Campbell™ Interest and Skill Survey (CISS®)

Campbell™ Interest and Skill Survey (CISS®)

Key Information


David Campbell, PhD


Vocational interest and skills inventory with career planner for college-bound or college-educated individuals

Age Range:

15 and up


Q-global or paper-and-pencil

Scoring Option:

Q-global, Q Local, internet or mail-in scoring

Reading Level:

6th grade

Completion Time:

25 minutes (200 interest and 120 skill items, 6-point response scale)


5,225 working adults

Report Options:


Publication Date:


Campbell™ Interest and Skill Survey (CISS®)


Manage your CISS testing program on-line. Click here for a DEMO.

The Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS) measures self-reported vocational interests and skills. Similar to traditional interest inventories, the CISS interest scales reflect an individual’s attraction for specific occupational areas.

However, the CISS instrument goes beyond traditional inventories by adding parallel skill scales that provide estimates of an individual’s confidence in his or her ability to perform various occupational activities. Together, the two types of scales provide more comprehensive, richer data than interest scores alone. The Internet version of the CISS survey, which includes an innovative test management system for counselors and an expanded CISS Career Planner, adds new dimension to this dynamic, popular instrument.

The CISS instrument focuses on careers that require post-secondary education and is most appropriate for use with individuals who are college bound or college educated.

How to Use This Instrument

Counselors, psychologists, and human resource professionals in mental health, business, and educational settings can use the CISS survey to help:

  • Explore new avenues in career development
  • Pinpoint areas of academic study that can build skills and, as a result, increase career options
  • Support personal counseling by identifying occupations or vocations that help meet the individual’s needs
  • Advise displaced and transitioning employees in outplacement programs

Key Features

  • The use of both traditional interest scales and parallel skill scales helps individuals gain a more thorough understanding of suitable career options.
  • The CISS instrument uses easily understood, contemporary items.
  • Test items reflect a respect for individuals of different gender, race, religion, and national origin.
  • Combined gender scales allow for the broadest interpretation of survey results.


Orientation Scales
The seven Orientation Scales, 29 Basic Scales are based on Dr. Campbell’s model for occupational orientations. These orientations generally correspond to the familiar RIASEC themes.

Basic Scales
The 29 Basic Scales, which represent parallel interest and skills scores, divide the Orientation Scales into the following categories:

Influencing:Leadership, Law/Politics, Public Speaking, Sales, Advertising/Marketing
Organizing:Supervision, Financial Services, Office Practices
Helping:Adult Development, Counseling, Child Development, Religious Activities, Medical Practice
Creating:Art/Design, Performing Arts, Writing, International Activities, Fashion, Culinary Arts
aNalyzing:Mathematics, Science
Producing:Mechanical Crafts, Woodworking, Farming/Forestry, Plants/Gardens, Animal Care
Adventuring:Athletics/Physical Fitness, Military/Law Enforcement, Risks/Adventure


Psychometric Information

The CISS instrument was standardized using a reference sample of 5,225 employed men and women representing a wide array of occupations and ethnic backgrounds.

Report Option

Individual Profile Report (Product Number 51456)
The CISS results are presented both numerically and graphically and include narrative comments to facilitate easy interpretation by the respondent. In particular, the report recommends vocations that the respondent should pursue (high interest and high skill), avoid (low interest, low skill), explore (high skill, low interest) and develop (low skill, high interest). Also, a worksheet is available to facilitate action planning, and a two-page file summary is included for use by the career counselor.

Sample Reports: Internet version |Paper version

Scoring and/or Reporting Options

Q-global™ Web-based Administration, Scoring, and Reporting – Enables you to quickly assess and efficiently organize examinee information, generate scores, and produce accurate comprehensive reports all via the Web.

Q Local™ Scoring and Reporting Desktop Software – Enables you to score assessments, report results, and store and export data on your computer.

Mail-in Scoring Service – Specially designed answer sheets are mailed to Pearson for processing within 24–48 hours of receipt; results returned via regular mail.

– Allows you to score the assessments at your site.

Internet Scoring – Offers flexibility and interactivity.

Counselors can manage all their online CISS administrations at the Pearson Internet Administration Center, The Admininstration Center offers the interactive features that are only available online. For example, the CISS online report includes:

  • A link to the expanded CISS Career Planner, which contains additional career resources and a section on working with a career counselor
  • Links to career-planning exercises and career resources
  • Direct link from CISS occupations to the O*NET occupations
  • Career Assessment Inventory-Enhanced also available


Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.

  • What is the value of the skills component of the CISS assessment?

  • How does the new Campbell model and its seven orientations relate to the RIASEC model?

  • Can I use the CISS assessment effectively with individuals whose work-related experiences are limited?

  • How should flat or deflated profiles be interpreted?