The Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory; a Reliable Vocational Skills Test

Strong Interest Inventory Identifies the Career that Best Suits Your Inclinations

If you’ve been having doubts about the career path you’ve chosen, or you simply want to validate that your passion is your profession, acquaint yourself with the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory. One of the most respected (if not the most respected) interest assessment tools in the market, this test can help you identify activities and fields that you’re naturally drawn to, as well as the jobs most compatible to your interests.

More so, this standardized psychological test can help you learn more about your ideal work environment, learning style, personality, limitations, and preferences when it comes to working with superiors, subordinates and peers.

It is commonly termed as strong interest inventory.

A Backgrounder on Strong Interest Inventory

The Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory, or SCII, is the fruit of the collaboration of two psychologists who may be considered as the frontrunners of vocational interest assessment. These two are Edward K. Strong, Jr. (who created a predecessor of the SCII called Strong Interest Inventory) and David Campbell.

Strong came up with the idea of creating an interest assessment tool after noticing that the differences in the likes and dislikes of people tend to be consistent over time. This led Strong to theorize that within particular professions are people with particular interests. These interests help the person perform better and enjoy their work. Because Strong’s first attempt at creating a standardized vocational interests test is geared only towards men, Campbell assisted in revising the instrument, making it gender-fair.

The Instrument of Career Interest Inventory

The strong interest inventory is composed of 325 items, with each item referring to an activity, e.g. collect stamps, play golf, or visit an art museum. Besides each item are three options for the test-taker:  “like,” “indifferent,” and “dislike.” The respondent simply has to indicate whether he or she likes or dislikes doing the listed activity, or simply does not care. The different items are to be categorized into general and specific themes (to be presented later in this article), and the category with the most number of “like” responses represents the test-taker’s strongest interest.

 The test takes around 30-45 minutes to complete.

Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory Measures

strong interest inventory

The Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory classifies test-takers into the six general occupational themes derived from the theory of John L. Holland. The six occupational themes can be further divided further into specific interests. Lastly, the interests are matched with specific occupations. 

The following are the six general occupational themes of the SCII, alongside specific interests that fall under them, and suggested occupations best suited for the person with such interests:

§  Realistic: If most of the activities in the protocol you “like” fall within this theme, you prefer working with concrete and solid things such as machines, buildings and electrical hardware. You enjoy manipulating things manually, and may prefer working with objects rather than people.  Possible occupations that would resonate with you include building construction, appliance repair, and machine operator.

§  Enterprising: If your interests fall within the enterprising category, you tend to enjoy work related to product development, people management, marketing and other aspects of running a business. There’s a very good chance that you’re gifted in both communication skills (particularly the art of persuasion) and leadership. Occupations that you might enjoy include business executive, salesperson, campaign manager and advertising consultant.

§  Artistic: As the term implies, people who score high on the Artistic Occupational Theme are those who excel in creative and innovative means of expression. These people tend to be spontaneous and excitable, with a high appreciation for originality. All sorts of artistic work are attractive for a person whose interests belong in this category, e.g. writer, painter, interior designer, musician, and actor just to name a few.

§  Social: People whose SCII scores reveal a high interest in the Social Occupational Theme gravitate towards work that involves interacting with other people. These people tend to have developed social skills such as communication, empathy and conflict management, just to name a few. Potential occupations: teacher, counseling psychologist, social worker, pastor, and customer support agent.

§  Investigative: Those who enjoy activities like conducting research and experiments, solving problems and finding out how things work will be drawn to jobs under the Investigative Occupational Theme. Most practitioners of the pure sciences, e.g. biologist, vulcanologist, tend to be interested in the activities under this theme. The same goes with individuals who are drawn to journalism, research and technical writing.

§  Conventional: Lastly, a person can be classified as belonging in the Conventional Occupational Theme. People who enjoy what the SCII considers as conventional pursuits are drawn to work involving administrative support, record keeping, accounting and other related office work. These people are reliable and value accuracy and efficiency at work. They may, however, tend to steer away from leadership positions, preferring to be a follower than the one calling the shots.

It’s important to note that the SCII’s suggested occupations for their test-takers are not mere intelligent guesses. Instead, the test designers conducted controlled surveys of the interests of people satisfied with their work, to find out which interests are significantly linked to particular occupations statistically. Thus, you can be ensured that the results of your Strong Interest Inventory are worth your time.   

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