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What Is a Personality Assessment? All You Need to Know

What Is a Personality Assessment

Personality assessment looks like an interesting game to play, right?

It’s much more than that.

In fact, assessing one’s persona can make a huge difference in the life of a person, whether personally or professionally.

And especially for business organizations that hire talents as a part of their daily functioning.

Take a look at the facts below:

  • Bad hires have led to a “well over $100 million” loss to the company, says Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. (source)
  • The average cost of a bad hire is up to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. (source)
  • A survey conducted by CareerBuilder and Mindflash says,” 41% of responding organizations said a bad hire in the past year had cost them at least $25,000; 25% of responding organizations report an impact of at least $50,000 as a result of a poor hire.” (source)

So you see, it’s a huge loss for an organization if they do not hire the right fit for a job role. 

But how do you assess someone’s personality? And is it possible to get an idea about this online?

Don’t worry!

I have answers to all of these questions (and many more) to help you get a better idea of what personality assessment is and how it applies to offer benefits to individuals and organizations. 

What Is a Personality Assessment?

You can decipher the meaning of the words Personality and Assessment, right?

That’s what it means, and much more!

Personality assessment is a method of measuring and evaluating an individual’s personality. It can be used to understand how people think, feel, and behave in different situations.

You can consider this a self-report measure, which means that the individual being assessed completes a questionnaire or test about their own personality. 

Imagine sitting down with a skilled guide who asks you thought-provoking questions about how you think, feel, and behave in various situations. 

These questions help paint a picture of your personality, highlighting your strengths, challenges, and everything in between.

In the context of business organizations, a personality assessment is like a strategic lens that allows you to see beyond resumes and job titles, diving into the core of who your employees are and how they contribute to the overall success of your company.

Watch: How to Create a Personality Quiz

The Science Behind Personality Tests and Assessments

Personality tests are based on the idea that personality is made up of a number of underlying traits. 

These traits are often grouped into several dimensions, and your personality could be a part of one or a few. 

For instance, when checking the employability of a person, you might check whether you are an introvert or extrovert, fun-loving or serious, open to experiences or not, etc., which could be evaluated through these assessments.

So, just as a telescope reveals distant galaxies and similar elements, personality assessments reveal the inner workings of the human psyche. 

Types of Personality Assessments

Personality assessments can be broadly classified into the following major types:

  • Self-Report Questionnaires: This is a kind of questionnaire that asks participants to respond to statements or questions about themselves. This type of assessment, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), offers insights into your self-perception and how you think, feel, and behave in various situations.
  • Observer Ratings: Will you accept your peers, supervisors, or others who know you well, providing feedback on your personality traits and behaviors? If yes, these observer ratings can help. They are often used in professional contexts and offer a broader perspective on how you’re perceived by others, such as the 360-degree feedback process.
  • Projective Tests: Projective tests prompt you to respond with associations, stories, or interpretations. These assessments, like the Rorschach Inkblot Test, aim to uncover unconscious aspects of your personality and emotions and may help you discover things that you might not even know about yourself.
  • Type-Based Assessments: This is a kind of personality assessment that categorizes participants into distinct types based on their preferences and traits. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a well-known example, placing you within combinations of preferences such as introversion or extroversion.
  • Interest Inventories: Do you wish to get an idea about your preferences for various activities, hobbies, and career paths? You can certainly go for interest inventory assessments, like the Strong Interest Inventory, which offer insights into how your personality aligns with potential interests and careers.
  • Cognitive Function Tests: As the name suggests, these tests assess cognitive function. It’s a kind of assessment that offers outcomes based on how you process information, make decisions, and solve problems. 
  • Motivational Assessments: Can you think of an online tool that unveils your underlying motivations, values, and needs? These assessments take into account what drives you and what you find meaningful, helping in personal growth and career decisions.
  • Narrative Assessments: It’s a kind of open-ended assessment format where you can write or speak about your experiences, aspirations, and challenges. These kinds of assessments are often used in therapeutic settings and provide a rich source of personal insights.
  • Personality and Career Assessments: How about a personality assessment that connects your personality traits and preferences to suitable career paths? This is a type of personality test that guides you toward professions that align with your strengths and interests, enabling better career satisfaction.

These are the various types of personality tests and assessments that are used by individuals and organizations to get a better understanding of personality traits. 

Common Misconceptions About Personality Assessments

Common Misconceptions About Personality Assessments

Have you ever taken a personality assessment test? What outcomes did you get?

While online personality tests are readily available for use, it’s important to understand that they are not the ultimate options to judge an individual’s personality.

In fact, people live with a lot of misconceptions related to personality assessments, and here are some of the major ones:

Misconception: Personality Assessments Are 100% Accurate

Reality: While personality assessments provide valuable insights, they are only sometimes foolproof. The outcomes can depend on various factors such as the mood of an individual, the context of the assessment, and personal biases in responding.

Misconception: One Assessment Reveals Everything About a Person’s Personality

Reality: Do you agree that personality is a complex and multifaceted element? In such a case, no single assessment can capture the entirety of an individual’s personality. A comprehensive understanding often requires using multiple assessment methods that consider different perspectives.

Misconception: Self-Reported Traits Are Scientifically Valid

Reality: Self-report assessments are based on individuals’ own perceptions and may not stand in harmony with their actual behavior or characteristics. 

Misconception: Projective Tests Can Reveal Unconscious Secrets

Reality: We wish this were true! But in reality, projective tests can hardly reveal anything secret, forget the unconscious secrets that you desire to get through these online assessments.

Misconception: There’s a “Best” Personality Test

Reality: Different personality assessments serve different purposes. The best assessment depends on the context, the traits being measured, and the goals of the assessment. So remember that a one-size-fits-all approach does not exist.

Misconception: Only Psychologists Can Administer Personality Tests

Reality: While psychologists often use personality assessments, some tests are designed for general use and can be administered by trained professionals from various fields, such as counselors and human resources personnel. All such personality assessment methods can offer fairly accurate results.

Misconception: Negative Traits Are Always Undesirable

Reality: Some personality traits that are traditionally considered negative (e.g., introversion, neuroticism) can have positive aspects and be useful in certain situations.

Misconception: A Single Personality Test Can Determine Career Suitability

Reality: While personality assessments can provide insights into career preferences, they should be used alongside other factors like skills, interests, values, and work experience, for a well-rounded career assessment.

Most Popular Personality Assessments in Organizations

DiSC Assessment

A DiSC assessment is a tool that helps you to understand your own behavior and preferences at work, as well as how you interact with others. 

It is based on a theory that identifies four main personality styles: Drive, Influence, Support, and Clarity. 

Each of these styles has its own strengths and weaknesses and can be used to improve your communication, teamwork, and productivity.

When you take a DiSC assessment, you will receive a report showing your primary DiSC type and your scores for the other three types. 

Here is what the outcomes of this online assessment define:

  • Dominance (D): This means you are a decisive and results-oriented person. You like to take charge and get things done. You are also direct and assertive.
  • Influence (I): This is an indication that you are outgoing and enthusiastic. You enjoy interacting with people and making connections. You are persuasive and creative, too.
  • Steadiness (S): This indicates you are calm and reliable. You like to take things slow and steady. You are also patient and cooperative.
  • Conscientiousness (C): This means you are an organized and detail-oriented person. You like to follow rules and procedures. You are also responsible and efficient.

Hogan Personality Inventory

Hogan Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory is a tool that measures your personality traits and how they relate to your work performance. 

It is based on the idea that social life has two main themes: getting along with others and getting ahead of others. 

When taking the Hogan Personality Inventory assessment, you can get as many as 13 different outcomes, which are as follows:

  1. Adjustment (ADJ): How well you adapt to change and handle stress.
  2. Assertiveness (ASR): How confident and direct you are in your communication style.
  3. Competition (COM): How much you enjoy winning.
  4. Conscientiousness (CON): How organized, reliable, and detail-oriented you are.
  5. Defensiveness (DEF): How sensitive you are to criticism and how likely you are to deny your weaknesses.
  6. Emotional Stability (ES): How well you control your emotions and stay calm under pressure.
  7. Interpersonal Sensitivity (INS): How aware you are of the feelings and needs of others.
  8. Leadership (LEA): How much you enjoy taking charge and being responsible for others.
  9. Motivation (MOT): How ambitious and driven you are to succeed.
  10. Optimism (OPT): How positive and hopeful you are about the future.
  11. Self-confidence (SCF): How confident you are in your abilities and judgment.
  12. Social Boldness (SOB): How comfortable you are interacting with others and taking social risks.
  13. Teamwork (TWK): How willing you are to cooperate with others and put the team’s needs ahead of your own.

The HPI is a self-report test, which means that you answer the questions yourself. However, your results are interpreted by a trained professional, and you may get answers in percentile.

Occupational Personality Questionnaire

Occupational Personality Questionnaire

The Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) is a personality test that measures 32 personality dimensions that are relevant to workplace success. 

These dimensions are grouped into three domains

  • Relationships with People: This includes how you interact with others, including your ability to work as a part of a team, your leadership style, and your ability to build and maintain relationships.
  • Thinking Style: This is an indicator of how you approach problems and make decisions, including your creativity, your attention to detail, and your ability to think strategically.
  • Feelings and Emotions: This indicates how you manage your emotions, your level of self-confidence, and your ability to deal with stress.

When you get an idea about your OPQ profile, you can learn how to use your strengths to your advantage and improve your weaknesses. 

No wonder, this personality assessment test is used in organizations for getting valuable insights into how people might approach various aspects of their work and interact with colleagues and tasks.

Caliper Profile

The Caliper Profile assessment is a tool that can help you understand your own personality traits, motivations, and behaviors related to your work performance. 

It is based on nearly 60 years of scientific research and measures 22 robust traits and one type of cognitive ability.

The Caliper Profile assessment measures 22 personality traits, including:

  • Curiosity: Your level of interest in new things and your willingness to take risks.
  • Dominance: Your tendency to take charge and make decisions.
  • Interpersonal Sensitivity: Your ability to understand and relate to others.
  • Motivation: Your drive to achieve your goals.
  • Organizational Awareness: Your ability to see the big picture and understand how your work fits into the overall organization.
  • Problem-solving: Your ability to identify and solve problems.
  • Self-confidence: Your belief in your own abilities.
  • Teamwork: Your ability to work effectively with others.

While it is used by many large organizations in various industries, such as technology, medicine, aviation, finance, and engineering,  you can understand how valuable it is for employers to use it when making hiring decisions. 

It can help them to identify candidates who are a good fit for the job role and who are likely to be successful.

16 Personality Factor Questionnaire

16 Personality Factor Questionnaire

As the name suggests, the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) is a personality test that measures 16 personality traits. These traits are grouped into four broad factors:

  1. Thinking vs. Feeling: This factor measures how you make decisions. Do you rely on logic and reason (thinking) or on your emotions and values (feeling)?
  2. Introversion vs. Extraversion: This factor measures how you prefer to interact with the world. Are you more comfortable being around people (extraversion), or do you prefer to be alone (introversion)?
  3. Sensing vs. Intuition: This factor measures how you gather information. Do you prefer to focus on the present moment (sensing), or do you prefer to think about the future (intuition)?
  4. Judging vs. Perceiving: This factor measures how you deal with the world. Are you more organized and planned (judging), or are you more flexible and spontaneous (perceiving)?

The 16PF is a self-report test, which means that you answer the questions yourself. The test is scored by a computer, and your results are interpreted by a trained professional.

Watch: 15+ Question Types for Online Learning & Assessment


How Effective Are Online Personality Assessments?

Would you believe the outcomes of an online personality assessment that portrays you as a cool and composed personality when people around you suggest something different?

Why do the outcomes of these assessments differ from what you intend in the end?

No, it’s not your fault.

The effectiveness of these online personality assessments can vary based on several factors, which are as follows:

  • Validity and Reliability: Validity refers to whether the assessment accurately measures what it claims to measure, while reliability indicates the consistency of results over time. 
  • Quality of Assessment: You ought to understand that well-designed assessments are based on established psychological theories and have an established validation process. Poorly designed assessments or lack of scientific grounding may provide inaccurate or misleading results.
  • Self-Report Bias: Online personality assessments rely on self-reporting, which can be influenced by the individual’s perception of themselves, the mood at the time of assessment, or the desire to present themselves in a certain way. This can lead to inaccuracies.
  • Context and Situational Factors: You would agree that personalities can vary based on context and situations. However, online assessments might not consider these variations, leading to results that may only partially align with how you actually behave.
  • Personal Interpretation: Interpreting assessment results can be tricky, especially for individuals who lack knowledge of psychological concepts. And without proper interpretation, the results might not be deciphered correctly.
  • Potential for Growth: While assessments offer valuable insights, they should be considered starting points for self-awareness and growth. Individuals should not pigeonhole themselves based solely on assessment results but rather use them as tools for personal development.
  • Privacy and Data Security: Using online assessments means sharing private information, and concerns about data privacy and security should be taken into account when choosing an assessment platform.

So, the efficacy and effectiveness of online personality quizzes could depend on a multitude of factors, and you may get distinct results based on your responses.

However, when you follow the above tips, you can expect to get near-accurate results.

Read: How to Review User Responses on a Personality Quiz

What Follows Personality Assessment

You took a personality assessment test, right?

What next?

What do you expect out of this?

Honestly, personality assessments without goals are no assessment at all, and some strings should be attached to them.

So, after you’ve taken a personality assessment, here are some of the steps that could follow the process:

  • Feedback and Interpretation: You can receive feedback on your assessment results, helping you understand the traits and characteristics measured by the assessment. This will give you insights into how these traits influence your behavior, communication style, and interactions with others.
  • Self-awareness: The assessment might deepen your self-awareness by revealing your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and tendencies. And this insight will prove invaluable for your personal growth, decision-making, and communication.
  • Goal Setting: You can also set meaningful personal or professional goals based on the outcomes you get. For instance, if the assessment defines you as a born leader, you might decide to pursue roles that capitalize on this quality.
  • Career Development: The assessment can guide your career decisions by pointing you towards roles that align with your personality traits and strengths.
  • Team Building: In group settings, the assessment results can help in team-building activities. This can help you get an idea of the diverse personalities within your team and will enable better collaboration, communication, and task allocation.
  • Conflict Resolution: The assessment outcomes can unveil potential sources of conflict in a team. When you have an idea about this, you can focus on improved communication and conflict resolution strategies.
  • Leadership Development: Many organizations use personal assessment tools to identify leadership potential in people. This understanding will help you nurture traits associated with effective leadership.
  • Continuous Personal Growth: When you are willing to take baby steps in your personal development, you can use personal assessment tools to help you see continuous growth and improvement. 

So, if you are wondering what a personality test is used for, there are so many purposes that it can serve. 

Limitations of Personality Assessments

By now, you would have understood that you cannot get 100% accurate outcomes when you use personal assessment tests. 

However, accuracy is not the only factor that could lead to criticism of the personality. 

In fact, there are a few other limitations of personality assessment that you must know before you take a test.

Here are some of them:

  • Self-report: The results of personality assessments can be influenced by your mood, motivation, and ability to assess yourself accurately. For example, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, you may answer questions in a way that makes you sound more introverted than you actually are.
  • Social Desirability Bias: There is always a chance that you would try to answer questions to make yourself seem more desirable to others. No wonder this can affect the outcomes of the assessment.
  • Limited validity: The validity of personality assessments varies depending on the test and the purpose for which it is being used. Some tests are more valid for predicting certain outcomes, such as job performance. However, the outcomes of an assessment may only be valid for a while. 
  • Cost: Online personality assessments can be expensive to administer and score. This can make them inaccessible to some individuals or organizations. There are free versions, but most of them have limited usability. 

But despite these factors, online personality assessment tools have emerged to be one of the most sought-after options for assessing the nature and persona of a person.

Not 100% accurate, but certainly not bad either.

Read:  How to Create Multi-layered, Scored Personality Quiz Results

Importance of Using Reliable Personality Assessment Methods

Sorry already!

If you read the upcoming points and consider me a negative personality, you might have judged me wrong.

However, let me tell you the consequences of NOT using reliable personality assessment methods to get an idea about the persona of an individual.

  • Accurate Understanding: If you do not go for reliable assessments, you may not get consistent and dependable results. Besides, the likelihood of misinterpretation or misjudgment would be higher.
  • Informed Decision-Making: In the lack of reliable personality-assessment methods, important decisions, such as hiring employees, team building, or selecting leaders, can be affected. You can confidently rely on the assessment results to guide your choices.
  • Predictive Power: If you do not have reliable assessments, you might not have the ability to predict behaviors and performance over time. 
  • Trust and Credibility: Using assessments with a proven track record for reliability enhances your credibility as an evaluator. However, if they are not so reliable or credible, you may even misjudge your own credibility. 
  • Enhanced Self-Awareness: Unreliable assessment methods may not offer reliable results, which might affect the understanding of your personality traits and tendencies. No wonder this can affect your self-awareness and decision-making.
  • Long-Term Planning: If you are a part of a business organization, not having reliable assessments may affect your long-term planning. Identifying potential leaders, assessing team dynamics, and aligning individuals with suitable roles can be an intricate process.
  • Continued Improvement: Reliable assessments often undergo rigorous validation processes and updates. However, if you do not go for reliable methods, chances of improvement with time are minimal.
  • Reduced Costs and Risks: If you do not use reliable assessments, you might face the risk of poor decision-making and high potential costs related to turnover, performance, or conflicts.

You saw what I did there?

Yes, not using reliable assessment methods might not be a healthy practice, and you would definitely wish to use the most reliable personality assessment tools and methods. Won’t you?

Read: Best Personality Quiz Makers

Try a Mini Personality Assessment Now

By now, I hope you are well-versed in personality assessment and its effectiveness in various situations. 

Here is an example of a personality test.

You can try this mini personality assessment and get an idea about how things work.

Ready to Deploy Personality Assessments?

Let’s recap what we discussed above as we reach the bottom line.

Personality assessments are tools that can be used to understand an individual’s personality traits. These traits are thought to influence how we think, feel, and behave. 

From the DiSC Assessment to the Hogan Personality Inventory, each tool offers a unique perspective and serves distinct purposes. 

Although there are so many tools to create online personality assessments, the importance of using a reliable personality assessment tool is paramount.

The best part – you can rely on insightful data to make informed decisions. Also, you can easily build a personality test with online assessment software to figure out anyone’s natural traits. 

Leverage tools like ProProfs Training Maker to create tailored courses for different personality types, educate them on their shortcomings, and give them proper training. It has an AI quiz generation feature that lets you create quizzes in seconds.

So, do not wait!

Get your hands on the best assessment software out there and be one step closer to a hassle-free assessment process. 

Learn More About Personality Assessments

What is the main aim of personality assessment?

The main aim of personality assessment is to get a better idea about the persona of a person. It can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, your preferred ways of working, and how you interact with others. This information can be used to improve your self-awareness, communication skills, and decision-making abilities.

Personality assessments can also be used for other purposes, such as

  • Career counseling: It helps you choose a career that is a good fit for your personality.
  • Team building: It helps the team members understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to work together more effectively.
  • Clinical diagnosis: It helps psychologists diagnose mental health disorders.
  • Employee selection: It helps employers choose the best candidates for a job.

Are personality tests accurate?

The accuracy of personality tests depends on a number of factors, including the type of test, the way it is administered, and the honesty of the test-taker. The way a personality test is administered can also affect its accuracy. If you are considering taking a personality test, it is important to do your research and choose a test that is right for you. Watch: How to Choose Best Assessment Software

What role do personality assessments play in career counseling?

Personality assessments can play a valuable role in career counseling by helping people understand their strengths and weaknesses, their working style, and how they interact with others. This information can be used to help people choose a career that is a good fit for their personality. It is also helpful in aspects such as

  • Identifying career interests
  • Exploring career options 
  • Matching personality to career
  • Developing career plans

What is the personality assessment inventory?

The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) is a self-report personality test that is used to assess adult personality and psychopathology. It was developed by Leslie Morey in 1991. The test is divided into 22 scales, including 11 clinical scales, 4 validity scales, 5 treatment scales, and 2 interpersonal scales. The PAI is a widely used personality test in a variety of settings, including clinical, forensic, and organizational settings.

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About the author

Angela White is a skilled Product Analyst with a focus on educational technology and online training. At ProProfs Quiz Maker, she uses her passion for ed-tech to create helpful articles that improve learning experiences. Angela's in-depth understanding of the dynamics of online examinations and certifications, combined with her commitment to creating engaging learning environments, positions her as a leading figure in shaping the future of online education.