Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Personality Test

At Meredith’s journal, (Another Country Heard From), I came across this abbreviated version of the Meyers-Briggs personality test as part of her responses to Patrick’s Saturday Six. I haven’t participated in the Saturday Six, though I do enjoy reading others’ answers to the great questions Patrick hatches. And from time to time I will put in my two cents in the comment section of someone who HAS participated. However, I just couldn’t resist this link to the personality test. Had to go there and see what would come of it.

Let me preface my result by saying that these personality tests have always bothered me. Probably because the only place I ever encountered them was at job interviews. I always felt there was something overly invasive about requiring a prospective employee to submit to one of these tests; and that there was something suspect about an employer that would base its hiring decisions on the results. I just felt there was too large a degree of removal from the human aspect of a job interview if one of these tests was put in front of me. And it seemed to me that the results of my "personality test" might cancel out any responses I gave to actual verbal interview questions. So, what was the point?

But, this time, since I was not being forced to submit to the test in an employment situation, my curiosity got the better of me. I thought, "Might as well go and see what all the hoopla is about…"

So, what am I?


Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. Those who are activists -- INFJs gravitate toward such a role -- are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.

INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden. They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress. INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless. The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.

"There's something rotten in Denmark." Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.

INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.

Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.

This is supposedly a "rare" personality type. Well, I don’t know how rare I am….I do know that I often feel like a square peg.

I have to say, though, that most of the above description is right on. Much of it describes what I am, what I have been my entire life. The part about being suspicious of others’ motives, though…that has definitely been a learned behavior. I used to be the biggest sap in the world. Would believe anything anybody told me, simply because I do not lie, so it’s not in my nature to expect untruth from others. However, I have been healed of that unfortunate foible. Sad. But one must learn from one’s mistakes. Once burned, twice shy; in my case it was more like six or seven times burned. But eventually, I got the picture.

And, in view of the first part of the above description, could I be anything other than a bleeding heart liberal? I guess that certainly put the old dart in the center of the bull’s-eye… I’ll have to grudgingly concede that this particular abbreviated test seems to have produced an accurate result. Still, I wonder what it would mean to a prospective employer. I can’t believe that any kind of an introvert would be a desirable employee…


  1. I quickly took the test and had a rare one too ...3% of the population.  When I read the results I laughted. It was so perfect!  I'm a Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving... too rich so early in the morning!  Based on this, I would never get hired!  I like to yak yak yak, procrastinate and fail to finish projects that don't interest me!  I laughed out loud!!

  2. I don't like personality tests being used as a pre-employment qualifier.  I've seen them misused far too often. I'm an INFJ as well, and I've made my living in a sales dependent field for over a decade, something that shouldn't be a personality fit.  What too many employers don't take into consideration is the continuum nature of personality type categories as well as the discipline of the person involved.  I  do think the Meyers - Briggs shows a lot of insight.  One study I read on MB said that INFJs were less than 1% of the overall population.  That makes sense to me.  I have a friend who refuses to take any test of this type and has passed on several very good opportunities in her refusal.  She says she doesn't want to be put in a box, even if it's a box that fits.

  3. I think it's easy to misinterpret the introverted-extroverted aspect.  As I understand it, those delineations refer to the source from which you derive your energy.  A person who pulls strength and motivation from introspection and solitude as opposed to from interaction with others isn't a hopelessly isolated and socially inept person --  she's just a person who values introspection and needs a lot of alone time to function in the world.  A person who draws her energy from interaction isn't destined to fail at a solitary occupation like writing -- she just needs to build social time into her life.  

  4. I'm an ISFJ---I don't know if I buy into it, though.

  5. I don't know why but I love to take tests like these; I've taken lots of the Quizilla tests too but it's all just for fun.  I don't put a lot of stock in the final "analysis" but the result of this particular test was more accurate than most.  The problem usually is that the choice of answers are too broad or too black and white.  I'm always looking for that third option to check that would better apply to me but it's never there.  LOL!  Oh well, as I said, it amuses me, no more.  I have never had to take a test like this as a prerequisite to a job.  Can't imagine doing that or if I did, having the results being viewed as a consideration as to whether or not to hire.  Thanks for the mention of my journal, Lisa.  I don't get a lot of traffic so this was very nice.

  6. Well, I'm an INTJ. Where you're feeling, I'm thinking. Sound pretty much alike actually. No wonder I'm happier with my books and kntting needles. LOL


  7. I've never encountered this kind of testing for a job but I could see how it would help. Often times someone interviews great but it's like Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde when it comes to the day-to-day. I think if I were to use something like this as an employer I would use it in relation to the job and whether I thought the personality was a good fit for the position. Anyone with a bit of sensibility would try to get all types of personalities within the company some where though because diversity is key to growth and innovation.

    I took the full version of this test for one of my college classes. I don't remember what I was other than an Extrovert. Maybe when I have a chance I'll retake it.

  8. i came across one too a while back,  not that journal as i am unfamiliar with it - but in connection with patrick's questions too.  i posted my results, which are - unsurprisingly - quite similar to yours.  i am an INFP, only the last one being different, Perceiving rather than Judging.  the link to my entry is below.  the results do seem quite accurate - though i certainly don't have an introvert's job.  all day i face rooms full of people, in the performance art known as teaching.  however, after my classes are over i don't answer the phone when it rings, don't have much social life.  my "people skills" are completed depleted.