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    Oct 11, 2017    |   Camille Labrie

Combining the MBTI and the Strong Interest Inventory

Written by Justin M. Deonarine I/O Psychologist

The MBTI® instrument helps individuals better understand themselves and how they interact with others. It does this by indicating where they tend to focus their attention, how they take in information, how they make decisions, and how they deal with the external world. It offers perspective on many aspects of people’s professional and personal lives, including (but not limited to): Decision making, change management, and stress management.

The Strong Interest Inventory® assessment matches an individual’s interests to careers they may find fulfilling by exploring the individuals’ level of interest in six “General Occupational Themes” (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional). Whether they are starting their careers or seeking a change, individuals can use this information to determine occupations that may be of interest to them.

A powerful story emerges when we combine the data from these two assessments, and we start to see clients embrace new possibilities. Below, we will explore one way in which you can use the combined data to help your clients successfully navigate their search for a fitting and fulfilling career.

The two middle letters of each MBTI type represent:

  • The dominant function, which is the preference that is most natural to people of that type.
  • The auxiliary function, which is the second-most-used preference (providing support to the dominant function).

Function pairs provide key insights into the intersection of type and interests. The following chart shows how the function pairs and GOTs interact. Using a client’s function pair and highest GOT, you can reference activities that they will find fulfilling in a career.

Realistic Analyzing data Protecting people from harm
Using information to protect others Designing safer freeways for people
Building or repairing machinery Increasing personal connections through data
Analyzing computer networks Nourishing others through farming
Organizing data in spreadsheets Building someone’s home
Investigative Devising a formula for a medication Establishing a nutrition plan for a patient
Reading a dental X-ray Treating a cancer patient with medication
Analyzing a rock’s composition Researching eye care for children
Observing animal behaviors Studying the impact of sleep on people
Applying technology to science Learning about the human body
Artistic Designing a city’s downtown area Finding a specific library book
Creating a corporate logo Reporting a human interest story
Grading an English essay Editing a public service announcement
Writing a finance column Translating instructions for passports
Photographing bonsai trees Researching and constructing a legal argument
Social Administering IV medication Teaching someone to walk again
Writing a high school budget Providing speech therapy
Teaching an accounting class Organizing a community potluck dinner
Observing and recording symptoms in an ICU Implementing a case management plan
Diagnosing a speech disorder Coaching a birthing patient in labor
Enterprising Researching employee health benefits Working as a personal shopper
Comparing potential fabrics for a chair Talking about constructing a retirement fund
Forecasting sales for the quarter Helping a person choose the right computer
Leading an operations department Managing janitors at a children’s hospital
Writing questions for a focus group Assisting people with rebooking a flight
Conventional Gathering research for a case/argument Serving as a medic in the Marines
Analyzing software and computer compatibility Organizing an executive’s schedule
Constructing an IRA portfolio Producing an independent film
Doing a person’s taxes Preparing a meal at a hospital
Reconciling a company’s profits and losses Helping people understand their investments


Realistic Directing a boot camp for new recruits Maintaining a natural landscape
Designing green space in a city Designing a fitness plan
Making a diagnosis based on an X-ray Responding to a 911 call
Building a modern piece of furniture Planting beautiful flowers
Envisioning a future car design Designing network systems
Investigative Understanding the root of social problems Writing about treatment for anxiety
Creating a mathematics college course Counseling a person for addiction
Developing an iPad app Managing a research project
Experimenting with liquid formulas Realigning a person’s spine
Researching brain behavior Teaching astronomy and the constellations
Artistic Illustrating an anatomy textbook Teaching painting to high schoolers
Writing a marketing pitch Delivering a leadership workshop
Debating the impact of ESL programs Writing an ad campaign for coffee
Designing a modern, green school building Photographing a family holiday portrait
Creating a conflict management model Managing a company’s public image
Social Teaching a foreign language Writing a special-needs curriculum
Prioritizing an educational budget Counseling a problem student
Instructing college students in architecture Arranging flowers at a wedding
Delivering a sermon about patience Waiting with a patient for surgery
Facilitating an addiction recovery group Performing a holiday show with students
Enterprising Designing a modern wing in a museum Leading a team of real estate agents
Leading a technology company Buying a clothing collection for a store
Opening a restaurant Running a nonprofit agency
Serving as mayor for a city Creating an eclectic menu
Selling life insurance Doing a complete makeover on someone
Conventional Experimenting with planting an innovative crop Leading a nursing home sing-along
Running a home for blind people Teaching a course on marketing
Designing a software system Creating a public health workshop
Teaching an economics course Supporting an environmental lawyer
Making an accessible-to-all room and ramp Organizing a company-wide retreat
Filed under: Career, Type Talk