Good Personality Traits for Instructional Designers


For every profession, certain personality types are better equipped for performing job functions.

This does not mean that certain personality traits are mandatory to be successful at a job; however, it means that people with these traits will be a more natural fit and that the work likely come easier for them.

While we appreciate that all instructional designers have unique personalities that they bring to the table, our staffing specialists hone in on certain successful personality traits, along with the required experience, when recruiting instructional designers so we can pair you with top talent in your industry.


Instructional designers frequently need to gather information from subject matter experts (SMEs), and the ability to collaborate is crucial in order for this process to be successful. Often, SMEs have trouble describing information, even though they are very knowledgeable about it; due to this, instructional designers need to know what questions to ask and how to interact with them in order to gather the information in a timely manner.

In addition to collaborating, instructional designers need to be good listeners and comprehend information from SMEs well enough to describe it on their own. A large part of working with SMEs is building rapport, and a great way to do that is to show interest in what they are saying by intently listening.


Instructional designers also need to be strong, thorough writers who understand the comprehensive meaning of subject matter. They need to be able to take dense content and translate it into an easily understandable format, while keeping all of the important information intact. Depending on the type of training being developed, instructional designers may have to construct applicable learning objectives, write participant guides, create scripts, document instructions, and much more.


Similar to many work environments, instructional design projects often change due to budgets, schedules, and objectives. Sometimes, instruction designers are required to change content after SMEs review it, edit materials to meet new deadlines, or modify activities with little notice. Adaptability is an essential personality trait for instruction designers.

Eager to Learn

One of the great aspects of instructional design is the opportunity to continually learn new subject matter. Generally, the courses being developed will vary in content and industry, so instructional designers get the chance to continually research new topics.

In addition, technology is constantly evolving, so instructional design tools change rapidly. These tools include elearning software, learning management systems, and project management programs. Instructional designers should enjoy staying current with industry news and learning new technology programs.


A really fun and crucial component of instructional design is creating engaging activities and scenarios to accompany learning content. In addition to having the skills to create activities and scenarios, the ability to choose appropriate colors, make templates, and develop an overall aesthetically pleasing course is vital.

The options for activities and scenarios are as endless as the designer’s imagination. With elearning software, it is possible to customize courses to make unique and individualized activities. For instructor-led courses, creativity comes into play with individual and group activities as well as real-life examples and scenarios.

Though we’ve covered some general personality traits to consider when looking for a new hire, it can sometimes be difficult to assess an individual’s true personality in an interview. Being nervous or eager to impress can affect an employer or recruiter’s assessment of a candidate, thereby affecting the decision to hire that person or not. One way to get a general idea of a candidate’s personality outside of a phone or face-to-face interview is to administer a personality assessment questionnaire. There are many available online, and the questions posed are typically based on psychological principles that assess the person’s reactions to hypothetical situations. When all of the data is collected, a personality profile is generated which will give you a general idea of the candidate’s dominant personality traits.

At ProEdit, we have an extensive pool of certified instructional designers that we use to quickly identify and place top talent. We ask candidates to talk about their experience and what they enjoy doing, and  we also gather information about their personality traits through activities like questionnaires. Through the interview process, we identify if candidates will be a good fit for the position and environment.

For more information about good personality traits for instructional designers and our instructional design staffing services, contact us today!

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