The Best Personality Types for Accounting and Finance Jobs
Personality type can be an astute indicator of how satisfied an individual will be in his or her job. In fact, many employers today utilize various personality tests to determine how well a candidate is likely to thrive in a certain position. Examining personality type is especially important in the finance industry, in which a very specific type of person tends to truly thrive. While knowledge and experience of finance comes in handy, it might not always be the biggest factor in predicting future financial wizardry; personality profile matters too.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the DiSC Assessment are both reliable tests for employers to look to when vetting potential candidates for a finance personality type.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator:
According to the Boston Globe, around 80% of Fortune 500 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to study the personality types of new hires in an attempt to place the right people in the right roles.1 There are five MBTI personality profiles that are most likely to flourish in finance.
Introverted sensors, ISTJs are known as the best personality type for accounting jobs, CFO positions, or careers as auditors. This type is loyal, hardworking, and understands the importance of their roles; but the real predictor of success here is their analytical nature that enables them to work quickly and precisely. They are very organized, calculated people who use their logic to weigh pros and cons before making important decisions. ISTJs enjoy working alone in or in small groups, making them perfect for jobs requiring more number-crunching than conversations with clients.
Unlike the ISTPs, ESTPs are extroverted sensors. This profile works best in investment relations jobs and banking positions because they enjoy working with people and moving quickly through several tasks. Like ISTPs, they are matter-of-fact, logical people who prefer to analyze situations before being forced to decide. Their open-mindedness and love of excitement enables them to work well in a crisis and be flexible with their plans. They perform best in risk-taking roles that require them to rely on their resourcefulness, so it’s not hard to see why investment and banking make suitable career choices for this type.
INTJs are introverted intuitives who prefer roles that require them to think theoretically, making financial advisor, economist, and financial executive the best roles for this type. INTJs are creative perfectionists and enjoy doing things their ways. Their bird’s eye view of things, paired with creativity and high attention to detail, make them better at working out long-term plans (say for clients investing a large sum of money) than the other personality types.
Known as “The Director” personality type, ENTJs are extroverted intuitives, and—like their introverted counterparts (INTJs)—they are well-suited for positions as financial executives or venture capitalists. This pragmatic type is decisive and efficient and enjoys roles that enable them to develop organizational systems that can be implemented by others. Their natural leadership skills and intuitive nature help them read people well and perform effectively in authoritative roles, where their big-picture planning skills can be utilized often.
Along with many of the other types best suited for careers in finance, INTPs are sensible, intelligent, and analytical pragmatists. Unlike some of the other types, they are more adaptable and have a unique outlook on things. Their wandering minds enable them to easily spot patterns, making them perfect for the role of financial analyst or economist. Creative problem-solvers who thrive on working alone or in very small groups, they work best in roles like these that require them to theorize while also involving precise decision-making.
Another popular personality test to determine the ideal finance personality type, the DiSC Assessment, can also help you understand how a person works best–within a team, with clients, and in leadership positions. Of the four DiSC styles, the C (or Conscientious) style is the most likely to have a rewarding and successful career in finance.
The C DiSC Style is very precise and detail-oriented.2 Like most of the MBTI types who are also inclined towards financial careers, this type is highly analytical and conducts immense research before making decisions. They are effective and creative troubleshooters who provide a good dose of reality to any team. The detail, analysis, and efficiency required of finance professionals is what makes the C a success in these roles.
Personality types aren’t definitive, so while you can’t absolutely box people in to certain careers, these tests can be a handy predictor of how well a job candidate may perform in a financial role. Understanding personality types is useful to both employers and employees in ensuring that employees are placed with responsibilities and expectations that set them up for success. Use the information here as a soft guideline when determining if your next job candidate is likely to succeed in the world of finance.