What are the Big Five personality tests and how are they connected to your future career?

The big five personality tests relate to five specific character traits that make up your personality. These are extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness. Here you will learn about these big five personality traits and how vital their accurate assessment is. You will also discover how their assessment can affect your chances of employment.

Watch Big Five Personality Tests on Video

The character traits included in the big five personality tests

big five personality tests


This trait equates being open to experience. Openness is also seen as a combination of inventiveness and curiosity, as opposed to consistency and cautiousness. If you are open, then you are more likely to be averse to routine. You are perhaps expected to be more sensitive and a thinker. Routine is not for you!


It is almost the antithesis of openness. Being conscientious is more a case of being organized and efficient, as opposed to more easy-going or even careless. If you are a careful person, you are more likely to be very thorough and meticulous in the way you work. Conscientious people like routine and tend to be change-averse. Self-discipline is high on your list of strengths, and you are likely to be very organized.


With the big five personality test, extraversion is a trait that is very easy to recognize. An extrovert tends to be more energetic and outgoing compared to someone who is more reserved or solitary. Extroverts tend to be very talkative. Enthusiasm and drive are other noticeable attributes. Extroverts tend to be quite assertive and have a very positive outlook on life.


It is an attractive character trait. It is most easily summed up as being kind and compassionate. The opposite of this would be someone who is detached and very analytical. If you are agreeable, you tend to avoid confrontation. You are more likely to be supportive and agreeable to ideas and decisions. You are expected to be more helpful and trusting than those who are more suspicious.


It is the opposite of being confident and being secure. Neuroticism is not a positive character trait. Anxiety, depression, anger and a sense of feeling vulnerable would be feeling a neurotic person would have. Unstable people also tend to be more introverted and quiet. However, their level of emotional stability tends to be very low too.

How did the big five personality test come about?

The idea behind the big five personality test was to assess the relationship between academic behavior and personality. It was a comprehensive set up as initially every character trait was identified. These characteristics were then collated into more ‘catch all’ categories. It happens as it many character traits are related or connected.

With each of these character traits, many hundreds of grades and levels were examined. The success of the results resulted from many independent programmed of research arriving at the same conclusions. Each research project aimed to assess the underlying factors of each character trait. Once the five primary elements had been agreed upon, then their relationship with academic behavior could be determined.

Initial results were obtained by 1961 by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal. Their research was not widely recognized though until much later in the 1980s. In 1990, J. Digman put forward his idea of the five-factor model of personality. Further work on this was carried out by Lewis Goldberg. These significant domains contained all the minor character traits, but these were accepted as the five principal ones.

It was discovered that every character was comprised of varying levels of the five principal character traits. In assessing character strengths and weaknesses, your aptitude can also be assessed. Consider a few examples as this will help you understand the concept better.

Take the role of a librarian and the environment they work in. It is a very organized environment. It is also a tranquil environment. Would you consider the work of a librarian better suited to someone who was an extrovert or someone conscientious?

Similarly, would you consider someone who was agreeable suited to customer service? Would someone who was neurotic be a better choice? A more tricky option might be a research scientist. Would they be better if they were classed as meticulous, or open?

The last question is a bit of a trick question. Nobody is restricted to have only one of the five main character traits. We are combination of some, or of all characteristics. Some traits are more stronger than others. It is where the strengths lie that dictates what may be a suitable career choice. 

Review of a practice test

Free Personality Test

Introduction of Big Five Personality Tests

Criticism to Big Five Tests

Practice with Free Personality Tests

Share Your Thoughts!

We find value in differences between learning, interpreting and overall opinions. Please share your thoughts freely about this topic, but always remain respectful. You can preview and edit on the next page before your submission is sent in. You will also be informed about this site's privacy policies. Thank you for your contribution.

What Other Visitors Have Expressed

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Misunderstanding of big five Not rated yet
You write "Nobody is restricted to having only one of the five main character traits. Many people are a combination of some, or all traits." This is …

Click here to write your own.

Recent Articles

  1. What type of test did I take

    Apr 04, 22 04:09 AM

    I was given a psychological test years ago, but wasn’t told what it was for. The rating used a bell curve and my score fell in the above average not yet

    Read More

  2. ﹰﹰﹰﹰﹰﹰﹰGOOD

    Aug 13, 21 03:20 PM

    Since the enneagram test helps people to understand their strength and weaknessess. And helps them remove their weaknesses then the test is good

    Read More

  3. Knowing the inner me

    Aug 13, 21 03:17 PM

    Sometimes I ask myself that is this my behaviour or not? Because I am really shy and I lack confidence, I find it hard to socialize with other people.I

    Read More