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How to Find Your “Job Personality”

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

What Is a Job Personality?

Your job personality set of beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, talents, and skills that go into determining what kind of work is best suited to you, which work you will enjoy, and what type of work will be the most productive for your employer and your Self - the total you.

You need to have certain values and motivating factors met on the job for it to be worthwhile for you to do and to produce good results. It is all part of your whole, integrated Self, the total you that is very important.


Try a fun pop personality test at Zimbio:

Which Original Star Trek Character Are you?

Your job can be matched to your individual personality and help establish a long-term career that is both productive and enjoyable.

How Do We Find the Job Personality?

The overall job personality can be determined by a series of questionnaires and surveys, including professional psychological and vocational tests. I suggest taking more than one. Three is a good number. This gives you an idea if any of the tests is far different from the rest that there is something that needs to be reconsidered. If they match pretty closely, then you have some valuable information.

It is very important NOT to view the results of your surveys and tests as any kind of horoscope or fortune telling! The results are GUIDELINES and tools for you to use. In fact, your results can change over time, so you can retake these surveys. I take them again about every 6 months to a year.

For example of misusing a test, I once saw a Multiple Intelligences test misapplied and misinterpreted in a summer youth jobs program. The kids were told that they had only one intelligence area that they were any good at, when in truth, nearly everyone has a cluster of at least three areas. Some of those kids dropped out of school in frustration to go onto the welfare rolls when, in reality, they had multiple talents and could have grown up to own their own businesses. Don't let this happen to you.

Some of the surveys and tests you can take are the following:

Work and Career Values Questionnaire

This type of quiz will help you determine what you value most in your life. You can use this information to choose work that will match your values and fulfill your needs. Such great and easy Work Values surveys are available online at

Motivational Values Questionnaire

This type of survey will help you to determine what sorts of things really motivate you in life. These motivators can be considered when you look for a new job or career. You can take a quick Motivational Values Card Sort inventory from a local career counselor or workforce development office. Inexpensive instruments that measure career values and motivational values are also available online from the excellent company Career Trainer at:

A study completed at The Ohio State University revealed the Top 15 Best, Most Effective Motivators.

The OSU Motivator List

A study completed at The Ohio State University revealed these to be the top 15 motivators. The motivators that move YOU best can be worked into your career, with the help of a motivational values quiz, as listed above.

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  1. The desire to learn
  2. Food
  3. Social Contact
  4. Fear of rejection
  5. Honor and a moral code
  6. Sexuality and fantasies
  7. Physical activity
  8. Order and organization in daily life
  9. Independence, making one's own decisions
  10. Family
  11. Prestige and attention
  12. Aversion to pain and anxiety
  13. Citizenship: public service and social justice
  14. Power and influence over people
  15. Vengeance

Vocational Motivators

The Strong Interests Inventory

The newly revised inventory contains 291 questions, each asking you your preference from among three choices. Each question is quick to answer and the test can be done in 25 minutes. Career counselors and workforce development offices often have these instrument s available and so will many of your local high schools, vocational schools, community colleges, or a temporary employment agency.

Learning Styles Survey

You may be asked how you learn best in your next job interview. People learn in one of three ways or a combination of two of these: visually, auditorily (verbally) and kinesthetically (hands on). A free, quick and easy quiz for determining your learning style preference is available at these sites:

Intelligences & Temperaments

Multiple Intelligences Survey

  • Multiple Intelligences were defined in the early 1980s by Dr. Howard Gardner and are now used in educational best practices around the world. Most people do not have just ONE area of highest intelligence, but more often have a cluster of THREE areas that are higher than the rest. The types of intelligence have fluctuated from 13 down to a few less, because some were combined, but the major Intelligences now recognized include:
  • Linguistic (language)
  • Logical-mathematical
  • Spatial (visual/three-dimensional, like pictures or geometry)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic (hands on)
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal (good with people)
  • Intrapersonal (knows about oneself best)
  • Naturalist (nature)

Take the test online at no charge.

If you take a personality test for the workplace and the results do not fit what you know to be the real "you", then speak up about it and keep your convictions about who you really are.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The MBTI is not may favorite examination to give a client or a patient, because after 1,000s of administrations and scorings of these individuals (by me) via the MBTI, I find it to be correct only 50 to 60% of the time. A few clients find it to be about 75% correct, and I think that is a great score, making the test results valid for some initial job search and career planning work. Results from some other, quicker tests need to be combined with those of the MBTI.

Beginning in the 1990s, corporations began giving this test to employees at team building and vision planning functions and other meetings as a means of having fun and learning some perspectives on personality in the workforce. I find that this exam is falling into the flavor of pop-psychology magazine quizzes.

Unfortunately, certain uncredentialed individuals apply the 4-Letter personality categories used in the exam to analyze people who have not taken the exam, and to practice psychology and medicine without a license. Sadly, this has helped cause the test to become mediocre and more like a cocktail party game of the 1950s..

This instrument (based in Carl Jung's psychology) has been criticized by some scientists as not having a high enough validity score to be accurate, but it is still used quite often in employment training and placement to measure the following qualities and providing a 4-letter "identity: for you. It's fun anyway, if not completely accurate. There are even Yahoo Groups and other online communities set up for each "identity."

Extraversion - Introversion

Sensing - iNtuition

Thinking - Feeling

Judging - Perceiving

The MBTI is a longer test and is hard to find at no charge, so the Keirsey Temperament listed below is the next closest test. Both of these are also related to the IPAT 16 Personality Factor test.

A test similar to the MBTI, free of charge and more fun is located here: Human Metrics

Keirsey Temperament Sorter

The Temperaments are personality types that include the categories of Artisans, Guardians, Idealists, and Rationals. You can read about Temperaments and work at The Keirsey Temperament Sorter. In addition, you can take a temperament quiz at and find what yours is, with the option of purchasing a longer interpretation.

I don't like categorizing personality "types" into labeled boxes, especially just four boxes, so this is not my favorite test, either. But again, it can be used as a start toward career planning.

IPAT 16 Personality Factor

The 16 personality factors examined in this test:

  • Warmth
  • Reasoning
  • Emotional Stability
  • Dominance
  • Liveliness
  • Rule-Consciousness
  • Social Boldness
  • Sensitivity
  • Vigilance
  • Abstractedness
  • Private-ness
  • Apprehensiveness
  • Openness to Change
  • Self-Reliance
  • Perfectionism
  • Tension

The exam also includes 5 additional aspects called "Global Factors" that are based on the above 16 personality factors. The 5 Global Factors are:

  1. Extraversion
  2. Anxiety
  3. Tough-Mindedness
  4. Independence
  5. Self-Control

The IPAT 16PF is often administered by career counselors, your local Workforce Development Office (state, county, or local), universities and colleges near you, and by psychologists. There may or may not be a charge for the test, depending upon where you take it.

Are you a Thinker, a sometimes-Thinker, or something else?

Are you a Thinker, a sometimes-Thinker, or something else?

Work Personality Profile

This is another good inventory for helping you determine which job or career is best for you. You can find it at administered the same locations that would give the IPAT 16PF. An article by Brian Bolton and Richard Roessler, titled Work Personality Profile, appeared in the Summer 2003 edition of the Journal of Occupational Psychology, Employment and Disability. It described the test well:

The Work Personality Profile or WPP includes 58 questions that cover 11 primary scales and 5 "high order" scales.

The first 11 scales include:

  • Acceptance of the work role
  • Ability to profit from instruction or correction
  • Work persistence
  • Work tolerance
  • Amount of supervision required
  • Extent trainee seeks assistance from supervisor
  • Degree of comfort or anxiety with supervisor
  • Appropriateness of personal relations with supervisor
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to socialize with co-workers
  • Social communication skills

The last 5 scales include 1) Task Orientation, 2) Social Skills, 3) Work Motivation, 4) Work Conformance, and 5) Personal Presentation.

There are other tests and quizzes available for these types of career deterinations as well, so ask your local career counselor or Workforce Development Office for help in deciding which ones to use.

What Is Your Personal Style?

I wish I had her hair.

I wish I had her hair.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2007 Patty Inglish MS


Sunnyglitter from Cyberspace on November 05, 2010:

I have done some of the personality tests for previous employers, as well as on my own...and they were all surprisingly accurate. It's amazing how they come up with those things.

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