Whether you’re looking to find your first career or make a change, knowing your strengths is essential to land the right fit. CliftonStrengths claims to unlock this understanding through its career test and personalized strengths report, so I tried the $60 option to see what I could uncover.
I’ll share my experience, from the 177-question test to what’s included in the full report, giving you my honest review and insights. Ultimately, I’ll weigh its value and help you determine whether CliftonStrengths is worth taking.
CliftonStrengths Career Test Overview
CliftonStrengths is offered by Gallup, a global consulting and research company. It comes in two packages, a $19.99 top five strengths report or the complete $59.99 report with 34 strengths, action items, and additional resources. However, the reports don’t include career matches.
- Personalized and detailed insights
- Comes with action items and feedback
- Designed for students, business professionals, and organizations
- The full report is expensive
- Doesn’t include career matches
Bottom Line: If you only want to learn about your top strengths and personality traits, CliftonStrengths does the job at a premium price. However, JobTest.org offers comparable personality insights and tailored job matches for half the cost, making it my preferred career test.
Why Did I Try CliftonStrengths?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and researching throughout college, so I made a career out of it once I graduated. While I’m happy with my decision, it’s always beneficial to understand my strengths and how I work best. I researched the best career tests and came across CliftonStrengths, which has amassed over 30 million users worldwide. It’s one of the most well-known assessments for individuals, organizations, and educators, so I figured it was worth a try and signed up.
My Experience Taking CliftonStrengths’ Career Test
CliftonStrengths is on Gallup’s website under “Services & Solutions.” After I selected the $59.99 option, I had to register and pay before taking the test.
Registration and Preparation
I filled out standard registration details, including my name, email, billing address, and credit card details. After I purchased the test, I received a unique code to access it, which I could redeem for myself or send to someone else.
CliftonStrengths has a brief overview of how the assessment works on its website and provides detailed instructions before the start of the test, including a practice question. It was easy to sign up and understand how to take the test, but I recommend setting aside ample time and avoiding distractions.
Test Procedure and User Interface
CliftonStrengths asked me 177 questions with a 20-second time limit per question. Because of the short time limit, I had to think quickly and trust my immediate reaction. I finished the test in 35 minutes and encountered no issues except for a missed question.
The user interface looked professional, with no distractions. Only one question occupied the screen at a time, and a progress bar kept track of my pace at the top. I couldn’t revisit previous questions after submitting my answer, requiring me to trust my immediate instincts.
Question Types and Clarity
CliftonStrengths calls its questions “paired descriptors,” similar to Linkert scales. Each question presented me with two statements on the same scale, and I picked which one described me the best and to what extent. For example:
|Strongly Describes Me||Neutral||Strongly Describes Me|
|I like to follow a sequence.||I love looking at things from different angles.|
The topics involved how I perceive myself, what I value, and how I typically respond in a situation. All the statements were short and easy to read, which was helpful considering the time limit.
Privacy and Data Handling
Gallup has a CliftonStrengths help center for common issues, like redeeming codes or viewing reports. Users can also reach customer support by phone, email, or live chat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT.
What Did My Results Reveal?
After answering nearly 200 questions, I had high expectations for the CliftonStrengths 34 report. Here’s what happened:
I could access my report as soon as I finished the test. The results are divided into four separate reports, but CliftonStrengths 34 is the main one. All of them are downloadable PDFs, and I can view a summary of my “talent DNA” through my Gallup/CliftonStrengths online account.
Presentation and Depth
The CliftonStrengths 34 report has 25 pages and primarily discusses my top strengths. These are positive traits that reflect the knowledge, talent, and skills I possess, similar to Holland Codes but developed by Gallup.
After the introduction and instructions on interpreting the report, CliftonStrengths explains each strength in detail, provides action items to maximize my potential, and offers feedback to mitigate my flaws.
The report also includes several graphics and charts that illustrate my strength profile, making it easy to scan and extract information. While it didn’t have career matches, I was still impressed with the report’s presentation and strengths insights.
Relevance and Usability
My results are relevant and applicable to my career search, but all reports essentially contain the same information. Each one covers my top strengths but with different formats, which is helpful to understand the results from different perspectives and also redundant.
Nonetheless, I can gather pieces of usable information about my strengths and how to maximize my potential with the action items. I learned more about myself and what I do best, and I can revisit the report in the future to ensure I follow the action items.
I would still need to take another career test to receive personalized career matches, but otherwise, the CliftonStrengths 34 report offers plenty of useful information to inspire your career plans.
Post-Test Support and Resources
CliftonStrengths offers several learning modules on its website, including courses on the strengths, how to interpret the report, and how to share the results. They also have dozens of articles related to business, career strengths, and more. In addition, users can pay extra to receive a strengths guide for their team, a personal coaching session, or a coaching starter kit.
Do I Recommend CliftonStrengths?
My experience with CliftonStrengths was mostly positive, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking career recommendations. I received a few career field suggestions and could identify potential areas that maximize my strengths, but CliftonStrengths is more of a personality test than a career test.
In comparison, JobTest.org offers customized career recommendations and detailed personality insights for half the cost. I received personalized feedback and action items like with CliftonStrengths, but my JobTest.org report was more intuitive and relevant.
JobTest.org always stays current, as it constantly refreshes with the latest salary and career data. It’s a powerful, data-driven tool that’s built for the modern career landscape, which is helpful for accurate research and planning. CliftonStrengths can offer valuable insights into your strengths, but if you want an all-encompassing career test that’s informative and actionable, JobTest.org is my top recommendation.