What is a Career Test?

The term “Career Test“ is given to several types of career assessment tests that can be used individually or in combination to help you determine your best career direction. These types of tests can have a very different focus and a wide range of research and development.
A career test may also be referred to as a Career Quiz, Job Test, Career Assessment, or Aptitude Test.

Across the globe, companies, both big and small, utilize career tests in their hiring process. All career assessment tests have one of two specific purposes:

  • Determine if a candidate will be a good fit for a particular position within a company to reduce employee turnover and ultimately reduce the cost of Human Resources
  • Help students and individuals seeking a career change or new job find the perfect career 
Career tests provide a significant amount of assistance to hiring managers, screening out less qualified candidates and improving the quality of applicants.

Career tests and assessments are also good tools for school guidance counselors and career coaches when guiding students and individuals toward the career that will be their most fulfilling choice. 

  • Individuals should use these tests to determine which career or job will fit them best.
  • Students should use them before investing considerable amounts of money into degrees or certifications.

Before You Choose a Career Test

Understand what the Career Test was designed to assess. 

Some tests and assessments are designed to gain a deeper understanding of a person's general personality, work personality, intelligence level, aptitudes, aversion, natural skills, competence, job skill, or even personal work ethic.

Check a test's source for validation. 

There are many tests that are copies of other tests and were not developed on foundational research or designed with validated experts.  A reputable assessment is designed using research from qualified professional psychologists and behavioral scientists. 

What are the different types of career tests?

There are a variety of career tests available, focusing on different aspects of a person.
These are the most useful:

1. Work Personality | Career Tests 

represents a persons work personality seen in a career testThis type of test is specifically designed to determine which type of career will best suit you and your individual personality within the workplace. How you interact with others at work can be different from how you interact with family and friends. This test aims to uncover your character, specifically in the workplace.
High school and college students, along with the career coaches who guide them, can reap enormous benefits from taking a work personality test. These tests can help identify which career paths will best suit both your interests and your specific work personality type. They can help to showcase a wide variety of different career choices that you may not have previously considered and will show which of these hold the most potential.
Work personality career tests are designed to show which communication styles work best for you, whether you work better independently or in a team, and if you’re a natural leader or best in supporting positions.
This type of test can help an individual choose a job they will perform best in and allow an employer to select a candidate that is best suited to the specific position being offered.

2. Desire or Interest | Motivational Tests

Desires test image organizing thoughtsThese tests can be beneficial to those searching for the perfect career. They can be useful to students who are selecting which courses to take in post-secondary education and can help others who are looking to switch careers later in life.
Desire or Interest tests, also known as motivational tests, are specifically created to help respondents determine their career desires. They often ask you to choose between different images or pictures, selecting your likes and dislikes. They may ask specific questions used to determine which attributes of specific careers best appeal to you.
They can help to determine if you would prefer a job that lets you work with others, lets you express your creativity, or is more analytical, to name a few.
These tests are best used as a way to organize your likes and dislikes and can help you look into career choices that you otherwise may not have considered.

3. Aptitude Tests

persons face with aptitude test in middleAn aptitude test has been specially created to determine a job candidate's specific ability level related to the job being offered. These tests will ask questions about the industry or job position to test the applicant's knowledge of the subject.
Aptitude tests will usually be given during the job interview to weed out unqualified candidates. They are usually in multiple-choice format and can vary widely in test length and the types of questions asked.
The downside to these tests is that they only measure a candidate's specific knowledge of the job. While a solid understanding of any job is crucial, this aptitude alone doesn't ensure that the applicant will be a good fit for the organization as a whole.

4. Personality Tests

represent a personality testA personality test is a fun way to get to know yourself or someone else better. They are often used during the hiring process to find out more about a person’s thought patterns and preferences, but they can be used for general enjoyment purposes as well.
Personality tests usually use a wide variety of situational questions and ask what the respondent would most likely do if they found themselves in that situation. A personality test can determine if someone is outgoing, compassionate, trustworthy, a problem solver, or impulsive based on their collective answers.
These tests consider a variety of personality traits and show which qualities are your strongest and which are your weakest based on your individual answers.

5. Intelligence | IQ Tests

representing an IQ testAn intelligence or IQ test is designed to measure the innate intellectual ability of a person. Unlike an aptitude test, these tests don't measure your knowledge of a specific subject but instead look at what intellectual potential you hold.
These tests must be administered by a licensed professional and can take several hours to complete. They usually consist of specially designed multiple-choice questions that help determine attributes like non-verbal and logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
While these types of IQ tests aren't usually performed during the hiring process, they can be beneficial in some high-level careers where employees will be responsible for solving complex problems and coming up with ideas to rectify essential issues.