MBTI Test: The Complete Myers Briggs Personality Test Guide
Personality tests aren’t just for fun. The MBTI test is a popular recruitment tool that can impact where you go with your career. So, it pays to be prepared. And you’re in the right place for that!
In this free MBTI test guide we will show you:
- What the test is used for and what to expect
- 4 pro tips for taking the MBTI test
- 16 personality types and how these are made up
You can find some of the best MBTI practice tests here.
What is the MBTI personality test and what is it used for?
The MBTI test (also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or just Myers Briggs test) is an assessment of your personality and behaviour.
In a recruitment context, the test is useful for giving potential employers insights about who you are.
It can give them an idea about how you communicate, work, learn and interact with others. And in turn, whether you’re a good fit for that particular workplace and role.
The MBTI test questions cover four key areas:
- Directing and receiving energy
- Taking in information
- Making decisions
- Approaching the outside world
In each of these areas, the test assesses your personal preferences and methods of behaviour — not your intelligence or competence.
So, there are no right or wrong answers.
What to expect in an MBTI test
Myers Briggs personality tests are usually taken online, either before your interview or at the interview itself.
It’ll take about 20-30 minutes to complete, but the timing isn’t important here because you won’t be timed.
You should take as long as you need — the time you take to finish isn’t taken into consideration in your final results.
The test consists of 93 questions. Each question will give you two different sentences, and you need to choose which sentence best describes you.
Every sentence you choose will correspond to a certain “personality preference” (also described as a “preferred style between two styles of being”).
Then, all your answers are looked at together to categorise you into one of 16 personality types.
We’ll explain these personality types and preferences in more detail soon. But first, let’s take a look at a few MBTI example questions so that you know exactly what you’re getting into.
MBTI test example questions
Note: These examples do not come from the official Myers Briggs Test Indicator, but from similar personality tests that are based on the same psychological theories.
Which of these sentences best describes you?
a. I keep my thoughts to myself or b. I speak up
a. I prefer to improvise or b. I prefer to follow a clear procedure
a. I like to cooperate or b. I like to compete
Be prepared with these up-to-date MBTI practice tests!
Myers Briggs test types and results
There are 16 personality types, each made up of four letters. The letters each represent a certain personality preference:
- Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I): How do you direct and receive energy? Extraverts are energised by people and activity, while introverts prefer to be alone or with a small group.
- Sensing (S) or Intuition (N): How do you take in information? Sensors are focused on information that’s real, tangible and practical. Intuitives focus more on the big picture, abstract ideas and making connections between the facts.
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): How do you make decisions? Thinkers make decisions with their head, focusing on logic and reason. Feelers make decisions with their hearts, focusing on their values and the other people involved.
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): How do you approach the outside world? Judgers prefer structure and order, while Perceivers prefer flexibility and spontaneity.
Every question in an MBTI test is designed to make you choose between two opposing personality preferences (E or I, S or N, T or F, J or P).
At the end of the test, your chosen preferences are put together to make your four-letter personality type:
Here’s a great guide to the 16 personality types if you’re interested in knowing more about them.
After you’ve taken the MBTI test, you’ll get your results in the form of a profile report. You can check out some sample profile reports from the Myers-Briggs Company here.
Pro tips for taking the MBTI test
#1: Practice at home with online personality tests
While the MBTI is one of the simplest and most straightforward job tests, it’s still worth putting in some preparation time.
Taking online practice tests is the best way to truly prepare yourself and know what to expect on the day.
You can take the official Myers Briggs personality test here, for a fee.
But free online personality tests can be just as valuable for preparation, helping you get familiar with the many different types of questions that could be asked.
#2: Portray the right personality (but don’t change your personality)
Although there are technically no right or wrong answers, it’s important to keep in mind that the MBTI test is used to help employers find the right person for a certain role.
So, you want to make sure that your test answers portray the “professional” you — not the “at-home” you.
Think about each question in the context of the role and workplace you’re applying for. What qualities are needed to fulfil the role? What does the company value?
For example, maybe you’re spontaneous and like to improvise in your personal life, but at work you prefer to have clearly set procedures to follow.
If you were applying for a position in the finance or healthcare industry, where procedures are very important, you would want to make sure your answers reflect that.
Having said that, honesty still wins out.
Be professional, but don’t make yourself out to be someone you’re not.
#3: Don’t overthink it
Employers want to see a natural personality profile, not a forced one.
So don’t overthink your responses, but go with your first instinct. That’s usually the best representation of your actual behaviour.
In the same vein, don’t spend too long on each question. Just because there’s no time limit doesn’t mean you should take all the time in the world.
Try to answer quickly and instinctively for the most natural and accurate representation of your true self.
#4: Be consistent
There can be questions in an MBTI test that ask a similar thing but worded in a slightly different way.
These are designed to test your consistency and honesty.
To make sure you don’t get tripped up, read every question carefully before answering — don’t skim.
While it’s a good idea to move through the test at a steady pace, make sure you’re also taking the time you need to fully understand each question and give a thoughtful response.
Some more guides to help you succeed…
- Numerical Reasoning: Numerical Reasoning Test Guide: 5 Proven Tips to Succeed
- Verbal Reasoning: Verbal Reasoning Test: What You Need to Know to Pass
- UKCAT: UKCAT Test Guide: 4 Secrets to UKCAT Success 2020
- Watson-Glaser: Watson-Glaser Test: Everything You Need to Know to Pass
- Mechanical Comprehension: Mechanical Comprehension Test Guide 2020