[ Skip Main Nav ]

Career articles

5 online skills tests for job seekers

Taking tests isn’t just for students — it can also help boost your career. “Our interests and skill capabilities are constantly evolving, so it makes sense to reassess our abilities throughout our careers,” says Igor Khayet, senior manager of the Phoenix Career Services™ team. Here are five online assessments that can help identify your next opportunity:

Considering a return to college, a mid-career switch, or both? Khayet recommends checking out this free tool from University of Phoenix.

You’ll find 18 career-related questions that ask you to rank your interests from the most to least appealing. At the end of the assessment, the tool presents custom career recommendations based on your responses, plus links to relevant degree programs.

“Ideally, you should narrow down your interests before switching careers or pursuing a degree,” Khayet notes. “This tool will help you do that quickly. It’s imperative to explore and understand what interests you and how that relates to a career before you pursue a degree or decide to switch careers.”

Once you know what types of jobs you’d like to pursue, Khayet recommends using this free resource from the University to explore requirements for the job and opportunities where you live. You can search by job, employer or degree program.

The tool provides detailed information on thousands of job types, including numbers of open positions by geographic area, average salary and education level, required skills and even potential employers.

“It’s a way to see the current and recent demand for certain positions and gauge whether your existing skills and education will meet job requirements,” Khayet explains, because the information is taken directly from employer postings. So, he says, you can plan your training accordingly.

Khayet recommends this free online testing site if you’re looking to improve your computer or business skills. It offers hundreds of tests on everything from the Microsoft Office® suite to language and writing skills, with new tests added regularly. You can earn badges for high scores and share your achievements with others, including employers.

The site also offers tests for unusual skill areas, such as pop culture, sales techniques, social networking and even gun safety.

As a job seeker, you can complete mock job tasks here — like booking travel, building Excel® spreadsheets or writing a marketing plan — and then be connected with potential employers based on how well you do. “We operate as a virtual employment agency,” explains Elli Sharef, who co-founded the site.

In addition to completing customized online skills tests, you can submit a virtual job interview via webcam. Sharef says the company has helped test and place employees at companies such as Shoptiques and onefinestay.


This site offers psychometric aptitude tests that evaluate your personality, work style, core beliefs and talents, and then recommends potential careers and work environments that best fit your abilities.

Free reports provide basic information on your personality type, career interests and work-related values. Full evaluations that create a personalized list of ideal jobs — as well as tips for improving job performance and satisfaction according to your personality type — are available for $14.95.

“It’s crucial to understand the difference between skills and competencies,” Khayet notes. “Skills are tactical, like knowing Excel [spreadsheets] or a foreign language, while competencies are more foundational, such as leadership ability and problem-solving.”

Microsoft, Office and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the U.S. and/or other countries.