How a career questionnaire can help you find the right job

A career questionnaire evaluates a person's attributes, aptitude and interests in order to match them to possible careers. They can prove to be useful tools for both individuals and potential employers.

School-leavers, university graduates, and people dissatisfied with the job they're doing can benefit from taking a questionnaire. There are now a huge amount of tests to take over the internet. A lot of them use a multiple choice format, and either ask people to choose one response from a range of possible answers, or select and grade a number of options based on preference.

These kinds of internet questionnaires usually assign people a specific personality type based on responses received. It is thought each personality type has certain traits and characteristics, which makes them suited to particular roles. For example, it's unlikely someone with a meticulous and considered approach to problems would be suited to the same kind of career, as those who think on their feet. In order to get a flavour of what these tests are all about, try a free one online. There are several available on the BBC website (bbc.co.uk) and keirsey.com offers one with instant feedback.

While these questionnaires can be useful, they can also be quite general in nature. This is especially true if someone possesses traits of more than one personality type. Anyone who wants an individual assessment based on more detailed questions could try a career consultant. Although career consultants provide advice tailored to the individual, they can prove an expensive option, so should only be a consideration if you're prepared to shell out the cash.

Career questionnaires aren't only used by individuals, but employers too. Psychometric testing, which evaluates a candidate's ability and aptitude for a job or career, is an essential part of the recruitment and selection process in some organisations. Not only do employers want to ensure they find a suitable personality type for the role, but someone who fits into the company's dynamic too. If you're looking for a job or about to attend an interview, it might be worthwhile doing some research on career questionnaires, so you can ensure you're applying for the right sort of role, and you know what to expect from a test.

While career questionnaires can be extremely useful, it's important to remember they are not the final word in career choice. If you are attracted to a career which doesn't fit with your profile, you shouldn't necessarily be deterred. The right combination of attitude, perseverance and determination can make your career choice work for you.

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