The Difference between Personality and Behavioral Assessments

Corporate meeting.jpegPeople often confuse personality and behavioral assessments and try to use them interchangeably. In contrast to personality

assessments, behavioral testing doesn’t reveal core personality types. Instead, it reveals how an employee acts in an environment.

In other words, personality is one half of the equation; the other half is how the personality responds to a particular situation.


Personality and situations interact, and produce thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Assessments that characterize personality types are only useful if people have a practical way to apply the information from the results to the work environment. Personality begins with a unique genetic makeup and forms as a person accumulates life experiences. It’s also multi-faceted. For example, some people are extroverted, others are introverted. Personality characteristics are hard-wired.

Personality testing is commonly used inappropriately to assess job placement and candidate fit. There are a number of popular instruments for measuring personality. The most widely known is the Myers-Briggs Type indicator.

You can discover personality types through assessments, however, you cannot change them. On the other hand, a behavioral assessment will show how individuals adapt to their surroundings – how they work within situations. Overall, there is much more to be gained from understanding how a person adapts and how their particular behaviors will fit within a particular job and environment than merely identifying hard-wired personality traits.

Take a look at the rest of our blog for other posts on how assessments can predict on-the-job success, reduce turnover and increase workplace productivity.