I’ve had several clients of late who took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as a job personality test a decade or so ago and swear by the results. I’m a firm believer in understanding how your brain is put together so that you can figure out how to work with your traits instead of against them. Understanding how your co-workers and family members are wired brain-wise is helpful as well because it helps explain why they do things the way they do.
However, I’ve witnessed many times the following two flaws in how some people use (or don’t use) a job personality test:
1) You believe that you are only “that type” so you must continue to function that way 100% of the time.
2) You don’t use the information to better your situation or your relationships with those around you.
Furthermore, if you take a career personality test or other personality inventory that has not had its validity proven (or has had its validity shaken to the core), you might not even be getting accurate results.
I spent a few hours doing research on the “best job personality test” to take. I know that some of my clients can get stuck in analysis-paralysis mode and might spend even more time than that looking for a perfect answer. So, to save you time, I’ve filtered through the information that I gathered and will share here the most helpful documents that I found.
I came across three articles that opened my eyes to this subject and did a great job of succinctly explaining the pros and cons of personality tests:
The summary of what I learned?
*The Myers-Briggs inventory is not your best bet to help you figure yourself out.
*The Big 5 inventory is great for research, but can be tough for self-understanding. If you use this, be sure to invest time in studying the results.
Free open-source version: http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/
Psychology today version: https://www.psychologytoday.com/tests/personality/big-five-personality-test
*These four received positive reviews from various academic entities:
Bottom line: If you feel the need to take a personality inventory or job personality test, choose one that is recommended by academic institutions and entities as well as the psychology community. Realize that it’s very rare that someone is 100% solid in one particular personality trait. You’re going to be a mixture – and that mixture can change on a daily basis depending on what’s going on in your life. Once you find out the results, decide how you’re going to use this information. Are there any changes that you’d like to make or are you happy with the status quo? Are you going to approach others differently? Are you going to change the way you tackle tasks and projects? How can you use the inventory results to make your personal life or work life even better?