Assessment Forum – June 2022

Instructions:  You have been asked to help design a career assessment program for your customers. What are one or two assessments [formal or informal] you would use with your customers? Make one original post and then respond to one classmate’s post. You will make a total of two posts.

Remember that our learning group works in a full value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

39 thoughts on “Assessment Forum – June 2022”

  1. eric.blair says:

    Without knowing exactly what the situation is for the customers in this scenario, it is difficult to determined exactly what assessments should be used. The age group, potential barriers, time limitations, budget and abilities of the customers being assisted are all to be taken into consideration.

    That being said, I would suggest beginning with a structured interview to get to know the customer. Gathering information to assess their situation and learn about areas of their lives that may be helpful or that need some attention in order to be successful is very important to understanding who you are working with. This is also an opportunity for customers to become more comfortable discussing issues that are important to them or those that may need to be addressed later on in the process.

    I believe that a career exploration assessment, such as the Interest profiler or another interest inventory is a good way to get an idea of the clients’ interests. If a client is unsure or unclear of the path that they want to take, these sorts of assessments can open the door and expand the conversation. As long as the purpose of the assessment is thoroughly explained, and the customer is fully engaged in the activity.

    1. bhoward says:

      I think this is a good plan. You definitely want to have an informal meeting with the customer to get to know them. I think the Interest profiler assessment is a great way to get an idea of the customers interests. This assessment is very helpful in confirming or revealing talents or interests to the customer. It helps give them careers options that they might want to pursue. This assessment is a wonderful way to start the process and as long as you explain the assessment, encourage the customer, and give them the resources they need, it is rewarding to be able to help a person in the process. Great job!

    2. sbennett says:

      I also found the interest profiler very beneficial for clients. When I done the assessment on myself, I found it to be very true to my work ethic. I am a very social person, which was my highest scoring characteristic, but it was also interesting to see the other characteristics I was pair with too. If we used this when meeting with those “unsure” clients, I believe it would help them in making future career and education choices.

      1. LORI says:

        I agree – I believe the interest profiler could be a great resource for clients. I did agree with the majority of my results but the ones I didn’t agree with did get me thinking about things in that category I can investigate. I can certainly see that it could be used to help clients explore possibilities. Many of my clients are unsure about their future. This assessment could open their eyes to a path they have never thought about.

    3. tyhoward says:

      Great idea Eric, I find it easier to see what you are up against before you start creating goals. During this time you are also building a rapport with the participants and a way to be transparent with them. I find this when you find out all the information you will need to know what will hinder them and what could possible help them to succeed. Your method should work well for your and your program. I went with more of a career development competencies assessment formula. This assessment allows to do a self assessment competencies, career and goal setting competencies. A different assessment from the one you are use, but we will get the same results we need to ensure the success of our participants.

  2. bhoward says:

    I think it would be beneficial to start with an informal meeting with a person to get to know them, to understand where they are coming from and to find out what they are hoping to accomplish. By asking them questions about themselves, it helps to determine how you can help them. You can find out their interests, skills, past work experiences if they have any or not. Once you get an idea of the types of things they like to do, you would be more likely to be able to guide them or help them find the resources they need.
    I believe once you do an informal interview you could ask them if they would want to do a fun activity such as the Interest Profiler. I would stress that this is not a test of right or wrong but it helps with the process of finding careers that might interests them. It would help provide information to help with career guidance. I would recommend going online and doing the Interest profiler, either the Holland assessment or the O Net Interest Profiler. It is a good start for helping a person see what they might want to do. It can help open the door. I would stress that this assessment is only to help them and once they complete this assessment they could discuss it with you in order to come up with a plan or goal.

    1. fmking says:

      Sorry, it was suppose to be O*NET Interest Profiler instead of Holland’s Party Game for my informal assessment But I couldn’t edit it.

    2. Mandolynwitnik says:

      I agree with need for an informal meeting to get to know your client. Having the ability to listen and understand how you can help them is very important. This type of interview can build trust and open up for real conversation on how to help a client in their career goals. I also agree that you can make the interest profiler fun by using it to just to open up discussion on possible careers and education.

    3. amoccia says:

      Hello, I do agree that an informal meeting would be helpful to start the process of assessment. Some of the thoughts I have is even though the meeting is informal-structure would be helpful. When I was managing a admissions department for a vocational school we had an extensive interview process as part of the assessment. However, the interview consisted of Distinct parts: past education, support system, interests, and aptitude. Every candidate had the same interview questions; however, they might be in a different order depending on the direction of the conversation. We also determined suitability as we do in workforce development. So the applicant may be eligible but not suitable for training. That extra determining factor becomes difficult to determine without a structured informal interview combined with a formal skills test. I believe we are thinking along the same lines.

  3. fmking says:

    I believe in Holland’s theory about a person’s personality and the work environment having some type of positive connection with each other. I also believe that when what you do doesn’t feel like work, but just something you love doing, then you have found your ideal job. However, I want to ensure that the clients are being assessed by assessments that is trustworthy. Therefore, I would have to go with formal assessments such as the O*Net Work Importance Locator, which has undergone testing and studies and is trusted, unbiased, and valid. Even though informal assessments take time and have not been verified by scientists to be effective, I would use informal assessments such as the Holland Party Game to allow my participants to interact in the process, which is beneficial for kinesthetic learners. I would then compare the results of the formal and informal assessments to see how they differed.

    1. shirleydaviswioa says:

      I certainly agree about individuals’ personality and how that can affect your work environment. Once you find a field that you enjoy doing you certainly dont mind going to work. When the colleges come off break next week I plan to utilize the Holland Party Game during our intake session.

  4. sbennett says:

    When first meeting with a client I would use an informal assessment approach. If we met with the clients I would start with a structured interview. When using the structured interview, I would ask a series of questions to get to know the client, see what interest the client has, and if we can break down their interest we can then proceed with a formal assessment. Another informal assessment I found interesting that would be an icebreaker for clients was the forced-choice method. The Holland party game is a good example of the forced choice informal assessment. With this method we do not need to have special equipment, or written test for the client to do, but it is there to help break the ice with your client and get to know them better.
    Once we have established a relationship with the client, I would then use interest inventories such as the O*NET interest profiler. I found it very interesting my results from the interest profiler, I believe clients would benefit from trying this method out if unsure of a career future.

  5. LORI says:

    The clients I work with are young an inexperienced. Many of them have never held down a job, much less know what they want to do with the rest of their life. I would begin with an informal assessment using a structured interview. Learning about the client and their needs will give insight to what type of assistance they need. The interview will open a line of communication between the client and the Services Coordinator. Since the questions in a structured interview can be changed according to need, this will benefit each individual client. I would also use an interest or skills inventory with my clients. Since my clients are young they may not see what skills or interests they have. Some of them have struggled in the education system their whole life and college is the last thing on their mind so they need a Plan B. They may feel disheartened with their options, but a skills or interest inventory may open avenues they have never thought of. I would also have the option available for a reader if they needed that assistance.

    1. jcunningham0404 says:

      As I read your post, I thought of the fact that some of the assessments do not take into consideration the region of the country that our clients live in. I remember reading an early chapter where it spoke of planning specific activities for high school students and other specialized groups i.e., veterans, formerly incarcerated, or persons with disabilities. Some of the assessments are not a good fit for marginalized groups such as minorities or the undereducated. The structured interview is a practice I use as well, and I found it to be extremely beneficial in gaining the trust of the client. I agree with the idea of a reader being available for assistance.

    2. lifecoachleanne says:

      I work with younger populations too Lori. I think looking into some strengths assessment (The ViaCharacter Strengths is an interesting one) is something I would like to do more. I always ask what they feel their strengths are and many struggle to identify them. This goes along with them not being able to identify a set of skills. Unless someone points it out to them or guides them in doing some personal reflection, they are not likely to see where their skills lie.

      I like your approach to first open up the lines of communication. This is key to helping them on their education/career exploration journey!

    3. kyang says:

      I also think that’s a great idea to start off with an informal assessment. I work with the Adult program, and most of our clients face barriers to employment and many have not gone to post-secondary school to further their education. They either mostly graduated high school or dropped out, and were not exposed to careers. When I was in high school, we were not exposed to careers like how some high schools are now or programs like AVID. I believe that it’s beneficial and appropriate to start off with this type of assessment because it gives the client an initial voice as to what they like and don’t like.

    4. amoccia says:

      I also work with youth and they tend to have a very general view of what they want to do: I like math, or I like science, or I like talking to people. Ironically that is a good start when you are using the Holland Theory to guide your assessment plan. Knowing what you like in general helps point you in a direction to start exploring careers. It is tough because people change so much through there teens and their early 20’s; however, I like to thing their core values and likes and dislikes stay the same. You may like interacting with people, maybe you do a work experience and find out; I don’t want to work with the elderly, kids, or pet owners; however, I like sales and helping people find things that are going to make their lives better. Assessment on the outside seems simple, however, it can have many nuances and being able to assess yourself honestly is not easy.

  6. shirleydaviswioa says:

    They always say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, the first thing I personally like to do Is try and get to know the customer, make small talk to know what they are interested in. Basically, try to build rapport with them. This Holland party game really peaked my interest, you can find a lot of information about the customer without additional paperwork. Now some customers aren’t big talkers or they just don’t open at all regardless the approach you take so with this case scenario I would utilize the O’NET interest profiler to see what they might be interested. Also, I try to always remember what works for one might not work for another.

    1. fmking says:

      You’re correct. Usually, you don’t have a second chance to get a good first impression! In order to help people connect with a profession that suits their personality, we must make the initial impression count by developing a connection and getting to know their personality, whether through the Holland’s Party Game or another method.

  7. Mandolynwitnik says:

    The clients I work with range in ages and experience. I would use the ONET as the formal assessment. The results of the ONET interests profiler are a great conversation starter with clients for me. They can help the client in decision making about furthering education, or going back into the field they already have career experience in. I am also comfortable administering the ONET assessment as it’s one of the first activities my agency has our clients use. The informal assessment I would like to try with the clients I work with would be the Compass Activity. I would use it in a larger group and then break into sub groups as suggested by the work styles clients gave. I think this could be a great ice breaker, and get conversation and thoughts on careers that are good fit for them started.

    1. eric.blair says:

      I agree with you Mandolyn. ONET seems like it would be a great conversation starter. It is often tough to get clients to talk about their interests, this assessment can start to break down those walls. I have not used the Compass Activity before, but it seems like a great opportunity to get the blood flowing and break the ice amongst the group. I am more used to working one on one with clients, so group activities don’t really happen.

  8. jcunningham0404 says:

    My practice is to build a rapport and a mutual level of trust initially. I do not conduct any assessments or intake paperwork during the initial meeting with a client. After observing the client and reviewing the information I received from them, I schedule at least two additional meetings with the client to complete the intake process/paperwork. I ask the client if they have ever taken a career/skills assessment If they have I ask if they would be willing to share the results. If they have not, I ask if they would be willing to take one. In arriving at a formal assessment I would recommend the ONET Interest Profiler. In my experience these assessments allow the client to participate in this process without being overwhelmed. For an informal assessment, I would recommend the Holland party game (I have not used it before), but it seems to be fun, interactive, and easy to navigate.

    1. vicente.jimenez says:

      I definitely like your approach to the assessment test. I agree that you shouldn’t start out with an assessment or paperwork in the initial meeting so you don’t overwhelm our clients on the first meeting. In my experience giving our clients too much too fast can discourse from our program. It’s important to start to build some form of relationship before you can give him the assessment.

  9. lifecoachleanne says:

    I typically work with High School Juniors or Seniors, and College age students. I also work with adults who are making career transitions. With that being said, here is how I would structure my sessions and what I would use.

    I would start with an intake process that serves as a get to know you and collects some key information. I ask about academic strengths, I ask about what course they perform naturally well in, what they tend to enjoy learning, and the things that they just do not like. I also ask them to identify their strengths. I leave this vague and allow them to tell me whatever they wish. I then explain the assessments we will be using and the process.

    I have been a long time user of Strong Interest Inventory. I’ll be honest, when I started I wasn’t completely sold. However, over time I have grown to love it and all the nuances. I have learned to help them understand this is somewhat like work personalities and how we approach the environments they are looking for in a job. I also help them understand their interests may change after they have gained experience and exposure to more careers. This helps them feel less pressure to have it all figured out right now. I like using the SII because it also gives options and has a great resource in O*Net to help folks do some research. This is always a homework assignment I include for them. Do research on 2-3 occupations that show up (guiding them that on a score of 40 or higher Occupational Scales section indicates a stronger similar interest) and seem to align with some interests. I also encourage them to choose one that maybe they have not previously considered. I suggest that they begin conducting Informational Interviews – digging into their network (family members, friends, friends of family members, neighbors, people that interact with in various environments) to see who is in one of these positions that they are interested in. I would advise that we typically have a preconceived idea about what one does in a specific job/occupation and that may not always be accurate. Informational interviewing will not only begin to develop a great network, but will hopefully bring a more realistic picture of ones potential future in a specific occupation.

    With adult clients, I would most likely incorporate the use of a values discovery tool. I find this helpful as we tend to operate out of our values without even recognizing it. It is helpful to in guiding them in their decision making process. It is also helpful sometimes for them to see why they are not happy in their current roles and to identify partly why they are searching for new opportunities. Using values can also help drown out any outside noise/voices. Many times folks have many other opinions speaking into their decisions. They will find themselves back to square one quicker when they are guided by others values and not their own.

  10. tyhoward says:

    I would with out of school youth (Dropouts) age ranging from 16-24 years old. During the intake process I would have the participant to complete a career development competency. The reason why I would have this completed because it would allow the participant to weed out some career that really are not suited for them. The career development competencies assessment would also include the following assessments:
    • Self-Assessment Competencies
    • Career Awareness Competencies
    • Goal Setting Competencies
    This would allow me to capture an effectively assessment on the participants. The above areas are much needed, because it allows us an idea as to what barriers they may be dealing with and it allows up to prepare to assist them how to overcome those barriers that have been hindering them from their success. Once we have establish\shed the barriers, and find out their career choice, it would make it a little easy to outline their goals. I am finding once the participant sees goals with dates its now their reality and you gain their trust during this entire process. Once you have their trust, and you start advocating for them, that’s all some participants need to succeed. This is why I would use this type of assessment.

    1. lalonso says:


      Great post! I like the assessments that you have chosen for your youth clients because its going to provide them with the insight that they will need in order to find their path. All three assessments will build on each other and provide the critical information that a youth that they may not know. I found when I was a youth that I kept changing my major in college because I wanted to explore; however, now I realize that I did not understand my interest or what career where obtainable. As an adult, I encourage everyone to take interest/career assessment to help them find their path when they are undecided.

    2. cgonzales says:

      Hi tyhoward,
      I too feel the above mentioned assessments are very important. In our youth program, we work with similar demographics and most of the time the youth we serve aren’t sure what they want to do long term or as a career because all they know is they want to work and earn money. These assessments give them an in-depth look different careers and opportunities that they may not have seen or heard about before. Putting everything into perspective is very important too. Giving them goals and how we are going to work with them to reach these goals.

  11. vicente.jimenez says:

    I would definitely start with an informal meeting. I work in Youth Employment and during my experience I found it beneficial to begin in that manner. Starting out with a formal assessment often our clients will detour from our program or they also believe they don’t do well on the assessment they won’t be eligible for the program. During this initial assessment it also allows you to start a relationship with your clients. You may need to meet with a client more than once. This allows us to gather any information like age, their living situation or any special barriers. From that meeting you choose what assessment is more suitable for your client.
    During the second meeting I made it more formal. I plan out how our enrolling program is going to look like. I go into detail about What the assessment is, How the assessment is going to be conducted, and finally what the results mean. Finally, I set up a time for the assessment.

  12. lalonso says:

    If I was able to create an assessment, I would create an assessment that would incorporate interest inventories because I find this assessment to help me understand my customers more clearly. My organization uses CareerScope to help determine if a client is suitable for the occupation of their choice. CareerScope is an interest inventories assessment and is able to more accurately determine what their interests are. I have found CareerScope to be extremely helpful for my clients. For example, one of my clients was insisting that they wanted to be a truck driver because their friend just obtained their Class A; however, their CareerScope did not support this choice and once we reviewed their test results, they decided to take a step back for a few weeks, review their career choices, and ultimately choose a different career path that aligned more with their interest.

  13. lalonso says:

    If I was able to create an assessment, I would create an assessment that would incorporate interest inventories because I find this assessment to help me understand my customers more clearly. My organization uses CareerScope to help determine if a client is suitable for the occupation of their choice. CareerScope is an interest inventories assessment and is able to more accurately determine what their interests are. I have found CareerScope to be extremely helpful for my clients. For example, one of my clients was insisting that they wanted to be a truck driver because their friend just obtained their Class A; however, their CareerScope did not support this choice and once we reviewed their test results, they decided to take a step back for a few weeks, review their career choices, and ultimately choose a different career path that aligned more with their interest. Compared to informal assessments, I feel that a formal assessment would be more beneficial for the client because it has validity, reliability and can be unbias.

  14. phuerta says:

    The Career Assessment I would design would start with an informal interview to help determine the customer’s goals, circumstances that led them to come into our office and their current situation. This interview can be used to determine customer interests, skills and work experience and could be used to help develop a plan to help this person reach their goals. This informal discussion my also help the client feel more comfortable and express more details than they might in a more formal, testing like atmosphere.
    The Career Assessment program I would design would also include an Interest Inventory to gain insight into the customer’s likes and dislikes. It may also enlighten the customer to unknown interests. My program would also include an abilities test to help determine how well the customer’s abilities match their occupational interests. Doing these steps will help us gather information to prepare an Employment Plan designed to get the customer to their goal.

  15. kyang says:

    I believe it’s important to utilize multiple assessments for clients, both formal and informal. There are pros and cons to both. I think that by using both of them, we can give help give clients a clearer picture of what their natural abilities and what their interests are. This can give clients the opportunity to explore careers more in depth. I realized this earlier after learning about Holland’s Six Personality Types, and completing the ONET Interest Profiler. My results on that were mostly accurate. However, with regards to being Artistic, I do enjoy creativity in my work and also work that can be done without following a set of rules. On the other hand, I find that this personality type is not what I want to actually do for work. I merely find it fun as a hobby, and would not consider doing it for a living as a career. By starting off with an informal assessment such as an Interest Profiler questionnaire, we can gage what the client thinks or likes (based more on opinions and can change with emotions/mood for the day). After that, the use of formal assessments is appropriate as well in working with clients, because they are not opinions. They are a standardized way to conduct the assessments and the way to interpret the results are the same across the board. They have been created by professionals and tested for consistency. For example, I can give a client the Interest Profiler questionnaire to help the client understand what their interests are in regards to careers/employment. Then I can give them a formal assessment such as WorkKeys to pinpoint exactly where their current skills levels are. By taking the client’s WorkKeys results and comparing it to ONET occupational guides, we can help the client see if they meet the skills levels required for certain occupations. We can also explore occupations based on their interests. The purpose of using both would be to get a more holistic view of who the individual client is, what their interests are, and what occupation they may be good at based on multiple assessments. It is ultimately the client who will decide, so having multiple instruments to assess will be beneficial.

  16. amoccia says:

    In designing a career assessment program for our program I would use a combination of Formal and Informal assessing. We have two distinct programs for adults and youth. I believe that there are different assessments that would be appropriate for each group. My focus is on the youth program, so I would develop a way to incorporate assessing youth in a group first in an informal way. There tends to be a lot of pressure about, “knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life”, so an informal assessment such as the Holland Party Game will help youth move in the direction of a career path. The Holland Party game helps youth narrow down their choices into six personality traits. Having six personality traits makes thinking about career direction simpler than a more detailed format than the Career Rainbow. Using this information to go onto O*Net to research actual jobs that relate to these personality traits. Most youth know what jobs their parents do and what their friends parents do, and their is so much more out there for them. Formal assessment is also important for youth. Seeing where their skill level is using TABE (Tests of Adult Basic Education) will help determine what type of education is needed to complement the career goals. The TABE has been used for many years and over time has been shown to have validity, and reliability and can be assessed by a Level A career developer. I believe the combination of these assessments will help put the youth on the right track.

  17. Cmatney says:

    In designing a Career Assessment program for client’s, I believe it to be relative to use both Formal and Informal assessing. Determining interests, knowing aptitude, and being able to guide client’s in the right direction. I believe this will help the client chose the right path towards his or her success. Also, base assessments on their background skills and work history. This design should be able to help the different grants we provide: Adult, Youth, P2E (prison to employment), Veterans, Senior, DOR, and Homeless. So, based on work skills, history, and most importantly Client’s interests. This will be helpful information for placement and our client’s achieving success and financial stability. The Career Assessment will in turn be beneficial for all walk of life/client’s.

    1. martha.avila says:

      Hello Cmatney,
      I agree with you both formal and informal assessments are beneficial. I think that the more information we can obtain the better we can serve our clients.

  18. martha.avila says:

    I would start with an informal meeting. This is to get to know the individual a little better. Once the informal meeting I can decide what formal assessment to give because I believe that not everyone can benefit from a specific assessment. There are barriers that one individual may have that prevents them from completing an assessment. I personally always give out the O*net assessment because it is easy and to the point. I always tell my youth to be honest to their responses this way they can have a higher accuracy.

    1. saporras says:

      Hello Martha,
      Yes I totally agree with you to start off with the informal meeting so you can know the client and they can open up to you. Once you have their full attention and trust you can go ahead and do a more formal assessment with the client.

  19. cgonzales says:

    Due to the demographic we work with and the barriers that come with each client, I start with informal then more formal assessments. I would start with an informal meeting with the client. This will give me the opportunity to build trust with the client and get to know more about their background, experiences, challenges and goals. Once the client is comfortable I would suggest a more formal assessment such as O-Net. O-Net will give us a deeper look into what experience is needed for their career goal. We have had clients tell us they want to work in construction but don’t want to start work early; once we have the information from O-Net, they can see what the requirements are. The more information we can provide our clients with, the better.

  20. saporras says:

    I would prefer the informal meeting but at the same time a formal meeting, Since the first impressions are everything you don’t want to bombard the client with too much information in one visit. My go to and to find more on the client’s interest has to be the O*net interest profile, that gives me an idea what are my client’s interests and my next steps to proceed with them.

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