16 Personalities Test

The 16 personalities test, also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is a psychological personality test developed to identify and describe individual personality types. It was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers.

The origin of the test can be traced to the work of Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist who developed the theory of psychological types. Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers were inspired by Jung's ideas and began developing their own theories and concepts in the 1920s. The test was further developed and refined over many years in collaboration with various researchers and psychologists. Initial versions were tested in the 1940s and finally published in its current form in the 1960s.

Criticism of The 16 Personalities Test
Learn more.
Jump to Section
Relevance in Application Processes
Why it Matters.
Jump to Section
Land Your Top Job in Consulting!
Join the world's leading case interview community today and get everything you need to prepare for your upcoming case interviews!

1. Components of The 16 Personalities Test

The 16 personalities test is based on four main dimensions, each consisting of two opposite poles, resulting in a total of 16 different personality types.

The main dimensions are:

16 personalities test mbti main dimension
  1. Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I): 
    This dimension describes how a person gains energy. Extraverts draw their energy from the external world of people and activities, while introverts draw it from their internal world of thought and reflection.
    An extravert feels comfortable at parties and gets energy from social interactions, while an introvert might feel exhausted after such events and need time alone to recover.

  2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N): 
    This dimension concerns the way people take in and process information. Sensors prefer concrete facts and data, while intuitives prefer more abstract concepts and possibilities.
    A sensor focuses on concrete details in a project, while an intuitive explores visions and future trends.

  3. Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F): 
    This dimension concerns the way decisions are made. Thinkers prefer an objective, logical approach, while Feelers pay more attention to emotional and interpersonal aspects.
    A Thinker makes a decision based on data and facts, while a Feeler considers the impact on the people involved.

  4. Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P): 
    This dimension describes the way people deal with the world. Judgers prefer structure, planning and organization, while Perceivers are more flexible and adaptable.
    A Judger creates a strict schedule for his tasks, while a Perceiver is more spontaneous and can adapt to changes.

2. Criticism of The 16 Personalities Test

The 16 personalities test has also received criticism, including:

  1. Lack of scientific validity:
    Some critics argue that the test is not sufficiently scientifically validated and is based on a simplistic notion of personality.

  2. Rigid type model:
    The division into 16 fixed types may lead to oversimplification and neglects the diversity of human personality.

  3. Categorization effect:
    People tend to identify with the descriptions of their type, even if they are vague and general, which is known as the Barnum effect.

  4. Constraining occupational choice:
    The use of the MBTI in job application processes has been criticized for not always being able to make accurate predictions about a candidate's suitability for a particular position.

3. Relevance in Application Processes

The 16 personalities test can be relevant to companies in application processes because it offers insights into the personality and work style of applicants that goes beyond the case interview.
Here are some examples of how the test can be useful:

  • Assess fit for company culture:
    The test can be used to ensure that applicants are a good fit for the company culture.

  • Team dynamics:
    Companies often want to ensure that new employees are a good fit for existing teams. Testing can help identify candidates who are a good fit with existing team members. For example, introverted thinkers might play a balancing role in a team of extroverted feelers.

  • Communication:
    Knowing employees' personality types can improve internal communication. A company can provide training and workshops to help employees communicate more effectively with colleagues of different personality types. As the Kotter Change Management Model suggests, effective communication is the main driver within a cmpany if you want to change the culture and /or ways of working.

  • Conflict management:
    The test can also help minimize conflict in the workplace by identifying potential sources of misunderstanding or friction and offering solutions.

4. Relevance in the Management Consulting Industry

In the management consulting industry, the 16 personalities test is particularly important because:

  • Communication and collaboration:
    Consultants need to communicate effectively with clients and internal teams. Understanding one's own personality and that of clients can improve communication.

  • Problem solving and solution development:
    Consultants need to solve complex problems and develop innovative solutions. Understanding how they think and work can help identify solutions.

5. Personality Types Suitable For The Management Consulting Industry

Certain personality types can be particularly successful in the management consulting industry:

  • Analytical Thinkers (NT types):
    Personality types who are strong in thinking (T) and intuition (N) are able to analyze complex problems and find innovative solutions. These types can be particularly successful in management consulting, where strategic planning and analytical skills are of great importance.

  • Extraverted Communicators (EN types):
    Because communication is a central aspect of management consulting, extraverted personalities, especially those who lean strongly toward Thinking (T), can be effective consultants. They can easily present ideas, make persuasive arguments, and build client relationships.

  • Structured Planners (J-types):
    Business consulting often requires creating clear strategies and detailed plans. Judgmental types who lean toward structure and planning (J) are able to organize projects efficiently and ensure they run smoothly.

More specifically, the following personalities can become successful in the industry. It is important to note here that these combinations of traits can be helpful in management consulting, but do not necessarily lead to success. At the same time, other combinations are also possible that belong to good consultants.

  1. ENTJ (Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging):
    These types are often found in leadership positions. They are strategic, decisive and organizationally strong.

  2. INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving):
    INTPs are often creative and analytical and can easily grasp complex problems and find innovative solutions.

  3. ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving):
    These types are excellent communicators and can build and maintain customer relationships.

  4. ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging):
    ISTJs are detail-oriented and reliable and can approach complex projects in a structured manner

6. Conclusion to the 16 Personalities Test

Overall, in the management consulting industry, the 16 personalities test can help improve understanding of one's own work style and effectiveness in working together. However, it is important to use the test as a complementary tool and not as the sole decision-making factor in application processes or team dynamics.

Continue to Learn

Are you looking for more insights from the consulting industry?
Then sign up now to not miss any new articles.
Do you have questions on this blog article?
Contribute to our Q&A forum and ask the community your question!
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!