The Strong Interest Inventory® Test and Successful Career Changes, Occupational Futures, and Collegiate Junctures

In Careers, MBTI, Resources, Strong Interest Inventory by Jonathan Bollag, Owner and Founder

"Image courtesy of Cochrane /".

“Image courtesy of Cochrane /”.

I would like to talk a little about The Strong Interest Inventory® test what it is and what it can do for you. This Inventory is what it just sounds like, an interest inventory. Originally authored and founded by E.K. Strong Jr., The Strong has become the most widely used Interest Inventory in the world. It measures people’s interests and since E.K. Strong Jr., a military psychologist and recruiter, created the Interest Inventory, it has helped millions match their interests with occupational and educational pursuits.  This assessment helps people and young adults choose college coursework and academic majors. In addition, This Inventory has been extremely successful in matching these young adults’ college interests with post-graduate occupations. The Interest Inventory consists of 291 items, or questions, and according to The Strong Interest Inventory Manual, Revised Edition, The Inventory is based on the following two assumptions:

  1. The day-to-day activities typical of a specific occupation are reflected in the interests of the people who are employed in it.
  2. The people who share similar patterns of interests will be satisfied in that occupation if they have compatible values and the necessary knowledge and abilities.

Therefore, this assessment not only identifies and measures your interests; it also measures the interests and values of the persons in the occupation that best suits you. By doing so, this interest inventory can further determine whether you would be content in your surroundings of your best-fit, or top 10 occupations by measuring The Occupation(s) and how the individuals in these types of careers have tested. With this said and for your information as directly stated in The Strong Interest Inventory Manual, Revised Edition, this assessment provides its users with five main types of information:

  1. Six General Occupational Themes that reflect your overall orientation for work.
  2. 30 Basic Interest Scales which report consistency of interests or disinterests in areas such as art, science, athletics, types of business etc.
  3. 122 Occupational Scales, which represent different occupations and indicate the degree of similarity between the client’s interests and the characteristics interests people working in those occupations.
  4. Scores on five Personal Interest Style Scales, which measure aspects of the style with which an individual likes to learn, work, assume leadership, take risks, and work within teams.
  5. Administrative Indexes or scores that help to identify inconsistent or unusual profiles for special attention.

What is left for you once you receive your results is a three letter Theme Code, provided to help you match your interests and utilize online resources such as O’, The Department of Labor Government Career Database. This Theme Code along with your Top 10 Careers provides you and your administrator with a starting point and almost unlimited access to occupations that best suit you and your interests. Your Theme Code is also tested on how you score within your gender and otherwise, and whether your particular interests are prevalent and similar to those who make the same career choice. For example, your scores might indicate that you have a high interest in The Social Theme, which might also insinuate, but not necessarily, a high score in Psychology or Social Work and that persons in these fields share similar interests with you in and out of work.

According to the text, Where Do I Go Next (Grutter,J & Borgen,F),  the six theme codes provided by The Strong administration include:

  1. The Realistic Theme includes people who are generally interested in mechanical construction, and repair activities; nature and the outdoors; providing public safety; and adventurous, physical activities.  Realistic Theme Code respondents are interested in action rather than thought and prefer concrete problems to the ambiguous and abstract. The Realistic enjoy working in such areas as engineering, manufacturing, mining and protective services among other areas.
  2. The Artistic Theme includes people who are generally interested in visual art, performing arts, culinary arts, and writing. Artistic Theme Code respondents frequently express their artistic interests through leisure activities as well as work, and are interested in aesthetics and self-expression. The Artistic enjoy working in such areas as photography, interior design, advertising, and editing among other areas.
  3. The Investigative Theme   includes people who are generally interested in activities related to science and math. Investigative Theme Code respondents like gathering information, uncovering new facts or theories, and analyzing and interpreting new data. They are scientific and inquiring, and enjoy ambiguous abstract problems.
  4. The Social Theme includes people who are generally interested in being with other people. Social Theme respondents enjoy working in groups, sharing responsibilities, and communicating with others. They like to solve problems through discussions of feelings and through interactions with others.
  5. The Enterprising Theme includes people who are generally interested in persuading and leading.  Enterprising Theme respondents seek positions of leadership, and status. They enjoy working with other people and leading them toward organizational goals and economic success.
  6. The Conventional Theme includes people who are generally interested in activities that require attention to organization, data systems, detail, and accuracy. Conventional Theme respondents work well in large organizations and like to use information to solve problems efficiently.

The most important item to remember is that The Strong Interest Inventory test explains what you are and who you have become, while The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® test states who you are and who you were meant to be innately and genetically from birth until present day and in the future.

The Strong Interest Inventory test  is used most of all as a career counseling tool by using the interests you have acquired and have been exposed to. Another powerful tool is The Combined Strong and MBTI Career Report, which explains your results on each assessments and follows by combining your results with explanations of your very best fit career choice and options. A certified career assessment administrator can further explain and discuss your results with you.

To take the Strong Interest Inventory head over to our Strong Interest Inventory Assessment page.  To take an MBTI based assessment head over to our MBTI Assessment page.