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Enneagram vs. DISC vs. 16 Personalities: Which is best for assessing candidates?


Personality tests are a great way to learn more about candidates. They can help you make a more confident hiring decision and ensure your hire integrates smoothly with your existing team.  

But with multiple personality tests out there – including the popular Enneagram, DISC, and 16 Personalities tests – it can be difficult to know which one to choose. 

To help, we describe these three personality tests and their areas of focus. We’ll also suggest what each can reveal about a candidate and share tips to help you choose the right test for your hiring needs.

What is the Enneagram test?

The Enneagram test is an assessment that categorizes individuals into one of nine basic personality types. Each type is associated with specific motivations, fears, desires, and behavioral patterns. 

The Enneagram types are: 

  • Type 1 - The Perfectionist/Reformer: Principled, self-disciplined, and have a strong sense of right and wrong. They strive for perfection and can be critical of themselves and others.

  • Type 2 - The Helper/Giver: Empathetic, caring, and generous. They often prioritize the needs of others over their own and seek love and approval through helping and supporting others.

  • Type 3 - The Achiever/Performer: Ambitious, driven, and success-oriented. They’re highly focused on achieving goals and can be adaptable, but may struggle with authenticity and over-identification with their achievements.

  • Type 4 - The Individualist/Artist: Introspective, creative, and sensitive. They seek authenticity and depth in their experiences, often feeling different or misunderstood. 

  • Type 5 - The Investigator/Thinker: Analytical, curious, and independent. They seek knowledge and understanding, often withdrawing into their thoughts and inner world to conserve energy.

  • Type 6 - The Loyalist/Loyal Skeptic: Loyal, responsible, and security-oriented. They can be both cautious and skeptical, often seeking support and reassurance from others while also preparing for potential threats or dangers.

  • Type 7 - The Enthusiast/Adventurer: Spontaneous, fun-loving, and optimistic. They seek new experiences and avoid pain or discomfort, sometimes struggling with impulsivity and a fear of being limited or bored.

  • Type 8 - The Challenger/Leader: Assertive, confident, and protective. They value strength and control, often advocating for justice and fairness while also being wary of vulnerability and weakness.

  • Type 9 - The Peacemaker/Mediator: Easygoing, agreeable, and peaceful. They seek harmony and avoid conflict, sometimes at the expense of their own needs and desires. 

People may also have “wings” to their enneagram types. These are the personality types on either side of your type. For example, if you’re a Type 8, you might also have tendencies represented in Type 7 and 9.

What is the DISC test? 

The DISC test evaluates human behavior and communication styles based on four main behavioral traits: 

  • Dominance (D): People who exhibit dominance are typically assertive, results-oriented, and decisive. They tend to be direct and proactive in their approach to tasks and challenges.

  • Influence (I): Individuals with an influential style are often outgoing, enthusiastic, and persuasive. They excel in social situations, enjoy collaboration, and are skilled at motivating others.

  • Steadiness (S): Those with a steady personality type are characterized by their patience, empathy, and reliability. They prefer a stable, harmonious environment, value teamwork, and are supportive of others.

  • Conscientiousness (C): People who are conscientious are detail-oriented, analytical, and organized. They prioritize accuracy and quality, follow established procedures, and strive for perfection in their work.

People can either fall into one of these main traits or have a combination of traits, such as DI or SC. In total, there are 12 commonly recognized combinations or “DISC styles.” 

What is the 16 personalities test? 

The 16 Personalities framework categorizes individuals into one of 16 personality types based on four dichotomies:

  • Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)

  • Extraversion: Energized by social interaction, outgoing, expressive, and tends to focus on the external world.

  • Introversion: Energized by solitude, reserved, reflective, and tends to focus on the internal world.

  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)

  • Sensing: Relies on concrete information, pays attention to details, and is practical and focused on the present.

  • Intuition: Relies on patterns and possibilities and is imaginative, innovative, and focused on the future.

  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

  • Thinking: Makes decisions based on logic and objective analysis. Values fairness and impartiality.

  • Feeling: Makes decisions based on personal values and emotional considerations. Values harmony and empathy.

  • Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

  • Judging: Prefers structure and organization. Is decisive, goal-oriented, and tends to plan ahead.

  • Perceiving: Prefers flexibility and spontaneity. Is adaptable, open-ended, and tends to go with the flow.

Combining these dichotomies results in 16 unique personality types, each represented by a four-letter code. 

For example, ENFP personalities, nicknamed “Campaigners,” are Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. They’re curious, highly people-oriented, and enjoy connecting with others on a deep level. They embrace change and innovation but may struggle to maintain focus on long-term goals. 

Enneagram vs. DISC vs. 16 Personalities: Differences & pros and cons

All three tests can provide insights into an individual’s social style, teamwork preferences, and approach to conflict resolution – but each test has specific focus areas. 

DISC focuses on observable behavior and communication, while 16 Personalities and the Enneagram can offer more insight into people’s underlying traits, tendencies, and motivations. Specifically, the Enneagram zeroes in on emotional aspects of one’s personality, and the 16 Personalities test assesses individuals’ cognitive styles and preferences. To learn more, check out our article on using the 16 Personalities test for hiring.

In the DISC test, participants rank statements based on how accurate they feel they are, using a scale from 1 (“very inaccurate”) to 5 (“very accurate"). Enneagram tests are longer and ask in-depth questions about a person’s emotions and motivations. 

Meanwhile, the 16 Personalities test is somewhere in between: It asks participants to complete a self-evaluation about their preferences and doesn’t take too long to complete.

Below, we break down each test’s pros and cons.

Enneagram test pros and cons 


  • Offer a deeper exploration of individuals' motivations, fears, and behavioral patterns. 

  • Can promote empathy, understanding, and compassion in relationships and team dynamics.


  • Might require more time and effort to understand and interpret results.

  • Variations in the interpretation of the types can lead to subjectivity and potential misapplications. 

DISC test pros and cons 


  • Relatively easy to understand and apply.

  • Provides actionable insights that can improve team dynamics and communication. 


  • Might not offer the depth of understanding that other assessments provide.

16 Personalities test pros and cons


  • Widely recognized and used, so it’s easily accessible. 

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of individual differences. 

  • Can be used in various contexts. 


  • Might oversimplify personality and overlook nuances and individual variations. 

  • According to critics, it lacks the scientific validity that other assessments offer. 

Making the choice: Which test is right for you?  

The best personality test for your hiring needs depends on factors such as the job requirements, your organizational culture, and your goals for assessing candidates. Once you’re clear on all this, you can assess each test’s strengths and see which works best for your objectives.

Using an Enneagram test when hiring can be beneficial for roles that require self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and an understanding of individual strengths and growth areas. 

On the flip side, you can use the DISC test during hiring to evaluate communication styles, team dynamics, and interpersonal interactions. Plus, it can be a valuable tool to assess candidates for roles involving frequent collaboration, like customer service and sales, or leadership positions where effective communication is crucial. 

Finally, an accurate 16 Personalities test can provide insights into how individuals process information, make decisions, and approach tasks. Therefore, it’s great for evaluating individuals for positions that require understanding others’ cognitive preferences and problem-solving approaches. It can also help you identify roles or career paths that align with candidates' personality types and preferences.

Combine personality tests with other assessments to get the full picture 

TestGorilla offers all three personality tests discussed in this article: the Enneagram Personality test, the DISC Personality test, and the 16 Personalities test

Each test can be an excellent option for learning more about candidates. However, the best way to assess candidates is to combine personality tests with other talent assessments, such as role-specific and cognitive abilities tests. This multi-measure approach ensures you get a complete picture of each candidate so you can always make the right hiring decision. 

TestGorilla offers hundreds of expert-backed tests you can mix and match to evaluate skills, personalities, and qualifications easily and without bias.

Sign up for a free account today to begin testing candidates, or book a live demo to see how it all works.


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