Somehow I managed to hold onto an old computer printout of the results from a college orientation vocational interests assessment, the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory.

I ran across it recently in a folder where I'd stored all my old test scores, transcripts and similar documentation as I embarked on this exercise to compare the results of a plethora of assessments measuring my strengths, interests and advantages. I hadn't looked at this printout in decades. I really can't believe I still have it. [Actually, I'm not surprised—I'm one of those “Know Thyself” types.]

The paper is yellowed and faded now, but the “themes” where I scored the highest back in 1980 are similar to the adjectives that I've been assigned in more recent assessments.

On the surface, I could easily see consistencies between my Strengths Finder 2.0 scores, Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage profile and the results from this old SCII measurement taken when I was 17 years old and about start college.

The apparent similarities sent me off to learn more about the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory and precisely how the themes are defined and described.

My Strong Interest Inventory Results

Circa 1980. The test was known in those days as the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory or SCII.

General Occupational Themes

The SCII classifies responses into six General Occupational Themes. These themes are: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

The General Occupational Themes where I scored the highest were:

Enterprising (58, high score)

Artistic (61, moderately high score)

Since the printout had no definitional key to explain what these themes meant, I went looking online and found this helpful guide that explains the General Occupational Themes in the SCII.


“The extreme types have a great facility with words, which they put to effective use in selling, dominating, and leading; frequently they are in sales. They see themselves as energetic, enthusiastic, adventurous, self-confident, and dominant. They like social tasks where they can take control. They don’t like prolonged mental effort in solving problems. The[y] like power, status, and material wealth, and working in expensive places. Some typical jobs include business executive, buyer, hotel manager, industrial relations consultant, political campaigner, realtor, and television producer.” [Emphasis mine.]


“These people like to work in artistic settings where there are many opportunities for self-expression. They have little interest in problems that are highly structured or that require gross physical effort. They describe themselves as independent, original, unconventional, expressive and tense. The like jobs such as artist, author, cartoonist, composer, singer, dramatic coach, etc.” [Emphasis mine.]

SII Hexagon Enterprising Focus


What’s most interesting is to consider what it means that the Enterprising and Artistic themes are on opposite sides of the hexagon. According to the UCF site

“….most people are more than one type, but it’s rare to have people similar to opposite points.”

Once again, I'm outside the box. Not easily pigeonholed.

Basic Interest Scale

The SCII Basic Interest Scale is used to cluster various interests into the six General Occupational Themes.

My highest match on the Basic Interest Scale was in Adventure, which falls within the Realistic theme.

This is interesting because I only had an average score for the Realistic theme, which is mostly aligned with people who work outdoors in construction or military. But the Realistic theme description also encompasses activities associated with nature and general physical strength.

Taking into account my interest then (and now) for nature, running, and simply being outdoors, it's no surprise that my responses yielded a high interest in Adventure.

The Enterprising Theme includes several interests where I scored highly: public speaking, law and politics. I was definitely attuned to all three of those in 1980. Of course, I became a lawyer and I’ve always loved public speaking.

As might be expected I scored high match with an interest in writing in the Artistic theme cluster. More interesting is how well I matched up with music/dramatics/art in terms of the basic interest scales. Same value as for Adventure. I was active in band in high school and interested in theatre and drama (even though I never was in drama classes–no time due to other courses I had to take).

Strong-Cambell Interest Inventory results from 1980

Occupational Scales

In terms of specific occupational similarities, my SCII responses in 1980 correlated very highly with females working as advertising executives, lawyers, life insurance agents, and accountants.

I also had high similarities with various types of teachers, flight attendants and army officers. I suspect the latter two correlated due to my Adventure score.

It’s intriguing to see the correlation with female advertising executives in light of how I’ve evolved into the realm of social media marketing and strategic communication outside of politics and law.

What's Next?

Although I’m not absolutely certain, I think I may have taken the SCII again in 1996, or perhaps some type of assessment more suited for mid-career evaluations. I know I did some type of assessment around the time I decided to take the GRE and consider more graduate education. But those results aren't in my folder, so I may not find them any time soon.

Any, I’m having a lot of fun with this self-exploration project and can’t wait to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s almost like I’m assembly the building blocks for some type of memoir about my life.

Discover. [Be]Inspire[d]. Grow. Shine.

Have you ever taken the SCII? Did you find the results to be consistent with your perceived interests and strengths? Have you ever compared those results to your MBTI assessment?

Do you think these types of assessments are fun?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own experiences with interests, strengths and related types of tests.

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Into Happiness, Social Business, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Real Food. Hiker. Runner. Friend to Animals. Beekeeper. Idea Explorer. Dot Connector. Writer.