Marines Interview Questions & Tips

Important Info to Consider

The United States Marine Corps, abbreviated as the USMC, is known for its high standards of enlistment and seeking recruits who demonstrate honorable, steadfast, and brave characteristics. Applicants may expect a rigorous screening and interview process, which examines the mental, emotional, and psychological states of applicants. The military branch offers service options for reserves, enlistees, and officers. Each service features a unique screening process. From beginning to end, the screening process may take several weeks to several months. To earn initial consideration for United States Marine Corps careers, candidates must possess high school diplomas or GEDs and meet the minimum age requirements for service areas.

Character-based Questions

To begin the process, candidates must meet one-on-one with recruiters to determine eligibility. Initially, recruiters ask basic qualifier questions covering height and weight, criminal background, marital status, education, and medical conditions. Recruiters then ask question designed to gauge an applicant's character. Some examples include:

  • What do you have to offer us?
  • Do you think you have what it takes to be a Marine?
  • How do you manage adversity?
  • Could you describe a time when you had to demonstrate leadership?
  • Why do you want to serve your country?


Following interviewing with recruiters, candidates take ASVAB tests to determine personal choices for occupational fields. Formally known as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, the ASVAB features multiple-choice questions, which measure capabilities for occupational success. The ASVAB includes sections on general science, arithmetic reasoning, world knowledge, comprehension, mathematics, electronic information, automotive information, mechanical comprehension, and object assembly. Applicants may prepare for the test by practicing sample questions online and reviewing standard knowledge in each subject area. Upon completing the ASVAB, recruiters will tell candidates about the jobs available to them.

Initial Strength Test

After interviewing and occupational testing, applicants may then take medical and fitness evaluations. In medical screenings, the Marine Corps looks for any disqualifying illnesses or conditions. During the fitness screening process, candidates need to pass the Initial Strength Test, or IST. Men need to run 1.5 miles in 13:30, perform 2 pull-ups, and complete 44 crunches. Women need to perform a flex-arm hang for 12 seconds, 44 crunches, and a 15-minute 1.5-mile run.

Be Honest and Clear in Interviews

Applicants must take each U.S. Marine Corps job interview question seriously and put forth clear, concise, and well-thought-out answers. Honesty is essential when answering Marine Corps interview questions. The Marines conduct thorough evaluations, and any false or inaccurate information will most likely be discovered. Applicants should remember, when meeting with recruiters, no obligation stands to join the military branch.

Weight Requirements

Exact standards vary depending on sex, age, and height. In general, male candidates must not exceed 19% body fat and women shouldn't exceed 27% body fat. Prior to recruitment, candidates should start exercise routines combined with a proper diet in order to meet weight standards.

Physical Fitness

In addition to exhibiting the values the U.S. Marine Corps wants, a candidate must also exhibit physical fitness. Preforming a regular regimen of running, crunches, and pull-ups prior to interviewing remains highly recommended. Applicants should learn to perform physical activities in proper form to ensure preparedness.

U.S. Marine Corps Heavy Equipment Operator Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
U.S. Marine Corps Soldier: Job title is a heavy equipment operator, 1345. I do all of the basic things, like rifle, but I also build construction sites. We lay a lot of concrete, gravel, things like that, and we move stuff around, crates and what not.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
U.S. Marine Corps Soldier: That is very busy, from 7:00am to 4:30pm – that’s not military time. It’s very busy. You usually have an hour lunch. It’s one task after another. You complete one thing, bring it back, get it signed off, and you’re doing something else.

Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
U.S. Marine Corps Soldier: Staying busy. I like to stay busy. It’s tough work, but it’s very rewarding at the end of the day. Working hard, coming home being tired, knowing that you earned your money.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
U.S. Marine Corps Soldier: We have a motor pool. We may have tractors, bulldozers. Basically, the first thing you do in the morning, you start all the gear up, make sure it’s working correctly, then you go get your duties.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
U.S. Marine Corps Soldier: First of all, you have to take the ASVAB. You have to get a passing score. I’m not sure what the score is, like 35. You do that, you’re basically qualified from an intelligence standpoint. Then, physically, you have to be very physically fit. They usually like to go for athletes, basketball players, football players, track runners – a lot of track runners are recruited – things like that. Once you get in, they find out you’re healthy, and you meet the three core aspects; you have to be honor, courage, commitment. I’m sure you probably heard it on the commercial. If you feel like you’re a person who can uphold standards, then they send you off to boot camp. You make it through boot camp, you’re a Marine.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
U.S. Marine Corps Soldier: If you think about joining the Marines, first of all, you want to be physically fit. Second thing, you want to know that you’re going to make a commitment because it’s definitely a commitment. You’re going to go in. You’re going to do it four years; there’s no getting out. There’s no quitting. No “I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be here anymore.” You’re in it; you have to do it. I mean, you should enjoy doing it once you get in, but just be ready for the commitment. It’s a big step for a young person.

More U.S. Marine Corps Interview Videos:


  • peter kabugi says:

    i would like to get the application forms for the marine.please help

Worked Here Before? Tell Us About It!

Your email address will not be published.

Please only comment if you have worked for this company before.