The ASVAB Test
Joining the United States National Guard entails the successful completion of various examinations and background checks. Rather than a traditional question-and-answer session, the National Guard interview process is primarily made up of the standardized ASVAB test. Applicants typically take the ASVAB test for practice at National Guard recruiting stations to begin the hiring process. Candidates hoping to join the National Guard officially must then complete a formal version of the exam and achieve a predetermined minimum score, usually about 60% or higher.
After administering the ASVAB test, hiring officials check the overall health and body composition of job seekers by conducting physical examinations and reviews of medical histories. Interviewees must also undergo extensive background checks before obtaining security clearance and swearing in to the National Guard.
Upon joining the National Guard, employees enjoy frequent opportunities for career advancement. Guardsmen often gain access to other jobs, including administrative, officer, and specialist positions. Job seekers applying for these positions generally go through more traditional interview process frequently consisting of meeting with a panel of hiring representatives.
Applicants participating in National Guard interviews typically respond to questions assessing decision-making and problem-solving skills, knowledge of Army regulations and standards, and other abilities relevant to the specific position. Commonly asked interview questions include, "What are the seven Army values?" and "What did you like most/least about your last command?", in addition to queries asking interviewees how they would execute certain duties specific to the job opportunity.
How to Answer Interview Questions
Think about each National Guard interview question carefully before responding. Keep your responses clear, positive, and detailed enough to answer each interview question entirely without straying off-topic.
Conducting Personal Behavior
Remember to salute the National Guard interviewer properly at the beginning and end of the session. Try to maintain a professional and enthusiastic demeanor throughout the entire National Guard interview process.
Drug Screens and Personality Assessments
Candidates selected for National Guard jobs regularly need to undergo drug screenings and personality assessments in addition to background checks.
National Guard Soldier Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
National Guard Soldier: I am an Ohio National Guard soldier, and I am also an SMP cadet with the University of Akron. So, that is a dual role; you’re a college student, but you drill as practice to one day become an officer in the United States Army. Or, you can stay in the National Guard if you choose to.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
National Guard Soldier: It’s a very open environment. It’s not as one-way as you think. There is a set standard you have to follow, but as long as you’re within the standards, you have an open mind, you’re positive about everything, and oriented to play the part, you’re pretty much set.
Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
National Guard Soldier: You would start off in the morning with PT, which stands for physical training, and basically work out to the Army’s standards. Then, you would clean up after that, change uniforms into the duty uniform that you see soldiers walk around in, and you would complete the day’s task, whatever was listed by your commander to complete. Anything else, you’ll be briefed on.
Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
National Guard Soldier: To get in, you’ll take a practice ASVAB test when you go to a recruiting station. From that point, once you pass you go up to MEPS, which stands for Military Entrance Processing Station. You will then take another ASVAB that will be a formal test in all the areas of the test. Then, they’ll check your health, check your body composition, and check what shots you have, your medical record, criminal history, basically scan what’s happened before you entered the military. Once that checks out, you get one more background check, depending on your security clearance, and then you swear in.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
National Guard Soldier: I would say to do it full heartedly, like you’re not on the fence about it because it’s a very hard thing to do if you’re not all the way in it. We all love what we do, so if you join something you’re not sure about it, it’s going to be a rough path.