Personality tests for college students are ubiquitous. Most incoming students are bombarded with a deluge of tests among the welcome week activities, leadership retreats, and club meetings during the first few months of the academic year. While fun to take, is there the best personality test for career useful for college students? Are any of these tests offer something more than just a novel way to classify and describe yourself? Here are five tests that you can actually rely on when trying to identify your interests and career choices.
While there are many detractors of the tests as a whole who point out the lack of scientific backing behind them, the tests can offer a glimpse into what type of job, therefore what major, might be a good fit for your work, thinking, and personality styles. While no one can definitively be put into a box of a certain trait or personality type, these tests can provide clues into certain careers in which you you might excel and enjoy.
With limitless research and online content devoted to transforming test results into concrete careers, it can be difficult to know which quizzes are truly worth your time. Below are five are the most common personality tests for college students that I’m sure you’ve taken at least one of (or at least heard about). They will be dissected and examined with a career-focused lens to see if there is merit in using the results in the job market. Without further ado, here are five personality tests in increasing order of how much value they can provide in your job search.
5. The Pottermore Sorting Quiz
The best feature of this quiz is that it’s completely free! Offered via the Pottermore online universe, this uber-popular, ubiquitous quiz sorts you into one of the four Harry Potter houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw. While most of the questions tend to focus on hypothetical interests rather than practical questions ( for example, one asks what you would examine first in an enchanted garden), there is a surfeit of online literature devoted to detailing the type of careers best for each Hogwarts house. On top of that, the topic is bound to come up when meeting new people, so this result is an important one to have in your back pocket. Even though your HP house might seem like a frivolous categorization, there might be some merit in applying the results to the real, sadly non-magical (Muggle), world.
4. U-Zoo Personality Test for College
Similar to the Harry Potter quiz, U-Zoo has four categories that you are placed into upon conclusion of the test. It is also free to take! There are various iterations of the quiz with different animal results. This one here gives percentage results of four animals: Lion, Owl, Monkey, and Horse, with each animal representing a different personality type. It stands out by giving percentages of the four results, which aims to prevent a one-size-fits-all classification. Therefore, being split almost evenly between two types can happen.
The test forces you to know yourself very well as it pretty much consists of checking boxes next to traits that describe you best. Another nice feature is that it details your strengths and weaknesses that relate to your overall skill set. Then, the quiz suggests online courses to help improve your employability based on your results. Therefore, while not a great test to find suggested jobs, it is a great one for self-improvement to help best market yourself as a new hire.
3. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
By far the most pervasive of the quizzes on this list, Myers-Briggs Personality Types have almost become just as integral to Instagram bios as astrology signs. With 16 personality types to be categorized into based on the answers to 93 questions, the results are more specific than other similar questionnaires. The test has many online resources to accompany the results where you can find out what Game of Thrones or The Office character matches your personality type. Novelty abounds with this test and since so much real world-application research and writing has been done about Meyers-Briggs it can be useful to delve into the plethora of content about personality type and career match-ups.
Multiple sites list specific career suggestions for each of the 16 results and detail how the skills associated with each type can help achieve success in various industries.
The test definitely has its critics, as many major media organizations have published articles that call out the lack of science behind the creation of the test back in the 1940s. The original Myers-Briggs quiz costs around $50 to take online but there are many free online alternatives that are based on the original.
So while acknowledging the lack of psychological soundness by proclaiming oneself an INTJ or ESTP, these classifications can be combined with job search articles online to help seek out compatible careers.
Rather than categorizing the quiz-taker into a single type, StrengthsFinder supplies five qualities that you possess most after completion of the test. The overall mantra of this examination is that an individual’s personality is composed of their greatest strengths. The format of the test is unlike its counterparts in that the taker is tasked with choosing one of two options per question that they identify with more. The sentence pairs (of which there are over 100) are sometimes complete opposites and sometimes have no apparent correlation. The lack of an obvious direction for some of the questions helps to not choose the answers of the results you want to have, but rather the ones that are true.
Started in 1998, StrengthsFinder is composed of an online test as well as an accompanying book with additional information about the quiz. The results are five ranked talents (out of a possible 34 options) that best describe you and your work ethic. These range from ‘competition’ to ‘futuristic’ or ‘analytical’ that describe your strongest areas of excellence.
This test stands out in that it gives you multiple results rather than one overarching label. It is also much more focused on how you work in a group and how you complete a task rather than generic personality descriptors.
There are online resources as well that delve into the 34 strengths and explain what they mean and how they correlate to values and achievements. This test also requires a fee to take, but per usual, there are similar StrengthsFinder free online test alternatives. Overall, StrengthsFinder’s range of results that are grounded in professional application make it a worthy quiz to try.
1. The Enneagram: The Best Personality Test for Career
Taking the top spot on the list is the Enneagram exam. The test online costs $12, so we suggest getting your campus organization to sponsor the exam, as it is very popular for retreats. The test is great for understanding your own and others’ way of thinking as well as building stronger inter-organizational and interpersonal connections.
The test has 9 possible results with personality type names such as The Achiever or The Individualist. The 9 types are organized into three encompassing “centers”: Instinctive, Feeling, and Thinking. Each center contains three of the nine personality types that have relating attributes. The reason that this test ranks so highly on this list is the breadth of the results that are supplied afterward. Not only do you get a breakdown of the interworking of your personality type, but you also receive common careers that others with your type pursue and a list of well-known people with that type.
Contained in the results are also your ‘wings’, meaning two of your adjacent personalities that also affect your overall psyche. This is beneficial as the test does not place the taker in one sole category, but rather shows how the overall personality makeup is the confluence of many different types. The results are so comprehensive that they might even seem invasive when examining the dominant emotions of each center and the way each type copes with its respective dominant emotion.
There are many resources for matching Enneagram types to potential jobs, with the rabbit hole of articles about the nine types seemingly endless. Some articles detail not only the most compatible jobs for each type, but also potential nightmare ones to avoid.
While of course all jobs of one particular sector are not going to be the exact same, this advice can be helpful in identifying careers that might clash with your instinctual work ethic and behavior. Better to discover this now while you can change your major than three months after graduation when your shiny new desk job makes you want to buy a one-way ticket to a different continent. The sheer amount of information given after taking this test combined with the validity and realistic application awards the Enneagram the top spot on the list.
Personality tests enduringly appeal to our human desire to categorize and neatly describe ourselves. While every personality test should be taken with a grain of salt, the results of the quizzes can be used to find more about your career strengths and interests.
At the end of the day however, only you know how you problem-solve, work, and see the world best. Thus, don’t solely rely on a quiz to define yourself and your career goals. Choosing a career is an important decision and should be approached holistically rather than off of a singular quiz, although it’s claimed to be the best personality test for career. Nevertheless, happy quiz-taking and job-hunting!
Written by BookScouter Contributor Parker Strubhar.
Parker Strubhar is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma and currently resides and works in Washington D.C. He is also a freelance writer. Business inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.