Big Five

The Big Five, sometimes referred to as the Five-Factor Model, assesses participants based on five personality characteristics concerning emotions and how people respond to certain circumstances. These categories are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The questions on the exam correspond to the various categories, and participants indicate how closely the statement suits their personality. They may use their scores to discover the types of jobs or positions that suit their personal characteristics.

7 ways to use a personality inventory when looking for careers

A personality assessment is an effective tool for gaining a better knowledge of yourself and your personality. You may use these insights to assist in determining your optimum job route. The following are some examples of how you might use these exams to aid in your job search:

1. Use the tests to conduct an objective evaluation

To guarantee that your personality survey accurately represents you, it's important that you respond truthfully. When using these tests to aid in job searching, you may feel like responding in a way that you want employers to view you, but candid responses can assist you in better understanding yourself and determining which jobs best fit your interests, beliefs, and goals. Finding a company whose workplace or culture fits your personality may make you feel more fulfilled and productive.

2. Establish your own hobbies and beliefs

While you may use these inventories to assess your characteristics and behaviours, they can also determine your interests. For instance, your findings may indicate that you have great communication abilities. Because you possess certain abilities, you may be interested in occupations that require you to apply them daily. Alternatively, you may list activities that relate to those talents, such as networking, cooperating with colleagues, or managing teams. You can use these insights to assess job opportunities and whether they align with your interests.

You may take examinations relating to your interests, such as the Strong Interest Inventory. You can typically these resources with the assistance of a career development expert. This test evaluates your preferences for a variety of subjects, including professional and personal hobbies, job types, and subject areas. It then suggests job alternatives based on your responses. This list can provide some insight into roles with common tasks, responsibilities, and subjects that may interest you, so you can use it to explore other similar roles as well.

3. Identify your strengths

These inventories may assist you in identifying the characteristics or behaviours with which you most identify. You may use this information to identify career paths or professions that routinely use these qualities. As they're your strengths, they also represent types of positions in which you may excel. For instance, your results may indicate that you excel in situations that require creative thinking and analytical decision-making. Software development may be an excellent career fit because it challenges you to design new software capabilities while also making judgments based on customer requirements.

Recognizing your strengths can help in the application and interview processes. Hiring managers often inquire about professional skills. While completing these self-assessment tools, you may note the qualities highlighted in their findings and use them to craft successful interview responses. By emphasizing your abilities, you can demonstrate why you might be a valuable addition to their team.

Related: Best Career Matches for INTJ Personalities

4. Identify areas of improvement

These self-assessments typically reveal your strengths and suggest where you may apply them to excel in your professional life. You may consider skills and characteristics that you want to develop that the assessments haven't included as your strengths. It can also help you determine which career paths you may want to exclude from your search.

For instance, your Big Five assessment findings may indicate that you're more introverted than extroverted. Your preference for autonomous work indicates that you may wish to avoid occupations that demand much interaction with others. You may decide that you wish to have a greater capacity for being outgoing or extroverted and social in your professional life. To do this, you might pursue personal development opportunities that involve collaboration with others. You may use these enhancements or modifications to refocus your career or expand your work options. Employers value those who make an effort to advance professionally.

5. Recognize your preferred method of work

Personality assessments often analyze your preferences for how you work or process information, helping to determine your preferred working style. Different work types flourish in distinct positions or circumstances, and understanding yours might assist you in determining your optimum professional path. Finding a vocation that suits your personality might result in increased productivity and efficiency. For instance, you may realize that you are a fact-based decision-maker rather than a feeling-based decision-maker. In this case, you may find that jobs based on facts and logic, such as engineering, are more comfortable than ones that allow for interpretation.

6. Recognize your communication style

Whatever employment path you choose, you can almost certainly be required to communicate regularly. Typically, personality evaluations analyze how you interact with others. Frequently, these actions influence your communication style. Understanding your preferred communication style may help determine the work situations and jobs in which you might flourish. When pursuing a job, you may choose to investigate the cultures of various sectors or organizations. If you understand how individuals interact in various contexts, you can determine if your style fits. For instance, if your communication style is assertive, you may easily fit into a position that demands client negotiation.

Related: Guide: 16 Personality Types

7. Try out various inventories

There are numerous types of inventories available. These options examine different aspects of your personality, which may help give you a more comprehensive understanding of your personality. The more information you gather, the more knowledge you possess to help you assess potential career opportunities and their alignment with you. Assessments also use different questioning techniques. For example, one may have you rate how well a statement aligns with you, while another may ask how you respond to specific situations. Trying different formats can help you look at yourself, your skills and your personality from new perspectives.

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