Define Your Personality

psychometric tests

Did you know that your personality type plays a major role in the type of career you choose? Anushka Saboo tells you about psychometric tests and their significance

In a time where the sky is the limit and career options are endless, it is completely natural to want someone to help show you the way. The youth is no longer restricted to the Holy Trinity of ‘arts, commerce or science’ that once dominated every parent’s mind. The sea of options that are now available knows no bounds. In an attempt to prevent drowning, we need a life jacket, and what is that? Psychometric tests.
These tests are designed to assess the test-takers abilities and interests, and match them to produce suitable career options after factoring all aspects. Such tests can be administered at various stages – either at schools for 15 and 16-year olds, to provide guidance in planning their career path or by employers who want to test the capabilities of their prospective employees. Education is not just about the school or college that you go to, but also involves a series of decisions that are spanned throughout your life. Whichever part of the world you are at, or at whatever stage in your life, there is simply no denying that psychometric tests are the perfect solution to the woes of career problems.
In a world where education fees are skyrocketing, making informed decisions is the only way to go about, and one of the best places to turn to is the MBTI test. With more than 2 million assessments administered annually, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most recognized psychometric tests available, and when combined with the Strong Interest Inventory, it is nothing short of a magic wand for working minds. Quoting from the Strong sample report itself, the test measures ‘interests, not skills or abilities, and the results help guide you towards a rewarding career, work activities, education programs and leisure activities – all based on your interests.’

The Strong Interest Inventory can be a valuable tool in helping you identify your interests, enabling you to:
* Achieve satisfaction in your work
* Identify career options consistent with your interests.
* Choose appropriate education and training relevant to your interests.
* Maintain balance between your work and leisure activities.
* Understand aspects of your personality most closely associated with your interests.
* Determine your preferred learning environments.
* Learn about your preferences for leadership, risk taking, and teamwork.
* Use interests in shaping your career direction.
* Decide on a focus for the future.
* Direct your career at various stages in your life.

The underlying assumption of these tests is that we all have specific preferences in the way we construe our experiences, and these preferences underlie our interests, needs, values, and motivations. In short, these tests give you a definite outline of what you might have as a vague perception in your mind. A proclivity towards drawing is not all it takes to be an artist!
Having established the usefulness of such a test, it is absolutely necessary to understand on what basis it works – a building can only as strong as its base. The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world. It is based on the typological theory proposed by Carl Jung, who had speculated that there are four principal psychological functions by which humans experience the world – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – and that one of these four functions is dominant for a person most of the time. Jung’s typological model regards psychological type as similar to left or right handedness: people are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of perceiving and deciding. The MBTI sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or “dichotomies”, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types. None of these types are “better” or “worse”; however, Briggs and Myers theorised that people innately prefer one overall combination of type differences. In the same way that writing with the left hand is difficult for a right-hander, people tend to find using their opposite psychological preferences more difficult, even though they can become more proficient (and therefore behaviorally flexible) with practice and development.
Using psychometric techniques, such as item response theory, the MBTI is scored and attempts to identify the preference, and clarity of preference, in each dichotomy. After taking the MBTI, participants are usually asked to complete a ‘Best Fit’ exercise and are then given a readout of their Reported Type, which usually includes a bar graph and a number (Preference Clarity Index, or PCI) to show how clear they were about each preference when they completed the questionnaire.
The beauty of these tests is how they are presented – try and picture your personality reflected on a set of papers. The MBTI and Strong test results are segregated into six separate sections and if read intently and methodically, the results will tactfully link your character traits, likes, and dislikes to an array of career options.

Section 1. General Occupational Themes
Describes your interests, work activities, potential skills, and personal values in six broad areas: Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C).

Section 2. Basic Interest Scales
Identifies specific interest areas within six General Occupational Themes, indicating areas likely to be the most motivating and rewarding for you.

Section 3. Occupational Scales
Compares your likes and dislikes with those of people who are satisfied with working in various occupations, indicating your likely compatibility of interests.

Section 4. Personal Style Scales
Describes preferences related to work style, learning, leadership, risk taking, and teamwork, providing insight into the work and education environments most likely to fit you best.

Section 5. Profile Summary
Provides a graphic snapshot of profile results for immediate, easy reference.

Section 6. Response Summary
Summarizes your responses within each category of Strong items, providing data useful to your career professions.

The next time you have to make a crucial decision about your career, you should be equipped with the right tools to help you do so. To make a decision regarding your career without considering all the various aspects of your personality would be half-hearted. It may sound overwhelming but, there’s always the option of a psychometric test!


Volume 5 Issue 12


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