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How to interpret the results of a 16 personality types assessment


Did you know that personality tests can help you balance a team?

It’s true, employee personalities are one factor that can potentially influence the cohesion of your organization’s workforce.

Before we continue, keep in mind that personality tests are only one piece of the recruitment puzzle. There are many other factors that you should consider when hiring a candidate for your team. 

Still, finding out how your chosen candidate is likely to work alongside your existing team members can be important. We have written this blog post which focuses on the 16 personality types explained. We have covered:

What is a 16 personality type test?

HR professionals use the 16 personality types test to find out more about their candidates. Specifically, they use it to gain insight into how they process information, how they reach conclusions and make decisions, and where candidates source their energy. 

In other words, yes, a 16 personality type test will provide you information on a candidate’s personality, but it goes further than this. It can also give you more details on how they are likely to fit into your team.

This test can be used for any job role, but we recommend that you don’t solely rely on it to evaluate your candidates. Instead, use the 16 personality type test as a way to find out more about your candidates and let it form the basis from which you can discuss their skills and duties going forward.

Stay with us until the end for the 16 personality types explained.

Why personality tests are important during the hiring process

We have already mentioned that personality tests will indicate how candidates are likely to work with your team members, but there are two other reasons why personality tests should be utilized during the hiring process. 

Find out how your candidates’ personalities align with your company culture

How your candidates fit in with your company culture is incredibly important. Top organizations will want to hire a candidate who is a good fit within their company, and a personality test is one factor that will give you information on this. 

They can help you to understand whether your candidates hold the same values and work ethic as your organization does. This was pointed out by research by Mckinsey, which indicates that traits and values influence how you might think about selection. Great teams rely on personality, behaviors, and values for agility, particularly in terms of agile teams.

Predict the potential success of a candidate

The results of the 16 personality type tests are not only useful in terms of helping you understand the personalities of your candidates. 71% of HR professionals indicate that personality tests can also help to predict job-related behavior.

When used alongside other tests, personality tests can help you find out the particular areas where your candidates are likely to outperform other candidates in terms of how they behave, and how they might complete tasks.

When and how personality tests should be used

Personality tests are best used at the beginning of your recruitment process. This is because after you’ve gained more information on your candidate’s personality, you can base your interview questions on the results of the test. 

When it comes to how you use personality tests, you might choose to use a video custom question or a standard essay custom question to learn more about your candidates before the interview. These custom questions combine with personality tests and should be used to adjust your recruitment process further. 

Using a 16 personality type test the unbiased way

The best way to use a 16 personality type test is to avoid only testing your candidates on their personality.

If you’re going to use them to your advantage, ensure you use various other tests, such as the culture add test, the communication skills test, or any hard skills test related to the position, to assess their aptitudes and gain more insight into how they will perform within the role. 

One thing to bear in mind before we dive into further detail of the 16 personality type tests is that avoiding bias is also important when you use personality tests.

You might be leaning towards particular candidates because they have the same personality as your existing team members, but contrary to this, ethnic and cultural diversity within a team results in a 33% increase in performance. This is why hiring a certain personality type due to unconscious biases is not recommended, and why other tests are ideal to fully understand your candidates.

How to interpret the results of a 16 personality types test

Interpreting the results of a 16 personality types test is critical to your hiring decision. There are four main categories that your candidates can fall into:

  • Candidates who are introverts vs those who are extroverts

  • Candidates who sense information vs those who augment information with intuition

  • Candidates who prefer thinking logically vs those who prefer making decisions based on feeling

  • Candidates who like to make decisions and judge information vs those who like to perceive new information

Combinations of these key personality categories will give you 16 different potential personality types. Once your candidates have completed the test, you’ll receive results in the form of a series of letters, like “ENTJ”.

Here are the 16 personality types explained.

Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Judging (ENTJ)

Candidates with ENTJ personality types are natural leaders. They are determined and will not be deterred from their ideas. They give orders and instruct others confidently, showing their team the way forward. If your candidate has an ENTJ personality type, they can quickly deduce the tasks that need completing and steer their team members in the right direction to get the work done.

Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving (ENTP)

A candidate with an ENTP personality type is typically smart and insightful. They can dissect issues that need a solution, share their ideas with team members, and enjoy tackling problems. They can be considered optimistic and thoughtful, forming close bonds with co-workers.

Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Judging (ENFJ)

If your candidate has an ENFJ personality type, they are constantly learning new things. They handle multiple tasks with ease and are even entrepreneurial. ENFJ personality types support others and include them in the grander picture. ENFJs in the workplace are also likely to put others ahead of their own needs, helping their co-workers when required.

To support ENFJs, make sure they set effective boundaries to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving (ENFP)

Candidates who have an ENFP personality type can come up with exceptional ideas and share them with others, as they are also keen to get along with their co-workers. They can be thought of as highly creative individuals who will contribute ideas in meetings, and tend to come up with good ways to solve problems. They can sometimes succumb to distractions in the workplace, but some excel at numerical reasoning.

Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging (ESTJ)

An ESTJ candidate typically abides by the rules and performs best in work environments with organized teams. They will reinforce company rules and work hard due to their strong work ethic. Candidates with this personality type will put a great deal of effort into completing tasks and are rarely ‘lazy’ workers. However, ESTJs need specific support to ensure they remain dedicated and focused.

Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving (ESTP)

A candidate who has an ESTP personality will typically work best by combining logic with emotions. They pursue their passions and work hard while thinking in an innovative style to change the status quo. They rely on facts to make decisions and they dislike common routines.

Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging (ESFJ)

If your candidate has an ESFJ personality type, they can understand complex problems, like an ENFP personality type, but will delegate tasks to help solve them. They like taking the lead and emphasizing order in the world of work. Through task delegation, they see work as a cooperative endeavor and will try to enhance the agreement and coordination in a work environment.

Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving (ESFP)

Candidates who have an ESFP personality type are outgoing extroverts who will enjoy being in the limelight. In the work environment, they generally enjoy building social bonds with co-workers and will go out of their way to help their team members by sharing their knowledge of a particular task to do so. Support ESFPs with clear objectives for sustained focus and motivation.

Putting in place particular strategies and taking things one step at a time to solve problems is one trait of the INTJ personality type. INTJ candidates get their energy from working independently as opposed to with others. They make detailed plans to approach tasks and prefer to work in environments with structure over unpredictable ones.

Introverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving (INTP)

Precision, in terms of how to convey certain information, is a common trait shared by INTP personality types. When assessing INTP personality types, you'll find that they sometimes struggle with routine tasks or highly structured environments. They think logically, focus on being creative, and prefer creative work environments. INTP personality types are very intelligent and support teams when complex problems arise, putting forward ideas to contribute to the overall solution.

Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging (INFJ)

A candidate with an INFJ personality type usually prefers working independently and gets their energy from working on tasks alone. They are highly creative and imaginative and prefer quieter work environments. INFJs in the workplace also come up with insightful solutions by thinking deeply and creatively about particular problems.

Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving (INFP)

The INFP personality type is characterized by their creativity and communication skills. They enjoy learning new skills and work towards bringing positive change to their work environments. If your candidate has an INFP personality type, they are typically enthusiastic about their work. They are highly imaginative and often very thoughtful in their approaches to handling tasks.

Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging (ISTJ)

Reliable individuals who are consistent in their work and respond well to organized environments typically have the ISTJ personality type. In a professional setting, they will work best when rules are enforced and take responsibility for any tasks assigned to them. They are also very analytical and can be considered sticklers for detail. ISTJs value the importance of working hard.

Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving (ISTP)

Candidates with the ISTP personality type are generally great at breaking down complex problems, analyzing them meticulously, and then correcting the issues methodically to solve them. ISTPs also prefer working in quiet environments, and can be quiet themselves, but tend to join forces with team members in times of need. They can be analytically-minded as well.

Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging (ISFJ)

ISFJ candidates will deliver high-quality work and are both loyal and reliable in professional environments. They take the responsibility of work tasks on themselves whereas others might delegate tasks. This doesn’t mean they avoid social situations entirely – they work well in smaller groups, methodically, aspiring to stay organized and work hard.

Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving (ISFP)

ISFP candidates enjoy working in a team despite being introverts. However, if they could choose, they would prefer working as an individual to achieve and complete tasks. ISFP candidates also enjoy learning new things and developing new skills. For this reason, they work well in environments that might change from time to time.

Learn how to support ISFPs in the workplace by reading our in-depth guide.

The advantages of a 16 personality types test

There’s no doubt that using a 16 personality types test can be beneficial in many ways. Using this test will help you to:

  • Make the right hire to enhance team cohesion 

  • Discover where certain training opportunities might be required (such as providing training for communication tools to boost the confidence of an introvert candidate)

  • Consider an opportunity to gain more details on your candidates’ personalities in a short space of time

When you add to this that using personality type tests can help you make better, objective hires from the perspective of more than one interviewer, you can begin to see why they are beneficial in the hiring process.

Use the 16 personality types test to discover more about your candidates

The personality type test for the workplace is an excellent way to find out more about your candidates and, as mentioned, you can base your interview questions around the results.

Remember to avoid hiring based only on a candidate’s personality results, and to use other personality tests in addition to the 16 personality types test to gain a better understanding of all your candidates.

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