Doctors, researchers, and employers use personality assessments for a variety of reasons:
Example: A psychologist might administer personality tests to a patient with a varied set of symptoms to narrow down possible diagnoses. In such a case, a psychologist would typically use a battery of tests in addition to interviewing the patient.
Example: A counselor might administer a personality test in order to help a person choose a career.
Example: A consulting firm might assess job candidates in order to decide which candidates would be likely to perform well under pressure.
Example: A researcher studying the correlation between risk taking and criminality might administer a personality test to a sample of prison inmates.
Three important ways of assessing personality include objective tests, projective tests, and assessment centers.