About US

Interest + Skill = Peak Performance

There is a formula for success, but it’s YOUR formula. Customized to your interests and behaviors…you just need the support to unlock the power that is already within you.

At CareerThenWhat, we work with you to understand the elements of YOU through the lens of The Birkman Method®, then coach you to maximize your strengths. Whether you’re looking at degree options or to amplify and change your career, we can help you learn your formula for peak performance.

The Birkman

The powerful data of The Birkman develops actions that empower our clients to succeed in some of the greatest feats in human achievement. That’s why Birkman is the trusted partner for the biggest brands in industries ranging from technology to space exploration, aeronautics to oil and gas exploration, and nonprofits to championship-winning sports teams. 


“The Birkman Method offers such an articulate way of understanding myself and my fellow humans that I would say that before I learned this information I was grunting and groping in the dark. It provides language and structure where, really, for me, none truly existed before. For savants of human understanding perhaps, but not for mere mortals.”

Alexis T.

Atlanta, GA

“The Birkman is a tool to help understand how people are wired. Knowing these things up front has proven incredibly valuable– I’ve used it both personally and professionally. I’m the father of 4 children, 3 of whom are married. I strongly encouraged each of them to take the Birkman along with their spouse and since that time, they have all made comments to me about how it’s one of the best investments they’ve ever made.

Professionally, I’ve hired hundreds of people and use the Birkman in making every hiring decision. It has proven consistently accurate in aligning the career opportunity with the candidate best suited for the job, and then to help that employee achieve their personal and career goals as well.”

Mark D.

Dayton, OH

More About Birkman

The Birkman Method®

The results in your preview report are created from your responses to The Birkman Method® Questionnaire. The method was developed empirically by Roger Birkman Ph.D. The assessment is based on scientific study not theory.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Our method produces a comprehensive measure of personality, motivation and interest, achieving what typically requires multiple assessments. With any assessment, the more it measures the more predictive it becomes and the greater level of understanding it provides.

The literature (Colbert, Mount, Harter, Witt, & Barrick, 2004; Terborg, Richardson, & Pritchard, 1980; Tett & Burnett, 2003; Zaccaro, 2007) demonstrates that three distinct factors account for the majority of variance in job performance and job satisfaction:

  1. Characteristics of the individual,
  2. Characteristics of the situation, and
  3. Interaction between the individual and the situation.

The Birkman Method measures all three of the above factors in detail to maximize prediction and understanding. Additionally, Birkman distinguishes between differences of kind and differences of degree, meaning the assessment is capable of identifying the characteristics and the intensity of the characteristic. Through this capability Birkman is able to describe the individual within a variety of situations to deliver practical, actionable information for understanding and managing self, relationships, and careers.

The Model

To further understand The Birkman Method it is helpful to use a model. One model for understanding Birkman is Lewin’s Equation, developed by Dr. Kurt Lewin.

B = f (P,E)

“Behavior is a function of the Person and his/her interaction with their Environment.”

Similar to Lewin’s equation, The Birkman Method® indicates the importance of the environment (E) surrounding the person and the impact it can have on the person’s perceptions (P). How the individual perceives the situation creates the resulting behavior (B). Through a model like this, Birkman is able to predict behavior (actions and reactions) and motivation across a variety of situations and environments.

Technical Facts

The Birkman Method is a single online assessment. It is not a test. There are no right or wrong answers. It takes an average of 30 minutes to complete. There are 298 questions that, when answered, can produce over 30 report formats to facilitate hiring, coaching, leadership development, team building, career management, conflict management, and more. The Birkman Method measures motivations, behaviors and interests through this single assessment to produce a multi-dimensional, comprehensive analysis of the person.

Construct Domains

The Birkman Method results are supported by over 40 scales describing individual differences across four construct domains. 10 scales describe occupational preferences (Interests), 11 scales describing effective behaviors (Usual Style), and 11 scales describing interpersonal and environmental expectations (Needs). A corresponding set of 11 scale values is produced to describe less effective behaviors (Stress Behaviors). The Usual, Needs and Stress Scale results are only available in the Premiere Report Set Results.


The 11 Usual Style scale reliabilities range from .67 to .88. The 11 Needs scales reliabilities range from .54 to .81. The average internal consistency reliability of the 10 Interests is .85, ranging from .74 (Scientific) to
.91 (Mechanical).


The Birkman Method is validated for people ages 17 – 65. Using several personality and non-personality measurements (e.g., NEO, Wonderlic), The Birkman Method has established convergent and divergent construct validity.

Our Beginnings

Roger W. Birkman, Ph.D. (1919-2014) became interested in individual differences between people while serving as a pilot and pilot instructor for the U.S. Air Force in the 1940s. His experience with the impact that misperceptions, both visual and interpersonal, had on pilot performance and student learning led him to the study of psychology. From these beginnings, Roger set out to measure the human characteristics he saw influencing perceptions, behaviors, and motivations. By 1950, Roger had developed a unique method of assessment that would come to be known as The Birkman Method®. To bring his unique methodology to people he founded Birkman & Associates in 1951. His passion for understanding people and helping them create better relationships, better careers, and better lives continues to be the mission of Birkman International today.

Our Evolution

In the more than 60 years since the organization began, the goal has been quality and excellence, both scientifically and professionally. Much time, effort, and resources go in to making sure the assessments from Birkman are reliable and valid and the technology that delivers them is fast, secure and accessible 24×7.

Beginning as a paper and pencil “Test of Social Comprehension”, The Birkman Method was first computerized in the mid-1960s on an IBM 1401. Around this same time, Roger met Roy B. Mefferd, Jr., Ph.D., a pioneer in the space between psychology and physiology, and a talented statistician. Dr. Mefferd brought new levels of prediction and accuracy to The Birkman Method. He would serve as Birkman’s lead researcher into the 1990s.

By the mid-1970s Birkman had moved to computer punch cards and then onto tape, allowing for higher volumes of assessment processing through faster scoring. At around this time, a second important researcher joined the organization. Tim Sadler, Ph.D., a student of Mefferd’s, would contribute important product development, research and research leadership until the early 2000s. Although retired from Birkman, Tim continues to advise Birkman on research matters and operates his own management consulting practice.

In the late 1970s Birkman moved to an IBM 4300 Group 1 mainframe that further increased the volume and speed of scoring. The decades that followed would bring additional scientific and technical evolutions to Birkman, including the use of PCs in the early 80s, software in the 1990s, and finally web-based in the early 2000s. 

Relationship between the Questionnaire and the Results

The online Birkman Questionnaire has 3 parts completed by the respondent in this order: Most People, Self, and Interests. The Most People and Self sections are each made up of 125 true-false questions. The Interest section is made up of 48 multi-choice questions. Each section produces results for the 11 scales and 3 construct domains of The Birkman Method. The graphic below shows which parts of the Questionnaire are used to produce the results for each construct domain.

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We are located in Cincinnati, Ohio but proudly work with people from all over the country!