Career assessment: definition, benefits and different types

Updated 4 September 2023

Elevating your career can involve identifying and deciding on a newer professional venture with better opportunities. Career assessments can be essential in narrowing down your options to those suitable for you. Assessments can help you discover your potential and determine which position or part of an entity is ideal for you. In this article, we define career assessments, discuss the benefits of using them in various industries, highlight types and review additional valuable tips.

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What's a career assessment?

A career assessment is a poll or survey that you can use to determine how various factors, such as integrity and physical abilities, align with particular careers. This test may revolve around common elements of job performance, such as interests and values, which can help you get several alternatives concerning your preferred market industry. Several tests are currently available, including integrity tests and physical ability tests. The availability of many options can increase the efficiency and credibility of the results from the outcome of taking these tests.

Related: What are aptitude tests? Definition and 11 free resources

The benefits of conducting an assessment

Here is an outline of these benefits:

Encourages self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and taking assessment tests can make you more self-aware. Gaining such knowledge can help you align your capabilities with your career and set realistic goals. For example, a test can inform you of the ability to work well with a team and this strength can be valuable in finding careers that require teams to perform projects.

Identifies areas of improvement

Assessments can help identify areas of improvement in a career. You can analyse these deficiencies and plan a strategy to improve, which eventually increases the career opportunities you can gain. Examples of areas of improvement can include time management, leadership abilities and communication skills.

Provides insight into your job market

Insight into a job market is accurate predictions of the requirements, job descriptions or work environments that a particular industry offers. Gaining insight can be essential in acquiring sufficient knowledge about the job market to improve your perception of certain aspects of your career. Examples of applying this knowledge are planning new ideas or providing solutions that currently affect the industry your career is based on.

Related: Top tips for successful career progression

Recognises an opportunity for a promotion

Some companies occasionally provide an assessment for their employees to identify eligibility for promotions. Taking these tests can help you elevate your career by attaining a higher position in your workplace. A job promotion can help increase job morale and eventually job satisfaction, which is essential for productivity.

Identifies important social aspects

Social aspects are the standard features among people within a particular culture or society. An assessment test can help you identify social aspects such as personality types and cultural values. Recognising these social aspects can help you improve workplace relations with other colleagues. They can also determine which careers best align with your values.

Helps in gaining confidence

Taking an assessment can help you recognise your skills, interests and capabilities. These aspects can clarify your preferred career field, which increases your confidence in approaching the profession. Confidence can also help you maximise your skills and abilities, increasing productivity and efficiency in performing your job description roles.

Related: How to choose a career path

Types of career evaluation

The assessment tests available can vary with different industries. Here are common types of assessments:

Skills tests

A skills test provides an unbiased, credible and accurate evaluation of your capacity to perform a role in a particular job description. A test can ask multiple questions on the role of a specific job description and additional information on approaches to solving any problems that arise while performing this role. A skills test can measure both hard skills, such as technical skills and soft skills, such as critical thinking and attention to detail.

Personality test

This test measures your preferences, interests and interactions with those around you. Some companies can use this information to determine if your personality aligns with the culture and values of the company. Here are examples of personality tests available:

  • The big five model: this method describes your character using various aspects, including extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness. The outcome measures your truthfulness based on these aspects.

  • The DiSC behaviour inventory: the basis of this test focuses on four distinct personality traits. These traits include dominant, influential, steady and compliant.

  • The Hogan personality inventory: a test consisting of 206 questions in the true or false format guides this personality test method. You can identify which job suits your personality when you use this method.

  • The calliper profile: this assessment contains various formats of test questions, including the multiple-choice method. Results of this assessment gauge how your personality can affect job performance.

Interest record test

An interest test records where your interests peak and this can help you choose the best career path. Extracurricular activities or hobbies can influence some of your career interests and it can be essential to identify them before taking an assessment test. Some examples of career interests can be psychology, creative arts or physical labour. There are available tests that can determine your interests and a standard test is the Holland code test, which focuses on the type of work you have more interest in doing.

Integrity tests

This test can measure your credibility and dependability. An integrity test can also predict various factors, such as job performance or your working outcome at different points in the duration of work. Two common types of such tests are overt and covert integrity tests. An overt integrity test measures your attitude towards theft and unethical behaviours, either in the workplace or externally. A covert integrity test can measure personality traits that elicit honesty and dependability.

Physical ability tests

Measuring your physical abilities helps you recognise attributes such as your strength and stamina when handling specific roles, physical ability tests can be helpful in careers that require lifting heavy materials, such as firefighting or construction. Physical examinations can also be essential in ensuring that you're venturing into a job you're capable of and is safe for you. Some tests can measure physical abilities, including balance, flexibility, muscular tension, power and endurance.

Adaptive career tests

This assessment test focuses on generating questions from answers to previous questions. Adaptive career tests use digital intelligence software to generate these questions. This process can be engaging and provides individual-based data that is unique for every candidate. An additional advantage of this test is it's brief and can give accurate results.

Cognitive tests

Cognitive tests determine the capacity of your brain functions and thought processes and these thought processes can include problem-solving abilities, memory and perception. The test involves a test form with a true and false or multiple-choice format. An example of cognitive tests is the general aptitude tests that measure verbal, mathematical and logic skills.

Game career evaluations

These tests are of game format, where they can mimic entertainment elements. The test has a series of interactive games and exercises that you play and the results come from your behaviour and attitude towards the game. You can require Internet availability to access this test. Game career tests are still new in the market and may require in-depth research before you indulge.

Related: 8 steps to effectively approach career exploration

Tips for career evaluations

Here are some valuable tips to help guide you when taking assessment tests:

  • Research what test is suitable for you: before you embark on an assessment test, it can be essential to study the various available methods to determine the best plan. This process can help you choose a test that determines what career, job opportunity or field to consider.

  • Research the contents of various tests: knowing the contents of a test can enable you to provide appropriate answers. This process can ensure an accurate representation of your abilities.

  • Practice integrity: when taking the assessment test, it can be helpful to be truthful in how you answer questions. For example, when answering questions on a personality test, such as giving your thoughts on a specific matter, answering what you think can help you determine an accurate personality scale.

  • Take your time to answer questions: you can ensure that you read through or listen to the questions and think before you provide an answer. Taking your time in this manner can help you accurately represent your thoughts.

  • Take a practice test: a practice test can help you prepare efficiently for tests that require a broad amount of thought and time before answering a question.

  • Know your values: you can ensure that you understand your motives and values towards various aspects of life. Comprehending your values can be essential in answering questions with honest precision and acquiring an accurate outcome from the test.

Related: A guide to assessment strategies (with types)

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