How to use the MBTI® assessment with the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment
Kevin Wood, The Myers-Briggs Company
If you’re an MBTI® practitioner and a Strong Interest Inventory® practitioner, you’ll have noted the potential for overlap between personality type preferences and work-related interests/preferences.
But do you know how to find—and use— those overlaps in career conversations with your clients or students?
Here’s a short guide that can help: Using the MBTI and Strong assessments together in career transition
Relationships between Strong themes and MBTI preferences
In the Strong assessment, the RIASEC model is used to find out which occupational areas suit people’s interests and are worth exploring further.
Research shows that there are relationships between the general occupation themes (GOTs)—Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social Enterprising, Conventional (RIASEC)—and the MBTI preferences.
There are MBTI relationships with five of the six RIASEC themes. For example:
- Realistic occupations have a relationship with Thinking and Perceiving (TP) preferences
- Artistic occupations have a relationship with Intuition and Feeling (NF) preferences
- Social occupations have a relationship with the Feeling preference
- Enterprising occupations have a relationship with the Extraversion preference
- Conventional occupations have a relationship with Sensing and Judging preferences
(for a quick reminder about RIASEC and the types of occupations, check this Wikipedia entry)
How the core MBTI values align with Strong’s general occupational themes
In MBTI® terms, the middle two letters—the process pairs—show us the essence of a person’s type. Those two middle letters are also commonly referred to as ‘the heart of type.’
How that essence manifests and orients itself in the world is shaped by the E–I and J–P pairs, but the middle two pairs (S–N and T–F) are the foundation. They show what a person values and what they’re motivated by, which is valuable information for better career planning.
Here’s how the process pairs look in terms of personal drivers or values.
- I like to get things right (ST)
People with ST preferences tend to value details, precision, accuracy, and efficiency.
(MBTI types: ESTJ, ESTP, ISTJ, ISTP)
- I like to do practical things that make people’s lives better (SF)
People with SF preferences tend to value providing practical support.
(MBTI types: ESFJ, ESFP, ISFJ, ISFP)
- I like to make a difference to people (NF)
People with NF preferences tend to want to help people fulfil their potential.
(MBTI types: ENFJ, ENFP, INFJ, INFP)
- I like to gain knowledge and be the best at what I do (NT)
People with NT preferences tend to value competence, both in themselves and in others.
(MBTI types: ENTJ, ENTP, INTJ, INTP)
Using the MBTI process pairs to help clients
If a career, job role, or working environment creates opportunities for a person to satisfy the essence of their personality type, they’ll be more likely to feel fulfilled in their work.
In other words, the middle two letters can provide direction. The MBTI process pairs highlight the intersection of type and interests.
For this to be useful, we need suggestions of jobs and careers that satisfy the different values expressed by the process pairs—and that’s where this guide really helps. It offers work ideas for each of the process pair combinations within each of the six RIASEC categories.
For example, what are the possible occupations in the Realistic (R) category for someone with ST preferences—someone who values details, precision, accuracy, and efficiency?
The type of work that could fulfil an ST’s personality type essence includes:
- Analyzing data
- Using information to protect others
- Building or repairing machinery
- Analyzing computer networks
- Organizing data in spreadsheets
*source: Using the MBTI and Strong assessments together in career transition
With six RIASEC areas and four combinations of process pairs, that’s 24 lists of occupational areas (including the one above).
Want to see the full table of occupational areas linked to each process pair?
Download Using the MBTI and Strong assessments together in career transition.
Start helping clients, whether they’re school leavers, undergraduates, or career changers, find career areas that match the core values of their personality type.
Also included in the guide are sections on:
- GOTs and MBTI preferences
- Extraversion–Introversion and GOTs
- Whole types and GOTs