ISTJ Personality Type

The Investigator in Myers-Briggs

What is the ISTJ personality type (The Investigator)?

People with an ISTJ personality type tend to be reserved, orderly, and practical in their behavior. They are self-sufficient and work hard to meet their obligations. They prefer to be alone or in small groups of close friends and may be quiet and reserved in large group settings.

ISTJ Personality Traits

Introverted ISTJ types process the world internally. They tend to feel drained after social events and need time alone to recharge.

Highly pragmatic, they tend to focus more on the details, rather than the bigger picture. They make decisions based on what they see and know right now.

Investigators prioritize logical thinking and are more concerned with facts than emotion. They believe the truth is more important than people’s feelings.

They are very structured and organized, preferring to plan ahead and follow rules and processes. They are disciplined and have a strong work ethic.

In summary, ISTJ personality types tend to…

  • Seek time alone or in small groups of friends

  • Focus on specifics and details over the big picture

  • Prioritize logic and fact over emotion

  • Create and abide by schedules, rules, and processes

  • Make decisions based on the here-and-now

Strengths & Blind Spots

Every personality archetype has strengths and blind spots, and these are often amplified in professional settings where we often encounter a diverse group of people with vastly different backgrounds and value systems.

Strengths that are typically associated with the ISTJ personality type include...

  • Strong work ethic and dedication to tasks at hand

  • Keen attention to the fine details

  • Responsibility and loyalty to all commitments

  • Large breadth of knowledge

  • Ability to stay calm in emergencies


Blind spots that are typically associated with the ISTJ personality type include…

  • Overlooking the sensitivities of others

  • Following rules and schedules to a fault

  • Difficulty coping with lack of structure

  • Tendency to be judgmental in times of stress

How ISTJ personality types like to work

Communicating with an ISTJ personality type

Avoid overly emotional phrasing or displays and focusing on using facts and logic to convey the message.

Meeting with an ISTJ personality type

ISTJ types appreciate a scheduled meeting time; be sure to communicate thoughts openly and succinctly.

Emailing an ISTJ personality type

Keep emails clear and rational; avoid unnecessary conversation when emailing.

Giving feedback to an ISTJ personality type

Directly address specific actions of an ISTJ when providing feedback.

Resolving conflict with an ISTJ personality type

Address conflict openly; try to focus on using logic rather than emotion.

Motivators & Stressors

When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction at work, it can usually be attributed to energy-draining activities. Therefore, it’s important to know what kinds of activities energize each personality type and which activities drain them.

Investigators tend to be motivated and energized by…

  • Accomplishing goals and tasks

  • Abiding by a designated routine

  • Time by themselves to recharge

  • Discovering a practical solution to a problem

  • Stability and security in personal life


Investigators tend to be drained by…

  • Lack of structure in a work environment

  • Large groups of other people

  • Expressing personal feelings to others

  • Maneuvering interpersonal conflict

Best jobs for an ISTJ personality type

ISTJ types are hard-working and motivated individuals. They thrive in an environment that encourages structure, allows them to work with facts and figures, and involves making tough decisions. 

Common jobs for people with the ISTJ personality type are:

  • Military Leader

  • Surgeon

  • Accountant

  • Lawyer

  • Data Analyst

  • Judge

  • Police Officer

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