Personality tests are one of the most effective ways to get deeper insights into people, their thought processes, motivations, and behavioral traits. Employers from all over the world use different types of personality tests to develop a better understanding of their current employees and potential recruits and analyze how they can contribute effectively.


In this article, we are going to discuss some of the main types of personality tests and their application in corporate culture. Let’s start with the basics!

What is a personality test?

Personality tests, in simplest words, are psychological tools that help you assess an individual’s personality. With reference to the workplace or business arena, personality tests help employers determine their workforce’s behavioral characteristics and responses to different situations.

The core purpose of the personality tests is to identify what motivates an employee, what their fears are, what hinders their productivity, and how to overcome those barriers that affect their functionality in the workplace.

3 Common Types Of Personality Tests in Psychology

There are at least 20 types of personality tests in psychology used for various purposes. However, here are the most commonly used personality tests in corporate culture.

  1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  2. DISC Personality Test
  3. Big Five Personality Test

1-      Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or commonly known as MBTI, is a type of personality test mostly used during the development process in the business sector. The questions in MBTI help the managers categorize the employees into one of the four groups named as;

  • Judging vs. perceiving
  • Extraversion vs. introversion
  • Thinking vs. feeling
  • Intuition vs. sensing

Based on the responses from the applicants or test-takers, they are classified into one of 16 personality types. MBTI is a pretty long assessment as it contains 93 questions in total.  One of the questions that is asked from me a lot of times is that Can MBTI be used for recruitment & selection. Well, the answer is NO. MBTI cannot be used for selection or recruitment and is only meant for development and better self awareness

The main objective of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test is to help test takers explore their own personalities, likes, dislikes, career preferences, weaknesses, strengths, and how compatible they are with other people.

The popularity of this test can be determined by the fact that it is highly used in developing countries where psychological assessment in the workplace is relatively less common. MBTI is used by 90% of the fortune 500 companies and is also popular in south Asia. For instance, a lot of employers use MBTI in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian countries. I have used MBTI in companies including the Faysal Bank, Descon, Emirates and Embassy of the United States.  The 16 personalities include ESTJ, ENTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ, INTJ, INFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ENTP, ENFP, ISTP, ISFP, INTP & INFP

2-      DISC Personality Test

DISC personality test helps assess how an individual (based on their personality traits) can collaborate or work with others (peers, subordinates, management, etc.) in the workplace.

Employers use DISC to assess how the group or team members respond to each other and how an individual influences others in the team. DISC personality test has four personality components, including;

  • Dominance: relates to assertiveness, power, and control.
  • Influence: it relates to communication and social situations.
  • Steadiness: relates to thoughtfulness, persistence, and patience.
  • Conscientiousness/compliance: it relates to the organization and its structure.

3-      Big Five Personality Test

The Big Five Personality Test is another globally accepted psychological evaluation criteria that evaluate the five important traits in individuals. These dimensions include;

  • Openness: The level of willingness of a person to accept new ideas, concepts, knowledge, and experiences.
  • Conscientiousness: It determines how organized, goal-oriented, and consistent a person is.
  • Extroversion: This dimension helps discover the sociability of the test-taker or how the outside world affects that person and does he/she feel it difficult to co-work with others or not.
  • Agreeableness: With this dimension, the recruiter or manager can analyze how considerate a candidate is. Is the candidate helpful to others and willing to compromise? Does a candidate place their interest above others or not?
  • Neuroticism (Emotional Stability): This dimension deals with the emotional stability of the candidate. That said, how does a candidate react to bad news? Or how they respond to stress or stressful situations.

This is basically a personality theory which got traction in the 90s. The results from these tests help recruiters and managers identify whether a role is suitable for the candidate or not. Similarly, it helps candidates to ascertain which type of professional roles suit their personality. These tests can be used for development, TNA, promotions as well as hiring.

 It is important to note that professional assistance is very important to achieve good scores in these types of personality tests. Therefore, being coached by certified and qualified experts can be a great investment for your professional career.

Common Types Of Big Five Personality Theory

The Big Five personality Test has further classifications, including Saville and Hogan as the common ones. Saville Wave assessment is a useful tool for predicting an individual’s performance in the workplace. The assessments measure talent, motives, and the ability to fit in a work environment.

Hogan assessments have three further categories, including;

  • Hogan Development Survey, which points out and maximizes strengths while minimizing the effects of shortcomings to build high-performing teams.
  • Hogan Personality Inventory or HPI assesses an individual’s personality, helping in predicting job performance. It is used for better employee selection, talent management, and leadership development.
  • MVPI or Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory assessment helps identify the preferences and motives of an individual, and the results are used for suitable role assignment.

Benefits of Personality Tests for Employment

Personality tests are not only useful for employers, but they are equally beneficial for employees. Here are some notable benefits of personality tests.

For Employers

  • A better understanding of candidates’ behavior, personality traits, abilities, and potential.
  • Elimination of biased or favored recruitment process because the test results are completely unbiased.
  • Personality tests speed up the recruitment process as recruiters don’t have to waste time on unwanted interviews and can eliminated unsuitable candidates
  • Identification of dark sides of employees or potential recruits and how to minimize the effect of those traits.
  • Employers can learn more about their current and potential employees’ communication styles, team building, decision making, problem solving etc
  • Development of balanced and cohesive business teams.
  • Personality tests can help employers create a more suitable environment for their workforce, which reduces employee turnover.

For Employees

  • A clear understanding of your interests, values and skills
  • Identification of suitable and promising career paths.
  • Better preparation for job interviews and promotion interviews
  • Personality tests strengthen communication skills and many other important traits
  • Individuals can develop coping mechanisms to deal with overwhelming or unwanted situations and environments.
  • Better personality assessment helps you understand yourself better and improves your management skills.
  • Most importantly, you can improve your mental health as personality tests can identify underlying psychological issues including stress

Choosing which personality test to use can be a bit of a hassle. Your qualified expert can advise you best on which test to use. Just remember that MBTI can not be used for selection whereas Big Five tests can be used both for selection as well as development challenges. In the next few articles we will take a deep dive into these personality tests.

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