How career aptitude tests and personality tests can limit your career options

Do Aptitude Tests put you in a category box?

How Aptitude Tests and personality tests can put you into a category box

If you want to discover what career is right for you, many people suggest taking a Career Aptitude Test or personality test.

Depending on the aptitude test, it will measure your math, verbal, reasoning and other factors and then give you graded results. Personality tests categorize you into one of 16 personality types.

There are now over 5000 different aptitude and psychometric tests you can choose from!

You could explore them as an option, but beware. I believe these tests can severely limit you from discovering your Career Destiny.

Why would I, a Career Discovery Coach with 20+ years of experience, come to this conclusion? Read on.

The Aptitude Test as a category box

Career Aptitude Tests measure you, compare that to others, then plop you into a category, such as a score, type or profile.

But I believe you are so much more than a measurement! Especially one that limits you to a score or type!

In my experience you have an important choice: you can assess your own Career Destiny or you can let an aptitude test limit you to defining only your aptitude.

By design, career aptitude tests limit your choices. They are designed to label you. They measure you by comparing you to other test takers. They put you “into a category box” instead of freeing you to be your best unique self.

You need to ask yourself if this kind of psychological analysis really helps you to find what kind of job you should go into.

Why measure your mind with psychometric tests?


They may be called aptitude tests, career tests or personality tests. They are all some form of what are known as Psychometric tests.

The term is derived from the Greek word Psycho – as in your mind, and Metric – as in measure. In other words, psychometric tests try to “measure your mind” using a series of questions to measure your answer.

They are basically a form of psychological evaluation!

Aptitude tests were originally used to measure psychological intelligence: math/verbal/abstract reasoning etc. They have since overlapped with Psychometric Tests and now include over 5000 different tests.

Many psychology tests are offered as aptitude tests. Be careful.

Psychometric tests can now measure personality, predictable behavior and response, behavior, aptitude, abstract reasoning, intelligence, time management and organization, to compare populations and all kinds of other mind metrics.

The scary thing is just a handful of companies design and administer all of these tests, such as Pearson, USDOL O*Net and Myers Briggs. They harvest millions of results that are compiled into a central database and cross referenced to job Applicant Tracking Systems. (ATS).

Do you like to be labeled based on your personality or aptitude?

Career aptitude tests and personality tests are designed to put a label on your mental metrics. Whoever said you need a psychological evaluation to uncover your Career Destiny? This hasn’t proven out, and in fact can be harmful by limiting your career paradigm to the label the test result puts on you!

Employers use these tests extensively now, to weed out unsuitable candidates.

Numerous classification labels of your mental metrics are now used, including:

The many kinds of Personality Tests

What MBTI personality type can you be labeled as?

  • The Myers-Briggs Test MBTI Measures your “personality type” to reveals which one of 16 personality types they can label you with
  • Based on 1920’s psychology theories of Carl Jung
  • You are then ‘matched’ with a vague jobs category, that can send you chasing the wrong job

Where do your personal interests compare to others, on a Strong Interest scale?

  • Strong Interest Tests assess your interests by using your results to “compare” you to groups of others who answer questions like you did, to see where you fit on a “scale”
  • Also originally developed in the 1920’s
  • Administered by Myers Briggs and used by O*Net
  • You are categorized into a scale based on your personality characteristics, that can match you to job requirements

What Holland Code can you be labeled with?

  • The Holland Test “scores” your personality into one of 6 “types” so you can be labeled with a Holland Code
  • Based on psychology theory developed in the 1950’s
  • There are then 6 broad categories of jobs that they match your type to

What Birkman scale can your personality profile be labeled as?

  • The Birkman Method is a workplace assessment that “profiles” you by labeling your personality on a “scale”
  • This assessment determines how you handle stress, social and behavioral suitability. In other words, your corporate “desirability” label
  • Widely used by Corporations and Government to weed out you bad apples who are not PC enough – the ultimate institutional bias

Does your K-12 student use Career Cruising?

  • Career Cruising uses psychometric tests as provided by O*Net – US Dept of Labor
  • A combination battery of tests psychologically profile your child and capture their results
  • Worrisome is the data collection of your minor’s private information into a shared global database, which should be a concern

Yikes! Whoa! Do ANY of these psychology profile tests and the data mining of your most personal info sound like a way for you to find your Career Destiny? I’m not convinced they are.

Escape the category trap of career test labels


Rather than help you, in many cases I believe these psychometric career test results can trap you into a category label.

How can this harm you? You can spend your life limited to the label of a category from some questionably accurate test. Limited to what your personality type is vs. the “norm.” A label that can limit you for life.

For example, the MBTI test labels you as one of 16 possible personality types. Let’s say you score as an INTJ type. Are you telling me that you would allow yourself to be labeled as 1/16 of a personality range?

That is why I think these constrictive tests can sentence you to a life of mediocrity. As if they are saying “Don’t reach for the stars, know your place, stay in your lane, you belong in this “category.”

In other words, know your limitations. Wow. I don’t think you should allow some test to define you into a narrow paradigm like this.

Originally designed for Military and Government Interrogation Psychology

If these tests are so sketchy, invasive and measure factors that don’t relate to your Career Destiny, why are they so widely administered?

Many psychometric tests were originally designed by a partnership between the US Government and Academia research centers. The Military, CIA and FBI use these methods regularly for interrogation of prisoners and to prove criminal personality disorders.

Over the last 50 years their use has grown. Now, up to 85% of major corporations and the US Dept. of Labor use certain forms of these Psychometric tests to weed you out of contention for a job. To fit you into their narrow job description of their perfect corporatist “profile.”

It’s surprising these tests are so widely used. Especially considering that some of these career aptitude tests are designed based on arbitrary, half-baked theories of psychology contrived in the 1920’s by Carl Jung and Edward Strong, and later in the 1950’s by other theoretical psychologists.

One test claims only 78% accuracy. Accurate about what, based on what was normal in 1950? Worse, these results are captured in a database to be used against you as a comparative.

Weed You Bad Apples Out of a Job

Your online test results are put into a big data mining database that these testing companies compile and share. They create the perfect profile of the “ideal job candidate” zombie so they can “screen” you out of a job.

They then grade what personality “type” characteristics are ideal for a given job, and even if you are extremely bright, talented and ambitious, you won’t be hired. In addition, you are never told results of these tests, so they can be excused as a reason to not hire you.

What does this all mean? Many of these psychometric tests, while claiming to determine if you are a fit for a job, are actually designed to “weed out you bad apples” not to define your optimal career.

In fact, there is now a whole cottage industry that trains you how to beat these career aptitude tests. If these tests were honest and legitimate, why would you need to learn how to beat them?

Define your unique self using self-assessments, based on parameters you choose

Wouldn’t a better process be a self-assessment process where you decide what is best for you? A process where you go through a series of simple exercises, where you self-select each of the five factors of your optimal career?

Sounds much better than comparing yourself to “normal” as laid out by some psychology experiments from the 1950’s.

I believe that you don’t need to “classify” or “score” your personality into a certain “category label.” You don’t need to try to x-ray your mind like that.

You want to choose what career is right for you based on your own parameters. Without it being psychologically chosen from a comparative evaluation that compares you to others.

All you really need to do is discover what career is your destiny. Where you can best use your talents, do what you enjoy, work in the community you are best suited to and serving your ideal audience.

The kind of self-assessment where you determine what career is right for you is a much better process.

The results you derive from your Define Your Career self-assessments are private only to you and those you choose to share them with. Your results do not go into a “database” to be compared to a normal population and later used to weed out bad apples like they do with your online test results.

No need to label yourself with an aptitude test

By now you understand why we won’t give career aptitude tests or Psychometric tests – and don’t recommend you take them too seriously.

You have a better chance for success and happiness by defining and applying your best unique self. You can brand yourself in a way that does not limit you to what a corporate test database thinks is PC

I believe you are a unique person who doesn’t need a personality x-ray. We wouldn’t do that to you, and don’t recommend you do that to you, either.

Imagine the misguided talent who were mislabeled

Imagine all the sports stars, rock stars, political leaders who would have never succeeded because they were labeled into a category!

What if Elon Musk allowed himself to believe he should be categorized as an office clerk? Or Bill Gates personality type meant his calling was a math teacher? If Bruce Willis stayed working as a bartender? Honorable professions, but nowhere near their potential.

In fact, if you look closely at any great business, entertainment or sports stars, you’ll note they don’t adhere to a common personality type or category.

For example, some CEO’s are introverted some are extroverted. Some sports stars are very bright and some don’t read. Their personality type isn’t the reason for their success or happiness. It is just a metric, like how tall they are or how much they weigh.

What all the top performers DO have in common is they know their Career Destiny and it powers their DRIVE to succeed, the drive to manifest their optimal career or business.

Conclusion: A better way to self-assess what career is right for you – without the labels

You have the choice: to define yourself with self-assessments, or allow a Psychometric test to define you into a label. I think that choice should be pretty clear – take control of defining yourself.

You can try a simple process that allows you to self-select your career destiny with Define Your Career Destiny Home Study Course – the ultimate career discovery self-assessment

Knowing your Career Destiny gives you deep, unshakeable confidence. It powers your belief in yourself. It guides all your choices in relationships, career and health. It attracts the people, places and things you need to manifest into reality.

You can try a chapter of Define Your Career in my Free Report that reveals How to Unlock Your Career Destiny. It explains the Five Factors of your Career Destiny.

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Larry Lafata, Career Discovery Coach

Larry LaFata is founder of and the world’s only Career Discovery Coach. He is dedicated to help you discover your Career Destiny, regardless of your background, education or experience. His innovative courses include Define Your Career Destiny one week home study course and Career Destiny Workshop for Besties.

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