The world's best team engagement tool

Loved by Canva, Atlassian, KPMG, and more!
Take the free assessment

My Coaching Plan:

Our expert coaches created the following plan to help 
you improve your wellbeing:
Trust Your Gut Feel
See the Big Picture
Goal Catcher
Start Fast!

The best workplace personality tests and when to use them

If you’ve been in the workplace for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of personality tests. Maybe you’ve even been through a couple during a recruitment process or onboarding process. There is a myriad of different types of personality tests out there. From the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to DiSC, these personality quizzes are a veritable minefield of acronyms and difficult-to-choose-between questions.

Personality tests are commonly-used assessments for employees. But participants are not always 100% sure what exactly they’re testing for. Why do businesses even use them? What deeper insight into the human psyche are they hoping to gain? Let’s bring some clarity to the confusion.

In this article, we’ll explore exactly what personality tests are and why businesses use them. Plus, we’ll hear from Michelle Duval, F4S founder, and a pioneering professional coach. She’ll share her ultimate guide to the best personality tests for the workplace.

What are personality tests, and why do businesses use them?

Personality tests are often used in recruitment and team development. While they differ slightly in format, they are usually a series of multiple-choice questions. You may be asked to pick the answer that most corresponds to how you’d respond to the question. Or you may be asked to rank the answers.

Despite what the name suggests, these are not ‘tests’. There aren’t any right or wrong answers. The purpose of personality tests is to learn more about an individual’s strengths and areas for development. Businesses can use this information to build higher-performing teams. They can also offer work assignments based on an individual’s strengths and preferences.

For example, say you know a team member has a preference for fact-based decision-making. The rest of the team can support them by offering appropriate evidence about why a particular option should be chosen.

That same team member will be more patient with a colleague who always seems to rush ahead if they understand their preference for intuitive decision-making. The more knowledge we have about our colleagues’ preferences, the better we can try to accommodate them. This leads to improved collaboration and efficiency and, ultimately, higher performance.

Over the years, research has questioned the scientific validity of some of these tests. But that hasn’t affected their popularity.  Around 80% of Fortune 500 companies use personality testing. This is often in the context of recruitment or for developing current employees.1 

The best 8 workplace personality tests and when to use them

So now you know what personality tests are and why businesses use them? But which do we rate as the top tests for the workplace? Let’s take a look.

1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tool was developed in the 1940s by Isabel Briggs Myers. It was based on research by Carl Jung in the 1920s. Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, wanted to make Jung’s type theory accessible and useful for individuals. Type theory believes that variation in behavior can be explained based on understanding how people use their perception and judgment.

The tool places people in one of 16 personality types based on their preferences for four dichotomies. These are:

  • Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P).

So your MBTI result may look something like ESTP. The tool is mainly used for personal development. It helps individuals understand their preferred way of working and work environment. It enables them to better understand how they process information and how they make decisions.

This self-awareness can help individuals choose career paths and organizational cultures that align with their preferences. This likely means happier and more engaged employees — a benefit for individuals and businesses alike. Where they choose roles and environments outside their preferences, this awareness means they can add measures to support their resilience and well-being.

Max says:

"MBTI is a common workplace personality test. It is best used by individuals to develop their self-awareness. Understanding their preferences for how and where they work can support effective decision-making about career pathways."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
Developing self-awareness to help improve workplace relationships and conflict resolution.

2. Fingerprint for Success assessment

We’ve snuck this one in here however note that the Fingerprint for Success (F4S) assessment isn’t strictly a personality test. Personality tests assess traits that are static. F4S’ free assessment looks at your motivations, which are dynamic and can change throughout your life. The test acts as a great complement to other tools commonly used by everyone from Fortune 500 organizations to smaller startups.

The F4S test is a scientifically-validated assessment. It can predict what gives employees energy, motivation, and fulfilment at work. It can help leaders and team managers to better understand what brings out the best performance in their employees. 

The F4S assessment was created by leading coach Michelle Duval. It’s backed by over 20 years of research on motivation and the soft skills needed for success. The test consists of 40 questions and takes 15–30 minutes to complete. Each question asks you to rank statements based on how well they describe you. The assessment boasts up to 98% reliability.

The F4S assessment measures 48 different motivational traits. During her research, Duval found that motivation was a strong determinant of workplace performance and happiness. Your personalized F4S report shows your score across the 48 individual traits. It also explains how these relate to both your personal and work life. 

Your result will highlight your key strengths and offer information on any blind spots that may be holding you back. Plus, you’ll get actionable strategies to help you get started on your development journey. The F4S Insights dashboard provides a collaborative platform where individuals can share data with their teammates. By leveraging this data, you can better understand:

  • The soft skills necessary to help you achieve your goals
  • Your unique strengths, untapped opportunities, and personal blind spots
  • The steps you need to take to speed up goal achievement
  • The specific contribution you and your teammates make to the team
  • How to manage any team blind spots so you can optimize your collective performance
  • The key competencies you should look for in top candidates for particular roles

Alongside your report, F4S also offers free personalized coaching. AI-powered Coach Marlee can support you in setting effective goals that will boost your success. F4S also provides a wide range of self-paced coaching programs that can fit into your busy schedule. Programs last around eight weeks, with a 15-minute session every week. And, if you need a little more help to move forward, our human coaches can work to support you and keep you accountable.

Michelle says:

“I’m passionate about making personalized coaching accessible to everyone. That’s why I created our free assessment, AI-driven coaching service, and comprehensive resources to support you in achieving your professional and personal goals. Team managers can use F4S alongside other personality tools to optimize team performance, choose the best candidate for roles, and boost employee engagement and workplace happiness.”
Michelle Duval, Founder and CEO
Looking for an alternative to personality tests?
Answer these questions to get a free report on what gives you and your team energy and fulfillment at work. The F4S assessment measures 48 work motivations (with up to 98% reliability) so you know exactly how to bring out the best in you and your team.

3. Signature strengths test

In 2004 the VIA Institute supported a 3-year research study looking at the nature of positive character. The study was led by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman. It resulted in the publication of the book ‘Character Strengths & Virtues: A Handbook and Classification’. A free assessment tool for both adults and young people was also created. This is known as the VIA Inventory of Strengths or VIA Survey. 

Completing the 96-question VIA Survey returns an individual strengths profile. Your profile report ranks 24 individual character strengths based on how easily you express them. Character strengths are positive behaviors you use to benefit yourself and others. You have all 24 in different degrees. Signature strengths are those that are most prominent within your profile. They are likely to mean a lot to you and form part of your core identity.

The VIA Institute says you can recognize your signature strengths using the ‘3 E’s’ test. That is, these strengths feel:

  • Essential to your personal identity
  • Effortless to use
  • Energizing to use

The VIA Institute believes that by building greater awareness of our signature strengths, we can use them for positive action. Leaning into our strengths helps us grow in confidence. It also helps us manage problems, meet our goals, and boost our happiness.

Max says:

"The signature strengths test is a positive psychology tool. It focuses on helping individuals connect to their greatest strengths so they can positively impact themselves and others. In the workplace, enabling individuals to lean into their signature strengths can boost individual performance and employee happiness."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
Line managers interested in helping their team members connect to their signature strengths to boost confidence and performance.

4. StrengthsFinder (now CliftonStrengths)

The CliftonStrengths assessment focuses on helping individuals discover their greatest talents and put them to work. It’s a 177-question test where individuals choose between sets of paired statements. It was developed by Don Clifton after the Second World War.

Clifton was fascinated by how best to unlock each person’s potential. Rather than encouraging people to overcome areas of weakness, Clifton asserted that they should look to maximize their strengths.

The assessment measures people’s innate talents and categorizes them into 34 themes. The 34 themes are grouped into four domains. These domains are Relationship-Building, Influencing, Executing, and Strategic Thinking. The idea behind CliftonStrengths is that when faced with a business challenge, you look for teammates who are strong in the domain that helps you solve the problem.

For example, if teams need to sell an innovative idea to internal or external stakeholders, they look to colleagues with a strong influencing domain. If they need to drive forward an urgent project, teammates with talents in the executing domain can be relied on to get the job done.

Max says:

"Nearly 3 million people have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment. The assessment is useful for increasing team success. By structuring teams around people’s strengths, the opportunity for high performance is maximized."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
Team leaders for designing the optimal team structure to drive high performance.

5. The classical Enneagram test

The roots of the classical Enneagram test are unclear. The 9-pointed Enneagram symbol can be found in ancient spiritual practice. The Bolivian-born philosopher Oscar Ichazo is credited with popularizing its use as a tool for enlightenment in the 1960s. His philosophical teachings underpinned the development of Enneagramatic Theory. 

The Enneagram Institute was formed in 1997 to further research into this powerful self-awareness tool. They administer the most popular Enneagram test, the RHETI. This test consists of 144 paired statements you have to choose between.

The classical Enneagram test is used by individuals to identify their dominant personality type. There are nine personality types described by the assessment. Each personality type has unique core motivations that drive their behavior. While you may see traces of yourself in more than one type, there will be one that most closely matches your character. 

The nine personality types are divided into three centers: Instinctive, Feeling, and Thinking. Your center influences your response if you try to live outside your core motivations. Personality types in the Instinctive center display anger. In the Feeling center, shame is felt. Personality types in the Thinking center feel fear. 

The three personality types in each center respond differently to these dominant emotions. By developing your self-awareness of your personality type and center, you learn to pay attention to these negative emotions when they arise. 

With the RHETI Enneagram test, you get insight into the traits that make up your dominant personality type. You’ll also get data on the proportion of the other personality types that make up your character. Examined together, this information can be a powerful tool for self-awareness and personal and professional development.

Max says:

"The Classical Enneagram test is an excellent tool for building self-awareness. By understanding the core motivations that describe your basic personality type, you’re better able to predict how you’ll behave in certain environments, including your preference for how you work. When you feel negative emotions, it’s a sign you’re living outside your core motivations. Paying attention to those feelings can be useful in prompting positive change."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
Individuals interested in determining the best working environments to support their productivity and well-being.

6. Principles - Ray Dalio

In 1975, Ray Dalio created the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. The firm has grown into one of the most important private companies in the United States. Dalio has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He attributes his success to a set of principles that guide the highly effective corporate culture found at Bridgewater Associates.

Dalio shares those principles in his book ‘Principles: Life & Work’. Along with psychologists Dr. Adam Grant, Dr. Brian Little, and Dr. John Golden, he also created a workplace personality test. ‘PrinciplesYou’ is used for individuals, and ‘PrinciplesUs’ is used for teams. During the online assessment, people rate the extent to which a statement applies to them. One example might be, “I am very disorganized.”

Once complete, they are scored against 12 dominant traits, 36 sub-traits, and five independent scales. They are also assigned an archetype based on their sub-traits. The personality traits measured are those based on Dalio’s principles, which he believes are the key to business success.  

Each archetype is described in terms of tendencies, talents, and opportunities for growth. People can also see how they prefer to engage with others. This is extremely useful for team leaders trying to create an optimal work environment and culture.

The test creators believe the assessment outcome strongly predicts both job performance and well-being. This makes it valuable in the workplace for both recruitment — especially for assessing cultural fit — and employee engagement.

Max says:

"The Ray Dalio principles can be used by both individuals and teams. They are most helpful when trying to determine the work environment and culture that will help people perform at their best."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
Individuals interested in determining the best working environments to support their productivity and well-being.

7. DiSC assessment

The DiSC assessment is a personality test used to improve communication and productivity within teams. DiSC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. These are the four core personality types identified by the assessment. As well as the four main profiles, the DiSC model measures people against eight ‘priorities’ to add another layer of nuance. We are all a mix of the four personality profiles, but most of us have a dominant DiSC style.

The theory underpinning the DiSC tool was first proposed by William Moulton Marston. He was an American psychologist who outlined his work in the book ‘Emotions of Normal People’. He explored the notion that normal human emotions were displayed differently between groups of people.

The DiSC personality assessment leads to greater self-awareness and emotional intelligence. But its main purpose is to help people use that awareness to improve their relationships within a team dynamic. For example, your DiSC profile includes advice on how to collaborate more effectively with colleagues who have a different DiSC personality type to yours. In the workplace, the benefits are seen in better team communication and increased productivity.

As well as the classic DiSC assessment, there are also supplementary products. These offer greater insight into specific areas. For example, you can learn more about your leadership style and your preferred way of managing others.

Max says:

"DiSC is unique in that it is workplace focused. Understanding your personality type better builds self-awareness. Sharing information about your type with your team can support improved collaboration and overall performance."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
Teams interested in building a common language in order to improve communication and collaboration.

8. Predictive index personality test

The predictive index personality test is a behavioral assessment created in 1955 by Arnold Daniels. Daniels had a singular mission. He wanted to solve business problems by better understanding workplace behaviors. 

Unlike other personality assessments, the test has only two questions. These are related to a list of adjectives. The first question asks people to select the adjectives that describe how they are expected to behave at work. The second asks them to select the adjectives that best describe their actual personality.

The adjectives are associated with four behavioral drivers that influence workplace behavior. These are dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality. Based on their answers, people are given one of 17 different reference profiles.

Like the other tests we’ve mentioned, the predictive index personality test improves self-awareness. It enables individuals to explore how well their reference profile is likely to perform in certain work environments. 

It is also uniquely placed to support the recruitment process. Hiring managers can use the predictive index personality test to identify the behavioral competencies they value within their organizations. By asking job candidates to complete the test, they can assess them for behavioral and cognitive fit during the hiring process. A good fit should lead to higher-performing teams and happier employees.

Max says:

"The predictive index personality test is a behavioral assessment tool. It helps individuals understand how well their preferred working style aligns with certain work environments. It’s also useful for hiring managers. By assessing candidates’ likely cultural fit, they can improve organizational performance and employee happiness."
Max Young, F4S Head of Coaching
Best used by:
 Hiring managers to determine a candidate’s cultural fit in order to maximize team cohesion.

Get started with workplace testing today

There are many and varied personality assessments available on the market today. Some have a specific workplace focus, and others are used in a broader context. All are based on the notion that greater self-awareness will lead to improved relationships with family, friends, or colleagues. It is likely that the conversations these tests prompt are more valuable than characterizing yourself as one personality type or another.

The additional support offered by test administrators is also important. Look for a tool that offers an in-depth report with actionable tips about how to use your new insight. Also, see what other free resources are offered to support your ongoing career development. For example, with F4S, you get access to free personalized coaching to help your results become more than an archetype on a page.

Looking for an alternative to personality tests?

Answer these questions to get a free report on what gives you and your team energy and fulfillment at work. The F4S assessment measures 48 work motivations (with up to 98% reliability) so you know exactly how to bring out the best in you and your team.

Loved By:

500 startups logo
Show References
Hide References

1Psychology Today. (2008) The use and misuse of personality tests for coaching and development. Available at:,reliability%20or%20validity%20than%20horoscopes.

Three smiling people from Canva.

Grow your people, grow your company.

F4S helps teams like Canva grow by improving:

Team Dynamics
Attract & Retain Talent

Meet the world’s first A.I. Coach!

Get started for free with personal (or team) coaching.

Programs are designed by world-renowned coaches & delivered by our incredible (AI-powered) Coach Marlee.

Sessions take just a few minutes and are 100% personalized to fit your unique traits and goals.

Head that contains a heart with line beating line.

Hack your life & work

Subscribe to our newsletter for free access to the latest research and expert tips on Mental Health, Wellbeing, Leadership, Career Skills, Team Building & more!

Head that contains a heart with line beating line.

Hack your wellbeing, productivity and goals

. . . with personal (or team) coaching!

Programs are created by expert coaches & delivered by our incredible A.I. Coach Marlee. Sessions only take 5-15 minutes and are 100% personalized to fit your unique traits and goals.
Start personal coaching for free
^ Swipe up to chat with your AI coach!