Holland Career Guidance

The focus of this page is career guidance and career fit test design.

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HOLLAND Preferences

Firstly, occupational preferences refer to the individual interests and motivation — what the person really enjoys doing is matched with what the job actually involves and what the person will spend the majority of time doing.

Secondly, occupational preferences are matched with what the job actually involves and what the person will spend the majority of time doing. The most known theory is that of Holland (1985).

Holland’s suggested matching between six major types of personality and occupations:

  • Realistic: an outdoor type. Prefers physical, mechanical and systematic jobs. E.g., toolmaker, mechanic.
  • Investigative: analytical and curious jobs. E.g., research, chemist, physical scientist.
  • Artistic: imaginative type. Prefers expressive and non-conforming jobs. E.g., designer.
  • Social: training and helping jobs. E.g., social-worker, teacher, personnel.
  • Enterprising: goal directed and socially manipulative jobs. E.g., managerial.
  • Conventional: data and information manipulative jobs. E.g., clerical, accountancy.

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Holland suggests that a person should be described in terms of three types that resemble them most, and the order in which these three traits appear. This ends up with twenty-four personality types. For example, an ESI type is described best as enterprising, with strong social tendencies and minor intellectual tendencies. A typical career for an ESI person is a manager of retail store.

The six types can be represented in a hexagonal model. The six categories are ordered so that those with highest correlations are adjutant to each other; the correlations of pairs of categories opposite each other, are generally the lowest.

A large volume of research examined Holland’s theory. Although there is strong support to its psychometric model, the theory predictions of choice and change in the real world remain in doubt. There is strong evidence that vocational choices are related to personality profiles; furthermore, there is also evidence that matching is correlated with satisfaction and success. Yet, some researchers suggested that the strong association between personality and career choice is an artefact of the occupational choice measures. Most of the studies used questionnaires to measure occupational choice, rather than examining actual occupational choice. When the actual choice was used, the support to the theory was less certain.

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Preferences Part III

The most common and comprehensive occupational preference test is the Strong Vocational Interest Blank (SVIB); other popular test is the Kuder Preference Record (KPR). The SVIB contains 399 items and provides three sets of scores. First, it provides scores on 22 basic interest scales, such as: public speaking, law politics, business management, sales, teaching, music, and adventure. Second, it provides scores on 45 occupational scales, such as dentist, architect, army officer, carpenter, personnel manager, librarian, accountant and sales manager. Finally, it provides scores on 8 non-occupational scales, such as academic achievement, managerial orientation and occupational level.

The SVIB is probably the best occupational preference test due to the vast information it provides. The consultant needs to send the results to the SVIB centre to get a plot of the results. An easier to score test that is very useful as well is the KPR. Unlike the SVIB it doesn’t have specific occupational scales, but rather have working areas and activities scales.

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MBTI Career Guidance

Welcome to our MBTI personality test tips. Plus, our MBTI-based career guidance and about resilience to stress based upon each of the MBTI personality test types.

MBTI career guidance

Career Guidance using the MBTI

Big Five Careers Guidance – How the Big Five personality measures can be used to match people to specific careers.

High Openness

Researcher. This seems an obvious choice for people who are creative and abstract thinkers, signature characteristics of the High Openness person.

High Caution

Psychometric designer of intelligence, personality, and aptitude tests.

Extraversion (high)

Any sales role; public relations; teaching.

Introversion (high)

Writer, scientist. 

Agreeableness (high)

Any human resources or customer services role.

Agreeableness (low)

MBTI career guidance

Any job requiring a tough-minded approach, such as a management consultant.

Emotional Stability (high)

Any high-stress job, such as clinical psychologist or head teacher.

Emotional Sensitivity (high)

  • Therapist
  • Career counselor
  • Life coach. 


– Give them space and time alone to sort out their feelings.
– Validate their feelings.
– Remind them of their strengths.
– Don’t give them advice. This will only make them feel worse.

MBTI ’Dreamers’ (INFP and INFJ)

The two IN_ types which are probably the most susceptible to stress are the ‘Healer’ (INFP) and ‘Counsellor’ (INFJ). Collectively these have been termed the ‘Dreamers’.

 MBTI ’Responders’ (ESTP and ESFP)

Typically, being ‘lost in the moment’ – being distracted or disorganized.

Typically, they quickly respond by re-adjusting their priorities, and hence their targets. The same applies to personal goals; earning these two MBTI types the very apt classification as the ‘responders’. Such time management responses allow them to adapt to the need to achieve a tangible outcome.

MBTI career guidance

Aptitude test practice books

Rob Williams’s five practice aptitude tests books are all available on Amazon.

Firstly, in our opinion, this is the best aptitude test practice book for Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests.


Secondly, in our opinion this is the best aptitude test practice book for Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests.

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My Practice aptitude test books 

Firstly, Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests book.

Secondly, Passing Numerical reasoning Tests book.

Our Other Career Guidance Resources

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