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Understanding the ESFJ personality type: The Provider

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 25 Jun 2021

The Provider Hero Image

Interviews are always going to be a part of job seeking and although some of us really don’t like them, there are ways you can begin to better understand yourself in order to have a better interview. In this article we talk about the ESFJ personality type, their strengths, weaknesses and what this type can try to do to improve themselves and be ready for whatever an interview throws at you.

The ESFJ personality type are conscientious helpers, they are sensitive to the needs of others and will always live by their responsibilities. They are very attentive to the people around them and try to provide the love and support the people around them need. Hence why they are also known as The Provider.

This particular personality type often values loyalty. They have their priorities and they stick to them. Although they tend to take on a lot from the people around them, it’s what they enjoy doing and will always attempt to bring order and peace. They treat the concerns of others like they are their own and are passionate about helping people.

What does ESFJ stand for?

ESFJ stands for extraverted, sensing, feeling and judging. This can be interpreted in different ways by people but ultimately, the understanding of this type is as follows.

Extraverted – They like to be able to spend time with others, it energises them being around others and being able to help the people they love.

Sensing – They focus on facts and details, rather than ideas. They can be very practical.

Feeling - They make decisions based on their feelings and values, in their personal lives and at work. They like to go by how they’re feeling and from a moral perspective, like to do things their own way.

Judging – They prefer to have things planned and ready rather than being spontaneous. Flexibility is good, but having a schedule helps make them feel more comfortable in their day-to-day lives.

Although ESFJ’s seek harmony and cooperation from the people around them, they are not afraid to share their own feelings if they think it will help the situation. They have a strict right or wrong moral code and like to follow this. They have a very good sense of order and often take on a social and professional role that can allow them to take control of situations.

Strengths of an ESFJ type

Friendly and sensitive - Being able to be there for people in your personal life and at work is a very important thing. Not everyone has the patience to do this and that’s okay, but employers look for people that have the skills and the ambition, but they also want to know that they are inviting like-minded, kind, and honourable people into their team. No one wants to hire someone that’s mean and uninviting, so take this in your stride and roll with it.

Good practical skills – ESFJ’s often have a plan and they do like to stick to that in order to get things done and hit their goals. The Provider is often a very detail-orientated person and the idea of leaving something unfinished or not doing work to their full potential, can leave them feeling nervous. Employers want someone who is willing to put in the effort, you don’t have to be available 24/7 to work, but when you are at work, bring your full self and put in the effort. This personality type works hard, and you need to shout from the rooftops about all the effort you have put in, in the past. Determination, loyalty and hard work are all employers could ever hope for in a candidate.

Loyalty – Talking about loyalty, the ESFJ types have lots of it. They want progress and work hard for their own personal and professional development. A lot of employers will ask you where you want to be in 5 years, and you don’t have to have 1 specific answer, but showing that you are loyal to yourself and the place you work is a good place to start. A lot of companies want you to grow and learn with the business, so when prepping an answer to a question like that, this is a strength you want to include!

Potential weaknesses of an ESFJ type

Not willing to improvise – ESFJ’s have a lot of respect for the rules and that includes the rules they have made for themselves. I have mentioned above that this particular personality type doesn’t like to be spontaneous, everything they do it pretty much by the book. But stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t always a bad thing. Unfortunately, there are things in life that you cannot plan and being able to think on the spot and just go with it, can be a really useful skill to have. If this doesn’t come naturally, it can be difficult, but can be something you can try. Spontaneity can help us come up with ideas on the spot, solutions to problems at work and can bring a bit of adventure into the workplace. Try and be a bit mindful of this and when a problem approaches, improvise. Problem solving is a skill in engineering that is highly sought after, so simply trying can work in your favour.

Worrying about other’s opinions – ESTJ personality types work very hard helping the people around them and they can sometimes want to be acknowledged and appreciated. This is basic human nature, but this can turn into something unnecessary very quickly. We all need to do things in life that make us happy and we don’t need to be constantly criticised by other people with their opinions. It can be easy to take things to heart, but everyone is going to have a different opinion on you and there’s just nothing you can do to change that. Embrace yourself and stop focusing on others. At work, your team is there to help and support you, just like you will do for them.

The Provider, much like anyone else, has a lot of potential. They enjoy work that allows them to follow through and see results. They like structure and organisation and have great detail when carrying out tasks. You have a lot to give to the right employer and embracing your strengths is a good place to start.

ESFJs usually prefer to work with others, and are energized by participating in a motivated, conscientious, action-oriented team. It is important to the ESFJ to do work that is accordant with their values, as well as to work with others who are supportive and cooperative. You have the skills, now it’s time to get ready for the interview, embrace what you have to offer and believe in your abilities.