The Strong Interest Inventory – The Ultimate Guide

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The Strong Interest Inventory (SII®) is a career evaluation model that aims to help individuals identify which careers they are most well-suited for, based on the individual’s self-reported areas of interest. 

Sometimes known as “RIASEC” for short, the model stands for its six overarching career themes: Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C)—the Holland Codes.

The questionnaire typically takes 35–40 minutes to complete, and is administered and copyrighted by the Myers-Briggs Company. The model itself has undergone over 80 years of research and testing.

The Strong Interest Inventory is strictly an assessment of career interests (not aptitudes nor personality) and consists of 291 multiple-choice items with the five options: Strongly Like, Like, Indifferent, Dislike, Strongly Dislike. There are 30 professional fields and 260 specific jobs measured within the highly regulated psychometric assessment, written at a ninth-grade reading level.

The inventory is broken down into four key scales that have both psychometrically valid and reliable inter-scale correlations: (1) General Occupational Themes (GOTs); (2) Basic Interest Scales (BISs); (3) Occupational Scales (OSs); (4) Personal Style Scales (PSSs).

This comprehensive guide will take you through the questions (see also right side panel):

  1. What is the history behind the Strong Interest Inventory?
  2. Who is the Strong Interest Inventory for?
  3. How can you take the Strong Interest Inventory?
  4. How much does the Strong Interest Inventory cost?
  5. What types of questions does the Strong Interest Inventory ask?
  6. What does the Strong Interest Inventory measure?
  7. What report do you get with your results?
  8. How reliable and valid is the Strong Interest Inventory?
  9. How does the Strong Interest Inventory compare with other career assessments?