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Exit Entry, in partnership with Dublin City University, has developed a comprehensive and easy-to-use career exploration platform for secondary school students based on decades of research in the field of Occupational Psychology. This is the study of human behaviour in the work and organisational settings. The Exit Entry Short Form Assessment tool looks at two aspects of human behaviour, namely, Skills and Interests.

Interests Assessment

People differ from one another in many, many ways. Holland’s theory of vocational interests and work environments is one of the most prominent theories in occupational psychology. It centres on the tendency of individuals to seek and create work environments that allow them to manifest their underlying personality traits in behaviour in the workplace.
A key element in the interpretation of interests within a motivational framework is that individuals will be more motivated to perform well when they fit with the environment. Holland proposed that the congruence between individuals and their environments would be particularly important for predicting work outcomes such as job satisfaction. Therefore, information about the match between an individual's interests and work tasks can be critical for understanding behaviour in the workplace. Holland categorized work environments into the six RIASEC types and proposed that individuals with similar personalities tend to congregate in the same group of careers.
Holland categorized work environments into the six RIASEC types and proposed that individuals with similar personalities tend to congregate in the same group of careers.
TYPE Abilities Typical Occupations
REALISTIC Mechanical abilities Engineers, IT analysts, mechanics
INVESTIGATIVE Mathematical and scientific abilities Scientists, psychologists, research scientists, software engineers, analysts
ARTISTIC Writing, designing, or creative abilities Artists, games develoers, composers, writers
SOCIAL Social and interpersonal abilities Social workers, teachers, sales persons, counsellors
ENTERPRISING Leadership and speaking abilities Entrepreneurs, business managers, marketing and sales managers
CONVENTIONAL Data processing and arithmetic abilities Management accountants, production managers, executive secretaries

Occupational interests are significant predictors of life’s:outcomes such as full-time employment, gross income, and unemployment. interests reflect the desire to engage with specific objects, events, ideas, or people and the positive emotions that arise when this happens.

Skills Assessment

The descriptor ‘Big Five’ has today become synonymous with the topic of personality. The Big Five dimensions of personality traits and skills refer to individual differences in thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The five broad dimensions of Adaptability (A), Self Discipline (S), Enthusiasm (E), Collaboration (C), and Resilience (R)have been shown to be replicable across the different gender, demographic, ethnic, and cultural groupings.
Adaptability is defined as the active seeking and appreciation of experiences for their own sake. It encompasses curiosity and the tendency for seeking and appreciating new experiences and novel ideas. Individuals who score low on Adaptability are characterised as conventional, low in artistic engagement, and narrow in their range of interests.
Self Discipline is a measure of the degree of organisation, persistence, control, and motivation in goal-directed behaviour that an individual possesses. It indicates the individual’s degree of organisation and persistence in goal-directed behaviour. Achievement-orientation and dependability have been found to be primary facets of Self Discipline.
Enthusiasm identifies the quantity and intensity of energy directed by individuals outwards into the social world. High levels of Enthusiasm indicate sociability, warmth, assertiveness, and activity, whereas individuals low on Enthusiasm are described as reserved, sober, aloof, and introverted.
Collaboration refers to the kinds of interactions with others that an individual prefers, ranging from being driven by compassion through to tough-mindedness. It is concerned with an individual’s interpersonal orientation. It ranges from being soft-hearted, good-natured, trusting, and gullible at one extreme to cynical, rude, suspicious, and manipulative at the other.
Resilience identifies the extent to which individuals are prone to experiencing emotional discomfort, and indicates emotional stability versus fluctuating emotional states. Individuals who score high on Resilience are characterised by high levels of uncomfortable emotional states.
The Big Five are related to the following important criteria of performance in occupational settings :
  1. overall job performance, objective and task performance, contextual performance, and avoidance of counterproductive behaviours,
  2. leadership criteria such as emergence, effectiveness, and transformational leadership,
  3. other important criteria such as team performance and entrepreneurship,
  4. work motivation and attitudes. Some of the Big Five dimensions are related to overall job performance in virtually all jobs, whereas other dimensions are related to performance in a more limited number of jobs.
Self Discipline has been shown to be a valid predictor of job performance across performance measures in all occupations studied.
Resilience has also been found to be a generalisable predictor when overall work performance was the criterion.
Enthusiasm has been found to be related to job performance in occupations where interactions with others form a significant portion of the job content, such as jobs in the sales and marketing area.
Collaboration is a useful predictor of service orientation and teamwork, because it has been demonstrated to have high predictive validity in jobs and work settings that involve considerable interpersonal interaction, particularly when the interaction involves helping, cooperating and nurturing others. Enthusiasm and Adaptability are related to training proficiency and creativity. Enthusiasm has been found to be one of the most important traits of effective leaders.
Overall, the degree of similarity (or congruence) between both the person’s interest type and personality skill combined with the work environment affects a person’s work attitudes and behaviours. Higher levels of congruence lead to greater job satisfaction, success, and persistence. Comparisons between an assessment of the individual and an assessment of his or her environment can predict positive outcomes.
The degree of similarity (or congruence) between a person’s interest type and personality and the work environment affects a person’s work attitudes and behaviours. Higher levels of congruence lead to greater satisfaction, success, and persistence. Comparisons between an assessment of the individual and an assessment of his or her environment can predict positive outcomes.