Adaptive vocational interest diagnostic: Informing and improving the job assignment process

Cristina D. Kirkendall, Christopher D. Nye, James Rounds, Fritz Drasgow, Oleksandr S. Chernyshenko, Stephen Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The history of vocational interests shows that these measures have great promise for use in job assignment, suggesting that individuals will be more satisfied and successful in their job when they are doing work that interests them. Recent research has provided empirical support for these predictions and demonstrated that the match between an individual’s interests and his or her work activities is positively related to job performance and negatively related to attrition. Building on these positive empirical findings, the U.S. Army Research Institute is investigating vocational interest measures for personnel job assignment. Person-job fit is very important in a context such as the U.S. Army, where applicants have over 140 military occupational specialties from which to choose. This paper begins by reviewing evidence for the validity of interests and discussing how vocational interest measures may be used for assigning Soldiers in a military context followed by our recent research to develop a new measure of vocational interests to improve the process of matching Soldiers to military occupational specialties. We will conclude with the next steps for this research and potential paths of implementation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Interest assessment
  • job assignment
  • occupational interests
  • vocational interests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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