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Asked by David on August 10, 2016

Can personality tests help you in a job you're already in? I realize they have tremendous value when searching for a job, but can they help you if you're already in a role? If they can how?

Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on August 12, 2016

Hi!

Depending on the test and the role, personality tests/assessments could be very beneficial.

With that said, though, there are some limitations.  The validity of the test plays a major factor in whether or not the test can provide any valuable data.  If you're taking a Facebook - "10 questions to determine your ideal job" type test, you're probably not going to get any information that is either reliable or valid.  But, thoroughly-vetted and validated personality assessments might be able to provide some insight that is both accurate and helpful.  

Also, depending on what job you are in, the results might have a different level of impact.  For example, it is well researched that one's personality can have a direct correlation to performance in sales roles.  For highly analytical or desk-strapped roles, personality might have a more minimal impact.  

In either case, if it is a well-created assessment that has been validated against a job where personality might play a role in the individual's overall performance, it could be a useful tool.  I'd say take the test, and absorb the information along with feedback you regularly receive from others.  It might help shed some light on areas you could improve for the future.  Or, it could just be a nice talking point for Thursday happy hour.  

Good luck! 

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Answered by Marisella, Hiring Expert at American Express, on August 15, 2016

Hello,

Great question! Personality and career aptitude tests are a great way to continue learning about yourself. The more you can learn about yourself and figure out how that aligns well with your career goals, the more success I think you will find. So many people fail to really evaluate which path is best for them to take in their career and I think it's truly just a lack of knowledge and clearly defining what their career goals are. If you understand where you want to be in 5, 10, or 20 years, it's extremely helpful because it allows you to figure out which paths you need to take in order to achieve those milestones. Investing in yourself and your development of knowledge is always going to add value to your development. Continue to be curious, ask questions, and find ways to learn about areas that can help you define those clear career goals you want to achieve. Hope this helps and all the best of luck to you in your career!

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Answered by Bret, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on August 17, 2016

Thanks for your question and the answer is yes. Personality Tests and other assessments, whether they are behavioral, competency-based or preference-based, are all important tools to help improve your self-awareness, personal growth and development.

Self-Awareness and Self-Development become a differentiating factor in a career fairly early on. Those that continuously grow and develop and know their own motivators, skills, experiences and preferences will be able to better spend their developmental energy and time.

Use of a personality test can help in selection of a career move, selection of what to develop and even help you understand how to better function within a team environment. Often times in order to better develop and work with others, you need to know yourself first. Reflection through personality tests or assessments is a great way to do that.

Bret

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Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on August 19, 2016

Any time you feel like you need to re-evaluate your career path, I think a personality test can be helpful. Often times, they can shed insight into things you might enjoy or not enjoy, that you didn't even realize. They can help you to possibly tweak your current role so that it has more of what you enjoy doing, or allow you to have an understanding of the type of role you might want to do next. Any type of self-reflection is helpful when you are in or not in a role. You may be stressed or frustrated throughout the course of your day and by understanding your personality type, it opens you up to see what the root cause of your stress is, which in turn, can help you fix it. Good luck!

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Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on August 25, 2016

It depends on the organization. Employers use personality tests to understand potential employee’s behavioral traits or to compare a candidate’s scores against a given job's requirements to see if there's a match. Some employers use it to identify potential candidates for managerial or leadership roles with in an employee pool, and that’s where it can be helpful.

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