Why INTJs Make the Worst (and Best) Employees

Many organizations around the world embrace the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, better known as the MBTI, to better understand and utilize their employees. It's thought by putting the right employees to work on the right projects, we'll all see better results. This is why MBTI testing is common across the corporate environment, especially in the United States.

INTJs are exceptionally rare and can be difficult to work with, if not properly utilized. They're known as "The Scientist" and bring a tremendous amount of value into your organization, from solving difficult problems to forecasting issues with production. They're independent and work-focused, which can make INTJs difficult employees. Here, we uncover common issues employers face with INTJ employees and what they can do about it.

INTJs Don't Respect Authority

For new managers, INTJs can be a nightmare, as they won't respect you based on your title alone. Once they see that you're incompetent in some way, they'll likely never respect you again. However, INTJs do not hate management, per se. They just demand high quality and capable managers who can explain why certain rules are necessary.

Solution: INTJs offer a wide range of positive skills for the right manager. When hiring INTJs, remember to place them in departments with experienced managers who can harness their intelligence and long-term thinking for good. Once they respect their manager, INTJs prove to be excellent assets for any team. 

INTJs Lack Social Skills

INTJs are naturally introverted. This means that they may not feel comfortable attending every work function or communicating how they feel. Since they expect everyone to know as much as they do, they may face frustration trying to discuss ideas with people who lack the same level of understanding.

Solution: INTJs tend to be really work-focused and capable of working long hours. While they may not want to participate in your workplace Olympics event, this doesn't make them bad employees. Remember, participating in extracurricular activities is supposed to be fun and a way to connect as a team. If certain team members don't want to participate, that's okay. Don't let that ruin it for those that do.

INTJs are Arrogant

Most employers hired their INTJ employees because they tend to be smart and articulate. During their interview, an INTJ confidently tells you just what they can do for you and you believe them. Once hired, other staff members complain that the INTJ is arrogant and hard to talk to.

Solution: INTJs feel confident telling you what they know and, most importantly, what they don't. Accept that what an INTJ thinks they know is probably right. They'll let you know when they don't know something.

INTJs are Easily Bored

INTJs want promotion. They ask pesky questions. They notice things. It's easy to think they're lazy when they come up with creative solutions to complete work faster. They seem to be always after the next big solution or project. In roles with repetition, they don't last long.

Solution: Keep INTJ employees busy and problem solving. The worst kind of INTJ employee is the bored one left without enough work to do. They'll spend time noticing all sorts of things and putting two and two together. They'll know who sleeps with who, who's probably going to get fired, and find files on all sorts of platforms. Instead, give them lots of problems to solve and a never-ending task list they can be passionate about.

INTJs make excellent employees if placed within the right organization with the right managers solving problems of all sizes. These types of companies benefit from their problem solving and ingenuity in a way that enables them to better a business.

Melanie Green is a Tampa-based INTJ and CEO of the Triassic Media Group. She loves helping job seekers through Modern Tailored Resumes, as well as hiring and retaining the best team.

Views: 49995

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on July 30, 2016 at 12:06am

Guy Kawasaki posted this test on LinkedIn, and I took it, finding myself an INTJ.  Oddly, Einstein shows up as an INTP , often called "The Engineer"... I always thought he was a Scientist.  However, take the test yourself and see what your Type is:  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/which-personality-type-a...

I must note, as well, that having played about 50,000 games of chess, I did like the photo that begins the article.  :)

I will respond to one point:  "give them lots of problems to solve and a never-ending task list they can be passionate about" -- this is actually very insightful.  The problem, for me, is NOT always having a task-list I can be passionate about.  It is, after all, somewhat hard to always work the most fascinating and exciting Searches in the world.  They are really a little "few and far between".  Nonetheless, as far as I am concerned, the worst assignment I can end up with is one that is pure "busy work" (i.e. bunk, no real hiring need, no pay, waste of time, etc.).  MORAL: Don't wastw an INTJ's precious time, unless you have a serious 'death wish' (in my humble opinion).

Another thing I will add is that personality types may tend to run in families.  The INTJ is often referred to as "The Scientist" (or sometimes "The Architect"), and I am related to at least two of the most famous Scientists in world history -- Isaac Newton and Norman Borlaug.

Comment by Sara Gerardo on April 5, 2018 at 9:28am

Ah, you may want to be careful posting things like this. Personality tests are meant for fun and are not actual science. No employer should even consider these.

Suggested reading:

The origin
Words from Carl Jung himself

Washington Post

Journal of Career Planning and Employment


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