What you should know about MBTI for the PMP Exam

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective, psychometric questionnaire designed to identify one’s personality type, strengths, and preferences. Being one of the most widely used personality assessments, recently, people who have taken the PMP exam reported that some questions addressed the MBTI test. So, here’s what you should know about MBTI before sitting for your PMP exam!

What is the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI)?

The objective of MBTI is to allow respondents to explore and better understand their personalities, including their preferences, aversions, strengths, weaknesses, suitable career choices, and compatibility with others. Based on the questionnaire’s responses, people are identified as having one of the 16 personality types which are assigned under four main categories:

  1. Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)
  • E: action-oriented, prefer social interactions, feel refreshed after spending time with others, etc.
  • I: thought-oriented, prefer deep and meaningful social interactions, feel refreshed after spending time alone, etc.
  1. Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)
  • S: pay close attention to reality, concentrate on facts and details, take advantage of practical experience, etc.
  • N: follow patterns and impressions, think about opportunities, imagine the future, debate abstract theories, etc. 
  1. Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)
  • T: focus on objective facts and data, tend to be consistent, logical, and neutral when assessing a decision.
  • F: think of people and emotions as they make decisions.
  1.  Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)
  • J: favor structure and firm decisions.
  • P: more open, flexible, and adaptive.

All of the MBTI 16 personality types are displayed in the image below.

MBTI's 16 personality Types

CC by Jake Beech

MBTI in the PMP exam

As it might be hard for some people to remember all of the 16 personality classifications, all you have to do is memorize the following sentence “EIghty-SeveN Tax-Free Japanese Products”. The trick is that each of the 8 capital letters represents one of the main personality categories.

How to memorize MBTI's personality categories

The PMP exam questions will not treat which personality type makes a good Project Manager since all types appropriately fit into a PM’s position. The purpose of the MBTI test is not to compare different personalities or to reveal malfunction or abnormality. It was rather designed to help people learn more about themselves and be aware of their strengths and weaknesses in order to make better life and especially career decisions.

Here is a sample PMP question. Keep in mind that the question can also be in a matching or drag and drop question format.

You are managing a construction project. When you started acquiring resources, you requested from Jack, a talent acquisition manager at your organization, to conduct an MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) Personality Test for the procurement manager position. You asked him to only consider candidates who are comfortable reaching out and talking to providers. Which type of personality are you referring to?

A. INFP

B. INFJ

C. ISTJ

D. ESTP

The correct answer is D. Since a procurement manager position requires an Extravert, ESTP would be suitable for the job requirements.