Interest fit and job satisfaction: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Kevin A. Hoff, Q. Chelsea Song, Colin J.M. Wee, Wei Ming Jonathan Phan, James Rounds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interest inventories are commonly used for career and organizational decision-making. Though it is widely assumed that interest fit predicts job satisfaction, previous meta-analyses reported non-significant relations between interest fit and job satisfaction. However, past meta-analyses were limited by several critical issues, including low statistical power and inconsistent inclusion criteria. In this updated meta-analysis, we systematically reviewed the link between interest fit and job satisfaction across 105 studies spanning over 65 years (k = 194, N = 39,602). Results revealed a statistically significant, positive relation between interest fit and overall job satisfaction that was slightly lower than expected (ρ = 0.19, [95% CI: 0.16, 0.21]). Yet moderation analyses revealed the strength of the relation was notably stronger for satisfaction facets capturing how people evaluate their career choice in general. Overall, these results suggest a need to reconceptualize the applied importance of vocational interests. Although we report clear evidence that interest fit predicts job satisfaction, interest fit is more strongly related to performance outcomes and satisfaction with one's overall career path. We conclude by presenting a series of recommendations for improving the use of interest assessments in career and organizational settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103503
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Careers
  • Job satisfaction
  • Person-environment fit
  • Selection
  • Vocational interests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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