Career Assessment and Aptitude Tests

Deciding on a career can be quite a daunting, not to mention a confusing, task. There are a number of things to take into consideration, including salary potential, responsibilities of the job itself, skill and education requirements, and much more. A very useful tool that many career counselors suggest is career assessment tests. There are three main types of career tests: interest tests, skill or aptitude tests, and personality tests. Each of these tests use a different approach for a similar goal. They are designed to help people discover the careers that they are best suited for, or in some cases, careers that are best suited to them.

Career tests primarily help people to discover strengths and weaknesses that they may not have taken into account before. Apart from this, career tests also paint a clearer image of how well the person works with others, their preferred method of completing tasks, and even the types of tasks they most enjoy doing or are good at. Career tests are typically developed by experts, including psychologists. Online versions use complex codes and databases to produce results that are as precise as possible. However, it is important to remember that the results can vary based on the type of test you take. This guide will introduce each of the different types of career assessments with further information about the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Interest Tests

An interest test focuses on what people intrinsically enjoy doing. This can range from hobbies to values, preferences, and passions. Since the tests are subjective, there are no correct or wrong answers. Taking an interest test can help to reveal the types of careers that combine a person’s interests with their work. However, since it is only interest-based, they may not be suitably skilled or trained for that type of work. If the career does seem worth pursuing, the person can then investigate further as to how to start out in that field.

Aptitude/Skills Tests

An aptitude or skill test works on quite a different level. It typically ignores interests and hones in on the types of skills that the person possesses. This includes physical abilities, decision-making skills, languages, technical knowledge, and even soft skills. People who choose a career based on a career skill assessment would excel in their job theoretically, however there is a possibility that they may not be very interested in the job itself. A better way to go about this is by comparing the results of a skill test and an interest test and finding careers that overlap.

Personality Tests

The third type of career assessment focuses on people’s personality traits. They give the best results when applied alongside one of the other two career tests. With a personality test, people can discover traits such as whether they tend to be extroverted or introverted, whether they are practical or idealistic, or artistic or scientific. Most personality tests assign a coded letter to each end of these scales. By the end of the test, the candidate is left with a series of letters. They can then run this code combination by various career possibilities to find those with a matching or similar code. While personality tests are not reliable enough to use strictly on their own, they are quite useful in revealing people’s working styles. To get the best feel for career compatibilities, it is helpful to take all three types of tests. Comparing these results side by side can show rather different pictures of a person’s interest compared to their current skills or personality traits, and can then help to determine the best career.

Additional information