Better Know Yourself With These 3 Personality Tests

Personality tests for better knowing yourself

To better know yourself is the first step to pursuing a career that will ultimately be aligned with our expectations and our own definition of success.

The things we enjoy and life purpose must be the guiding star for everything we do: The choices we make, the work that we do, the projects we embark on.

How to define what motivates you if you don’t know enough about yourself?

To be able to tell your truth, you cannot avoid introspection.

Self-knowledge is fundamental to define your path.  Of course, our personality, our desires, and our ambitions evolve over time but the fundamentals remain.

Sometimes we don’t even realize it, but we try to convince ourselves that we are someone we are not… either because our surroundings have been messing with our heads for a long time or because we subconsciously lie to ourselves, or a little of both!

Protect yourself from the judgment of others, they often project their own fears for the detriment of our motivation. Listen to yourself, not to them. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about!

In the past, I did various personality tests that helped me learn more about myself. The tests highlighted what I felt in the corners of my heart. I could no longer lie to myself as it was written in black and white.

I understand if you’re skeptical. It’s not easy to believe in the reliability of a test that you can do in 30 minutes. But try it and you’ll see!

One of the first ones I took was a test called the “Thomas” test. I had to do it as part of the recruitment process of a company I’d soon be interviewing for.

When the Human Resources department shared the results, the accuracy of the feedback impressed me. Since then, I started taking a closer look at these personality tests.

During my research, I found lots of this type of tests. From those, there were three that clearly stood out and that I’ll recommend in this post.

StrengthsFinder – Gallup

What is it?

Developed by Gallup, an American research and consulting firm, and originally created by Donald Clifton, StrengthsFinder is a tool to identify your talents and highlight your uniqueness.

It is a methodology that is based on years of research, which has been carried out by more than 10 million people and its fundamentals rely on the principles of positive psychology.

The tool was initially launched in the early 2000s

What are the terms and conditions?

I’ll tell you right now and before I forget! This test is not free.

There are two options: $19.99 and $49.99. Honestly, the $19.99 option is enough to start with.

The difference is the number of strengths that will be explained and developed: The top 5 for one option and 34 for the other.

It is up to you. You can start with the first and, if it convinces you, you can then purchase the most extensive test.

Certainly, it’s not the cheapest of tests, but if you cut on that delicious burger combo you like eating on the weekends, you’ll make enough space in your pocket to find your strengths instead!!

Allow yourself some time, as it lasts about 40 minutes and, of course, find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.

You will see more than 100 questions, you will have to choose between 2 statements with degrees of agreeability/relatedness.

Once completed, Gallup will immediately send you the results with your 5 characteristic themes and a customized report detailing your strengths.

Example of a detailed strength – Empathy

Better know yourself through the Strengthsfinder test

How did I find out about this test?

It was thanks to one of my colleagues from my former company who told me about it. She was convinced and impressed about the relevance of this test and her great enthusiasm ended up convincing me too! I’m really grateful for it 🙂

Why did I like it?

What interested me the most was the philosophy behind this test. We often tend to focus on our shortcomings, our areas of improvement. And we want to work on improving what’s wrong instead of excelling at the things in which where we are good at, to make our qualities shine.

The idea is to know your strengths and apprehend them in order to know how to use them and behind that to understand what motivates us more broadly.

To use their definition stop trying to be more of who you are not and start focusing on what naturally makes you powerful and unique“.

I love that state of mind!!

The objectives of the test as described by the Gallup Strengths Center are:

  • Discovering what you naturally do best
  • Learning how to develop your greatest talent
  • Using the result to live your best life
  • Improving self-awareness
  • A new way to explain who you are to others
  • Proven ways to improve your performance

These are ambitious objectives, but what is certain is that this test responds to the need to get to know ourselves better.

Of course, it doesn’t change our lives overnight, the objective “Use the result to live your best life” may be a little too ambitious!! But the test overall undoubtedly brings a new perspective on who we are.

If you never know what to answer to the famous question “what are your qualities” in an interview, there you will have your answers!

There are 4 main categories and 8 to 9 strengths within each.

The main categories are as follows:

Better know yourself through the Strengthsfinder test

In my personal experience, the test results provided me with the confidence that I was making the right decision.

I was at a turning point in my life, leaving the comfort of a permanent job in a large company with lots of advantages to co-found The Way Factory. This, aiming to help you take charge of your career so that it enables you to work to live, instead of live to work.

My 5 strengths are all in the same theme: Relationship building. The first one that came out is empathy and I understood that I was making the right decision, that I was going to be in my place: My strengths were aligned with my desire to write and help you.

Tip: Be honest and spontaneous so that the results are as consistent as possible!

VIA test

Following the same logic as the StrengthsFinder, I’d like to tell you about the VIA test.

What is it? 

The VIA Inventory of Strengths, formerly known as the “Values in Action Inventory,” 

is a psychometrically validated personality test that measures your individual’s character strengths.

At the end of the test, 24 strengths will appear.

What is unique about your profile is the position of each strength. The strengths listed at or near the top are your greatest strengths. 

The strengths near the bottom of your profile are, on the contrary, your lesser strengths. It doesn’t mean they are weaknesses. However, they are strengths that come less naturally to you and require more effort to use.

What are the terms and conditions?

The test lasts between 10-15 min and consists of 96 questions. 

The test is free of charge. You will receive a report immediately after taking the test with the ranking of your strengths. 

You have to pay between 20 to 50 USD (depending on the level depth) only for a more detailed and personalized report.

Why did I like it? 

I took the free version of the test. It’s very well done with a small description of each strength and perfectly consistent. I strongly recommend it! 

My 3 first strengths are :

1. Love 

Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are reciprocated; being close to people.

2. Social Intelligence

Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.

3. Humour

Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.

My first 3 strengths: Love, Social Intelligence and Humour

My lesser strength, the one that comes less naturally is…  forgiveness…

Which is, I must admit, perfectly true. I find it hard to accept, forget and forgive bad deeds, behaviors, and actions.

My lesser strength: Forgiveness

My relatives, those who know me best, found the result very relevant and close to reality!

To take the test click here. Let me know what your results are 🙂

MBTI test

What is it?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, more commonly known as MBTI, is a psychological assessment tool that allows you to get to know yourself better and to give you insight on some of your personality traits.

The American author Isabelle Briggs-Myers developed this test based on the work of psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung.

To determine your profile, you must answer questions related to 4 dimensions that will be elaborated below. Your answers can be summarized in 4 letters that together constitute your MBTI profile (ESFJ, ISTP, etc.). Here are some examples of each dimension:

Favorite world: Where do you get your energy from?

From others? Extraversion (E)
Or yourself? Intraversion (I)

Information: Do you trust what you see?

Yes – Sensing (S)
Or do you follow your instinct instead? Intuition (N)

Decision: What drives your decisions?

Your rationality? Thinking (T)
Or your emotions and feelings? Feeling (F)

Structure: How do you take action?

By meticulously planning every detail? Judging (D)
Or by adapting to the circumstances, by improvising? Perception (P)

There are 16 possible outcomes and each corresponds to a personality type

Here is a table with a brief description of the 16 personalities:

Better know yourself through the MBTI test

What are the terms and conditions?

By answering the 4 questions of the previous example you’ll have an idea of your MBTI profile, but I advise you go further and complete a more thorough questionnaire.

You can do the test for free via different sites. It’s much faster than the StrengthsFinder, it’ll take you 10 minutes!

Be careful, some sites will wanna make you purchase stuff, but the free tests are already very well done. I suggest the tests available on 16Personalities or Truity I just took the free version and their feedback is already quite extensive ☺

How did I find out about this test?

Via my business school teachers as part of my human resources major.

Why did I like it?

It’s a quick and simple test, it helps us know ourselves better, it verbalizes what we can feel.

At the end of the test, you will receive a complete description with your character traits and both your main strengths and the aspects you should be careful about.

I also enjoyed studying each of the profiles to better understand the different types of personalities and to better understand the reality of the other.

While some will be guided by their rationality, others will be guided by their emotions, which sometimes leads to opposite reactions.

Being aware of this helps us adapt to the other person.

This test allows for both an understanding of ourselves and of others.

Bonus: Wingfinder test

Similar to StrengthsFinder and MBTI, you can find the test Wingfinder developed by Red Bull (yes, I was also surprised!!!), whose purpose is to highlight your strengths related to 4 categories: Creativity, Thinking, Drive and Connection.

It is free and lasts about 35 minutes. In the end, you will receive a report with an analysis of your strengths and advice about it: What you should keep doing, stop doing and start doing.

The approach is rather innovative but I found the analysis less precise than StrengthsFinder, for instance.

That is my personal opinion. It’s worth giving it a shot though!

Click here to try out the Wing Finder test.

Sweet conclusion

It is necessary to take a step back on personality tests. Whether it is StrengthsFinder, VIA, MBTI or Wingfinder, these do not define who you are.

They are simply tools that will offer you additional insight into yourself. No answer, no result is “better” than another. Each personality has its own richness.

You may not identify yourself with your results, you may find that some terms do not fit who you are. It doesn’t matter!

We are not on an exact science, introspection is not a mathematical calculation. On the MBTI I do not identify myself with only one of the profiles. I am between ESFJ and ISFJ.

These tests are not supposed to lock us in a box, but simply to shed light on our personality.

No one judges anyone, be proud to be who you are.

The reason I told you about these tests was that they were useful to me, they brought to light a reality that I felt but couldn’t express. I hope with all my heart that they will also be able to guide you, provide you with some answers and ultimately help you better know yourself.

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”

Oscar Wilde
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments