Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: 16 Personality Types in the Workplace

By Hanne Keiling

Updated June 22, 2022 | Published November 6, 2018

Updated June 22, 2022

Published November 6, 2018

Hanne was a senior content manager at Indeed.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been used for decades to help individuals and employers understand how different personalities configure into the workplace.

Many different factors affect where you apply for work, such as salary, job responsibilities, work-life balance or core values. Your personality type is another factor to consider, as it affects how you interact with others, process information and make decisions in the workplace. For this reason, some employers may refer to personality tests to get an idea of the character traits of potential new hires.

While there are many personality tests, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is among the most popular. In this guide, we give some background on the MBTI personality test along with a brief description of each of the 16 personality types it identifies.

Related: Myers-Briggs Jobs: Personality Test To Find Your Ideal Career

In this video, you’ll learn how to quickly identify your probable Myers-Briggs personality type and how each personality element may influence your preferences, strengths and weaknesses in the workplace.

Origins of MBTI and personality typing

The idea of personality assessment didn’t make headway until the early- to the mid-20th century with the work of Carl Jung and other psychologists. Inspired by Jung’s “Psychological Types,” mother-daughter research team Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Meyers developed a personality-inventory testing system meant to help people find career success.

The MBTI test was created to help the many women who were newly entering the workforce during World War II with little to no knowledge of the types of wartime jobs that would suit their personality. It was further developed in the high-production decades that followed when industries and potential job titles vastly expanded. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was officially published in 1962 and persists to this day as a tool not only for employers but for individuals in search of self-discovery.

Related: 18 Personality Tests To Help You Discover Your Strengths

How MBTI works

The MBTI questionnaire breaks out individuals into 16 personality types based on how you classify within each of the following four determiners:

(I)ntroverted vs. (E)xtraverted

You are more “I” or “E” based on how you interact with others. Are you a “people person” or do you recharge through plenty of alone time?

(S)ensing vs. (I)ntuition

You are more “S” or “I” depending on how you gather and process information. Do you make cogent, methodically driven decisions, or are you one to go by gut instinct?

(T)hinking vs. (F)eeling

You are more “T” or “F” depending on how you make decisions. You’re more “T” if you are driven by logic or “F” if emotions often guide you.

(J)udging vs. (P)erceiving

You are influenced by the world around you by either being more “J” and moving by carefully considered decisions, or more “P” by being more adaptable to circumstance or subject to whim.

Related: Judging vs. Perceiving: Characteristics of These Myers-Briggs Personality Types in the Workplace

The 16 MBTI personality types

Where you fall on the spectrum for each of the above will classify your personality. This can help you understand how you thrive in relationships and your personal life, but it can also inspire your career direction or help you understand how you work with others.

ISTJ: The Inspector

Practical and responsible, the ISTJ relies on logical decision-making, accomplishing tasks in an orderly and organized fashion. ISTJs typically enjoy a neat and arranged space. They value traditions, loyalty and order.

Career ideas for ISTJ personalities:

  • Actuary

  • Civil engineer

  • Curator

  • Dentist

  • Lawyer

Read more: Best Careers for ISTJ Personalities

ISFJ: The Defender

Conventional and grounded, ISFJs strive to uphold established structures and maintain orderly environments. They have a strong work ethic that includes serving others and are dedicated to their duties. ISFJs are conscientious and methodical workers who aren’t satisfied until the job is done.

Career ideas for ISFJ personalities:

  • Accountant

  • Account manager

  • Administrative officer

  • Customer service representative

  • Research analyst

Read more: Best Careers for ISFJ Personalities

INFJ: The Advocate

The rarest of the 16 personalities, the INFJ is highly insightful about people’s needs, motivations and concerns. INFJs often find value in relationships with others. While often artistic, creative and complex, INFJs are also deeply caring and gentle. Also referred to as an advocate, INFJs often find meaning in work that directly helps others.

Career ideas for INFJ personalities:

  • HR manager

  • Massage therapist

  • Physical therapist

  • Psychologist

  • School counselor

Read more: Best Careers for INFJ Personalities

INTJ: The Architect

The INTJ type is guided by reason and logic. Driven by gaining and using knowledge, they are highly confident and want to improve the world around them. While self-confident, INTJs can be uncomfortable in large groups or among people they don’t know well. They prefer to discuss ideas and facts rather than engage in small talk.

Career ideas for INTJ personalities:

  • Architect

  • Business strategist

  • Investigator

  • Microbiologist

  • Statistician

Read more: Best Careers for INTJ Personalities

ISTP: The Virtuoso

The ISTP personality type is typically quiet and observant. When a problem arises, they are tolerant, flexible and quick to find a solution. Organized and practical, the ISTP values data, logic and fact. ISTPs often find meaningful work making and creating things, finding ways to make things work and learning along the way.

Career ideas for ISTP personalities:

  • Airline pilot

  • Chef

  • Economist

  • Health inspector

  • Mechanic

Read more: Best Careers for ISTJ Personalities

ISFP: The Artist

The ISFP personality type is usually friendly and quiet, observing the environment around them. They typically prefer autonomy and working in their own space while on their schedules. ISFPs value loyalty and commitment in their relationships. Harmony is also important to ISFPs, avoiding confrontation and keeping their opinions to themselves.

Career ideas for ISFP personalities:

  • Archaeologist

  • Bookkeeper

  • Dietician

  • Occupational therapist

  • Veterinarian

Read more: Best Careers for ISFP Personalities

INFP: The Mediator

These highly curious, inquisitive and innovative individuals comprise just 2% of the population, though their world views can make them inspiring team members. INFPs are highly creative and enjoy abstract thinking.

Career ideas for INFP personalities:

  • Artist

  • Film editor

  • Journalist

  • Museum curator

  • Registered nurse

INTP: The Thinker

Quiet and contained, the INTP enjoys abstract ideas and deep thought about theories over interaction with others. They desire logical answers to questions or problems that arise in their environment. Often skeptical and analytical, INTPs are great problem-solvers, helpful when certain business issues present themselves. They are often creative, intelligent and attentive.

Career ideas for INTP personalities:

  • Biomedical engineer

  • Composer

  • Computer systems analyst

  • Environmental scientist

  • Marketing consultant

ESTP: The Persuader

The ESTP personality type is often referred to as entrepreneurial. They are energetic, pragmatic and flexible. Eagerly in search of fast results, they often take risks to come up with the best solutions. ESTPs enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle by living “in the moment” and spending time around groups of people.

Career ideas for ESTP personalities:

  • Actor

  • Entrepreneur

  • Marketer

  • Paramedic

  • Stockbroker

Read more: Best Careers for ESTP Personalities

ESFP: The Performer

Often seen as the entertainer, the ESFP personality type is outgoing, friendly and generous. They enjoy spending time around others, spreading excitement and joy both at home and at work. While practical and realistic in their work, they also value having fun achieving their goals. They are energetic and flexible, encouraging others along the way.

Career ideas for ESFP personalities:

  • Event planner

  • Firefighter

  • Flight attendant

  • Tour guide

  • Wait staff

Read more: Best Careers for ESFP Personalities

ENFP: The Champion

The ENFP type is generally innovative, inspiring and unafraid of taking risks. ENFPs make up approximately 8% of the general population and include more women than men. They are highly perceptive when understanding how individuals and groups function, making them natural leaders. ENFPs want excitement, enjoy abstract and experiential learning and look for maximum potential in their career experiences and in others.

Career ideas for ENFP personalities:

  • Campaign manager

  • Dance instructor

  • Editor

  • Urban planner

  • Youth mentor

ENTP: The Debater

Prone to entrepreneurial thinking, ENTPs prefer to focus on the “big idea” and resist routine. Instead, they prefer highly conceptual work, problem-solving and leaving the details to others.

Career ideas for ENTP personalities:

  • Attorney

  • Copywriter

  • Creative director

  • Financial planner

  • Systems analyst

ESTJ: The Commander

ESTJs make great executives, valuing tradition and order. Strong character traits are important to ESTJs who respect honesty and dedication both in themselves and others. ESTJs are practical decision-makers, looking for ways to quickly and effectively see results. Organized and logical, ESTJs are good at both creating and implementing plans. They don’t shy away from difficult plans or decisions and work to bring others together toward a common purpose.

Career ideas for ESTJ personalities:

  • Building inspector

  • Hotel manager

  • Paralegal

  • Police officer

  • Real estate agent

ESFJ: The Caregiver

ESFJs are serious and practical, committed to their responsibilities and sensitive to the needs of others. They strive for harmony and are generous with their time, efforts, and emotions, and they are eager to please—both at work and at home. ESFJs value loyalty and tradition and hold to a strict moral code. They typically enjoy their routines and maintain a regular schedule that allows them to be productive.

Career ideas for ESFJ personalities:

  • Bookkeeper

  • Caterer

  • Medical researcher

  • Office manager

  • Optometrist

ENFJ: The Giver

ENFJ personality types are often charismatic, empathetic leaders. They are highly intuitive when it comes to others’ emotions, needs and motivations. ENFJs are often loyal and responsible, looking for ways to improve their team by leading with inspiration and responsiveness. ENFJs often look for opportunities where they can bring people together to make a difference.

Career ideas for ENFJ personalities:

  • Art director

  • Market research analyst

  • Mediator

  • Public speaker

  • Real estate broker

ENTJ: The Commander

Natural leaders, the ENTJ personality type is often honest and ready to make quick decisions. They are quick to spot inefficiencies and develop ways to solve problems. ENTJs value goal-setting, organization and planning. They are charismatic and confident, which helps them to rally a group behind a common goal.

Career ideas for ENTJ personalities:

  • Budget analyst

  • Business administrator

  • Construction manager

  • Judge

  • Public relations specialist

An illustration portraying a person holding a tablet with representations of symbols floating around it.

Browse more articles