Read our reviews of the major online career assessment tools for job-seekers — listed alphabetically. (Go here to see the review in rank order.)
This tool is part of our Career Assessments section. If you have not been to our main assessment page, please follow the link for more useful information and links.
We invite visitors and readers to contact us to report any discrepancies between our descriptions below and your own experience with these assessments.
If you are looking for some career direction, or perhaps just want to learn more about yourself and your personality, then taking one or more of these assessment tests can give you a better idea of your attitudes and interests as they relate to discovering more about yourself — and possible career choices.
Given that a number of assessments in this review base their tests on common foundations, it’s useful to know how these are defined:
Birkman Method: A 298-question personality assessment and a series of related report sets that facilitate team building, executive coaching leadership development, career counseling and interpersonal conflict resolution. The Birkman Method combines motivational, behavioral and interest evaluation into one single assessment, which provides a multi-dimensional and comprehensive analysis, thus reducing the need for multiple assessments.
Holland Codes: Personality types developed by psychologist John L. Holland as part of his theory of career choice. Holland mapped these types into a hexagon which he then broke down into the RIASEC job environments (see RIASEC).
Myers-Briggs: Based on typological theories originated by Carl Jung, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. The original developers of the personality inventory were Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. The 16 different types are usually referred to by an abbreviation of four letters. One of each of the following pairs constitutes one’s four-letter type: Extraversion or Introversion, Sensing or iNtuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving.
RIASEC: Acronym for the career-related personality types developed by psychologist John L. Holland. The letters in RIASEC stand for:
- Realistic – practical, physical, hands-on, tool-oriented
- Investigative – analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative
- Artistic – creative, original, independent, chaotic
- Social – cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing
- Enterprising – competitive environments, leadership, persuading
- Conventional – detail-oriented, organizing, clerical
Quintessential Ratings — a guide to free or inexpensive ($40 or under) career assessments on the Web (ratings are based strictly on our own experiences and those of our clients and students):
Q = marginally useful
QQ = somewhat useful
QQQ = very useful
QQQQ = extremely useful
All listed assessments are interactive.
|Assessment||Measures||Ease of Use||Detail of Results||Rating|
| Big Five Personality Test
Formerly called All About You, this test measures personality aspects that can be applied to careers.
|Five fundamental dimensions of personality||Easy to use; takes 5-10 minutes||Fairly bare-bones chart assessing Openness to New Experiences, Extraversion, Nervousness, and others.|| Q
(interesting personality assessment, but only marginally applicable to careers)
| Campbell Interest and Skill Survey
Online version of a well-known and reputable assessment containing 320 multiple-choice items.
|Interests and Skills||Easy to use but time-consuming: 25-40 minutes.||Very comprehensive results, covering nearly 60 occupations and a comprehensive career planner to help you interpret your results and plan for your new career.||QQQQ|
Based on the 16PF Assessment. Read more about it here.
Cost: $10 each for Personality Fit, Interest Fit, and Culture Fit reports; $20 for bundle of all 3.
|Personality fit, interest fit, culture fit.||Easy, but takes about 30 minutes. 170 personality questions and 15 problem-solving questions.||Highly comprehensive results in all 3 reports. Suggests career paths, rates competencies, and rates interests in 7 career areas.||QQQQ|
| CareerDirect Personality ID Survey
Cost: Personality ID Survey is free; full CareerDirect Assessment is $80.
|Personality||Assessment involves ranking 16 sets of 4 descriptive words as to how well they describe you.||Gives reasonably detailed results about personality type.||Q|
| Career Interest Profiler from testingroom.com
This 180-question assessment is a measure of occupational and career interests.
|Six fundamental categories of interests that capture most characteristics of people.||Very easy interface. Takes about 15 minutes. Registration required.||Three-paragraph report; more complete results available for $14.95. Free sample of full results available.||QQ for free report; QQQQ for paid report|
| Career Interest Test from LiveCareer
This 100-question assessment identifies your career interests and then tells you what jobs are out there for you.
Free for basic results.
Site also offers Career Satisfaction Test, Resume Test, and Start a Business Test.
|Interests, personality, values, knowledge, skills, and abilities.||Easy. Takes 25 minutes. You can stop and go back to the test later. You also have the opportunity to review your answers before submitting them.|| Free 14-page overview report shows interestsm personality, and workplace fit.
Deluxe Report available for $15.
Free samples of both regular and deluxe reports are available.
| Career Liftoff Interest Inventory (CLII)
This 240-question test uses activity-based questions to create a report with Holland/RIASEC codes.
|Interests.||Takes 20-30 minutes to complete.||Detailed profile and narrative reports instantly available in PDF format.||QQQQ for paid report|
| Careerlink Inventory
A 36-question assessment based on the premise that your self-estimates are a valid basis for career decision-making.
|Interests, aptitudes, temperaments, physical capacities, preferred working conditions, and desired length of time preparing for employment.||Easy||Tells which career clusters fit you and provides details about each cluster.||QQQ|
| Career Maze
An on-line tool designed for people to find their future by increasing self-knowledge. Has you choose from among 2 sets of 82 characteristics.
|How you see yourself and how you think others see you in terms of the 82 characteristics.||Very fast and easy to use.|| Highly detailed, multi-page report tells your approach to goals, how you interact with the world around you, your natural pace, what you seek when given responsibility, career implications for these traits, and jobs that fit your behavior pattern.
Sample report available.
This test, based on the RIASEC system developed by Dr. John Holland, has 180 questions in which you either choose likes and dislikes or answer true/false.
Cost: $32.00 for premium report; $24.95 for regular report.
Site also offers a personality test that is a version of the Myers-Briggs assessment, as well as a career-values test.
|The "fundamental nature of the careers that are good for you"||Easy. Takes 10-15 minutes.||A 15-page PDF report is available between an hour and five days after completing the test. Speed of delivery depends on fee paid. Results include dominant RIASEC codes and numerous careers matched to the test-taker’s interests, values, and skill sets. Users should note that submission of most personal information is optional. Similar RIASEC-based tests are available free or are less expensive. Recommended in every edition of Richard Bolles’ What Color Is Your Parachute since 2002.|
| Career Test by CareerFitter
The 60-question assessment describes itself as a "hybrid." Questions very similar to those on a Myers-Briggs-type test.
|Work personality, including strengths, weaknesses, styles, optimal environments, and other in-depth characteristics of the test-taker at work.||Easy. Takes 15-25 minutes.||10-page Career Report includes summary of test-taker, personality chart, career choices for test-taker, occupational factors, primary characteristics, the test-taker at work, potential weaknesses, personality details, business points, communication method, ideal environment, team-building approach, management practice, and famous people like test-taker. You can view a sample report.||QQQ|
| Career Values Scale from testingroom.com
This 88-question assessment looks at values to see how they relate to the test-taker’s world of work and help to identify areas of career satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
|Ten work values: service orientation, team orientation, influence, creativity, independence, excitement, personal development, financial rewards, security, and prestige.||Very easy interface; questions seem somewhat repetitious. Takes about 10-20 mins. Registration required.||Two-paragraph report; more complete results available for $14.95. Free sample of full results available.||QQ for free report; QQQQ for paid report|
| Career Zone California
An extremely bare-bones, 3-question assessment.
|Combinations of six broad interest areas known as RIASEC codes.||Ultra fast and easy||Very bare bones, but gives lists of occupations for each type. Test-takers will need to do more research on the RIASEC types.|
| Carolyn Kalil’s Personality Assessment: Inner Heroes
Inner Heroes is a personality system modeled as a graphical representation of both Keirsey’s Temperament and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The assessment asks you to choose one of the two ways to finish 36 statements. The results can help you define your skills and talents — and possibly direct you to various career paths.
|Personality||Easy. Takes just a few minutes.||Gives Web-based results in terms of one of four types of Inner Heroes™ — Helper, Thinker, Planner, and Doer.||QQ1/2|
| CoachCompass® Assessment
|Defines an appropriate starting point for career services and coaching delivery, thereby allowing for the targeted development of effective client strategies to ensure career success.||Easy. Choose 1 appropriate statement among 6 for 16 sets of statements.||A short report appears on-screen, and a very detailed report with graphs attached is e-mailed.||QQQ1/2|
| Dependable Strengths® for the Internet
Helps users identify their strengths and learn how their strengths can be used in future careers.
Cost: Cost: $24.49
|Dependable Strengths (strengths used many times in the past, strengths the user enjoyed using, strengths the user was to use in the future).||Easy, but can be time-consuming. Time needed to go through the six steps varies by user, but users can save their work and go back and finish later.|| Detail of Results: Takes users through a six-step process that includes:
In this assessment, the process is just as valuable as the results. The more the user puts into the assessment, the more he or she will gain.
The ability to explore occupations in great depth is a major plus.
| Hollands Self-Directed Search
Online version of widely used and highly respected career assessment.
|Interests, Values, and Skills||Contains 5 section and takes 20-30 minutes.||An 8-16 page personalized report appears on screen after pa ment and provides descripti n of ach of the 6 RIASEC types, your 3-letter RIASEC code (a combination of the 3 RIASEC types that most closely match your interests), an explanation of how to use your code in career planning, a list of occupations, fields of study, and leisure activities consistent with your 3-letter code, and next steps for career exploration and decision-making.||Not rated|
| The Insight Game
Quick, fun visual take on the Myers-Briggs.
Free for basic report.
|Myers-Briggs Type||Very easy, fast, and fun, with the ability to flip and place "cards" that result in revealing one’s type. Takes less than 10 mins.|| About one page about your Myers-Briggs type. More in-depth career information and extensive loving relationship profiles are available for only $6.95, or $12.95 for the Comprehensive Personality Profile.
Not useful for those who already know their Myers-Briggs type since letter codes are revealed on the "cards."
(fun, but basic results are not comprehensive about career)
| ISEEK Skills Assessment
Lets you rate yourself on 35 skills and then see which occupations are a match for the skills that are important to you.
|Basic Skills, Management Skills, People Skills, System Skills, Technical Skills||Easy. Takes 5-10 minutes.||List of occupations that match your preferred skills and your educational goal. Shows media salary for occupations. Shows exactly how your assessment of each of the 35 skills matches each occupation and gives a career profile of each occupation.||QQ1/2|
| Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (JVIS)
Developed to assist high school and college students, and adults with educational and career planning, this test contains 289 pairs of job-related activities.
|Vocational Interests||Though quite long (takes 45 mins.), the JVIS provides encouraging screens that tell your progress and give you a little pep talk.||Highly detailed report. A particular strength is the results’ comparison of your similarity to college students in specific majors, thus suggesting possible majors for young people to consider. Detailed results. JVIS graphs your scores on 34 work roles and workstyles.||QQQQ|
| Keirsey Temperament Sorter
This 70-question assessment is related to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Cost: Free for mini-report
|Personality||Easy to use, but a little time consuming. Registration required.||Results, in the form of partial Myers-Briggs Types, give descriptions of the types. Several levels of more detailed report available: Career Temperament Report, $19.95; Classic Temperament Report, $14.95; Learning Styles Temperament Report, $14.95; Temperament Discovery Report, $7.95.||QQQQ|
| Personality Index from testingroom.com
This 90-question assessment examines key personality features that influence your approach to tasks, interaction with people, and the activities you enjoy.
|17 traits: ambition, initiative, flexibility, energy, leadership, concern for others, teamwork, outgoing, democratic, innovation, analytic thinking, persistence, dependability, attention to detail, rule-following, self-control, and stress tolerance.||Very easy interface; questions seem somewhat repetitious. Takes about 10-20 mins. Registration required.||Two-paragraph report describes two key features of your personal style; full report with an additional 20 traits available for $14.95. Free sample of full results available.||QQ for free report; QQQQ for paid report|
| Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) SAMPLE
This 38-question assessment, a sample of the full RHETI which has 144 questions, looks at personality types.
Site also offers the 44-question "The New Enneagram Test."
|Personality||Easy to use. Takes 5-10 minutes.||Fairly good description of 1 of 9 types|| Q
(interesting personality assessment, but only marginally applicable to careers)
| StrengthsFinder 2.0
This well-researched instrument asks you to choose to what degree either of a set of paired statements applies to you.
Cost: "Free" with the purchase of book, Strengths Finder 2.0, which provides an access code and cost varies, depending on bookseller.
|Areas in which you have the greatest potential for strength.||Easy. Takes about 25 minutes. Warning! There’s a 20-second limit for answering each question before it vanishes from the screen.||Online results consist of a good sized paragraph describing your five most dominant themes of talent, your signature themes. Accompanying book provides more detail on each theme.||QQQ1/2|
| The Career Key
25-question test, providing another variation on Holland’s 6 personality types.
Organization also offers The Self-Employment Key.
|Holland’s 6 personality types (how similar you are to six basic types of people)||Easy to use. Takes 15 minutes.||Results are in the form of Holland Codes w/lists of jobs that match users’ personality types organized into "work groups" based on the original Guide to Occupational Exploration. This feature enables users to find similar matching jobs in context to their personality match. See this classification of jobs in the article "Match Your Personality with Careers."||QQQ|
| Work Preference Inventory
This 24-question forced-choice assessment that tells your work style. Based on the premise that the process of values clarification is very important in career planning.
See also these collections of personality, interests, and career tests:
- All the Tests — 57 career-related tests
- Coaching for Success collection of tests
- Queendom/Test Junkie Career Tests
Help envision and plan your career, job, work future with the self-assessment and career discovery tests in this section of Quintessential Careers: Career Assessment Tools & Tests: Assessments for Students, Job-Seekers, Career-Changers.
Enhance your career! Take advantage of all of our expert free career development advice, tools, and more in our Career Resources Toolkit for Job-Seekers.