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How to attract and assess Protagonist (ENFJ) candidates during the hiring process


Looking at candidates with a Protagonist personality (ENFJ-A / ENFJ-T)? Then you’re in the market for a leader with charm who can bring a lot of good to your team. But, like other 16 personality types in the workplace, Protagonists have areas where they might not be as strong.

These charming individuals may not always mesh well with your team. This can result in a loss of team synergy that negatively affects your organization’s performance. Still, when you hire a Protagonist who aligns with your team, you’ll reap the rewards. 

Whether you've just found out you have a Protagonist applicant based on their 16 personality test results, or you're actively looking for one – this guide is here to help.

We talk about what makes these candidates great, what to watch out for when assessing their suitability for your team, and how to assess them.

ENFJ candidates: Key strengths, limitations, and personality traits

ENFJs, known as the Protagonists, are distinguished by their altruistic and influential nature. This personality type represents the extraversion, intuition, feeling, and judging (ENFJ) personality traits. Protagonists thrive on helping others, are often driven by a strong sense of idealism and morality, and are natural-born leaders. They’re empathetic, persuasive, and deeply committed to others’ welfare.

For ENFJ employees, you must manage expectations realistically. Encourage them to set and maintain boundaries to avoid over-commitment. Recognizing the need for balance between their idealism and the practical limitations of the workplace is important, as it can help avoid potential challenges.


  • Natural leaders: ENFJs are born leaders. They bring charisma and a unique style of gentle guidance to any team. Their leadership often uses an inspiring and motivational approach.

  • Compassionate and empathetic individuals: They possess a sincere desire to help and uplift others, making them particularly effective in roles requiring high degrees of interpersonal interaction.

  • Advocates for positive change: With their strong sense of duty and care, ENFJs are well-suited for leading social enterprises and ethically-driven projects. They’re often at the forefront of initiatives that aim to bring about positive societal changes.

  • Effective communicators: Their sensitivity makes ENFJs excellent communicators. They’re great at expressing thoughts and ideas persuasively and respectfully.


  • Idealism: While their idealistic nature is a strength, it can sometimes be a limitation. ENFJs may have unrealistic expectations about the impact they can have, leading to disappointment or frustration.

  • Intensity and patronization: Their intensity about their beliefs can sometimes be overwhelming for others. They can come across as patronizing, especially to those who don’t share the same convictions.

  • Risk of burnout: ENFJs' desire to do good can lead to overextension. Without proper boundaries, especially in work-from-home scenarios, they risk burnout due to a blurred work-life divide.

What Protagonist applicants look for in a workplace

By understanding what Protagonist applicants are looking for, you can better attract – and retain – these valuable team members. Creating an environment that aligns with these needs can lead to a more satisfied and productive Protagonist employee. Advertising this environment through your website, hiring materials (including your job descriptions), and more can lure in ENFJ candidates.

When Protagonist candidates search for jobs, they're not just looking for any workplace. They have specific things they hope to find that match their personality and values. Here they are.

Meaningful work

Protagonists want their work to make a difference. They’re drawn to jobs where they feel they can have a positive impact, whether by helping people directly or being part of bigger, world-changing projects. Fields like social work, education, and human resources are often rich with ENFJ talent.

Positive work culture

A supportive and friendly work environment is important for ENFJs. They thrive in workplaces that value teamwork and collaboration – where people treat each other with respect and kindness.

Opportunities for growth

These candidates love to learn and grow. They look for workplaces that offer chances for personal and professional development. This could mean training programs, opportunities to take on new challenges, or potential for career advancement.

Recognition and appreciation

ENFJs appreciate when employers recognize their efforts. They value workplaces where their contributions are acknowledged and they feel valued for the part they play.

Work-life balance

While they’re hardworking and dedicated, Protagonists also understand the importance of balance. They look for jobs that respect their need for personal time and allow them to take care of their well-being.

Ethical standards

Protagonists have strong values. They want to work for organizations that align with these values, including companies with high ethical standards that contribute positively to society.

How to assess a Protagonist-type candidate

While the strengths and weaknesses mentioned above are common for ENFJs, not all candidates who fall under this personality type will have all these traits – and you shouldn’t assume these candidates are all the same. To thoroughly assess a Protagonist (ENFJ) type candidate fairly and accurately, you’ll need to go beyond using a personality test

A comprehensive assessment that helps you understand their strengths and weaknesses is crucial. This requires a blend of tests that a talent assessment platform like TestGorilla can provide. Here are some tips on assessing ENFJs.

Focus on communication skills

Protagonists are natural communicators, but you can’t assume that every Protagonist candidate automatically possesses the communication skills your team needs. 

Pay attention to how they express themselves during the interview. Are they clear, persuasive, and empathetic? This can give you insight into how they will interact with your team and clients.

TestGorilla's Communication Skills test assesses candidates' verbal, written, and interpersonal communication abilities in a business context, including active listening and nonverbal communication. This allows you to evaluate Protagonists' natural communicative strengths and see where they might fall short.

Discuss team dynamics

Protagonists can often come off as intense individuals when they’re passionate about something. While Protagonists often excel in team environments, you should understand if and how they’d enhance your company's culture or clash with your existing team members. A Culture Add test can provide insights into their ability to integrate well with the team – addressing potential intensity issues that might affect team cohesion and helping you better understand their values. 

Additionally, the Leadership and People Management test can evaluate a Protagonist’s ability to lead and manage others within a team and organization. It assesses their delegation skills and ability to develop and support others, provide feedback, and influence. 

Look for empathy and understanding

Protagonists can often understand and relate to others’ feelings. Ask questions that reveal how they've used this trait in professional settings, such as when resolving conflicts or helping team members. For example, you might ask them to describe a time when their ability to connect with a co-worker’s perspective helped them solve a workplace challenge.

You can also assess empathy and understanding using the Communication test and Leadership and People Management test, which include components of emotional intelligence. 

See whether they might be a long-term fit 

Use TestGorilla's Motivation test to assess how well your role offering aligns with the candidate’s expectations. A good match is correlated with longer retention – and stronger performance. 

Also, since Protagonists can sometimes overwork themselves due to their tendency to blur the work-life divide, you can ask meaningful interview questions to assess their likelihood of burnout. For example, you might ask, “What boundaries do you set to create a clear divide between work and life?”

Maximize your Protagonist talent acquisition with TestGorilla

Recruiting a Protagonist personality is more than a hiring decision. It's about embracing a leader who can transform your workplace dynamics with charisma and empathy. Their blend of motivational leadership and compassionate understanding is essential in roles requiring team building and ethical leadership.

Understanding their strengths and weaknesses can help you ensure the ENFJ candidate you select is a good fit for the role. TestGorilla can help. Our platform includes hundreds of tests

You can combine up to five of these to create a custom assessment for evaluating the unique abilities of Protagonists. You can even add your own questions to the tests. Take the first step in bringing the ideal Protagonist personality on board now by signing up for our free demo and free plan.


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