The Scientist

Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging

Imaginative, quick and creative INTJ personality types are intellectually curious who can grasp complex problems and data, analyse them quickly and come up with solutions. They are the strategic problem solvers preferring the big picture to the mundane and set high standards for themselves and others. Getting close to the INTJ will take some time, and they may not always involve others in the decision-making process. This can make them seem slightly detached, but it is simply that the processing which takes place, (and a great deal of processing takes place), goes on inside their heads and this can make others feel a little left out.

INTJ Characteristics

intj Personality Type

INTJs are the deep, quick-thinking, imaginative, far sighted individuals, who have a crystal-clear view of the future, exactly how it ought to be, and they will then work logically and relentlessly to make it happen. Although quite deep and mistrustful until they have the measure of people, the INTJ loves an intellectual challenge and will be stimulated by the conceptual, the abstract and the complex. They love the complex, the new, the untried and untested. Facts and figures bore them, unless they clearly relate to something much bigger, and they will be looking to see the 'big picture,' planning for the future that they create.

Unlike an ENTJ who will happily engage in verbal jousts and so happily process their thoughts through speaking, the INTJ will be private and keep thought processes inside until they pop out perfectly formed with 'the plan of action.' This may be the first opportunity for others to even realise that so much was going on 'inside.'

INTJs make decisions based on rational logic, rather than emotion and they will be quite measured and dispassionate in their approach to other people. They generally have strong opinions, are independent thinkers, but they rarely feel the need to verbalise their thoughts, other than to come up with ‘the plan’ or ‘the answer.’ The INTJ’s dislike of the basic facts or anything that doesn’t have a wider meaning or context to them at times will work against them as they can make decisions based on their theories and concepts and they may overlook 'the obvious,' preferring to focus on the complex solution, which is where they thrive and are happiest.

The INTJ loves an intellectual challenge and will be stimulated by the conceptual, the abstract and the complex. INTJs make decisions based on rational logic, rather than emotion and they will be quite measured and dispassionate in their approach to other people.

Creative, complex and analytical, INTJs have intellectually curious, active minds, directed internally and their ‘N’ trait enables them to see very quickly and very clearly the interconnections between things and the longer-term implications of trends, current actions and events. They have a unique talent for analysing complex problems and issues and determining how they can be improved or solved, whether it be a small project, a simple problem or a whole organisation. However, they are strategic, as opposed to day-to-day, problem solvers preferring the innovative to anything they would see as tedious or pointless or routine. They set high standards for themselves and will be constantly looking to stretch, improve and learn, and will immerse themselves in a subject that takes their interest, so that they will quickly develop real expertise.

Being introverts, they internalise their thought processes and so are often viewed as slightly disconnected or impenetrable and difficult to understand. This is because they often leave a ‘void’ and when a void is left other people often fill the void with their own assumptions and predilections, rarely positive ones. So, one person may say “he’s not interested,” another may say “she doesn't like me,” and yet another “she is so full of herself,” all missing the point about the difficult to read INTJ who is primarily interested in intellectual issues rather than the more mundane aspects of everyday life.

Yet although introverted, when on their chosen subject, or explaining the most complex of theories, the INTJ can be like a wave of enthusiasm, lucid, passionate and engaging; but when it’s over, it’s over, they will disappear back to their intellectual pursuits, alone. The INTJ will get their thrill from proving they were right in their hypothesis, proving this to themselves, not anyone else as they are, of all the types (along with INTP), the most independent of thought and action.

INTJ Careers

Linking ‘type’ and ‘careers’ would be easy if it was just about listing specific jobs that perfectly fit specific personalities. However in truth it is more difficult than that as ignores other, more important issues, such as the organisation, the values and the culture, which are far better determinants of suitability than a job title. Also individual jobs vary widely from industry to industry, organisation to organisation and person to person. Therefore our focus on ‘type’ and ‘careers’ will be far more on you: your personality, your aptitudes, interests, likes, strengths and weaknesses and then matching these to the sorts of environments, cultures and norms within organisations that will allow you, given your character, to thrive grow and flourish. We spend a lot of our time at work and so it is important to get these issues right or we could spend a lot of working time unhappy, unproductive and unfulfilled.

If given the freedom the INTJ will be a great system builder, ie they will have a clear vision of what might be coupled with the drive, energy and planning ability to make it happen.

INTJ Strengths

INTJs combine the ‘N’ capacity for seeing possibilities with the ‘J’ relentless desire to plan and drive for closure. If it is of interest to the INTJ they will work long and hard and dedicated, most often in a solitary way to make sure their ideas come to practical fruition; if the are not interested they tend to be completely not interested and in that sense they can be binary: either driven and passionate or thinking deeply, seeking something about which they can be driven and passionate. INTJs love the idea of making improvements and they have the willpower, confidence and strong independent streak to do so. They aspire to such high standards of competence and get so immersed in their interests that they may neglect the “niceties,” as they would see it, of social interaction. The INTJ will happily wax lyrical about their projects, their interests and what is important to them, but they may not always understand their impact especially with those who have a greater need for the more human side of human interaction. People do not conform to laws of physics and sometimes the more irrational aspects of human behaviour can baffle the INTJ who is looking for ‘the answer’ in a logical and objective way and so any emotion or human frailty can puzzle them and make them head back off into to the world of logic, projects and making things better.

INTJ Weaknesses

INTJs prefer environments where they can immerse themselves in something complex, different and important. INTJs are not anti-people and if they choose to work at people issues, in the same way they work at their intellectual pursuits, they can be effective team players or managers but the sheer irrationality of people issues are more difficult for them to comprehend. The problem is that people issues can sap their energy, unless that people issue is an intellectual discussion or robust debate; however if it is chitchat and more everyday issues the INTJ will prefer to withdraw and go back to thinking, designing, driving for closure, excelling at analysing masses of complex data and coming up with genuinely unique solutions. This also can manifest itself in the INTJ becoming impatient with those who don’t immediately ‘get it,’ as they like to keep moving steadily forward and do not like being slowed down. So on occasion they may have to remember to take people with them. INTJs don’t really understand feelings, they often do not ‘compute,’ and so may inadvertently upset people with their direct and robust, factual arguments. If it drives the INTJ interest they become consumed by the activity or task, if it is tedious they will lose energy and tend to go off and find something big enough for them, as they need a challenge. So often people say they like a challenge but for the INTJ they need a challenge, as this is what energises and enthuses them.

INTJ Best Work Environments

INTJs value independence, both in themselves and in others, and prefer an environment where they can use their imagination to come up with unique solutions, with space to drive it through to completion. They thrive on challenge, especially intellectual challenge, and love analysis, drilling deep and learning new things. They value the opportunity to be free to think and create, in an environment that welcomes innovation and groundbreaking ideas, but also wants to make it happen. They do not like to be controlled or micromanaged but value being allowed the freedom and trust to withdraw and do things their way. They do not like the mundane, the routine and will work best in an organisation that has high standards, or indeed wants to create them. They like to organise themselves, and to focus intensely on the task at hand, which is why that task needs to be important and worthwhile. If allowed this freedom the INTJ will be great system builders, ie they will have a clear vision of what might be coupled with the drive, energy and planning ability to make it happen.

INTJ Worst Work Environments

The INTJ would feel stifled in an environment that did not have intellectual stimulus or challenge. They love the new, the conceptual but also the facility to get on and drive it through; they are not just ideas people but completers who need the space to think, plan and then deliver. They dislike sloppiness, or mess or mediocrity and will need an atmosphere of aspiration and high standards where they can input at a high level. They will need freedom from control as the INTJ is confident with a clear vision of how it needs to be and would not welcome what they saw as interference or someone slowing them down. They are not primarily people-centric, although will be happy with more cerebral contributions, and so an environment of small talk or lower level discussions would not let them flourish or be at their best, for them of the organisation. INTJs need to keep learning and progressing and they like to do so at pace, so an environment of stasis or inefficiency or plodding would not bring out the best in them nor would the organisation get the best out of the INTJ.

INTJ Best Careers

INTJs are often found in consultancies, or specialist engineering, science or medicine based organisations, usually a specialist role or a specialist organisation, where they can associate with like-minded, bright people and make unique things happen. They like to be respected for their expertise and this is why they are often among the best in their fields. They are deep thinkers, creative but added to this is the desire and ability to relentlessly and systematically drive things through to execution and completion.

INTJs will overturn established practice be forward thinking and truly radical. They love the intellectual challenge, coming alive with difficult problems to solve then step back again when it becomes mundane.


intj Personality Type

In a work situation, the INTJ is the radical innovator, coming up with interesting theoretical ideas and they are superb at ensuring the team covers all the bases. Although introverted, the INTJ can bring out very strong opinions, honed over much mulling around inside the head, and may surprise others by how much is 'in there.' They love to immerse themselves in deep, reflective, intellectual thought and use this in the team to come up with genuinely unique solutions.

The INTJ loves the intellectual challenge and will come to the fore when there are difficult problems to solve, but those which require a complex understanding of many disparate issues. They love to deep dive, a solitary pursuit, then they come to life when the team is stuck and are superb at cutting through the extraneous issues and getting to the real meat of the problem. The INTJ is a genuinely free and radical thinker with an incredible ability to pull together all the disparate strands into one cogent whole.

INTJs will overturn established practice be forward thinking and truly radical. They love the intellectual challenge, coming alive with difficult problems to solve then step back again when it becomes mundane. The INTJ will be at their best with the facility to work for long periods on their own. If they do lead they prefer like-minded people who also love the intellectual debate and complex challenges. They are so forward thinking and the downside is that once it becomes tedious the INTJ will revert back to their introvert nature and seek to go off, satiate their thirst for interesting tasks and analyse more complex data. The INTJ is capable of holding masses of complex and often contradictory data in their heads and then bring this to bear on ‘big,’ strategic problems coming up with solutions that are leading edge.

An INTJ personality type will choose to speak (if they choose to speak at all) only on issues close to their heads (very rarely their hearts), and have been known to hijack whole meetings and drag the agenda towards ‘their’ issues. Once the meeting is back on track, however, and the day-to-day, or factual is being discussed, the INTJ will again disappear into the intellectual cocoon and say very little. Certainly the INTJ will not want to work as part of a large team and prefers an environment of solitude or with a small number of people who are as competent, diligent and quietly focused as they are.

The INTJ will often find the mundane and routine tedious and energy sapping, and may prefer to make an individual contribution, excelling at deep diving and working on the unique, the interesting and the complex. INTJs are perfectionists, with an endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. They will work long and hard on such tasks, driving towards closure, impervious to the outside. INTJs are ideas people. Anything is possible. INTJs love developing unique solutions to complex problems, and, conversely, if it were not complex or interesting then why would they bother?

INTJ Relationships

INTJs are basically scientific, objective individuals and so getting to know them or to get emotionally close would be very difficult as they don’t really see the need for an emotional connection, they would prefer people to make logical sense, so feelings are hard for them to fathom. INTJs are private and very difficult to know as they are so unforthcoming on personal issues, in fact on anything unless it’s a topic that they find interesting. INTJs struggle to read other people as they are emotionally more switched off and so they can project as a little cold and aloof as they don’t tend to engage, especially in the early stages, at anywhere near an emotional level, preferring to keep it in the realms of the intellectual and the more transactional.

INTJs tend to be full off or full on in that, if it’s an interesting topic they will happily debate and have strong views that they project, demonstrating their mastery of the subject. However, if it’s personal stuff, chitchat or routine, they’ll withdraw completely into their own world where they can solve their complex puzzles, content in their own company. They are basically quiet individuals, but will switch to being a real chatterbox, but this will be only on issues that stimulates their interest and, once it’s over, it’s over and the INTJ will switch off. They think so deeply about things, tossing ideas around inside their heads, loving to solve complex problems that they are capable of becoming real experts in their chosen fields, but they will see dialogue as having a purpose, to test out arguments, or clarify points, never for its own sake. INTJs are often misunderstood or misrepresented but for the INTJ it just goes with the territory.

INTJs are perfectionists, and their decisions will be made after long periods of reflection and testing their theories out. They don’t jump in, so everything will have been carefully thought through and modelled. Once they’re clear they’ll happily share their views and they will usually be right, as they do not take decisions lightly. Because INTJs are quiet and slightly closed off, it may appear that they have just come up with a theory, or idea, or innovation, but it will have been honed over a long period of time and this will make them very difficult to argue against, as they will have all the bases covered. INTJs are long-range planners, they see the goal, the vision, and they’ll build steadily and relentlessly towards that point, very little will get in their way. This is why INTJs are sometimes seen as ‘smart Alecs’ as a little superior, they’re not, they just have a superb command of their subjects.

As INTJs are so deep and private, and non-emotional, they tend to be quite impervious to their environments, and so if they’re involved in a discussion or a debate, they’ll put their case forward strongly, and well-evidenced, which may upset those who are less robust and more emotional. Their intention would never be to upset people, though to be fair they probably wouldn’t really notice if they did, as their only intention is to get to the truth. Someone slightly more emotional might feel a little bruised after the ‘conflict,’ but the INTJ would be surprised, thinking “what conflict, I though it was a discussion?” INTJs love intellectual pursuits, and debating would simply be an extension of that process, never anything personal but, as it’s when the INTJ really becomes far more vocal, people will notice the change, and this is why they can be seen as argumentative and relishing conflict.

How do INTJ's compare to other types?

Facebook LinkedIn Whatsapp Twitter Reddit