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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the benefits and challenges of using Myers-Briggs for hiring.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Many people’s first exposure to MBTI is in the workplace.
  • MBTI was developed during WWII when a high percentage of women were entering the workforce.
  • Myers and Briggs developed this instrument to help these women find work that fit their skill set.
  • Myers and Briggs were huge Jungian fans.
  • A good place to tether a new technology is in the workplace because that’s where the money is.
  • Can we use MBTI to determine an employee’s capability?
  • You can only utilize it for hiring if you have better than journeyman aptitude with the technology.
  • If you have a beginner or intermediate level of understanding, you shouldn’t use it. Or, you will end up falling back on stereotypes and inaccurate assumptions.
  • Some people want to use the magic pill, but they don’t understand it.
  • You can’t conflate talent with skill.
  • Certain types come with individual abilities, but there are a lot of people who have used their functions vs. exercising their functions.
  • You can use a golf club, but you won’t get good at it until you exercise it and build skill with it.
  • When you know somebody’s type, you are aware of their talent base, but you have no idea what their skill set is.
  • The talent pool of each of these types is vast.
  • There is a lot of room for variation.
  • People may assume that an STJ would be a great manager and an NTP wouldn’t.
  • But if the NTP has been focusing their cognitive functions to build leadership skills and the STJ has spent all their time couch surfing the NTP will outclass the STJ.
  • You can’t rely on the indicator to determine someone’s skill set.
  • To just use MBTI alone reduces people to the wiring of their minds, not their skill set.
  • A laser can do a lot of damage, but in the right application, it can be used for a lot of good. But it requires skilled application.
  • Until something has been massively weaponized, you can’t see its power.
  • You can tell how powerful MBTI is because it is so polarizing.
  • If evaluative criteria are met for the four judging processes, they can do extraordinary things that may look counter to their type.
  • Introverted Feeling is the decision maker for all FPs. Their criteria require them to feel fully authentic and aligned with something. If their authentic criteria is not met, it is tough for FPs to do anything. Like an Off/On switch.
  • Extraverted Thinking is not the only way to get something done.
  • Introverted Thinking is the decision maker for all TPs. Their criteria require something make sense to them. If it makes sense, they will bend over backward to pursue it and work hard to honor that position.
  • They are very autonomous though, so they don’t appear to be team players, but they will get the job done.
  • Extraverted Feeling is the decision maker for all FJs. Their criteria is getting people’s needs met and keeping morale up. They will do things outside their usual talent base and learn new skills if they think it will get people’s needs met.
  • Extraverted Thinking is the decision maker for all TJs. Their criteria is making sure the numbers and metrics make sense. Once that criteria is reached, they will figure out what they need to do to get the job done, including taking into consideration the emotional needs of others, which isn’t always a skill set for this type.
  • The fundamental motivation of each type is going to stay the same, but the individual skill set can be surprisingly varied.
  • As long as the underlying criteria is met the skill development is varied.
  • Fi underlying criteria is, “This makes sense to me, and I believe it.”
  • Ti underlying criteria is, “This makes cerebral sense to me. All the data is in alignment.”
  • Fe underlying criteria is, “What lifts everyone’s morale?”
  • Te underlying criteria is, “What makes sense structurally?”
  • MBTI isn’t a magic bullet when hiring. You have to understand it well enough to understand its shortcomings.
  • Some people may go against every assumption on paper but because of the experience they have or the things they have overcome they are the very ones you need on the team.
  • Sometimes we develop specific disciplines that are counter to our personality type because we needed to.
  • There‘s no substitute for getting to know your candidate well.
  • Know their work history.
  • How they perform as an employee.
  • There is one area where knowing your employee’s types can give you some insight into yourself.
  • It’s very common for people to hire others like themselves.
  • This creates a team with the same strengths and the same blind spots.
  • If you interview someone and you don’t jive with them, they may be exactly the person you need.
  • Myers-Briggs is just one system.
  • It is tough to know how good someone is going to be at their job until you work with them and see them perform.
  • The longer you can observe somebody the better you can gauge their fit.
  • Get the right people on the bus and into the right seats.
  • The better you get at a tool, the more you recognize its limitations.
  • Car Model
  • Cognitive Functions

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the benefits and challenges of using Myers-Briggs for hiring. #podcast #myersbriggs #MBTI #hiring #Interview

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  • Charis Branson
    • Charis Branson
    • December 3, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks Nylorac! Fixed. :)

  • Nylorac
    • Nylorac
    • December 2, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    “Extraverted Feeling is the decision maker for all TJs. " Should this be Extraverted Thinking instead of Feeling.

    Extraverted Thinking is the decision maker for all TJs.

  • Ethan Chew
    • Ethan Chew
    • September 25, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I appreciate how you have taken the MBTI cognitive functions as skill areas. Based on that, I seek out the following development plan based on my baseline type (ISTJ/INTJ) as well as an assessment of the level of precise and skilled use of my cognitive skills I have.

    Here are my current Cognitive Functions of focus and how I am training them.

    = GOAL =

    My goal is to build a career for myself in business data analytics and development consulting in the technology sector. Overall, I need to build skills and experience in the field, but I will now focus on the soft skills I need and how I need to apply my cognitive makeup.


    I have chosen the cognitive makeup that is most relevant to what I do as well as a combination of several introverted and extroverted functions (at least two of each) so that I can form introverted-extroverted pairs and have two options for each. I have ordered them in current highest skill level.

    - Skill Level – On scale of 1 to 10. 1-3 is basic, 4-6 is intermediate (considered commensurate with the average expected skill level), 7-9 is Journeyman (above average) and 10 is Mastery.

    Introverted Sensing (Development Level: 6.5/10)
    - Purpose – Being a cognitive historian. Comparing data to internal memories and lessons learned.
    - Assessment: I have a high intermediate skill level as I have gained a strong memory sense of events, happenings and history. I have been known for my ability to absorb and collect information as well as use it as a comparator library to verify facts and verify if results of calculations or outputs of a system are indeed working the way they are supposed to.
    - Development Plan: Continue to use historical research and memory processing to absorb and cognate detailed information and facts on what is seen in the world. As this is currently the leading function, use it as an anchor to train the other functions.
    - Target Level – At least Journeyman Level.

    Extroverted Sensing (Development Level: 5.5/10)
    - Purpose – Taking in the external environment in real time and being in tune with the present moment. Being able to b e physically adept.
    - Assessment: I have a high average as I have been practiced at piloting and performing physical activities that require physical adeptness (e.g. martial arts).
    - Development Plan: Continue to practice physical activities with perception, presentness and precision.
    - Target Level – More of a support function for other cognitive skills development. Develop only as needed.

    Introverted Intuition (Development Level 5/10):
    - Purpose – Creating, developing and conceptualizing ideas in jumps of inspiration. Gaining perspective and insight on a situation.
    - Assessment: I have achieved a good intermediate skill level in this and it has helped drive a degree of my subconscious creativity in forming solutions to problems. I would like to exercise this further so that I may be able to expand the possible solution set I can apply to problems I face.
    - Development Plan: Explore and absorb the ideas of others, share and exchange with others to start to learn from their pattern of intuition. Take periods of taking in information and thoughts, and then time out from each day to allow your mind to relax and allow the function to take place.
    - Target Level – At least Journeyman Level.

    Introverted Thinking (Development Level: 4.5/10)
    - Purpose – Performing careful, objective and logical analysis. Development of mental models of complex systems in mind.
    - Assessment: I have about a low intermediate skill level as I have practiced this as an engineer having been trained to develop mathematical and physics-based models of systems to aid in design decisions. I have also exercised this having done business environment and business systems assessment and modelling to size up the status of a venture and a company.
    - Development Plan: Continue a study of science, engineering, physics and mathematics and apply them to developing engineering models of systems. Continue to take information gained from observation and study and apply them to develop and define models of systems. Use systems to determine facts of function and methods of operation of a system defined.
    - Target Level – At least Journeyman Level.

    Extroverted Thinking (Development Level 3.5/10):
    - Purpose – Decision-making, executing on plans and implementing ideas. Measuring and evaluating performance and managing processes. Exercise of reasoned and logical fact-based judgement.
    - Assessment: I have a high basic level of this as I have been a student of processes and management, but need to gain experience doing this in the real world with targeted and executable success. I also need to build the experience base to make good judgements.
    - Development Plan: Start by working with more experienced executives and project managers to learn their practices and be in the process of execution of tasks. Start to assess on and improve performance on tasks to budget, schedule and objective and quality targets. Engage and become capable of taking on responsibilities for tasks in a larger project system. Build experience to enable good judgement skills.
    - Target Level – At least Journeyman Level.

    Extroverted Intuition (Development Level 2.5/10):
    - Purpose – Creating big picture thinking and networking of things. Assess trends and patterns.
    - Assessment: I have a nascent form of this skill. I have exercised some degree of networked thinking (which is more expansive that systems thinking), but this is still an infantile skill for me.
    - Development Plan: Start to exchange and share ideas with others. Brainstorm with others to gain skill and ideas as well as form new ideas with others.
    - Target Level – More of a support function for other cognitive skills development. Develop only as needed.


    If I use my strongest cognitive function as the anchor cognitive skill, here is what I can do as a development course using Introverted-Extroverted Combinations:

    I have Si, Se, Ni, Ti, Te, Ne in order of skill.

    1. Start as an ISTJ with Introverted Sensing (6.5/10) as the Primary and Extroverted Thinking (3.5/10) as the Secondary. Use this configuration to take in information and develop detailed records of it and use that information to decide how to make decisions and judgements on executed plans and implemented systems. Develop both the Si and Te skills.

    2. As the Extroverted Thinking (3.5/10) skill develops, start combining it with Introverted Intuition (5/10). This will put me into INTJ mode (Ni Primary and Te Secondary). Use this to advance both Ni and Te.

    3. Alternative configurations using Se (as the superior at 5.5/10) and Ni (5/10) and Ti (4.5/10) include ISTP with Ti Primary, Se Secondary and Ni Trinary. Also INTP is possible with Ti (4.5/10), Ne (2.5/10) and Si (6.5/10). However, these are not ideal given the mismatch between the primacy of the cognitive functions and my skill level with them.

  • Osnat
    • Osnat
    • August 23, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    This is from the Ethical Guidelines on the MB Foundation’s website:
    “It is unethical and in many cases illegal to require job applicants to take the Indicator if the results will be used to screen out applicants. " When I went through my training, this qualifier was repeated many times. The MBTI should be used voluntarily and only for personal or team development; not for screening.

    Even a journeyman knowledge is insufficient, because the instrument is not absolute. The hiring manager needs to have a well rounded knowledge of the needs of the organization and how to recognize skill and potential and not use it as an easy way out. Google puts its candidates through a period of practical experience with other candidates before they extend a job offer. In their new book – An Everyone Culture, Kegan and Lahey describe how other organizations use variations on the theme. By knowing exactly what are the expectations of the organization are, the hiring functions can design the hiring experience without relying on self reported indicators.

    I wish you would have re-named the podcast title to something like ‘the abusive side of using MBTI in hiring’ rather than to the mild ‘benefits and challenge’.

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