The Strong Interest Inventory

Self-assessment tools will help you narrow down your choices on what kinds of jobs are best suited for your interests, aptitude, and overall personality. Career development coaches often suggest taking the Strong Interest Inventory as part of a way to help people determine what they should study in college. No matter if you’re going to college or your fresh on the job search trail, using the Strong Interest Inventory can help you wade through the muck and find the career that’s best for you.

The Strong Interest inventory has been around for just about 100 years. It was developed by a psychologist, EK Strong, to help measure people’s interest. Strong found this area of human research of value since he’d long suspected that to be fulfilled in a career, a person’s interests should match the qualifications of that industry.

Choosing a career is tough. It’s even more difficult for you since you’ve been absent from the civilian workforce for a few years. Adding to that challenge is that you’ve just spent a significant portion of your life being told what to do – no matter your likes or dislikes. Taking a self-assessment tool like the Strong Interest Inventory might feel a little alien or weird.

But it’s worth your time to take the test. Sometimes, you might want to consult with a career coach to help you interpret your results or to help place you in an appropriate career. If you’re going it alone, keep the following in mind.

A Strong Interest Inventory consists of 291 items. Expect it to take about 40 minutes to complete. You’ll need to answer questions about your likes and dislikes, so now is not the time to be neutral. Think about what you really want in a career and be prepared to answer questions about your occupational preferences, free time activities, and your personal characteristics.

Your result will be in the form of a report that covers six sections.

General Occupation Themes (GOT) – Formed from six broad areas into which most people can be categorized, your scores will be compared to average scores for your gender. Then, based on your rating, your interest level in these six categories will be determined.

Basic Interest Skills (BIS) – These are your top interests based on what you answered about your favorite work and free-time activities.

Occupational Scales (OS) – This section details a list of occupations that match your interests. It’s created from comparing your interests to those who work in careers that might have similar activities.

Personal Styles Scales (PSS) – Your preferences regarding work style and learning environment, along with leadership style and team orientation, will help you begin to explore occupations that might match your profile.

Profile Summary – This graphic representation of your results serves as a visual reference that you can use during your job search.

Response Summary – Your responses are categorized for each section, which will help with quick reference.

Though it might seem a little unusual, taking a self-assessment tool like the Strong Interest Inventory can help you, especially if you feel like you’re not able to find a career that matches your interests and skills. It’s worthwhile to explore this kind of assessment to at least find your footing in the civilian work sector and then explore from there.

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