The Strong Interest Inventory (iStrong)
The Strong Interest Inventory was originally initiated as the “Strong Vocational Interest Blank” by psychologist E. K. Strong, Jr., and was used to assess vocational interests of members of the military returning to civilian life after World War I. It became a popular tool in both academia and the business world, providing guidance and career planning. The assessment has been updated regularly over the years to adjust to changing opportunities for men and women. It is helpful for both Exploration (college students, first-time workers, or employees returning to the workplace after a hiatus) and for Advancement (assessing strengths and weaknesses for ideal employee placement and retaining high-quality employees through heightened engagement).
The assessment, which takes 30-45 minutes to complete, includes a series of statements regarding basic interests, occupational interests, and personal styles. Respondents select how closely their individual interest matches each item, ranging from “strongly like” to “strongly dislike.” In 2004 psychologist John Holland revised the assessment once again, noting that most people who completed the assessment fell into one of six basic themes, or a combination of themes, as follows:
- Realistic – The Doers
- Investigative – The Thinkers
- Artistic – The Creators
- Social – The Helpers
- Enterprising – The Persuaders
- Conventional – The Organizers
Completion of the Strong Interest Inventory presents students and employees with a heightened awareness of their abilities and interests, leading to higher job satisfaction and engagement, as they are often introduced to highly suitable career paths they might not have previously considered.