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The role of the 16 personality types test in the workplace

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

The role of the 16 personality types test in the workplace


The personality type of individuals can offer valuable insights into how they work, how they learn, and how they communicate. Personality tests have become one of the most popular ways for organizations to streamline their hiring process and promote better interpersonal relationships in the workplace.


The importance of personality tests in the workplace

Using personality tests at the workplace can help improve employee relationships, allow for better communication, and help managers better understand their teams. Personality tests can provide insights into the thought patterns, behavioral traits, and preferences of employees and candidates, which can be utilized to enhance recruitment processes, enrich learning and development programs, and improve productivity and employee engagement. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that personality tests are a tool and not a solution. They work best when they are a part of the larger performance management and recruitment processes.




What is the 16 personality types test

The 16 personality types test, also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is a widely used personality assessment tool. The MBTI personality type test was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, based on the theories of Carl Jung. The MBTI, or 16 personality types test, can provide an intricate overview of an individual’s personality. The model categorizes human personalities into 16 personality types based on four key dichotomies that can encapsulate the diversities of human nature. These dichotomies reflect the way an individual engages with the world, processes information, makes decisions, and structures their life, creating a comprehensive overview of the personality and behavioral tendencies of the individual.


The four key dimensions of the 16 personality types test

  • Introverted [I] Vs Extraverted [E]: How one expends their energy
  • Sensing [S] Vs Intuitive [N]: How one receives information
  • Thinking [T] Vs Feeling [F]: How one makes decisions
  • Judging [J] Vs Perceiving [P]: How one sees the world


What are the 16 personality types and their impact on the workplace

1. ISTJ: The logistician

These personality types are about integrity, dedication, and a keen sense of duty. They are practical and reliable, and they thrive on traditional values and order. ISTJs may view dependency on others as a sign of weakness and appear to act blunt or cold. They often struggle to show affection. They prefer working alone or in a position of authority so they can set goals and achieve them. It is a good idea to keep a check on this as their tendency to pick up where someone else is slacking may lead to their colleagues leaning too much on them.


2. ISFJ: The defender

ISFJs are nurturers who care for and support those around them. They are attentive and considerate and tend to go above and beyond to help others. ISFJs pay attention to practical details and tend to be more sociable than the other introverted types defined under the MBTI 16 personality test. They are generous at work, have great teamwork skills, are good at taking up mundane tasks that others may not, and they take satisfaction in a job well done. ISFJs may at times be in danger of work overload, as they find it hard to ask for help.


3. INFJ: The advocate

This rare personality type works on a sense of idealism and determined resolve, seeking meaningful connections and being driven by a purpose of helping others. INFJs are versatile, compassionate, and often spiritual. They can take criticism personally and may experience stress in the face of conflict. Their strong ideals can also make them push for perfectionism, refusing to ask for help. It is important to allow INFJs to take time off and encourage a healthy work-life balance. This will help them avoid perfectionism and burnout.


4. INTJ: The architect 

Strategic visionaries, INTJs, have a thirst for knowledge, a knack for seeing patterns in chaos, are adept at finding innovative solutions, and often live in a world of possibilities. They are amazing learners, rational, and determined. But they have a highly individual nature and are very private people, which can make emotional or social situations difficult for them, especially with their critical thinking coming across to others as arrogance. Remote work opportunities, hybrid work schedules, and flexible working hours are some ideas that can be considered for INTJs.


5. ISTP: The virtuoso

Quintessential thinkers, ISTPs are fascinated by how things work. They have mechanical inclinations and a spontaneous nature and are always ready to take a pragmatic approach to solving challenges. They can be creative but unpredictable at times. Their hands-on approach and independence make them good at working on their own. ISTPs are vulnerable to getting bored. Plus, their habit of pushing boundaries may not go down well with conservative colleagues.


6. ISFP: The adventurer

ISFPs are artists always pursuing beauty and expression. They are adaptable and relaxed, and inspire creativity around them. They are grounded, unconventional and great at navigating risks. They tend to crack when their freedom of expression is threatened. ISFPs introduce bold ideas in the workplace and pursue them with dedication, but they feel emotions strongly, which is why it is important to have stress and self-esteem management measures in place for them.


7. INFP: The mediator

Guided by their own convictions and values, INFPs are dreamers and empaths who are always striving to make the world a better place through advocacy and creative expression. They love learning about themselves and others. The struggle or inability to act on their dreams can frustrate them, and as the flipside to their empathy, they may end up internalizing the negative emotions of others. Reach out to INFPs, especially if they’re working remotely on a regular basis, and make sure they have ways of structuring their tasks and time so they can manage their focus.


8. INTP: The logician 

INTPs are always exploring abstract theories and concepts. Unrelenting logic and creativity help them come up with innovative approaches to solving complex problems. It is best to allow these personality types to work alongside other curious minds. Their penchant for logic might make emotions of others confusing for them, creating a disconnect. Their drive for perfection may also come across as being unkind. It is important to help INTPs communicate their intentions better, encourage strategies for dealing with disappointment, and ensure they feel connected to the team.




9. ESTP: The entrepreneur

ESTPs radiate energy, and are always ready to act. Their perceptiveness and bold nature make them natural leaders. They do not spend time ruminating and tend to adjust aspects as they go along and fix mistakes if they appear. Their brave dives into any task make them risk-prone, while their preference for a fast pace may lead to them being impatient with others. Providing ESTPs opportunities to network, putting them on fast-paced projects, and giving gentle reminders about performing risk assessments can really help maximize their productivity.


10. ESFP: The entertainer 

These personality types are performers and bring joy wherever they go. Spontaneous and vivacious, ESFPs are always the center of attention. The sensing and feeling traits make this personality type sensitive to the emotions of others, and they prefer avoiding conflict. Their showmanship can, however, lead to the more basic tasks being ignored, hampering effective long-term planning. Helping ESFPs with focus strategies and creating strong personal roadmaps for them can help encourage productivity.


11. ENFP: The campaigner 

Brimming with creativity, ENFPs have a zest for life. They are effective communicators and inspiring leaders. ENFPs are free-spirited and effortlessly boost everyone’s morale in working environments. However, if left unchecked, too much enthusiasm can compromise focus. ENFPs are also great team players but if there are no set boundaries, they may turn into people pleasers. These personality types tend to overcommit and may need some support for managing the same.


12. ENTP: The debater 

Always eager to explore new ideas, ENTPs are innovators with strategic thinking and quick wit. They are creative and mentally agile, which makes them skilled and thoughtful debaters. However, their proclivity for debate may not be the right idea in every situation and their focus on the big picture may lead to practical details and execution being forgotten. ENTPs thrive in environments that foster innovation, and they work well with teammates who are skilled in executing and managing practical details.


13. ESTJ: The executive 

ESTJs are practical, determined individuals who aim to achieve goals with perfection. They are well-organized and great at managing projects and people. They also have sensible judgement, value facts, and prefer to lead by example. Their honest and straightforward nature makes them reliable employees who expect the same from their colleagues. Unconventional scenarios may be uncomfortable for them, and they may need to be nurtured and reassured in such cases.


14. ESFJ: The consul 

ESFJs take a genuine interest in the well-being of others. Sociable altruists, ESFJs make everyone feel valued and foster team spirit. They are respectful of hierarchy and tend to avoid conflicts. They have a strong sense of duty and are great team players. However, their reluctance to offend or upset someone and their preoccupation with what people think of them can be a weakness. They may also be unwilling to innovate or adapt. ESFJs thrive most when their job role has a social side to it and when they are shown appreciation for the work they do.


15. ENFJ: The protagonist 

These individuals are always looking to help, uplift, and inspire the people around them. Charismatic, empathetic, and capable of motivating others, ENFJs are natural leaders. They bring gentle guidance to the table and always speak out about what they believe to be right. They may, however, at times be idealistic or unrealistic about the good they may be able to do, which may seem patronizing to others. Setting and maintaining boundaries and managing expectations is key for ENFJs in the workplace.


16. ENTJ: The commander 

ENTJs have a bold vision and the drive they need to achieve their goals. They are charismatic and strategic planners, which not only enables them to overcome obstacles but also rally others to the cause. ENTJs can be powerful and effective leaders, as intuition, thinking, and judging make a highly strategic skillset. However, with extraversion, these traits can also turn into unforgivable dominance. Here, fostering a workplace environment that encourages patience and sensitivity is crucial.


How to use a 16 personality types test in hiring in an unbiased manner

The 16 personality (MBTI) types test should be used in combination with other tools to make hiring decisions. They should always be used with other tests and recruiting practices, like skills tests, structured interviews, scenario-based interview questions, etc. Another important thing to keep in mind when using the 16 personality types test is to avoid any bias. For instance, some managers may prefer particular candidates because their personality traits are the same as those of their team. However, diversity should be encouraged.




The advantages of using a 16 personality types test

  • The 16 personality types test can reduce the risk of bad hires by helping recruiters evaluate the suitability of candidates for a particular job role and assessing their cultural fit.
  • Another benefit offered by the 16 personality types test is the ability to build better teams, foster empathy, and patience within the teams.
  • The 16 personality types test can also be used to improve employee retention by helping create personalized development plans that are tailored to address each employee’s needs.
  • Ensuring job and culture fit and providing personalized learning and development opportunities, the 16 personality types test also helps improve employee engagement and job satisfaction, which boosts retention rates.
  • Knowing what the 16 personality types HR managers are working with can help make communication effective and avoid conflicts.
  • The MBTI personality type test helps understand the strengths and weaknesses of different employees. This can help determine which roles and tasks will be best suited for them based on their strengths while minimizing the impact of their weaknesses.


Use the 16 personality types test to discover more about candidates

The MBTI personality type test is one of the best ways to find out more about an individual. Incorporating the 16 personality types test into the recruitment process provides recruiters with valuable insights into the work style and potential fit of candidates within the organization. Additionally, the insights gained from the test results can help structure the interview rounds. It is important to remember that using other personality and aptitude tests along with the 16 personality types test can help gain a deep understanding of the candidates and make informed hiring decisions.





The 16 personality types test has a lot of applications for organizations. It can help make better hiring decisions, optimize team compositions, and create personalized plans for employee growth and development. However, it is also important to ensure to not rely too much on the results of the 16 personality types test for making hiring decisions. It should ideally be paired with other talent assessments, like domain-based skills tests, cognitive ability tests, etc., for improved hiring outcomes.



1. Which is the smartest personality type out of the 16 personalities?

2. Which is the most successful of the 16 personality types?

Originally published June 12 2024, Updated June 12 2024

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

Personality assessments are a method of identifying candidates whose characteristics match the role and organization’s requirements. Personality assessments help HRs make effective people decisions by placing people in positions suited to their disposition.

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