The following is usually called Dr. Phil's Test, after Dr. Phil McGraw was thought to have tested Oprah Winfrey with it. It's a 2 minute test that HR departments can use to quickly estimate your personality. Curious to know how you'll score?

How Do You Score on this Human Resources Personality Test
Photo by Julian Partridge

Personality Test Tubes

Update November 2013: Dr. Phil never tested Oprah Winfrey with this test. Snopes says that it has the same value as a fortune cookie.

10 Simple questions

As you do the test, choose the best answer and note your letter choice for each question.



1. When do you feel your best?

a) in the morning

b) during the afternoon and early evening

c) late at night

2. You usually walk…

a) fairly fast, with long steps

b) fairly fast, with little steps

c) less fast, head up, looking the world in the face

d) less fast, head down

e) very slowly

3. When talking to people, you…

a) stand with your arms folded

b) have your hands clasped

c) have one or both your hands on your hips

d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking

e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with…

a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side

b) your legs crossed

c) your legs stretched out or straight

d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with…

a) a big appreciated laugh

b) a laugh, but not a loud one

c) a quiet chuckle

d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you…

a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you

b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know

c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted. You…

a) welcome the break

b) feel extremely irritated

c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?

a) red or orange

b) black

c) yellow or light blue

d) green

e) dark blue or purple

f) white

g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you are…

a) stretched out on your back

b) stretched out face down on your stomach

c) on your side, slightly curled

d) with your head on one arm

e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are…

a) falling

b) fighting or struggling

c) searching for something or somebody

d) flying or floating

e) you usually have dreamless sleep

f) your dreams are always pleasant

Points for calculating your score

How to read the list below: if you chose (a) for question 1, give yourself 2 points and go on to question 2.

  1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
  2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
  3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
  4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
  5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
  6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
  7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
  8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
  9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
  10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

Over 60 points

Others see you as someone they should “handle with care.” You're seen as vain, self-centered and extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 to 60 points

Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 to 50 points

Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 to 40 points

Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return.

Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 to 30 points

Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

Under 21 points

People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything. They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you' re boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

Final score

In case you're wondering:

  • Dr. Phil got 55
  • Oprah got 38
  • I got 45

How did you do? Was it what you expected?

Ace the test? Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for the best in job search anticipation.

Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.
  • Karl Marx (~150 years ago): “Religion is the opium of the people.”

    Karl Marx (today): “Oprah is the opium of self-obsessed housewives.”

    This test is idiotic. Favorite color has no bearing on detailed personal information – this test has orange of 10% OF THE MAXIMUM SCORE. HOW STUPID ARE YOU PEOPLE?

  • Michael, great quote, but chill. In all seriousness, t’s a 10 question survey, it’s likely to be only a hair more accurate than astrology or handwriting analysis in determining. It’s for fun! Real tests are considerably longer and more in depth.


    PS – I have degree in psychology, with a thesis in organizational behavior and testing. So I don’t consider myself *too stupid*. cheers.

  • I’ve been in HR for years and talks of using Personality Tests alone for hiring scares me. We use the Myers-Briggs Personality Testing for screening of canidates. However, we will not use the test unless their potential direct report manager has screened them first. I cannot believe that some companies will actually use any personality profile for initial screening. You will miss a great deal of good canidates by looking at their profiled personality.

    But, using it as a screening tool after you have lined up good canidates is a good idea – at least to me. Recently I had two canidates who looked very similar – Both has roughly the same education, work experience and credentials. One of them had a better looking personality profile – it was more in line with what we were looking for. So we went with them.

    I think use of these tools makes sense in this context.

    Anyone have a thought?

  • Janice, you’re right of course.

    Personality testing is only one tool in an HR toolbox and should be respected as such. Used correctly it can help get results, but any company that relies on it alone will have recruitment problems, and those are hard enough to solve with the whole toolbox.

    It’s just like when I blogged about graphology testing, and how my interview process ended because the hiring company was dumb to use it in my case.

    What do you think?

  • The Meyers-Briggs test should not be used as a pre-screening tool, as it’s not designed for this. I think using any formal testing as a pre-screening method is generally too costly/time consuming. If the MBTI is administered, I *hope* it’s done by someone trained/certified to do so. That said, I’m not even a fan of using it during the hiring process at all, as it does not predict behavior or competence. A person has his or her inborn preferences, but the behavior that emerges can be considered situational, so typing may not help. You can make the case that it can be used as a tool to determine personality types and their fit with job roles/responsibilities, but A) a candidate can “fake” their way through it and give what answers they think the tester wants to hear. And B) a job may have duties/responsibilities that are contradictory in typing (marketing specialist, may need to present and be publicly visible but also have to do analytical research).

    Typing is better suited for personal/career development (in my humble opinion), where you have informed consent and less pressure to answer how you think others might want you too.

    So yeah, there’s a lot of tools in the HR toolbox, but I hope than an organization knows what to use them for (if at all ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

    I’m may be biased as I worked in 3 different Fortune100 companies (with big PhD/masters caliber HR/recruiting staff), and I’ve never seen a personality (nor, graphology) tests used. With a high degree of recruiting success. I’m in favor of companies spending money on training hiring managers/teams on how to best conduct interviews. And doing rigorous interviewing, with multiple internal stakeholders. This will more than likely determine the best candidate.


  • Dave,
    What about the majority of companies – the SMBs – that can’t afford to have PhD/masters caliber HR staff?

    On the other hand, they may not be qualified to administer other tools – psych testing, etc. – either, in which case they’ll have a hard time getting optimal results.

  • To clarify, my point was if you were to have graduate level psych trained people on staff, and they don’t promote/champion the use of testing in recruitment, why should smaller companies, who don’t have those resources, do it? I guess this is assuming this level of psych education had testing education and training, which I guess may not be the case but they would have strong fundamentals in how they work (I know I got them even with a bachelors).

    Is it an outside (testing) vendor selling the services to a company? I have heard of this and seen it.

  • Bar Guide – We hired an outside company for our Myers-Briggs Testing because we didn’t have someone with MBTI qualifications on staff here. I’ve seen the comments posted here, I liked the discussion on the PHD an large companies. It seems that many would pass by small businesses altogether, but they do employ the majority of the country. So the questions is what to use and how to use it.

  • I became frantic when I saw my score was(53). I thought oh my God there is something wrong with me.

    But, when I saw that Dr. Phil’s score was (55) and he’s pretty okay. I calmed down.

    All in All, the test was okay. I will test its concept in regards to how limited it suggests my employment options are….Stay tuned…I want to see what kind of info the Clifton Strengths Finder reveals.

    That tool provides more insight into what I can do rather than what I can’t.

    Thanks so much

  • Huh, I scored a 44.

    And yet I can’t seem to find a job anywhere. Damn you, HR, and your multi-tiered screening practices! I aced one test; isn’t that good enough?

  • I got 42…which sounds right for me. But I doubt a PEO would be able to use this test to give to potential employees. I feel that it was too short, and it seemed more like a fun survey to do, than one that actually captures your personality in all kinds of situations that can arise when in a specific job.

  • It was nice to take the test. Question 3 nothing
    seemed to fit the bill.
    It was also good to see some responses!

  • 41… i enjoy taking these types of profile “tests”. you can’t fake it (well and get anything meaningful back), and it’s good to know how others you come off to others. LG

  • let me try that again… that’s what i get for writing and then editing, and NOT re-reading.

    i enjoy taking profile tests, and it’s good to know how you might be perceived by others… LG

  • i just read through the comments posted above. last week, i took a true HR “profile” test (employment prescreening) for a very large, well established company. in my entire career (30 years), i’d only taken one other HR profile test and it was not so much based on personal traits as it was on abilities. the one i took this week was probably 600 questions, in six sections. there were statements aimed at determining personality make up, but also on abilities to figure out simple math, to the very complex, as well as word problems etc. this one here was, as Jacob states, just for fun and it didn’t give me a headache!

  • I got a 45.

    I was so pleased because I must work with people that are over 60s because it is not fun. I am looking for a new position and am relieved that maybe it really is not about me….my problems with working with unethical and just plain unkind people. I know there are nice people out there. I just have to find them or work for myself. I am a communitcation, marketing graphic designer.

  • Nancy- it’s a good point that a good assessment of anything must take into account the context.

    It does sound like you need a change so good on you for recognizing what needs to be done and going out and doing it.

  • I know that along with my personality, I am a person that does not have an “agenda”, other than providing my best work for my employers.

    I am notinterested in power or work politics. I am secure, and with my creative,kind nature, I am very uncomfortable with things (dishonesty, etc.) that others at work just accept. And after tolerating rediculous amounts of those behaviors, I speak up. Nothing will improve if we don’t at least try to change things.

    One great, young, and very talented boss told me more or less, that the way I felt was admirable, but hardly anyone else felt that way or was willing to stick their neck out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nancy- and it’s true. Most employees get comfortable and won’t do anything that they think might jeopardize their situation. But good for you, the confident ones who speak up are the ones who are more likely to move up in the good companies that recognize initiative and intellectual honesty.

  • I got a 43 which would probably surprise a lot of people who work with me or think that they know me but I feel that it’s pretty accurate. I try to make the workplace as interesting and “fun” as possible for my supervisees and I do go out of my way to help everyone do his or her best. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs several times at various points in my life and have gotten different results in only one area. Still, it’s a useful tool as well. We have terrible HR professionals where I work so it’s good to hear that there are companies who are using ways to evaluate candidates; it would make my job easier since I have to deal with the people they hire who are, sadly, often not at all suited to the job.

  • My yield was 48. That seems about right, I do enjoy attention but I have enough modesty to realize I am not the center of the universe (far from it).