Chapter 11
Career and Employment Assessment
Assessment Procedures for Counselors and Helping Professionals, 7e
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What is Career Assessment?
Career assessment is a process that helps
individuals:
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clarify goals and values
explore career options
make informed decisions about the future
Career assessment may be necessary in all
stages of one’s working life.
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Career Assessment Methods
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Interest inventories
Values inventories
Personality inventories
Career development instruments
Combined assessment programs
Interviews
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Interest Inventories
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Most interest inventories measure how closely
an individual’s interests match existing
occupations.
Some of the most widely used interest
inventories include:
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Self-Directed Search
Strong Interest Inventory
Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS)
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Self-Directed Search
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The Self-Directed Search (SDS):
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developed by John Holland.
can be used with individuals 15 to 70.
easy to use and can be taken online.
The SDS uses Holland’s typology to
generate a three letter code which reflects
a combination of the test taker’s interests.
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Holland’s Typology
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Realistic
Investigative
Artistic
Social
Enterprising
Conventional
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The SDS has several forms for use with specific
populations:
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Form R, Career Development: Helps individuals not yet in the
work force gain insight into the world of work and match
occupations with their interests and skills.
Form E, Vocational Guidance: Assists individuals with limited
reading skills as they explore vocational options.
Form CP, Career Path Management: Focuses on the needs of
individuals who have or aspire to have high levels of
responsibility.
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Strong Interest Inventory (SII)
The SII was designed for career counselors and
academic advisors working with college and
high school students who are making initial
career choices, as well as all practitioners who
help adults with making career decision
(Harmon, Hansen, Borgen, & 1994).
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6 General Occupational Themes: interest patterns
based on Holland’s RIASEC categories (i.e., realistic,
investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and
conventional).
30 Basic Interest Scales: specific interest areas
within the six General Occupational Themes
244 Occupational Scales: the individual’s interests
related to satisfied workers within various occupations
5 Personal Style Scales: the individual’s preferences
related to of work style, learning environment,
leadership style, risk-taking, and team orientation.
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Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS)
CISS measures interests and selfassessment of skills.
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Orientation Scales: broad themes of occupational
interests and skills
Basic Interest and Skill Scales: detailed subscales
of the Orientation Scales
Occupational Scales: compares the test taker’s
interest and skill patterns with those of workers in a
range of occupations.
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Other Interest Inventories
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Career Assessment Inventory-Vocational
Version (CAI-VV)
Harrington-O’Shea Career Decision-Making
System Revised (CDM-R)
Interest Determination, Exploration, and
Assessment System (IDEAS)
Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (JVIS)
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Problems with Interest Inventories
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Clients change interests over time
Adolescents lack experience to respond to interest
inventories
Job success is usually correlated more to abilities than
interests.
Many interest inventories are susceptible to faking,
either intentional or unintentional.
Clients may respond in socially desirable ways.
Exploration of low scores is often neglected.
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Societal interests may override personal
interests.
Socioeconomic class may affect the pattern of
scores on an interest inventory.
The inventories may be geared to the
professions rather than skilled vocations.
A profile may be flat and hard to interpret.
Tests use different types of psychometric
scoring procedures.
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Work Values Inventories
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Values are stable beliefs that can refer to
others or oneself. Values are enduring but
can change over time.
Work values inventories are used to identify
an individual’s work-related values in order
to match that individual with a suitable job
choice.
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Work values can include such dimensions
as:
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prestige and recognition
independence
social interaction
compensation
working conditions
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Common Work Values Inventories
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Super’s Work Values Inventory-Revised
(SWVI-R)
Rokeach Values Survey (RVS)
Salience Inventory (SI)
Hall Occupational Orientation Inventory,
Fourth Edition
Minnesota Importance Questionnaire
(MIQ)
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Super’s Work Values Inventory-Revised:
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measures the relative importance of a
number of work values considered most
important in career decision-making.
can be given to middle and high school
students, college students, and adults who
are planning to enter, continue, or leave a
given educational program, occupation or job.
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Personality Inventories
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Personality is defined as the enduring set of thoughts,
behaviors and emotions that differentiate one person
from another.
When assessing personality for career counseling,
personality assessments geared toward normal
populations are used.
Personality is a key factor in career choice and career
success.
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Common Personality Inventories
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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Sixteen Personality Factor, Fifth Edition
(16PF)
NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R)
Eysenck Personality Inventory
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Abilities and Skills Assessment
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Career assessment can help individuals identify
current and potential abilities and skills related
to career options.
Abilities – one’s present-day, innate capabilities
to perform a specific task.
Skills – abilities that come from educational
experiences, work experiences, and personal
life experiences.
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Abilities and Skills Assessment
Instruments
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Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS)
ASVAB
Kuder Skills Assessments
Ability Explorer
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Career Development Instruments
Career development assessments:
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assess career awareness and knowledge.
provide counselors with valuable information
about the career development and
educational needs of individual clients.
can provide survey information to help in
planning career guidance programs.
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Common Career Development
Instruments
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Career Development Inventory – developed for k-12,
college, and university populations. The inventory contains five
scales: career planning, career exploration, decision making,
world-of-work information, and knowledge of preferred
occupational group.
Career Factors Inventory (CFI) - designed to help people
determine whether they are ready to engage in the career
decision-making process.
Career Maturity Inventory - was developed for grades 6
through 12 to measure the attitudes and competencies related
to variables in the career choice process.
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Combined Assessment Programs
Several assessments evaluate interests,
values, and ability inventories.
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Career Occupational Preference System
(COPS)
Kuder Career Planning System
DISCOVER
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Career Occupational Preference
System
The Career Occupational Preference System (COPS) is
a comprehensive career assessment program that
combines interests, abilities and values inventories:
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Career Occupational Preference System (COPS) Interest
Inventory
Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS)
Career Orientation Placement and Evaluation Survey (COPES)
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Kuder Career Planning System
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The Kuder Career Planning System is an Internetbased system that was developed based on the work
of Dr. Frederick Kuder.
The Kuder system includes an interest inventory, a
skills assessment, and a values inventory, all available
online:
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The Kuder Career Search
The Kuder Skills, their ability is aligned to career clusters.
The Super’s Work Values Inventory-revised (SWVI-r)
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DISCOVER
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The DISCOVER program collects information about
individuals including interests, abilities, and values
through self-assessment tools. The results are then
matched to world of work information that can suggest
specific majors needed for a particular career.
The DISCOVER program also provides a World-of-Work
Map that illustrates how interests, abilities, and work
values relate to each other.
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Interviews
Career counselors user interviews to
gather information about the client’s:
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the client’s work experience
education and training
Interests
leisure activities (Gysbers, Heppner, &
Johnson, 2003)
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Sample questions might include (Gibson & Mitchell,
2006, p. 112) :
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Would you give me a brief review of your employment
experiences?
What is your educational background?
Do you have any unique experience or interest that might be
related to the choice o career, such as hobbies or special
interests?
Why have you decided, at this time, to change careers?
Tell me about your ideas about a new or different career?
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Employment Assessment
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Employment assessments are used by
employers to make recommendations or
decisions about employees or job applicants.
Businesses and organizations use several
assessment methods, such as selection
interviews, biographical information,
and tests.
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Selection Interviews
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The purpose of the interview is to gain information
about candidates’ qualifications and experiences
relevant to the available job.
More systematic, structured, job-related interviews
tend to have higher validity.
The situational interview, with specific questions based
on job-related critical incidents, has also proven to be a
valid assessment tool.
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Factors that can influence the outcome of
an interview include:
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Negative information > positive information
Visual > verbal
Halo Error
Similarities with interviewer
Interviewees are often compared to other
interviewees
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Interviewers need training and instruction in these
skills (Gatewood & Feild, 1990, p. 481):
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Creating an open-communication atmosphere
Delivering questions consistently
Maintaining control of the interview
Developing good speech behavior
Learning listening skills
Taking appropriate notes
Keeping the conversation flowing and avoiding leading or
intimidating the interviewee
Interpreting, ignoring, or controlling the nonverbal cues of the
interview
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Biographical Information
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Research indicates that biographical
information is a strong predictor of turnover
and job success.
Biographical data also have been valuable in
assessing individuals and classifying them into
subgroups for purposes of better placement
and utilization.
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Gatewood and Feild (1990) identify three
assumptions for the use of biographical data.
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The best predictor of applicants future behavior is
what they have done in the past.
Applicants’ life experiences provide an indirect
measure of their motivational characteristics.
Applicants are less defensive in describing their
previous behaviors on the form than discussing their
motivations for these behaviors.
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Inventories
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Employer inventories assess a wide range of
factors, from job satisfaction and skills, to
interests and personality.
Effective inventories have the following
elements:
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valid for the intended purpose
the least discriminating tool for the decisions that
need to be made.
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Common Employment Inventories
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Personnel Selection Inventory (PSI)
Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory (CASI)
Comprehensive Ability Battery (CAB)
Comprehensive Personality Profile (CPP)
Employee Aptitude Survey Test Series (EAS)
Employment Barrier Identification Scale
Employee Reliability Inventory
Job Effectiveness Prediction System
Wesman Personnel Classification Test
Wonderlic Personnel Test
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Testing in Other Settings
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Military
Government
Occupational and Professional Licensure
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Job Analysis
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Job analysis is a purposeful, systematic
process for documenting the particular duties
and requirements of a job and the relative
importance of these duties.
Job analysis is conducted to:
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help determine the training requirements of a given job
make decisions about compensation
aid in selecting job applicants
reviewing job performance.
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Steps in Job Analysis
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Read and review existing materials and data on the job
to be analyzed.
Have supervisors and experienced workers in the field
meet together in a group and discuss the job
requirements, producing a list of tasks and roles that
are performed.
Display the tasks and job characteristics identified so
the group can react to what you have written.
List outputs, knowledge, skills, and abilities, including
use of machines, tools, equipment, and work aids
needed to get the job done. Get agreement from the
group on the tasks performed.
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5.
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Have the workers determine the percentage of time
spent on each task or skill.
Combine common tasks together.
Have the workers tell how they know or recognize
excellent, satisfactory, or poor performance of the
tasks and the job.
Construct an instrument to assess job performance
and have supervisors and workers react to the tasks
and performance standards identified.
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Job Analysis Assessments
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Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)
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Information Input
Mental Processes
Work Output
Relationships with Other Persons
Job Context
Other Job Characteristics
WorkKeys
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Job profiling
SkillMap
WorkKeys Estimator
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Guidelines for Employee Selection
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Know the legal and ethical considerations thoroughly.
Know basic measurement concepts.
Know the steps in collecting evidence of criterionreferenced validity.
Be able to analyze the skills, competencies, and
personal qualities that relate to successful performance
on the job.
Consider practical factors, such as cost, number of
employees involved, and time.
Locate tests that purport to measure the
characteristics identified for the job.
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7.
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Administer the tests to workers on the job as well as
to new applicants.
Observe the workers tested and have supervisors
report on the performance of these workers.
Analyze how the test scores and ratings relate to
success on the job.
If evidence is favorable, formulate an operational plan
to utilize the data for selection purposes. If evidence is
not favorable, select other instruments and get
additional ratings.
Systematically monitor and evaluate the system.
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Assessment Centers
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Assessment centers are a group-oriented, standardized series of
activities that provide a basis for judgments or predictions of
human behaviors considered relevant to work performance in a
particular organizational setting (Muchinsky, 2008).
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Assessment centers are used in human resource management
to:
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decide who to select or promote
diagnose strengths and weakness in work-related skills
develop job-relevant skills (Thorton & Rupp, 2006).
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Guidelines for Assessment Centers
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Assessment should be based on clearly defined
dimensions of the position or behavior in question.
Multiple assessment techniques should be used.
A variety of job-sampling techniques should be used.
Familiarity with the job and the organization is needed;
experience in the job or role is desirable.
Thorough training in assessment center procedures is
necessary for all observers and raters.
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6.
7.
8.
9.
All pertinent behavior should be observed, recorded,
and communicated to other raters and observers.
Group discussion and decision-making procedures are
used to integrate observations, rate dimensions, and
make predictions.
Clients should be assessed against clearly understood
external norms, not against each other.
Observers should guard against first impressions and
other errors commonly made in rating and
observation.
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Current Issues in Employment
Assessment
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Impact of technology
Internet-based job centers
Internet-based assessment
Discrimination in employee assessments
Honesty testing
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Career Development Inventory