How the DISC Assessment Can Help and Hurt Job Seekers09 November 2022 / By Diane Fanucchi Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on October 20, 2022
If you’re looking for your dream job, your ideal career path or simply your best next step, the DISC assessment can help. DISC is a relatively simple personality test that tells you how you approach tasks and interact with people in the workplace. As such, it can give you an idea of your career strengths as well as areas that may not come as naturally to you. With this knowledge in hand, you can target your job search to roles that are a better match for your personality.
There is, however, a potential downside to using the DISC model in your job search. Because it paints such a specific picture of your work-related personality, it can be easy to fixate on one particular type of job. In this blog post, we'll explore both the benefits and drawbacks of using the DISC assessment in your job search.
How does the DISC assessment help job seekers?
Being able to confidently understand your strengths and workstyle gives you a leg up when it comes to figuring out what type of careers you may be suited to. While any career aptitude test will have some value, DISC is especially useful for job seekers for several reasons.
#1: It’s simple
The DISC assessment divides test-takers into only four basic personality styles: Drive, Influence, Support and Clarity. Most people score dominantly in one category, but many also have a secondary type that fits them somewhat. Compared to the sixteen types of the Myers and Briggs assessment or the complexities of the Enneagram, the DISC approach can be a refreshingly simple place to start.
#2: It’s at home in the workplace
DISC was specifically designed for use in relation to work and work settings, so it’s a no-brainer that you should include it in your career-search journey. While no personality assessment can tell you everything about how you’ll do in a certain job, DISC can give you some much-needed context about how you like to work, such as:
- What types of tasks you’re comfortable with
- Your natural work style (e.g. whether you are a team player, a networker, an analytical problem solver etc)
- How you relate to others
- Whether you prefer detailed systems or the big picture
- Whether you are comfortable following set procedures or being innovative
- Whether you work best alone, in a group or as a leader
- Whether you’re more cooperative or competitive
- And much more
These insights can help you identify the careers that match your workstyle as well as potential “red flags” that might indicate a career wouldn’t be the right fit.
#3: Helps point you in the right direction
A good DISC assessment will not only reveal your DISC personality type, but will also give you a list of possible career paths that are likely to be a good fit for your type. For example, someone that scores high in “Drive" on the DISC test will be recommended a list of careers that involve fast-paced environments and a can-do attitude, such as sales, marketing or management.
Sometimes, your dream career will not appear on the list. That’s okay – it doesn’t mean you can’t follow your dream. But at least you’ll know what obstacles you may be facing and how you might use the strengths you do have to overcome them. And you'll also receive a list of alternative career paths that might better suit your personality.
If you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, taking the DISC assessment can give you some much-needed clarity and direction.
What's the downside of using the DISC assessment in your job search?
While the DISC assessment can be a helpful tool in your job search, there are also some potential drawbacks to keep in mind.
#1: You might pigeonhole yourself
If you’re not careful, it’s easy to fixate on one particular type of job after taking the DISC assessment. For example, someone that scores high in “Clarity" on the DISC test might automatically rule out any job that doesn’t involve working with numbers or data. But you don’t necessarily want to say, “oh, I can’t do … because it doesn’t fit my type.”
Just because you have a preference for certain types of tasks doesn’t mean you can’t excel at others. Your result should help guide you to your ideal path, not be a limiting factor that makes you feel boxed in. It’s important to keep an open mind and consider all your options, even if they don’t seem like an obvious fit at first.
#2: Employers might pigeonhole you, too
Some employers may use DISC or other career aptitude assessments to screen candidates for job openings. That means your DISC assessment result might cause an employer to disqualify you from a job because they believe that someone with your type may not be a good fit for the role. So, you probably don’t want to volunteer your DISC results in a job interview or list them on your resume.
At Truity, we do not believe that any personality assessment should be used to select candidates as part of the hiring process. Rather, personality tests should help employers see your strengths and figure out what tasks, role, or department you might fit best. Your results should enrich and clarify the discussion of how you can best shine in your new environment, not be used as an excuse to not give you a chance. Not all employers share this belief, however, so it’s important to be aware of this potential drawback.
#3: You may forget about the ‘personal’ part of personality
While the DISC assessment is ideal for workplace development and your career search, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your DISC type is all you need to know about your career path. You are more than a series of skills and aptitudes since you bring your whole self to the job.
This means you’ll have greater job satisfaction and success if you use the assessment as one piece of the puzzle. The best way to use the DISC assessment is to combine it with other research, such as exploring different career paths and talking to people in your desired field.
And while DISC is a great tool to use, you don’t need to stop at just one assessment. You might want to round out your personal discovery journey by taking other assessments as well, since each approaches personality a little differently. So, taking more than one type of personality test can give you more information to work with.
Ready to try the DISC assessment? You can take it here. And don’t stop there. Check out this page for more personality assessments that can help you in your job search. Good luck!