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FAQ's for Parents

Q. How is the Strong Interest Inventory® different from the types of assessments I hear about in the high schools?


A. There are a number of good career assessment tools that are helpful for establishing broad interest categories. For instance, there are assessments that will identify which of 20-30 subset categories are a fit for your son or daughter – e.g., education, medical, business. The Strong Interest Inventory College Report looks at 260 different occupations and how your student’s interests and personality compares to people who are in those jobs and have expressed job satisfaction. The customized interpretation will further narrow the field.


Q. My high school student already knows they want to go into business. Why should they take the Strong?


A. Business is a broad area of study. There are significant distinctions and curriculum requirements for Accounting, Administration, Finance, Business Law, Management, Marketing etc. The differences in the type of work each does vary considerably. The Strong will help discern which of these is the most appropriate fit. The same situation is true for Education, Engineering, Medical Science, Healthcare Services, and others and the Strong will help identify specific areas of study within these broader fields.

Q. What is included in the Strong Interest Inventory® with College Profile?


A. Your high school student is sent a link to complete the online assessment. I analyze the results to put together a customized profile in conjunction with the Strong College Profile that indicates personality, motivations, interests, work-style preferences.  With this information, we identify possible college majors, courses, internships, activities that are a likely fit. We meet (in person or virtually) for an interactive discussion and lay out “next steps” and introduce them to an online tool that will allow them to explore hundreds of occupations.  


Q. How are you different from other career counselors?


A. I am a Certified Strong Interest Inventory Practitioner which means I have the training to analyze and interpret beyond what appears on a printed report. With a background as VP Marketing and Enrollment at a Liberal Arts college, consulting with higher education, teaching business courses to first and second year college students, I understand the challenges an incoming first year student faces and am well equipped to help them find their area of focus.


FAQ's for Students

Q. I already took a career assessment at my high school. How is this different?

A. The assessment you took might have been similar in terms of the broader personality or interest categories, but this assessment also looks at your personality from the perspective of how you approach work and compares your results to people employed in more than 200 occupations.

Q. I know I want to be an engineer. Why should I take the Strong?


A. There are many “flavors” of engineers. The differences in the type of work each does vary considerably. Although you will be in the college of engineering, you get a degree in electrical engineering or chemical engineering or civil engineering. . . The Strong will help you discern which of these is the most appropriate fit for you. The same situation is true for business, education, medical science, healthcare services, and many others and the Strong will help you identify specific areas of focus and majors within these broader fields.

Q. Will taking the Strong guarantee I will be successful with my major?


A. No assessment can guarantee you success in a major or a career. The role of the assessment is to provide a framework to assess possibilities and identify the educational path that is most well suited to you. We do know that college students become more engaged when they are focused on classes that are relevant to their goals.

Q. You say you will review the Strong with me personally and that you encourage me to include my parents. Why?


A. That decision is up to you of course. What I have found is parents know their children well and are often able to see subtle connections of which I am not aware.  Example: I worked with a student whose profile indicated he had an interest in building things with his hands. He didn’t think that was accurate for him until his mother reminded him of the hours he spent creating animals with his Lego’s. I’ve also had students tell me it was helpful to have their parents’ feedback and observations when they would later discuss the review session and next steps.

Q. What if I don’t really want to go to college? Is there still a benefit to taking the Strong?


A. Absolutely. The Strong Interest Inventory compares your results to satisfied employees in 260 occupations. There are occupations for each personality type that do not require the traditional 4 years (or more) of college and there is a resource that can help you identify where to get proper training for those occupations that don’t require a degree.

Q. I’ve seen offers for free online assessments. Why wouldn’t I just use one of them?


A. Some of those assessments have value and are based on the Holland theory which is also utilized by the Strong. The Strong goes beyond the theory and compares your results of close to 300 items to thousands of employees working in more than 200 occupations. These extensive comparisons provide more data to increase predictive validity. Additionally having a Certified Strong Practitioner interpret and analyze your results goes deeper than an online freebie can offer.  

Q. I’m a sophomore in high school. Can I take the Strong Interest Inventory?


A. 14 is the minimum age to take the Strong.


Q. I took the Strong 3 years ago; if I take it again now, will my profile be the same?


A. Depending on your age and life experience, your Strong may change over time. Frequently when students have taken the Strong prior to entering college I recommend in their senior year of college they take the Strong again as they prepare to start their careers. This time our focus will be on specific jobs to apply for.



Q. Are all versions of the Strong the same?


A. If you have taken a career assessment, make sure it is the Strong Interest Inventory with College Profile. There is an interactive assessment often used in high schools which contains some, but not all aspects of the Strong. The Strong College Profile goes into more detail and is analyzed and interpreted by a Strong Interest Inventory Certified Practitioner who is trained and equipped to walk you through your results.

Contact me to schedule an assessment or for more information check out my Blog and Resources.

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