Psychometric Testing

by Claire Walsh and David Hoad

Interests and values inventories

Interests inventories assess an individual’s likes and dislikes. For example, a career interest inventory will explore an individual’s interest in different work themes or areas, which can help the person to decide which careers would suit them best. So if someone has a very low interest in working with people, they may not be best suited to working in a call centre environment.

As with personality profiles, interest inventories have no right or wrong answers; the objective is to help the individual to work through what they do or do not want to do in the future. These inventories are particularly useful in career guidance and coaching, but are not particularly useful as a selection tool, as applicants can fake their responses.

Values inventories assess what an individual self-reports as important to them and are particularly useful for exploring perceptions and personal views. This type of inventory can be helpful in career counselling, training, coaching and succession planning, as it can help to predict future job satisfaction. For example, if an individual self-reports work-life balance as one of their most important values, they may not be satisfied in a job where they are required to stay away from home three days a week.

Both interests and values inventories can also be used in team development activities.

Some commonly-used inventories

The Strong Interest Inventory

assesses interests to help identify career options.

The McCann Windows on Work Values Profile

assesses how values drive decision making and behaviour and is used for personal and team development.