Thursday, September 2, 2010

Who Are You? (I Really Wanna Know)

I applied for a job yesterday that recommended I list my "Myers Briggs Type" in my application, since it is a position that requires writing/editing/research skills. I was intrigued, both because I had never been asked to submit such a thing for a job application, and also because I have always wondered what my type is and this would be a good excuse to find out!

Here is my result: I am INFJ - Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

I am sometimes skeptical of these "personality tests"; you have to wonder how accurate they really are and more to that what the point is. Googling my Type yielded various definitions, with different titles (including Counselor, Protector, etc) so it's hard to say what the exact definition of my Type is. However, generally I found the main traits listed for my Type match my actual personality quite accurately. I was pleasantly surprised.

Here are some of the traits that I felt were most accurate (taken from this profile which puts me in the category "The Protectors"):

* take things in primarily via intuition; know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand; put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions
* protective of their inner selves; deep, complex, quite private and typically difficult to understand; hold back part of themselves, can be secretive.
* perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential; rarely at complete peace with themselves; believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments; have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families
* place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world; constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives; not good with money or practical day-to-day life necessities (that's not true - I'm good at spending money! I'm also good at eating, which is a very practical daily necessity!)
* are usually right, and they usually know it (hah! Well, not going to argue with that!)
* gentle, caring, artistic, creative; genuinely warm; good listener
* hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring; concerned for people's feelings, try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone; very sensitive to conflict, which may drive them into a state of agitation or charged anger; tend to internalize conflict and experience health problems as a result; don't believe in compromising their ideals; take commitments seriously; seek long-term relationships but can easily move on after a relationship is ended.
* usually works in areas where they can be creative and independent; natural affinity for art, not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks.

Obviously, it can be hard to be objective when it comes to your own personality, but for the most part I feel I'm a very self-aware person who is accepting of both her strengths and weaknesses and I would say all of the above is BANG ON.

I find this so interesting! I also think it's interesting that these types of tests are not used more often. WHY have I never been asked to submit this information in a job application before? If you think about it, these standardized tests can be a more accurate portrait of a person and their strengths/weaknesses than a cover letter and resume because they are more objective.

Obviously, these tests are not completely unbiased because there is no guarantee the "testee" (tee hee) is answering the questions honestly, but at the same time, the questions are in such a format that it would be hard for the applicant to manipulate their answers in order to come out with a specific result, i.e. the type that the employer is most looking for. For one, the test is made up of "yes" and "no" questions that give no indication of what category your answer will place you in (unlike other tests, such as multiple choice, which I would say are easier to predict), and secondly there is no way of  knowing what Type the employer is even looking for, if they are in fact looking for a particular one.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that all employers should be requiring applicants to complete the Myers Briggs test. All I'm saying is the test could be an easy and interesting way to find out more about a person's character and to remove some of the bias that exists in the hiring process (on both sides).

Human beings are obviously much more complex than a 72-question test can reveal - a lot of how we act depends on the circumstances and mood of individual situations. But I also feel that sometimes 'who we are' is staring us right in the face but we don't see it until it's revealed in an honestly answered questionnaire.

Fun factoid: Only about 1% of the population are the INFJ type! How cool is that?! So, either I'm really special or really "special", if you know what I mean.

Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs test? What is your Type? Is it accurate? How would you feel about including your Type in a job application?

If you wish to take the test, you can do so here - give it a try; you might learn something about yourself!

6 comments:

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Very interesting!
I must say that I gave up being a perfectionist long time ago...well still work in progress!
;)

Kim Humes said...

I keep trying to give it up but haven't been been able to! It's a compulsion - can't control it as much as I'd like to! lol

Kim said...

I'm INFJ too! It's the most rare type, and it fits me DEAD ON! I wonder if we would get along or not so much?

Kim Humes said...

Kim - how cool! We're MB buddies lol. Good question, I think we'd either get along awesome or constantly clash lol. Either way, we are special - 1% of the population - woohoo!

Kim Humes said...

Kim - how cool! We're MB buddies lol. Good question, I think we'd either get along awesome or constantly clash lol. Either way, we are special - 1% of the population - woohoo!

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Very interesting!
I must say that I gave up being a perfectionist long time ago...well still work in progress!
;)

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