Holland's six personality types test

Holland’s Six Types of Personalities

Hereby, a quick description of Holland’s Six psychological types of personalities:

Realistic – practical

The practical ones are indeed practical, realists, introverted, absolute and dogmatic, powerful and persistent.

At their actions they are effective, methodical and down to earth. They are usually direct and truthful.

They are good at technical, mechanical and manual labor.

They may control tools, mechanical systems and electronic devices effectively and they usually lean to technical, technological, mechanical and constructive occupations.

They lean to jobs with practical, technical and usually outdoor nature having direct earnings. Also, they lean to jobs associated with qualities relating to power and money.

Jobs that suit this very type are in between others:
Politics, engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, geology, metal engineering as well as, Argonomist , ichtyologist , forester, etc.



The investigative ones are lateral, troubled, creative and have a critic way of thinking, with a natural call at science and research.
They are independent, sophisticated, observers and somewhat “weird”. They have analytical and combinative traits.
They could usually become radical, critical and judgmental. They are inward looking, pessimists, defensive and modest.

They are associated with activities which relate to research, understanding and constant check of natural biological, cultural and social phenomena.
The investigative type can be divided in two sub categories:

A) researcher – a positive type, who is into mathematics, physics, chemistry, technology and similar occupations.
B) practical – educative type, who has grammatical and language traits, and prefers social and humane sciences.



Artistic types are complicated. Sensitive, uncontrollable, abstractive, chaotic, unsystematic and emotional. Expressive, impulsive , imaginative, usually non resultant but genuine, idealists, romantic and emotional. They lean to free, abstractive and non-systematical activities and obviously they are font of artistic occupations. Their working environment encourages them to think for themselves as unsystematic and independent. Their main characteristic; the natural talent, in some forms of art like, music, painting, dancing, acting etc. For the artistic type, it is of vital importance to have a decent career in the interesting but difficult path of these artistic occupations.


Social type

For the social ones: they are friendly, cooperative, polite, open, funny, warm and lively. They usually are patient, supportive, helpful and condescending people. They are in good terms with most people, they are persuasive, they contribute to whoever needing them and they are involved in activities that have to do with public relations, communication, information and education, therapy, solidarity and welfare. Their working environment drives them to develop their communication skills as well as their understanding and cooperation.

We can divide the social type in two categories. The “social–out going” one and the “social–solidarity” one. The first has public relation based skills, sales skills by the means of combining their socialization with goals, targets and personal gain. P.R., sales managers and journalists are some of the occupations that suit them best.

The second is characterized by more solidarity-based social skills. Idealists, sensitive, generous, humane and even self-sacrifice are some of their traits. The occupations that suit them best are in the fields of education, welfare, health, nursing and human cooperation in general.



The enterprising types are the ones that have leading qualities. They are ambitious, dominant, active, competitive, social, positive, decisive and creative.

They may be described as constant, absolute, restless, active, open, risky, constructive, dynamic, brave, but also ego centered, offensive and bossy.

At their work, they usually develop means of persuasion skills and controlling and influencing others while they think of themselves as popular and full of confidence.

They usually have a simple-minded opinion about the world based on social status and power.

It is obvious that the enterprising type is best at directive or leading occupations and in every job that has an economic prospect and ways of career ascendance.



The conventional types are the ones that accept for granted their way of life, the accepted values of society and the established hierarchy of the dominion. They are loyal with a higher sense of saving money. They are diligent, adaptable, disciplined, careful, tidy, practical, punctual, precise, cool, cooperative, trustful, usually dogmatic and inward looking, methodical and organized. These types direct themselves in activities that are characterized by order, method and punctuality. They, workwise, usually follow a scheduled routine and activities that demand discipline, computer skills, logistics, enterprising and employer skills as well. Occupations that suit them best are police officer, military, public sector employee, diplomat, business executive, librarian, notary, accountant etc.

In order to find out the connection between the different types of characters, John Holland created a hexagon, known as Holland’s Hexagon, according to which the similarities and differences in between the six types of personalities are shown in the following shape:

Personality types that are closer to each other in distance are more similar than the others.
For example, the realistic type and the investigative type, shown in the top left and top right corner of the shape, usually have more common interests. On the contrary, the realistic and social types have bigger differences.
The conventional type usually has more in common with the enterprising one and the realistic type and less with the social, artistic and investigative type.

Most people are usually complicated characters who contain individual elements from the different types of personalities with less or more quantities from each other.

The dispersion and the space occurring from the graph with the types of personalities at each case, as shown in the customized report may reveal the perfect conclusion for the prospects of your career.
As with other scientific analysis, many practical applications have been based at Holland’s theory with which we observe human behavior and its connection with several occupations, studies and career.

Career gate test k17 uses Holland’s theory as a plus in order to conclude to the customized report.

What are Holland Codes? - Learn More About Career Test Theory

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Finding a career that fits your personality

When you are doing tasks you like, you enjoy your work. Holland Codes are a set of personality types developed by psychologist John L. Holland in the 1970s. Dr. Holland1 reasoned that people work best in work environments that match their preferences. People and work environments can be matched for a best fit. Most people are some combination of two or three of the Holland interest areas. These two or three areas become your "Holland Code".

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Match your interests with an occupation

There are things that you enjoy doing, whatever the industry or job title. The key to finding a satisfying career is to match your fundamental interests with occupations. For instance, a Social person would go crazy sitting alone in an office all day. Or if you are Artistic, you would probably hate having to conform to a set of strict rules in your job. That is why career and vocational tests can be so helpful.

Personality tests based on Holland Codes

Holland Codes are one of the most popular models used for career tests today. Holland argued that the choice of a vocation is an expression of personality. There are six personality types in Holland's model and most people will fit into a few of the categories:

  • Realistic: practical, physical, concrete, hands-on, machine, and tool-oriented
  • Investigative: analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative, thinker
  • Artistic: creative, original, independent, chaotic, inventive, media, graphics, and text
  • Social: cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing, teaching
  • Enterprising: competitive environments, leadership, persuading, status
  • Conventional: detail-oriented, organizing, clerical

Holland code occupations - the heart of many career tests

What kinds of things do you like to do? Take our free career aptitude test and get more insight into your own work interests in just a few minutes.

Realistic type Holland code

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems, and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Investigative type Holland code

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Artistic type Holland code

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Social type Holland code

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Enterprising type Holland code

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking, and they often deal with business.

Conventional type Holland code

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. There is usually a clear line of authority to follow.

Creating your Holland Code

An easy way to remember the Holland Codes is RIASEC, the first letter of each type. Dr. Holland did not say that a person is just one of these types. Then there would be only six types of people in the world. Instead, any one person can have interests associated with all of the six types. When you rank the types, starting with those you have the most interest in to those you have the least interest in, you get your specific Holland Code.

There are some 720 different combinations possible, like ISERAC, AIRSEC, or CSERIA. Generally, however, only two or three letters are necessary to create a useful description, such as SC, IRC, or AIC. Such a description may apply to both a person and a work environment. By typifying both people and work environments with Holland Codes, we can calculate matches between them. This helps you assess a potential career or vocational choice.

Holland's theory also states that any two letters in the code have a stronger link when they are next to each other in a hexagon formed by the word RIASEC. So, Realistic people and work environments are more closely linked to Investigative and Conventional people and environments than to Social people and environments. One difference between Realistic and Social is working with machines or with people. Conventional is more like Realistic and Enterprising than like Artistic and so on.

Read more details in the next article or take a career test based on the Holland Codes now.

1Holland, John L. Making vocational choices: A theory of careers. Prentice Hall, 1973.


D. Holland's personality type test

Psychological characteristics, personality traits, abilities
Orientation, directionality, preferences
Professional environment
Specific occupations
R Activity, aggressiveness, efficiency, perseverance, rationality, practical thinking, developed motor skills, spatial imagination, technical abilities Concrete result, present, things, objects and their practical use, activities that require physical development, dexterity, lack of communication orientation Engineering, agriculture, military affairs. Solving specific problems that require mobility, motor skills, physical strength. Social skills are needed to a minimum and are associated with the reception - transmission of limited information. mechanic, electrician, engineer, farmer, livestock specialist, agronomist, gardener, car mechanic, driver, etc.
I Analytical mind, independence and originality of judgment, harmonious development of linguistic and mathematical abilities, criticality, curiosity, a tendency to fantasy, intense inner life, low physical activity Ideas, theoretical values, mental work, solving intellectual creative problems that require abstract thinking, lack of focus on communication in activities, informational nature of communication Science. Solving problems that require abstract thinking and creativity. Interpersonal relationships play a minor role, although it is necessary to be able to communicate and perceive complex ideas. physicist, astronomer, botanist, programmer, etc.
C Ability to communicate, humanity, empathy, activity, dependence on others and public opinion, adaptation, problem solving based on emotions and feelings, the predominance of language abilities People, communication, establishing contacts with others, the desire to teach, educate, avoid intellectual problems Education, health care, social security, services, sports. Situations and problems associated with the ability to understand people's behavior, requiring constant personal communication, the ability to convince. doctor, teacher, psychologist, etc.
K Ability to process numerical information, stereotyped approach to problems, conservative character, obedience, dependence, following customs, conformity, diligence, predominance of mathematical abilities Order, clearly scheduled activities, work according to instructions, given algorithms, avoiding uncertain situations, social activity and physical stress, taking a leadership position Economics, communications, calculations, accounting, office work. Activities requiring the ability to process routine information and numerical data accountant, financier, economist, clerk, etc.
P Energy, impulsiveness, enthusiasm, enterprise, aggressiveness, willingness to take risks, optimism, self-confidence, the predominance of language abilities, developed organizational skills Leadership, recognition, leadership, power, personal status, avoidance of activities that require perseverance, hard work, motor skills and concentration, interest in economics and politics Solving unclear problems, communicating with representatives of various types in various situations that require the ability to understand the motives of other people's behavior and eloquence businessman, marketer, manager, director, manager, journalist, reporter, diplomat, lawyer, politician, etc.
A Imagination and intuition, emotionally complex outlook on life, independence, flexibility and originality of thinking, developed motor abilities and perception Emotions and feelings, self-expression, creative activities, avoidance of activities that require physical strength, regulated working hours, following rules and traditions Fine arts, music, literature. Solving problems that require artistic taste and imagination musician, artist, photographer, actor, director, designer, etc.

J. Holland Occupational Preference Test

J. Holland Occupational Preference Test

Occupational Preference Questionnaire (OPA) in its theoretical justification is based on the well-known theory of professional preferences (vocational choice), developed by the American professor J. Holland (J. Holland, 1963). Theory professional preferences combines the theory of interests and personality theory.

Its essence can be reduced to the following basic provisions:

1. Most people can be assigned to one of 6 types : Holland distinguishes 6 types personality and, accordingly, 6 types of professional environment: realistic (R-Realist), intellectual (I-Investigative), social (S-Social), Conventional (C-Conventional), Enterprising (E-Enterprising), Artistic (A-Artistic). Each type is an idealization, hypothetical construct to describe a particular group of people who have similar personal and professional characteristics. He is some a benchmark, a standard against which a real person is compared. The type is characterized their psychological characteristics: abilities, interests, warehouse character, preferred environment. Each person can be classified as specific type or characterized through a combination of several typological features. Typological personality traits are the result of the interaction of many factors: cultural and personal. it such as the influence of family, parents and other significant people, qualifications and previous work experience, sociocultural influence, physical environment, etc. So, under the influence of these factors, a person initially prefers one and rejects other activities and social activities. Then these activities become the dominant interests. These interests lead to development of certain skills. And finally, the interests and abilities of the individual form certain personality dispositions that determine how a person perceives the world around him, feels, thinks and acts.

2. Exists 6 types of environment in which the personality operates : realistic, research, artistic, social, entrepreneurial and conventional. In each kind of environment, the corresponding type dominates. Because different personality types have different interests, abilities and dispositions, they tend to surround themselves such people, objects, materials and solve such problems that would be congruent to their needs.

3. People are looking for a suitable environment that would allow them to exercise their skills and abilities, express their attitudes and beliefs, solve their concerns problems and take on appropriate roles. One of the most important components of the environment is the profession of a person, his professional activity. Professions can also be classified according to whether they have elements of 6 types. Leisure is another component of the environment. man, his pastime outside of work.

4. Behavior personality is determined by the interaction between its personality traits and characteristics of her environment. If we know typological features personality and characteristics of his environment, we can speculate regarding his satisfaction, potential turnover, achievements, motivation to strive for improvement. Thus, people employed in the profession and those in an environment corresponding to their type are more satisfied with their career, work with maximum efficiency and are valued in their organizations. Conversely, people who perform professional activities do not corresponding to their type, will experience a feeling of dissatisfaction, a desire change jobs, low motivation.

For the convenience of understanding the interaction of a personality type and its environment hexagon is used J. Holland.

Based on the hexagonal model, J. Holland put forward additional concepts that expand the explanatory power of his theory.

· Types located at adjacent vertices , are more congruent to each other, have some of the same traits and interests, and are easier fit into an adjacent environment (for example, a realist is close to a research type and conventional).

· Types in opposite vertices hexagons have the least number of similar features. Moreover, they have directly opposite traits (for example, a realist and a socialist, enterprising and intelligent types).

· Some personalities of can be attributed to "pure" type or "mixed" type . "Pure" demonstrate a pronounced belonging to one type and weak to others. "Mixed" types can exhibit traits of types 2-3. There are also individuals in whom the features of all types are represented approximately equally.

Brief description of types according to Holland

Realistic type ( R) - male, non-social, stable, present-oriented, deals with specific objects (things, animals, machines) and their practical use.

Preferred activities

• mechanical activities, operating large machines, heavy equipment, operating machinery and using tools, requiring accuracy, dexterity, fine motor coordination (drilling, lathes, dentist's drill, surgical scalpel, jewelry tools)

• construction, repair, military activities, design work

• any activity that produces a tangible result, prefer action to thinking, concrete tasks to difficult and abstract problems

R-Type Abilities

• physical strength, psychomotor skills, manual dexterity

• mechanical ability, resourcefulness

• mathematical ability

Personal qualities and values ​​

• emotional stability, reliability

• practicality, economy

• perseverance, perseverance, self-confidence, propensity to risk-taking, purposefulness

• modesty, shyness, frankness, sincerity, naturalness

• independent, conservative, supportive traditional values ​​

• rigidity, slow acceptance of new ideas, obedience

• does the job without further ado, works carefully, neatly, systematically

• prefers a clear regulation of work, wants to know what, how and when to do

• dislikes long conversations, negotiations, discussions

• most unlike the S-type (social). Interaction with this type can cause hostility, harshness, misunderstanding. Closest to Research and Conventional types and prefers to work with them

Preferred environment

• nature, countryside

• least interaction with other people

• situations involving simple, comfortable clothing, e.g. overalls

• organizations with a rigid hierarchical subordination and authoritarianism (armed forces, ATC, etc.)

• firms producing specific, tangible products

• transport, engineering, technical, energy enterprises

Typical hobbies

• restoration of old mechanisms (cars, watches, cameras, etc.), repair, construction, assembly of various devices

• construction and restoration work

• farming, gardening, gardening, gardening

• hunting, fishing, tourism

• driving motor vehicles

• physically dangerous sports, outdoor sports

Professions and activities:

carpenter, farmer, car mechanic, forester, driver, welder, radio engineer, mechanical engineer, civil engineer, economic planner production, process engineer, jeweler, cook

Research type ( I)

Preferred activities

• collection of information, its systematization, analysis

• performing complex or abstract tasks

• problem solving through reflection, analysis of hypotheses and theories

• independent, self-employed self-employed yourself

• performing scientific or laboratory work

• prefer thinking to action

I-type abilities

• mathematical ability

• analytical skills

• scientific inclinations, rational logical inclinations analysis

• writing skills

• rationality, erudition

Personal qualities and values ​​

• independence, autonomy, self-motivation, task-oriented, immersed in work

• reserved, introspective, analytical, rationality, methodicalness

• curiosity, intelligence, innovation, erudition

• self-confidence, non-traditional orientation values ​​and attitudes

• work style: finds out a lot of details before come to a conclusion, wants to find out the reasons behind this or that phenomenon, may focus too much on details and not see the problem wholly, often finds it difficult to express his opinion or make a decision without to re-view information

• most unlike the Enterprising type. relationship with this type give rise to too many problems and questions for the Exploratory type. Most similar to the Realist and Artist types.

Preferred environment

• loosely structured organizations providing freedom in work activities,

• achievement-oriented organizations, research and design laboratories and firms, universities and institutes

• relatively closed social circle, preferably professional environment

Typical hobbies

• work (I-type is often completely absorbed in his work and works many hours a day)

• complex activities that require the development of many facts, details, principles (yachting, scuba diving, mountaineering, astronomy, etc.)

• computers and everything connected with them

• reading scientific literature

Professions and activities:

design engineer, physicist, chemist, publisher of scientific or popular science magazine, botanist, anthropologist, meteorologist, researcher, sociologist, biologist

Artistic type (A)

Preferred activities

• artistic creation (painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry making, design, composition, writing and etc. )

• playing musical instruments

• performing acting activities

Abilities possessed by A-type

• imagination, creativity

• musical ability

• artistic ability

• verbal-linguistic ability

• sense of harmony, taste

Personal characteristics and valuables

• independence, independence, non-conformity

• impulsiveness, expressiveness, emotionality, sensitivity

• impractical, disorderly

• intuitive, value-oriented beauty and aesthetics, imagery of thinking, “right hemisphere”

• desire for self-expression, demonstrativeness

• originality, openness, freedom from conventions

• allows alternative solutions to problems

• most dissimilar to the Conventional type, close to the Research and Social type

Preferred environment

• unstructured, flexible organizations that provide opportunity for self-expression (artistic studios, theatres, concert halls and etc. )

• organizations that teach artistic skills (musical and art schools, art institutes, etc.)

• museums, libraries, galleries, advertising and design firms

Typical hobbies

• photography, drawing, painting

• attending dance and music concerts, theaters, museums, concerts

• composition of poems, short stories, fiction collecting

• playing musical instruments, dancing

Professions and activities:

• artist, architect, sculptor, conductor, photographer, teacher music, museum director

Social type ( S)

Preferred activities

• group work orientation with people rather than objects

• teaching, explanation, explanation

• assistance, counseling, advice

• organizing group events, conducting discussions

S-Type Abilities

• verbal ability

• communication and interpersonal skills

• teaching, public speaking

• listening skills

Personal characteristics and valuables

• humanistic, idealistic, ethical, responsibility, morality

• cooperativeness, attunement to others, understanding of others

• tactful, emotionally warm, friendly, cheerful, optimistic

• most dissimilar to Realistic type and closest to Artistic and Entrepreneurial types

Preferred environment

• social organizations, schools, religious organizations, recruitment agencies

• medical institutions, psychiatric, psychotherapeutic, psychological counseling services

• social security services

Typical hobbies

• organization of entertainment for others

• attending social events, meetings

• Voluntary performance of charitable and social works

Social type professions

• teacher, educator, health worker, social worker, psychologist, priest

Entrepreneurial type (E)

Preferred activities

• work with others in organizations to achieve organizational goals and economic success

• financial and interpersonal risk, participation in competitive activity

• sale, purchase, trade, business

• holding meetings, groups, managing organizations, companies, people and project management

• conducting political campaigns, elections, presentations and etc.

E-Type Abilities

• organizational skills, verbal skills, oratory, persuasion

• management and leadership skills

• social and interpersonal skills

• propensity for entrepreneurial activity

Personal qualities and values ​​

• striving for power, leadership position, high status

• ambition, gambling, competitiveness, dominance, self-confidence, aggressiveness, adventurism

• extroversion, sociability, sociability

• orientation towards money, power, material well-being

• optimism, energy, love of popularity

• the most difficult interaction with the Research type, works best with Social and Convention types

Preferred environment

• positions in government and political organizations with power, by disposal of large finances

• industrial firms, retailers and wholesalers sales, agencies for the sale of land, houses, real estate, brokerage firms

Typical hobbies

• membership in clubs and organizations, attendance at meetings

• sporting events or as a spectator or party, rich vacation

• entertainment, organization of parties, amusements

• political activities

Professions and activities:

• manager, merchant, entrepreneur, stock exchange broker, lawyer, insurance agent, manager

Conventional type (C)

Preferred activities

• work that requires attention to detail and accuracy

• office equipment management

• maintenance of files, storage and systematization of records, facts, data, financial books

• writing business reports, preparing diagrams, tables, charts

S-Type Abilities

• arithmetic ability

• clerical skills

• manual fine motor skills

• organization, punctuality, pedantry, neatness

Personal qualities and values ​​

• conscientiousness, perseverance, practicality, honesty

• self-control, conservatism, caution, planning, conformity

• thrift, interest in money, material well-being

• Needs clear communication to get the job done effectively. plan, suitable for group work

• Most dissimilar to the Artistic type, closest to the Realist types and Enterprising

Preferred environment

• this type, like Enterprising, good works in large organizations, but prefers not leadership, but subordinate role

• large corporations, financial institutions, banks, accounting offices

• quality control departments, archives, file cabinets, inspections

• well structured organizations with a strong hierarchical structure

Typical hobbies

• collectibles (stamps, coins, etc.)

• building models

• home improvement projects

• participation in civil and public organizations

• games with clear and precise rules

Professions and activities

• accountant, cashier, accountant, bank clerk, secretary, programmer, translator of technical literature

The classic test by J. Holland consists of a series of tasks to determine inclinations, abilities, severity of personality traits, preferred types activities; tasks in each series are divided into 6 types.

In Russia (in the Soviet Union) a questionnaire is known that was developed A.A.Sukamyagi (Tartu State University) in the mid-80s of the 20th century on the basis of theory of J. Holland The questionnaire consists of 45 pairs of professions. Each profession corresponds to only one of the six types. In each pair, preference should be given to one of the professions. As a result the preferred type (or types) of professions is revealed and, accordingly, professional environment and personal behavior.

A.Sukamyagi's questionnaire underwent additional adaptation in 1993 in TUSUR Automated Career Guidance Systems Laboratories.


You will be in pairs various professions are represented.

In each pair you one should be preferred.







Auto mechanic













Hotel manager



Radio operator





Tour guide




Text proofreader







Circus actor








Head of Administration



Career Counselor




Chief accountant





Art critic



Store Manager




Mining engineer

Research Engineer



Livestock breeder





Catalog maker




Market Director



Electrical engineer





Family doctor




Controller - cashier




Sales manager







Kindergarten teacher




Swimming instructor

Sales manager



Medical worker

Fashion designer






Copyist of notes

Music arranger



Construction manager

Performing musician



Locomotive driver

Aircraft designer




Dating Consultant















Scientific journal editor




Theoretical physicist

Blueprint Copier




Bank President



Meteorological scientist

Interior artist



Foreign language teacher

Product Quality Inspector



Physical Therapy Trainer




Social worker




Commercial director



Head office




Television producer


Calculation algorithm

The sum of matches by each of the 6 parameters: R I S C E A.

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