When you are at a job search crossroads, it is easy to lose track of who you are and what you are good at. Sometimes, you simply need a reminder of your top skills to get you back on the right career track.
There are many types of career aptitude tests available for individuals to learn more about themselves, so we thought that it would be useful to share a selection of the most popular. Some of these methodologies have been around for 20-30 years, but the fundamentals of human behavior haven’t changed that much. There is much wisdom to be found by looking inward.
In the following blog, we will consider:
- What is a career aptitude test?
- 12 career aptitude tests and personality questionnaires
- The pricing and time requirements of each test.
What is a career aptitude test?
A career aptitude test helps to figure out your unique mix of personal qualities and professional capabilities. Some tests will then suggest potential career paths while others let you work it out for yourself.
In all cases, answering honestly and consistently is key to gaining a genuine insight into your character. Some of these tests cost to take them, but there are many other free tests that are variations on the theme. While the free tests will get you in the ballpark of the insights, in our experience it is worth paying for a few of these aptitude tests. You do not come to a career crossroads that often, so it’s not a bad idea to invest in some self-awareness.
How do I know what career is for me?
Choosing the right career for you can be tricky. While career aptitude tests won't tell you exactly what role you should take on, they will give you some hints along the way. Better understanding your strengths and talents can inform your ongoing career journey.
Often enough, people fall into a job and fail to consider whether it suits them. The beauty of a career aptitude test is that it gives you the opportunity to do some real introspection. What is it that you want from a career? Which roles align with your goals? What skills do you have?
Taking one of the following career aptitude tests will force you to answer these questions. Once you start thinking deeply about what you want from a career, it may change your path.
Truity: career profiler
The Truity career planner contains a mix of personality tests that can help a candidate to zero in on the type of career where they might thrive. Their in-house career profiler test contains 94 questions and can be completed in 10-15 minutes. Participants receive a free basic summary with the option of unlocking the full report for $29.
Truity also allows you to take external tests such as: Myers Briggs, Enneagram, Big 5 Personality Test, Holland Codes and DISC. The resultant insights are combined with a deep-dive into what the findings might mean for your career choices. Over a million tests are taken over a 30-day period, so you will not be alone in benefiting from the insights.
CareerFitter: Work Personality Report
The 60 CareerFitter questions help to create a Work Personality Report, which will then be linked to videos and further information about potentially related careers. Founded in 1998, they claim that someone takes the CareerFitter test every 3 seconds.
CareerFitter looks at a candidate’s strengths, potential job matches, the sort of work environment that they might enjoy, how they work best in a team, while also considering their potential weaknesses. It offers an interpretation of your energy, perception, decision making and planning style. These are all valuable insights for someone entering an interview process. There is a free summary with a 10-page career report costing $19.95.
MAPP Test at Assessment.com
The MAPP (Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential) career test at assessment.com takes you through a 22-minute journey of 71 questions and links you to potential careers at the conclusion. The specific nature of this test is unique in the sector - the interpretation tool helps to join up the gaps between the survey and the suggested roles.
Translated into 6 languages, with 3,500 partners and over 8 million customers, job seekers trust the MAPP test to offer insights that they may not find elsewhere. The MAPP test starts at a somewhat pricey $89.95 — the functionality of matching you to careers is their selling point. Results have been proven to be 95 percent reliable during independent testing.
My Next Move: O*NET Interest Profiler
The My Next Move Interests Profiler is run by the United States Department of Labor. It is a mystery what O*NET actually means, but the tool itself comprises 60 questions with a standard agree/disagree scale that will help you to narrow down your career options.
The broader website allows the job seekers to explore various careers as well as connecting the dots between where their experience is now and what they will have to do to achieve their career goals. Their “future job zone” allows you to picture yourself in five years’ time.
Career Explorer: Career Test by Sokanu
500 million Career Explorer questions have been answered to date. With 1,500+ degrees and careers and 140 revealing character traits, the tool looks at four dimensions of career fit: workplace, history, interests, and personality.
The 30-minute Sokanu test is based on the Big 5 and Holland Code models with real-time results guided by sophisticated machine-learning algorithms. Career profiles are continuously updated as the workplace changes and personality traits are paired with career relevance to ensure career contentment. There is an annual membership of $48 for a full report and an optional career coaching session.
Research, research, research!
Chances are, you're wondering the following: Are aptitude tests accurate? The simple answer is that they vary from test to test. Before you decide which one to take, make sure you do some research. For example, you can read reviews and testimonials online.
Princeton Review Career Quiz
The Princeton Review takes a more simplistic approach to career aptitude. Instead of asking you to quantify each statement on a scale (which is often difficult), it requests that a job seeker choose between 24 sets of two statements. When asked “would you rather do this or this?” the answers are somehow easier to come by.
The questions are a mix of occupational and personality questions and you can sign up for free to get your results. It is our experience that the results are as accurate as many of the paid tests, although the choice of careers is more limited.
MyPlan: Suite of Career Tests
There are various assessment methods within MyPlan: with the personality test, interest inventory, skills & values assessment all contributing to the CareerMatch outcome. The combination of the four tests takes over three hours to complete, with a cost of $19.95.
The personality test is similar to Myers-Briggs, matching 16 personality types to 739 different careers. The interest inventory compares your profile with people who currently work in those careers and the skills profile takes a job seeker thorough 35 specific areas of skills. Six core values clusters are then matched with the long list of careers.
123 Career Test: Visually Led
123 Career Test asks you to choose from 15 sets of four pictures that depict various work settings to create a “Holland Code” style result that is based on the John Holland methodology. Selecting one picture that you prefer and another that you do not allows for complicated interpretations.
The ten-minute test will then offer you an insight into your work personality along with a list of professions that match your Holland Code – with the potential fit by percentage. The test is free and relatively accurate. The broader 123 test website offers a wide range of personality and career tests that are recommended by their experts.
Myers Briggs: World-Leading Indicator
The MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) is used as a personality yardstick by leading organizations across the globe to help their people understand their strengths and work better with those around them. More than 50 million people have taken the test.
The 16 personality type profiles come from a mix of four opposite traits: Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving. The Strong and MBTI career report is particularly useful for job seekers, with the option of paying a little more for personal feedback. Talk about your MBTI during an interview!
The Enneagram Test: Complicated Insights
Are you the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the challenger, or the peacemaker? Enneagram’s RHETI test showcases your unique mix of these nine personality traits. You are all of them — it is the combination of your preferences that offers the insights.
The Enneagram is somewhat more complicated to analyze than some of the other personality tests, but their website offers simple explanations that will soon have you working out what all those triangles mean. The cost is $12, but if you are considering working with a career coach it is worth choosing one with RHETI experience.
Clifton Strengths 34: Gallup Assessment
CliftonStrengths used to be known as StrengthsFinder, with the basic test highlighting your top five strengths out of 34. This is not a comprehensive personality test as it only focuses on your strengths, but why wouldn’t you want to base your career around them?
The CliftonStrengths test costs upwards of $39.99 and comes with a wealth of videos and supporting material to help participants navigate their personal and professional choices. If your strengths do not match with your career choices, you should consider thinking again. Stop wondering what you are good at – this assessment will make it very clear.
Holland Code RIASEC Test
Your combination of the six Holland Code personality types in the RIASEC model (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional) leads to one of 720 potential personality types. This can get pretty granular if you are looking for broader career guidance, but it certainly provides food for thought.
The RIASEC test comprises 72 questions, takes five minutes to complete and is free. Many other personality tests (such as the Strong personality test) are based on the Holland methodology, but it is worth taking the original test as a benchmark.
- These 12 aptitude tests each offer different insights into your personality and strengths.
- It might take a good few hours (and a good few hundred dollars) to complete all of these tests, so pick which ones seem best for your circumstances.
- Some of the more popular tests may even become good talking points for your next interview.
Have fun on your journey of introspection!