How to use the MBTI® assessment with the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment

Posted 28 November 2023 by
Kevin Wood, The Myers-Briggs Company

4 mins

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:

(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.

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: 

*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:

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