The interactive tests available online fall into two categories: personality tests, and career or vocational tests, though sometimes the line between them gets a bit hazy. The majority of the personality tests/games/instruments online will yield results that indicate your personality “type”. Clearly, this is not the same as a career test; but as Chicago Tribune columnist Carol Kleiman once pointed out, it is important that your future job or career fit your personality; so, “personality” is not without career implications, at the very least.
In my view, though, the fundamental defect of Personality Type instruments is that they are great at illuminating the style with which you do any job, but they are often misguided at predicting what career(s) that implies. I can tell you from decades of experience: dream jobs or careers are defined by much more than “type” or “style”. I would therefore take all Personality Type career suggestions with a huge grain of salt. But they can stimulate your own ideas, which is always a good thing; for that reason alone, they may be worth taking.
Some of these instruments, particularly the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), are much loved by many career counselors. Note that the actual Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is not offered for free on the Internet. But other tests, quizzes, or ‘sorters,’ dealing with “Personality Type”, are:
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter
The Ennagram Institute
Author David Keirsey categorizes people by temperament, and it is possible that through a more complete understanding of your temperament that you might find more insight into the type of work that is best for you.
This somewhat complex Web site has lengthy descriptions of the various temperaments, as well as links to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which is available in several languages besides English, ranging from Spanish and German to Japanese and Ukrainian. The site is interactive, and once you’ve answered its questions, it gives its results to you in Myers-Briggs-Personality-Type language (“you are an ENFP”) — with colored graphs. As I said, it is a rather complex site, and you will need to spend a little time here to fully understand what their test is telling you; but stick with it if you think it worthwhile.
The RHETI Test
The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) is another personality test, with the results this time grouping you among nine basic personality types. Though popular as personality tests go, how much it has to say about career choice is debatable. But we can say this much: career choice is always a search for the self, and for work more fitting to that self. In this sense, the Enneagram, like other tests of this sort, at the very least has career implications, and is useful for stimulating self-awareness, self-observation, and growth.
This is the “official” Enneagram site; any other Web sites with the test will be licensing it from this site, so it has some authority. The URL indicated has a couple of versions of the Enneagram test (and others), ranging from free sample tests to the full Enneagram test, which takes 40 minutes and costs $10.
The Enneagram: An Adventure in Self Discovery
Another Enneagram site. This is the site’s home page, which has some explanation of the nine types, a link to another version of the RHETI test available on the site, plus links to other Enneagram and personality pages. The actual test is found at www.9types.com/rheti/homepage.actual.html
; it is a “sample” Enneagram test,. in that it has 38 of the normal 144 questions found on the full RHETI..
For those who want to do further research into the whole idea of the Enneagram, here you will find a very complete list of Enneagram resources, seminars, history, etc. You will notice that the site is a member of the Enneagram WebRing: WebRings are virtual circles of like-minded Web sites, where you successively click on “Next”, “Previous”, or “Random” links to get to the next site in the Ring.
Why do people tend to buy the brands of sugar that have blue on the package? Why do so many institutions have pink walls? Color evidently has a lot to do with human personality and motivation. Based on the famous work of Dr. Max Luscher, this simple test takes five minutes, is free, and is different from most personality tests in that all you do is click on colors. (Note: The test didn’t work with Netscape, but did work correctly with Internet Explorer.)
The Classic IQ Test
Probably the best free IQ test available on the Web; you may have seen it as you’ve clicked around, at a wide variety of sites linked to Tickle. You can take the test, and get your basic score, for free. More detailed results are available for a price (which is $12.95 at the moment, but you’ll get signed up for a “subscription”, an unfortunately common marketing gimmick these days).
Human Metrics - Jung Typology
A free test, based on the Myers-Briggs.
Google: Tests and Testing
If you find the above-listed resources insufficient, then take a look at Google’s testing page. There are many, many links to testing sites available on the Web. Some are free, some are not. Some are way not. Use good judgment, especially if you test low in that area.
Resource Materials on Personality Types
If you want to learn more about Personality Types than is available online, the Ibiblio site has an extensive bibliography of printed materials that you can look for in your local library or bookstore.