I See a (Personality) Test in Your Future

What do test-taking, flu shots, and vacuuming have in common?

They are all things that people do not because we necessarily want to do them, but they have to. And some are worse than others. There is something else that they all have in common. They can all make you sick. Lots of people have test anxiety that comes with some very bothersome side effects.

If you are a person who sometimes has test anxiety, I have some good news and bad news. When looking for a job, you may have to take a personality test. The good news is that there are no wrong answers.

A personality test is a way to reveal things about you that you may not readily know; as we have mentioned in the intro of this course, the unknown, unknown. If asked to take a personality test for work, it will allow employers to understand more about your strengths, weaknesses, and archetype and therefore know how you will fit (or not fit) into their company culture.

In other words, a personality test will allow companies to match your personality to a potential role or group. Theoretically, sometimes you may find out that you are not a good fit. At first, you may be disappointed to find out your test result is not what a company is looking for, but trust me, it is for your own good. Let me tell you my story.

I have always known that I was a bit different in a nondescript way. Maybe you have met the type. I was a member of the debate team and played classical violin but was also very popular and a cheerleader. I was a good student but also the class clown. The one often chosen to lead but also got in trouble for talking too much. (Not much has changed!)

When it came to choosing a college major, I had no idea what I should choose. But my counselor let me know, and there was a personality test we could take to get a better idea of what career to pursue.

And so, after 30 minutes of answer multiple-choice questions, I finally got the answer to what I should do. Unfortunately, when the results came in, I was more confused than if I had never taken this personality test! On the list were DJ, Sanitation Worker, Project Manager, Marketing, Sales, Daycare Worker. Well, she said, you can still go to school and figure it out later.

Flash forward to the class of my freshman year at the University of North Texas. Psychology. I sat in the front row, eager to get started with my new adult life.

The professor explained that he wanted to get to know us and wanted us to get to know ourselves. As a result, and for our first class, we would take yet another personality test. But this time, be more specific, we would take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality test.

Fun! He explained that there were 16 MBTI types; the test would take the entire hour and get the result on Wednesday when we came back. As you walked in the door, you would find your name and your personality type.

On Wednesday, the professor asked us all to stand up. "Time for the results of your personality test. Sit if you are an ISFJ!" Several students sat down. He went on to explain, "ISFJs are known as the defenders!"

Again, he commanded, "Sit down if you are an ISTJ! You are the Logisticians"

And he went on, ISFJ, ESTJ, EFSP, and he went on and on until there were only two of us standing. And then, the professor started saying the types as more of a question than an observation.

"ENFP? ISTP?" The other person sat down and shook my head no. Finally, he just asked what type I was. "ENTJ," I said. He looked at the class and said, "Only 1% of women who take this personality test are ENTJs, and we have one in our class! Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the Commander!" Then he looked at me and said, "Don't have many friends do you?" And the whole class laughed but me.

I was devastated. But ultimately, in ENTJ fashion, I decided he was an idiot and went on about my day. I dropped the class. But I never found a personality test I didn't like.

Being asked to take a personality test during your job search as part of their screening process to identify those best suited for a particular role. Additionally, a personality test can help employers:

  • Hire faster
  • Screen Applicants for Multiple Jobs
  • Place you in a Department Where your Personality Type is Needed
  • Identify if There is Needed Job Training

The big question at this point is if the personality test is accurate. Bast on my research at best I can answer not all of them.

Some of them are no better than horoscopes at predicting who well you will be at a job. But I can assure you that all of them will reveal things about your personality you may not have thought of before. Just remember, there are no wrong answers, just wrong tests.

Read on for more ways to make your job search a success: Personality Tests: Using Myers Briggs

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