16 Personalities: The Secret to Better Hires and Career Success?
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16 Personalities: The Secret to Better Hires and Career Success?

Post Author - Elizabeth Thorn Elizabeth Thorn Last Updated:

Ever contemplated why some relationships flourish while others flounder, or why some people attain career success seamlessly while others stagnate? You can crack open the enigma with the 16 personalities theory!

Hot-wired into our psyche, these unique personality types offer vital clues for getting ahead in personal relationships and professional progression. Depending on how you use them, they can also be incredibly useful in the hiring process (although we’d warn against using them as the only measure of a candidate’s personality, skills, and abilities; more on that in just a bit).

Imagine the leverage that access to this roadmap provides — be it predicting colleagues’ responses to a pitched proposal or understanding what motivates a candidate to succeed and whether they’d thrive in your organization long-term.

But brace yourselves. This guide isn’t about offering generic horoscope-style personality predictions. Instead, we explore the empirically grounded 16 personalities theory that effectively empowers you to navigate life’s shifting landscapes, whether that’s on the job yourself or while hunting for your next hire.

TL;DR — Key Takeaways

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a valuable tool for understanding individual differences and preferences.
  • Understanding personality types enhances hiring processes, leading to better team compatibility, improved job satisfaction and retention, and optimized work performance.
  • A multi-dimensional approach to candidate assessment, combining personality tests with skills assessments and practical tasks, however, provides a more comprehensive view of a candidate’s fit.
  • Alternatives to the 16 Personalities test, such as the Big 5 personality traits, skills testing, homework assignments, and paid test days, enrich the hiring process by evaluating diverse aspects of a candidate’s profile.
  • Personality assessments should guide, not dictate, hiring decisions. Use them to glean insights into potential behaviors and motivations rather than serving as absolute predictors of success.
Personality skills tests

Understanding the 16 Personalities

Whether you’re searching through personal development forums or are interested in strategic business forecasting, the 16 personality theory comes up repeatedly. No more so than in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator — one of the most established and widely respected resources in personality profiling.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Understanding the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) isn’t just for psychology enthusiasts. It can act as a map charting out personality traits, potentially illuminating someone’s career path, business decisions, and personal relationships.

How does MBTI work?

MBTI explores how we perceive the world and make decisions by dividing personality preferences into four core pairs:

  • Introversion vs. extroversion
  • Sensing vs. intuition
  • Thinking vs. feeling
  • Judging vs. perceiving

By answering a set of questions (or asking candidates to do so), your MBTI type is determined, opening up a whole new understanding of personality.

Why does it matter?

Scoring on each scale results in a four-letter code (e.g., ISTJ or ENFP).

This code, while far from being ‘the final word’ on your personality, provides a framework for understanding individual differences and applying this knowledge towards personal or professional development.

Soft skills vs hard skills vs personality traits

What are the 16 personality types?

Our personalities offer insightful clues into how we interact with the world and make decisions, and understanding them in depth can help open new avenues to productivity, team management, and hiring accuracy

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) categorizes these into 16 distinct personality types, each with unique strengths and preferences. Here’s a brief overview of each group.


  • Architect (INTJ): Known for their strategic mindset and high standards, Architects are natural planners who thrive on solving complex problems with innovative solutions.
  • Logician (INTP): Creative and contemplative, Logicians enjoy exploring abstract concepts. They’re curious thinkers who value knowledge and autonomy.
  • Commander (ENTJ): Bold, imaginative, and strong-willed leaders who find a way – or make one. Commanders excel in organizing change and making tough decisions.
  • Debater (ENTP): Smart and curious thinkers who cannot resist an intellectual challenge. Debaters are excellent at reading others and engaging in detailed discussions.


  • Advocate (INFJ): Quiet and mystical, yet very inspiring and tireless idealists. Advocates are driven by their principles and possess a unique combination of idealism and decisiveness.
  • Mediator (INFP): Poetic, kind, and altruistic people, always eager to help a good cause. Mediators are guided by their principles, often feeling misunderstood but are loyal and compassionate.
  • Protagonist (ENFJ): Charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerize their listeners. Protagonists are natural-born leaders who thrive on helping others achieve their dreams.
  • Campaigner (ENFP): Enthusiastic, creative, and sociable free spirits who can always find a reason to smile. Campaigners possess outstanding people skills and a zest for life.


  • Logistician (ISTJ): Practical and fact-minded individuals whose reliability can’t (and shouldn’t) be doubted. Logisticians are dedicated and dutiful, highly valuing integrity and responsibility.
  • Defender (ISFJ): Very dedicated and warm protectors, always ready to defend their loved ones. Defenders are compassionate caregivers who take their responsibilities seriously.
  • Executive (ESTJ): Excellent administrators, unsurpassed at managing things – or people. Executives are organized and hardworking, valuing tradition and order.
  • Consul (ESFJ): Extraordinarily caring, social, and popular people, always eager to help. Consuls excel in creating harmony and fostering social cooperation.


  • Virtuoso (ISTP): Bold and practical experimenters, masters of all kinds of tools. Virtuosos thrive on spontaneity and are known for their resourcefulness and versatility.
  • Adventurer (ISFP): Flexible and charming artists, always ready to explore and experience something new. Adventurers live in the moment and enjoy beautifying their world.
  • Entrepreneur (ESTP): Smart, energetic, and very perceptive people who truly enjoy living on the edge. Entrepreneurs are spontaneous, lively, and not afraid to take risks.
  • Entertainer (ESFP): Spontaneous, energetic, and enthusiastic people — life is never boring around them. Entertainers love life, seeing it as a stage, and strive to bring joy to others.
The Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities
Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Remember, there’s no “right” or “wrong” personality type to have. Each of these personality types brings a unique set of traits to the table, which can greatly influence their work style, interaction with team members, and overall job satisfaction. Understanding these nuances can be a powerful tool in making more informed hiring decisions and fostering career success.

How knowing someone’s personality type can improve hiring

Throughout the process of assembling a dream team, understanding the personality types of potential hires is akin to having insider knowledge that goes far beyond what someone chooses to include in their resume.

When assessing personality as part of an interview process, you’re able to ensure a candidate’s intrinsic attributes align with your team’s culture and the role’s demands.

Personality assessments, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or soft skills assessments, therefore, provide a peek into how individuals think, communicate, and collaborate, offering a more holistic view of a candidate beyond traditional metrics.

Enhanced team compatibility

Insight into a candidate’s personality type helps predict how they’ll mesh with the existing team dynamics.

For instance, an Advocate (INFJ) might excel in roles that require empathy and strategic thinking, complementing a team that needs a visionary. Understanding these nuances ensures not just a functional but a harmonious workplace where everyone’s strengths are recognized and utilized.

Improved job satisfaction and retention

Matching a personality type with the right role can significantly boost job satisfaction. When employees feel their jobs resonate with their core inclinations, such as a Mediator (INFP) in a role that values creativity and altruism, they’re more engaged and less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

This alignment not only enhances productivity but also reduces turnover, saving costs related to hiring and training new staff.

Optimized work performance

Knowing a candidate’s personality type allows for tailored management approaches that optimize performance.

For example, Commanders (ENTJ) thrive on challenge and autonomy, so placing them in leadership roles with clear objectives can lead them to excel. Conversely, Consuls (ESFJ) value harmony and collaboration, performing best in supportive team environments.

Leveraging these insights can maximize each employee’s contribution to the company’s goals.

Streamlined recruitment process

And finally, incorporating personality assessments into the hiring process streamlines candidate evaluation by adding another layer of compatibility assessment.

It makes it way easier to quickly identify individuals who aren’t just capable but also the best fit for the company’s culture and values, making the recruitment process more efficient and effective.

The limitations and misconceptions about the 16 Personalities

Personality assessments, including the 16 personalities, offer a lens to view the multifaceted landscape of human character. They give us an idea of why people behave as they do, what motivates them, and perhaps even how they will act in the future.

32% of HR professionals use personality tests to assess candidates for executive roles, and 28% use them for middle-management positions. Yet, it’s important to remember that they don’t serve as a crystal ball into someone’s soul.

Personality tests can only tell you what you tell it. You won’t learn anything that you didn’t already know about yourself, and its accuracy comes entirely from how honest and self-reflective you were with your answers.

Simine Vazire, personality researcher at the University of California, Davis

These tests are made for guidance, not strict determination. They offer suggestions about what a particular personality type may lean towards, not an unflinching rule or absolute prediction of behavior.

Be aware of the risk of pigeonholing or creating boxes where people are categorized based on their personality type.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

The bottom line? While personality assessments can be powerful tools, they aren’t fool-proof and must be used with discretion. At the end of the day, humans are complex beings with an array of influencing factors such as culture, upbringing, and experiences that shape who they are.

Alternatives to the 16 Personalities test in hiring

While the 16 Personalities test offers valuable insights into a candidate’s potential fit within your team, it’s crucial to adopt a multi-faceted approach to candidate assessment.

This holistic strategy should blend various personality assessments with practical evaluations of skills and competencies.

By combining tools like the Big 5 personality traits model with hard skills assessments, homework assignments, or paid test days, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s abilities and how they would mesh with your company culture.

The Big 5 personality traits

The Big 5 personality traits model assesses individuals based on five broad dimensions:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

This scientific approach helps predict workplace behavior and cultural fit more systematically.

Unlike the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which sorts individuals into distinct types, the Big 5 measures these traits on a continuum, providing a nuanced view of personality that can be particularly useful in professional settings.

Skills testing

Incorporating skills tests into the hiring process allows for an objective assessment of a candidate’s ability to perform job-specific tasks.

At Toggl Hire, we’ve seen various companies in all industries successfully use our suite of customizable skills tests designed to evaluate a wide range of competencies, from coding prowess to marketing acumen.

By directly measuring a candidate’s skills, you can make data-driven hiring decisions that go beyond personality fit, ensuring candidates can truly deliver on the job requirements.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Here’s a sample of what a skills test looks like in your hiring pipeline when using Toggl Hire.

Toggl Hire skills tests

Homework assignments

Assigning real-world tasks related to the job gives candidates the opportunity to showcase their problem-solving skills and creativity.

It also offers employers a glimpse into how the candidate approaches tasks, manages time, and communicates results. This method can be especially revealing, demonstrating not only technical ability but also work ethic and passion for the role.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

Here’s a sample of what a homework assignment looks like when using Toggl Hire.

Get a jumpstart on your selection process with easy-to-use homework assignment templates.

Paid test days

Offering candidates a short-term, paid position is another effective way to assess fit. This “try before you buy” approach allows both parties to evaluate compatibility in a real work environment (which is important in ensuring long-term fit, mostly for the candidate).

It provides insights into the candidate’s ability to collaborate with the team, adapt to company culture, and contribute to ongoing projects, delivering a hands-on perspective that other assessments cannot match.

Top tips to enlarge those brains Top tip:

At Toggl, we offer paid test days or fully-paid test weeks to our final candidates for roles. Typically, we fit it in after (or as part of) the homework step and before the final offer.

The power of personality in hiring decisions

Your personality isn’t just a fun cocktail party talking point — it plays a critical role in your relationships and career trajectory. Understanding its intricate nuances, from the way you interact with colleagues to your decision-making process, carries immense value in personal and professional capacities.

So, yes, the 16 Personalities test provides a fascinating lens through which to view potential hires, offering insights into how individuals may interact within teams, approach problems, and assimilate into company culture.

However, it’s important to remember that this is just one piece of the puzzle in the candidate assessment process. Relying solely on personality assessments could lead to missed opportunities and a lack of diversity within your team (among several other issues).

For a truly comprehensive evaluation, it’s beneficial to integrate a mix of assessment methods, including skills testing, real-world assignments, and interaction-based evaluations. This approach helps to reduce bias and offers a more rounded view of a candidate’s potential.

Where do pre-employment tests fit in the recruitment process?

Additionally, leveraging end-to-end hiring software can provide invaluable support throughout this process. From initial screening to final selection, the right software can streamline operations, offer meaningful analytics, and ensure that your hiring decisions are informed, equitable, and effective.

At Toggl Hire, we’ve built an all-in-one solution designed to enhance every aspect of the hiring process. With features designed to minimize bias, a suite of customizable skills tests, and more, Toggl Hire equips you with the tools necessary to make the best hiring decisions for your team.

Sign up for a free Toggl Hire account today and start building your dream team with confidence.

Elizabeth Thorn

Elizabeth is an experienced entrepreneur and content marketer. She has nine years of experience helping grow businesses and has experienced first-hand the impact of skills-based hiring in today's global, digital world.

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