Different Types Of Personality Tests (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 30, 2020

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If you asked a room of people to take a personality test, you’d probably hear a handful of responses. A few people would respond with an eye roll and a “Let’s get this over with,” a few others would look interested yet wary. Others would begin rattling off their results from five different tests they’ve already taken and voicing their predictions about others’ results.

Whether you consider yourself an armchair expert on personality types or are simply curious about the hype, taking one of these assessments can give you valuable insight into yourself and the way you operate.

Many companies even require their employees or job candidates to take personality tests. This is to help them learn what kinds of work environments each person would thrive in and give them a better understanding of how candidates would fit with their current culture.

This is especially helpful for companies if they conduct their interviews by phone and have limited opportunities to meet interviewees in person.

Even if you aren’t asked to do this by a company, there are plenty of personal reasons why you should consider taking a personality test on your own time.

Why You Should Take a Personality Test

  1. It can help you understand your unique strengths and weaknesses. Personality tests aren’t meant to give you a complete picture of every little nuance about yourself, but they can give you a better picture of your unique strengths and weaknesses.

    Even if you don’t agree with everything the test tells you about yourself, it can make you more aware of the things you do and why. It also can show you the unique abilities you’ve taken for granted your whole life.

  2. It can help you identify what makes you unique to potential employers. Even if you aren’t required to take a personality test for a job interview, the results of your tests can help you better answer the common interview question, “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?”

    Having a better understanding of what makes you unique can help you create a better strategy for selling yourself in an interview.

  3. It can help you understand why you get along well with some people and not others. Have you ever wondered why that one coworker seems to get on your nerves and no one else’s, or why you and your boss never seem to click? There could be many factors at play, but it probably has to do with the way your personalities interact.

    A personality test may be able to shed some light on which behaviors and personalities inherently irritate you and which ones you jive well with.

    While this information may not immediately solve the problem and should never be used as an excuse for giving up on trying to get along, it can give you the tools you need to start handling the differences better or start some productive conversations with the problematic person.

  4. It can help you identify which types of careers would be the best fit for you. No, a personality test can’t tell you everything about yourself, but it can help you understand which factors of your personality you should be aware of when choosing a career.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

    For example, if your test results show that you tend to be introverted and don’t enjoy conflict, working as a public relations specialist at a high-profile company might not be the best fit for you.

  5. It can help you understand what drains you and what energizes you. Have you ever wondered why some projects get you excited and full of energy while others seem to suck the life out of you?

    Well, there’s probably a good reason for that, and it’s likely linked to the way you’re wired. Finding out what fills you up and what creates extra stress for you can not only give you insight into why you enjoy the things you do, but it can also help you find more effective ways to refresh and recharge.

  6. It can help you discover your leadership strengths. Leaders aren’t just the loud, powerful people at the front of the pack.

    Leaders are also the ones quietly setting a culture of excellence, finding ways to use everyone’s strengths to their fullest potential, and making sure no one gets left behind.

    A personality test can show you leadership strengths you didn’t know you had so that you can work to develop those and look for opportunities to use them.

Types of Personality Tests

There is no shortage of personality tests available to you, and they cover everything from your leadership strengths to what animal you’re most similar to. Some are highly nuanced and detailed, while others are more general and intended to give you a broader understanding of how you operate.

Here are some of the most popular ones that are often used in corporate settings:

DISC

The DISC test divides people into four buckets of personality traits:

  • Dominance

    • Strong-willed

    • Results-oriented

    • Direct

    • Forceful

  • Influence

    • Enthusiastic

    • Energetic

    • Social

    • Optimistic

  • Steadiness

    • Courteous

    • Supportive

    • Tactful

    • Patient

  • Consciousness

    • Logical

    • Fact-focused

    • Analytical

    • Reserved

People who take this test receive their scores in each category to see how strong they are in each of them instead of just the one they score highest in.

This is a popular test for team-building exercises, especially in corporate settings, because it shows which roles individuals will naturally fall into and their strengths in relation to the team.

This test can also give you a better understanding of the types of professional roles you’d perform best.

Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)

This is one of the most popular personality tests because it can provide highly specific information about how you think and interact with others.

This test gives you one of 16 personality types, and these types cover several factors about who you are:

  • What energizes you

  • How you take in information

  • How you make decisions

  • How you organize your world

Each of the 16 personality types comprises four letters, one for each of the above categories. For example, you might test as an ESFJ or an INTP. These letters stand for:

  • Extroversion or Introversion

  • Sensing or Intuition

  • Thinking or Feeling

  • Judging or Perceiving

There are a plethora of additional resources based on this test designed to show you how these traits play out in your personal life, professional life, and even in relation to other personality types.

Enneagram

The Enneagram personality test has seen a more recent surge in popularity, both in professional and personal use.

This test has nine personality types that it scores you in:

  • Type 1: The Perfectionist

  • Type 2: The Giver

  • Type 3: The Achiever

  • Type 4: The Individualist

  • Type 5: The Investigator

  • Type 6: The Skeptic

  • Type 7: The Enthusiast

  • Type 8: The Challenger

  • Type 9: The Peacemaker

While the test will give you a top category that you fit into best, you can also see how you scored in the other eight, giving you a fuller picture of your personality’s different aspects.

CliftonStrengths

This personality test identifies your unique strengths and encourages you to focus on growing in those instead of putting all your energy into negating your weaknesses.

The test will show you your top five out of 34 different strengths, called “themes.” These 34 themes are also sorted into four “domains,” which give you a more general picture of where most of your strengths lie.

These domains are:

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Relationship Building

  • Influencing

  • Executing

This test is commonly used to discover professional strengths, but it can be used for personal edification as well.

The Big Five

The Big Five personality traits are part of a psychological theory that holds that there are five basic components of someone’s personality.

These include:

  • Extroversion

  • Agreeableness

  • Openness

  • Conscientiousness

  • Neuroticism

This test can give you some good insight into how you behave in certain situations and interact with others. It’s also commonly used to help people figure out the best career path for them or to help companies decide if a candidate is a good fit for the position they’re trying to fill.

Where You Can Find Free Personality Tests

Most of these personality tests have free versions that allow you to see the overview of your results. Some will give you an option to pay more to see your full, detailed report. While this can be interesting and somewhat beneficial, it isn’t necessary for getting at least a general understanding of your results.

Here are some free personality tests that you can take:

  • DISC. The providers of this test estimate that it will take you under ten minutes to complete. You can pay more for a complete analysis, but you don’t have to.

  • 16 Personalities. This is a free MBTI test that gives you a detailed look into your personality type and how it affects your career, relationships, and personal life.

  • Truity. Truity provides a number of free personality tests, including the Enneagram, DISC, MBTI, and the Big Five. They also offer some career assessment tests.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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