||The Interest Inventory is compatible with Holland’s (1985a) Theory of Vocational Personality. This is one of the most widely accepted approaches to vocational choice. Numerous instruments have been developed over the past 20 years that are based on Dr. Holland’s theory, including the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (Strong, Hansen & Campbell, 1985) and Strong Interest Inventory, a.k.a "The SII" (Harmon, Hansen, Borgen & Hammer, 1994).
According to Dr. Holland’s theory, there are six vocational personality types. Each of these six types and their accompanying definitions are presented below:
Realistic. People with Realistic interests like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They enjoy dealing with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. They enjoy outside work. Often people with Realistic interests do not like occupations that mainly involve doing paperwork or
working closely with others.
Investigative. People with Investigative interests like work activities that have to do with ideas and thinking more than with physical activity. They like to search for facts and figure out problems mentally rather than to persuade or lead people.
Artistic. People with Artistic interests like work activities that deal with the artistic side of things, such as forms, designs, and patterns. They like self-expression in their work.
They prefer settings where work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social. People with Social interests like work activities that assist others and promote learning and personal development. They prefer to communicate more than to work with objects, machines, or data. They like to teach, to give advice, to help, or otherwise be of service to people.
Enterprising. People with Enterprising interests like work activities that have to do with starting up and carrying out projects, especially business ventures. They like persuading and leading people and making decisions. They like taking risks for profit. These people prefer action rather than thought.
Conventional. People with Conventional interests like work activities that follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and detail rather than with ideas. They prefer work in which there are precise standards rather than work in which you have to judge things by yourself. These people like working where the lines of authority are clear.
According to Holland (1985a), most individuals can be described by one or more of these six personality types, frequently summarized as R-I-A-S-E-C (the first letter of each personality type). Additionally, the theory proposes that there are six corresponding work environments (or occupational groups) — and that people seek out work environments that match their personality types. The better the match individuals make, the more satisfied they will be with their job.
It is important to note that an individual’s interests may not be described by just one of the six interest categories. In fact, Holland suggests that most people will have interests in several of the areas, but that they will probably have one Interest Area that is stronger than the others. Like people, environments or occupations may not be best represented by one Interest Area. They also may be represented better by several areas. Because of this heterogeneity in the interests of people and occupations, several Interest Areas usually serve as the most appropriate representation of an individual’s interests, as well as the interests that a work environment (or an occupation) satisfies. Thus, you will see that the Interest Inventory detailed both a primary and secondary Interest Areas.