Are you stuck? No idea on the sorts of jobs you should be applying for?
Whether you are a recent language graduate who needs ideas of what to apply for, or an uninspired marketing manager who wants some suggestions then the use of assessments can be helpful. not every career coach is qualified to use assessments, and many only have access to one. There are many available and as a Chartered Psychologist I am able to review many and choose the most useful and reputable ones.
Assessments cover ability, interests and personality and can give you objective data to help with decision making.

Ability Testing
This could be taking tests used in recruitment such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning. What I think is much more helpful is a battery of tests that together will help to identify jobs you are best suited to. My preferred one is the Highlands Ability Battery, this contains 19 separate validated objective tests.
The HAB isolates natural abilities and analyses combinations of aptitudes in addition to individual aptitudes. It is an objective measure of your relative ability to do specific things from solving problems to remembering what you read. It tells you what you’ll find easy, what will be difficult and is the foundation to effective career choice.
This type of assessment is very thorough, taking 3 hours to complete and comes with an extensive report (30 pages), in-depth discussion (90 minutes), and I also offer a recording of the discussion and additional reference material.
It can appear expensive but once measured the results remain valid and my clients refer to their report for years afterwards.

Interest Inventories
An interest inventory will provide suggestions of careers to explore based on your interests. I recommend the Strong Interest Inventory® which helps you identify your pattern of vocational interests and is based on the work of John Holland. Holland defined six basic occupational themes (called Holland Codes) that can be used to categorise occupations as well as individuals.

The Strong measures your interests using 291 different questions to explore your likes and dislikes with regard to careers, leisure activities, school subjects and other categories. Your responses are compared to a representative sample of occupations followed by:

• people who enjoy their work

• have worked in that area for at least three years

• who do typical work for the field

People tend to search out those environments that match their interests, and an environment attracts people who share similar interests. There are different reports available, including those focused for young people choosing post GCSE options or university courses. The iStartStrong option is very interactive with many links to explore further.
This is a low cost way of identifying options but we need to remember that just because we have an interest in something it doesn’t mean we have the ability or can learn the skill to earn a living following a particular path.

Personality Questionnaires
There are many options available, including the personality questionnaires used in recruitment like Saville’s Wave. For careers guidance the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a good choice as it enables you to identify jobs which match a particular profile. Of course not every ENFP is going to want to work in a similar job but it offers ideas for people to explore.
Looking at assessments individually is helpful, but combining them becomes much more valuable. I offer programmes combing 2 or all 3 of these assessments.

The Bronze Career Programme by Phone/Skype
Take the MBTI step 1 to understand your personality. You can use this information to help enhance relationships and also to understand more about how you gather information, make decisions and preferred lifestyle. We then use this information to identify possible careers that match with your personality. Take the Strong Interest Inventory to find out what sorts of courses and career people with similar interests to you choose, thus widening out your options. Receive 2 individual reports plus a third which combines the results of both assessments. Both assessments are discussed in session of 90 minutes to 2 hours to include creating a plan for jobs to explore, and how to do this through the Next Steps Booklet.

Purchased individually costs are £305, buy The Bronze Programme by Phone/Skype for £280. You can read about different career programmes using this link.

If this may be helpful for you or someone you know, do get in touch with Denise to explore further.
I’d love to know what you think and it would be brilliant to hear your views either below or on my facebook page – I think it is so much more interactive than on a blog. If you aren’t already linked to me on FaceBook here is the link:

Published On: August 4th, 2011 / Categories: Assessments, Career Coaching /


  1. Lynn Tulip August 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Good post Denise, and of course I agree. Would definitely recommmend MBTI and Strong – I also use Career Interest Inventory which can open up options for discussion too.

  2. Denise Taylor August 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for commenting Lynn, you must let me know more about the CII

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