ISTJ: The Inspector (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

People with ISTJ personality types enjoy both order and organization in all the areas of their lives, including home, work, family and projects. They tend to be restrained, practical and calm. ISTJs focus on tradition, valuing loyalty to themselves and others.

How common is ISTJ personality type?

Up to 10 percent of all the population is inherent for the ISTJ personality type, according to psychologist David Keirsey.

Main ISTJ Characteristics

ISTJ maintains a logical approach to both achieving goals and completing projects and is able to work at a steady pace to accomplish these tasks. They are both responsible and realistic. ISTJs are able to ignore distractions in order to focus on the task, they are often called reliable and trustworthy.

ISTJ enjoy an orderly life. They are real planners, enjoying to plan things in advance. ISTJs like things to be well organized, paying great attention to details. When things get confused, people with this type of personality may not be able to rest until everything is settled and the work is completed.

ISTJ prefer to follow the rules and procedures that were previously established. They also pay great attention to both traditions and laws. In some cases, ISTJs may seem both tough and uncompromising in their desire to retain structure.

Introverted sensors are focused on the present moment, perceiving an abundance of information about their environment.

ISTJ also have vivid memories of the past, relying on memories of this experience to shape expectations for the future.

Strengths of ISTJ

  • Alert
  • Realistic
  • Logical
  • Detail-oriented
  • Present-focused
  • Practical
  • Organized
  • Orderly

Weaknesses of ISTJ

  • Critical
  • Tends to blame others
  • Unkind
  • Subjective

Some famous ISTJs

Condoleeza Rice
Evander Holyfield
Henry Ford
Julia Roberts

Personal Relationships

People with this type of personality are usually very loyal to both family and friends but may struggle to understand their own emotions and feelings of others. ISTJ prefer to spend time alone or with small groups of close friends.

They can be quite restrained and sometimes cannot catch the emotional signals of other people. However, they will put a lot of effort into meeting these needs, as soon as they get closer to the person and understand both feelings and needs.

Career Paths

Because of such an order need, they tend to succeed in both training and work environments with clear assignments, well-defined schedules and strong attention to the task. ISTJs work best when finding the material useful in real-world applications. Specific, factual information appeals to ISTJ, while both theoretical and abstract information is not important if they do not see any practical use for it.

Although they can focus their energies into projects, considering valuable, ISTJ will not waste both time and energy on things they consider useless or impractical. Jobs related to specific facts and figures (accounting, librarianship, computer programming, etc.) are good options for ISTJ. They tend to succeed in a career, requiring order, structure, and perseverance. Jobs, requiring accuracy, respect for rules and stability often attract people with an ISTJ type of personality.

Friendships with ISTJ

ISTJs are usually a little serious. They get along best with friends who are like them. ISTJs may not want to do new things, but you can be a great friend helping them to do both hobbies and activities they like.


The ISTJ parents' children often find their parents treat them with both care and respect, also expecting the same treatment in return. ISTJ parents usually focus on tradition and are able to provide both security and stability to their children.

ISTJ children will find ensuring consistency can help their children feel more secure. Adhering to a routine, introducing changes slowly and giving them time to adapt to new situations — these are good ways how to help an ISTJ child.


You can be an understanding partner, not expecting he/she will expose the soul to you immediately. Although ISTJs may have deep feelings, they often struggle to show this side of themselves in a romantic relationship. Sometimes it may seem your partner does not take into account your feelings, but you can help him to see your side, rationally presenting all the facts and logical explanations of your argument's side.

What are some good careers for an ISTJ?

  • Financial Analyst
  • Advertising Manager
  • Top Executive
  • Computer Engineer
  • Farmer or Rancher
  • Athlete or Sport Coach
  • Web or Software Developer
  • Accountant