Are You An Innie or An Outie? Personality Testing And You

Personality testing provides a lot of information about a person's character. For example, are you an introvert or an extrovert? The writer found this helpful and revealing many years ago, and applied it to her own life, in her career and in her relationships. Nowadays, however, it is common for employers to use these assessments to help screen potential candidates for open positions. This article explains personality testing and its application.


  • Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep.. Has 30 years experience.
Are You An Innie or An Outie? Personality Testing And You

Years ago I was living in a transitional housing program, trying to figure out why my life was such a mess. I was dealing with addiction issues, trying to be a good parent, and looking at yet another relationship that had gone down the drain. I was unable to work for a time, and trying to discover what I really wanted in life.

The housing program was designed to give participants "a hand up, not a hand out." One tool that they used in the program was a book called Please Understand Me by David Keirsey. There was a test in the book which was a modified version of the Meyers-Briggs personality test. The results are sometimes profound in helping people find jobs compatible with their personality. They also help explain different relationships in a person's life.

At the time I took the test, the result was that I was an INFP: Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceptive. These results were very useful to me, especially the "Introversion" description.

It finally explained what I had known for years: As an introvert, I recharge my batteries by being by myself. Extroverts are more likely to get their energy by being around others.

How can an introvert become a nurse?

With difficulty, I found. After an 8 or 12 hour day meeting the needs of others, and being intimately involved with their lives, I needed time alone before I could transition to my "real life." Spending time with loved ones, parties, talking on the phone, and the like had to wait. Otherwise, conflict could ensue, or I could find myself piling on the need for solitude. Ignoring that part of myself usually resulted in depression or anxiety that interfered with my ability to do my job.

This didn't mean I disliked people. On the contrary. I loved people, still do. The remaining letters explain. Ultimately I gather information and act on it more emotionally and by what's in front of me than those with opposite personalities. These people want data and the "big picture" in order to make decisions. I was able to use much of this information to see what made me tick, and what my needs were in relationships and on the job. A big "why" was answered for me. Now I am an INSP, with less of the introvert - but I still really value my quiet time in order to function in the world.

However, personality testing is not just helpful for personal use. Employers looking to hire successful candidates will conduct them as well. Many job hunters face this kind of assessment. Do we approach it honestly? Do we try to answer in a way that will be pleasing to those who process information?

A form of the Meyers-Briggs personality test is still widely used. This is often combined with another kind of assessment: The Big Five type test. This one looks at a test-taker's opinions and responses to situations. The answers are multiple choice, and are some variation of the following: "Strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree." The computer then analyzes the results to identify people who will be reliable, honest, overly introverted, or likely to shoot up the office. Ok, I am exaggerating on this last option, but seriously, the emotional stability of the person will be taken into strong consideration.

For more information on this topic, use the search engine on your computer. There are many free versions of these tests which will provide useful results. You may find things out about yourself that you already knew, or things about which you had no idea .

Ultimately, the decision about who you are will come from within yourself as you measure the accuracy of these tests. However, obtaining a desired position at a facility may be affected by these results. These tests are more widely used, and being prepared for them will give you a leg up in pursuing your career path.

If nothing else, finding out the results of these tests is interesting. The information may help you to understand what makes you tick, how best to do your job, and why your relationships work, or not. It is difficult to change who your are, but an honest assessment of your personality cannot help but improve your life journey.

Liddle Noodnik is an RN with a variety of experiences in different areas of nursing. Each one was her favorite, and built upon the other. She has one adult son and loves nature, photography, writing - and people.

4 Articles   3,789 Posts

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27 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg.

INTJ, here. Makes for some fun encounters as a nurse!

pmabraham, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 2,560 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day:

INFJ here. has been running different articles on the "I" (introverted) personality types.

Thank you.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I'm the odd duck: ENTJ. I think most nurses are introverts, and I'm a flaming extravert. Although the older I get, the more I've come to value my own company, and grown to dislike large crowds---they make me edgy and agitated. I do best in a small group.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

INTP here. . .I used to be INFP, but as I've gotten older the 'F' has converted into a 'T.'

Liddle Noodnik

4 Articles; 3,789 Posts

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep.. Has 30 years experience.

Have any of you encountered the dreaded personality test in a job application?

gatoraims RN

2 Articles; 219 Posts

Has 5 years experience.
Good day:

INFJ here. has been running different articles on the "I" (introverted) personality types.

Thank you.

INFJ here as well.

Wrench Party

823 Posts

Specializes in Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgical. Has 3 years experience.

INTJ here too, which is apparently one of the rarest of the types. We are the 'systems thinkers' and 'reluctant leaders'. I did my own thing in school for the most part, and had more than one conversation with people where I told them "just because I don't spend all of my time talking like you, doesn't mean I don't have anything to say". On the contrary, I prefer to listen, observe and talk without running my mouth.


3 Articles; 425 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

An awful lot of fellow INTJs here. Nice to know I'm not alone...even though I would prefer to be ;).