Hall Occupational Orientation Inventory

Hall Occupational Orientation InventoryThe Hall Occupational Orientation Inventory (HALL), first published in 1968, was developed by Lacy G. Hall to provide a more complete assessment of work-related personality variables than do the extant standardized interest inventories. Hall based the development of this inventory on the humanistic personality need theory elaborated by Abraham Maslow and adapted by Anne Roe, and on occupational-interest research. Since 1968, HALL has been revised four times (fourth revision published 1989). HALL was developed to expand the domain of the traditional trait factor interest inventories by assessing other domains in addition to interests: personal values, psychological needs, job characteristics, abilities, and choice style. This 175-item instrument is a vocational counseling inventory designed to be self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted. There are several forms of HALL, designed for different populations and age groups: Intermediate, Young Adult/ College/Adult, Adult Basic, and Form II. HALL can be used with the Guide for Occupational Exploration, published by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1979.

The 175 items of HALL are grouped into 35 scales of 5 items each. There are 9 Needs-Values scales (e.g., Creativity-Independence, Self-Actualization, Routine-Dependence); 6 Career Interest scales with 6 corresponding Ability scales (e.g., People-Social-Accommodating, Things-Physical, People-Business-Influencing); 8 Job Characteristics scales (e.g., Coworkers, Time, Risk); and 6 Choice Style scales (e.g., Subjective External Authority, Interdependent,

Procrastination). The response formats vary depending on the type of scale. The Needs-Values scales, Career Interest scales, and Job Characteristics scales are assessed on a five-point scale ranging from most desirable to very undesirable. The Choice Style scales use a three-point scale ranging from not like me to very much like me. Last, the Ability scales employ a four-point response continuum ranging from weak to strong.

HALL is designed to be self-administered, self-scored, self-profiled, and self-interpreted. The intent is to provide individuals with an organizational scheme for rating, prioritizing, and evaluating a variety of personal factors known to be related to successful career choice and satisfaction. The scoring system uses raw scores to evaluate the relative importance of the personal characteristics to the individual taking the inventory, rather than comparing the individual’s scores with those of a normative sample of other people. The goal of this type of scoring system is to facilitate exploration rather than result in prediction.

Items on this instrument present only one variable at a time to the individual. No specific occupation is identified by any of the items, so a respondent is evaluating only a single need or interest dimension as he or she considers a response to each item. Similarly, all the items on each scale are logically related to the scale. No empirical, predictive occupational scales are used, because Hall believes that empirical scales do not facilitate exploration or interpretation. In addition, since the instrument is based on Maslow’s humanistic dynamic developmental theory of personality, it is not expected to exhibit long-term temporal stability but only to provide a snapshot of evolving personality variables at a given moment in time. The argument is that people no longer choose one occupation that will last a lifetime. Most workers change occupations several times during their careers, and the priorities and values of a 20-year-old college student or entry-level worker may not resemble the priorities and values of that same individual in 10 or 20 years’ time. HALL was intentionally designed to aid individuals in searching for new directions as they change and develop as people.

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  1. Hall, L. G. 2000. Counselor/User’s Manual for Hall Occupational Orientation Inventory. 4th ed. Bensenville, IL: Scholastic Testing Service.
  2. Pentecoste, J. C. 1975. “Occupational Levels and Perceptions of the World of Work in the Inner City.” Journal of Counseling Psychology 22:437-439.
  3. Twyman, D. T. 1980. “A Comparison of Factors Used by Black and White Freshmen Students in Choosing an Occupation, as Measured by the Hall Occupational Orientation Inventory.” Dissertation Abstracts International 49(9-A): 4905.