How Personality Tests Work — Understanding Your Personality Type Can Help You Grow Personally & Professionally (2024)

How Personality Tests Work — Understanding Your Personality Type Can Help You Grow Personally & Professionally (1)

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off.” — Shannon L.Alder

We are all complex human beings with complex ideas, complex beliefs & intrinsic perspectives, along with abilities & goals that keep us trudging on our paths to achieving what we aim to achieve in our lives.

We’re here on this planet, in this lifetime, to leave our mark or just to live, but we’re just “passing by”, like that lovely song by UK Downtempo band Zero 7.

As Richard Feynman put it, “I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe”.

While Feynman echoed Carl Sagan’s famous “pale blue dot” analogy, which outlays the frailty of our existence in the broader scheme of the universe & our human “ego” that builds up to make us think that we’re larger than life, it does help to understand who we are, & in turn, by understanding ourselves we can proceed to make an impact on our lives both personally and professionally.

If you’ve read about or come across the 16 personality types developed by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, known also as the Myers-Briggs (MBTI or MyersBriggs Type Indicator) test you could be rather inquisitive to understand which of the 16 categories you fall into.

Furthermore, understanding your personality type can help you better understand yourself, your behaviour, your traits, your abilities & what works for you & what doesn’t, while finding solutions backed up by science to grow & improve in your personal & professional life.

How Personality TestsWork

How Personality Tests Work — Understanding Your Personality Type Can Help You Grow Personally & Professionally (2)

There are totally 16 personality types ESTJ, ENTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ, INTJ, INFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ENTP, ENFP, ISTP, ISFP, INTP & INFP.

They are based on 8 testable parameters — extraversion (E), sensing (S), thinking (T), judgment (J), introversion (I), intuition (N), feeling (F), and prospecting (P).

The test follows the framework of fitting the above parameters into the categories —  Energy, Mind, Nature, Tactics, and Identity.


The Energy category shows how we interact with our surroundings so extraversion(E) and introversion(I) are part of it.

According to

(I)ntroverted individuals prefer solitary activities and get exhausted by social interaction. They tend to be quite sensitive to external stimulation (e.g. sound, sight or smell) in general.

(E)xtraverted individuals prefer group activities and get energized by social interaction. They tend to be more enthusiastic and more easily excited than Introverts.


The Mind category determines how we see the world and process information (something I’ve delved a bit into in an old post of mine titled Exploring Reality(Part I): How We Perceive & Know The World Around Us)

Gaurav Krishnan


January 7, 2022

What is the essence of ‘knowing‘ the world around us? When delving into understanding reality, how do we ‘know‘ something of it? When trying to understand the world around us, by and large, we have to grapple with looking at the world from a human perspective or a human viewpoint. In exploring the various facets of reality through a human lens, we observe, understand and learn all about the world around us and the universe from our disposition as human beings here on this planet, in our own unique way.
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The parameters of the mind component are — sensing(S) & intuition(N)

As per

Ob(S)ervant individuals are highly practical, pragmatic and down-to-earth. They tend to have strong habits and focus on what is happening or has already happened.

I(N)tuitive individuals are very imaginative, open-minded and curious. They prefer novelty over stability and focus on hidden meanings and future possibilities.


Nature here refers to our nature, which determines how we make decisions and cope with emotions.

The parameters of the nature component are — thinking (T) & feeling(F)

As per

(T)hinking individuals focus on objectivity and rationality, prioritizing logic over emotions. They tend to hide their feelings and see efficiency as more important than cooperation.

(F)eeling individuals are sensitive and emotionally expressive. They are more empathic and less competitive than Thinking types, and focus on social harmony and cooperation.


The tactics category comprises our approach to work, planning, and decision-making.

The parameters of the tactics component are — judgment (J) & prospecting (P).

As per the website:

(J)udging individuals are decisive, thorough and highly organized. They value clarity, predictability and closure, preferring structure and planning to spontaneity.

(P)rospecting individuals are very good at improvising and spotting opportunities. They tend to be flexible, relaxed nonconformists who prefer keeping their options open.


The identity component is the final component, which shows how confident we are in our abilities and decision-making.

The identity category is divided into newer parameters that are not part of the initial set of 8. They involve (-A i.e. Assertive) or (-T i.e. Turbulent)

According to the 16personalities website

Assertive (-A) individuals are self-assured, even-tempered and resistant to stress. They refuse to worry too much and do not push themselves too hard when it comes to achieving goals.

Turbulent (-T) individuals are self-conscious and sensitive to stress. They are likely to experience a wide range of emotions and to be success-driven, perfectionistic and eager to improve.

These are the parameters that determine your personality type.

You can take the test yourself to find out your personality type on via the link below

And you can read more about each personality type & yours after taking the test!

Here are the ideal job roles based on personality type:

Diplomats (INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, ENFP)

  • INFJ (The Advocate): Compassionate and idealistic, INFJs are deeply empathetic and have a strong desire to help others. They are creative and insightful, often seeing the potential for good in people and situations.

  • INFP (The Mediator): Gentle and imaginative, INFPs are guided by their values and a strong sense of what’s right. They are introspective and creative, with a rich inner world of ideas and emotions.

  • ENFJ (The Protagonist): Inspiring and charismatic, ENFJs are natural-born leaders who uplift and motivate those around them. They are empathetic and people-oriented, with a talent for building strong relationships.

  • ENFP (The Campaigner): Enthusiastic and free-spirited, ENFPs bring creativity and joy to everything they do. They are imaginative and idealistic, always looking for new ways to make the world a better place.

Sentinels (ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ)

  • ISTJ (The Logistician): Reliable and dependable, ISTJs are practical and detail-oriented. They value order and tradition, and they take pride in getting things done right.

  • ISFJ (The Defender): Warm and supportive, ISFJs are deeply devoted to their loved ones. They are loyal and caring, always willing to go the extra mile for those they care about.

  • ESTJ (The Executive): Decisive and efficient, ESTJs are take-charge leaders who are always on top of things. They are organized and goal-oriented, and they thrive on getting things done.

  • ESFJ (The Consul): Warm and sociable, ESFJs are natural people-pleasers. They are empathetic and supportive, and they create a sense of harmony wherever they go.

Explorers (ISTP, ISFP, ESTP, ESFP)

  • ISTP (The Virtuoso): Practical and resourceful, ISTPs are skilled at solving problems with their hands. They are independent and adaptable, and they enjoy taking things apart to see how they work.

  • ISFP (The Adventurer): Artistic and independent, ISFPs live in the present moment and savor their experiences. They are creative and expressive, and they value authenticity and beauty.

  • ESTP (The Entrepreneur): Energetic and action-oriented, ESTPs are always up for a challenge. They are quick-witted and resourceful, and they thrive in fast-paced environments.

  • ESFP (The Entertainer): Enthusiastic and outgoing, ESFPs are the life of the party. They are spontaneous and fun-loving, and they bring joy and laughter wherever they go.


  • INTJ (The Architect): Strategic thinkers with a knack for planning. They are creative problem-solvers who enjoy analyzing information and coming up with innovative solutions.

  • INTP (The Logician): Quiet and analytical, they have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for understanding the world around them. They enjoy intellectual challenges and thrive on problem-solving.

  • ENTJ (The Commander): Decisive and visionary leaders, ENTJs are natural-born motivators who take charge and get things done. They are strategic and ambitious, with a clear vision for the future.

  • ENTP (The Debater): Clever and curious, ENTPs love a good debate. They are quick-witted and enjoy playing with ideas, often challenging the status quo with their unconventional perspectives.

In case you’re wondering about my personality type - I’m an INTP.

How Personality Tests Work — Understanding Your Personality Type Can Help You Grow Personally & Professionally (4)

Some notable INTPs as listed on the 16personalities site are:

How Personality Tests Work — Understanding Your Personality Type Can Help You Grow Personally & Professionally (5)

I can’t decide whether Avicii is cooler or Einstein & Newton :P

But after you finish the test, you can find notable people in your personality type as well by scrolling on your result page. The website also offers several great resources & premium features depending on your type, to dig deeper.

Imagine that you’re standing at a crossroads, with one path leading deep into a dimly lit park at night, and the other up a hill in daylight, personality tests aren’t about dictating which way to go, but about illuminating the paths themselves. By understanding your personality a little better, you become the cartographer of your own life’s journey and it can help map your way through life.

In our journey of introspection & learning more about ourselves, understanding our personality type can help us fine-tune our work & goals & understand more about how we can use our innate facets & abilities to our advantage whether that’s professionally, socially, or leading a more fulfilled family & personal life.

These tests act like a compass that helps you analyse your strengths and your weaknesses & find ways to adapt & perform, & of course, live life better.

The key to unlocking your potential, both personal and professional, may just be found in the depths of your personality.

Take the test!

And here’s my latest weekly playlist on my channel #1PlaylistAWeek

I hope you found this post informative & it helped you in some way. As always, feel free to subscribe to my publication Light Years & support it & also share it if you’d like! Your support means a lot…

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