How to Get a Job at the USPS
One of the oldest means of shipping goods throughout the United States, the U.S. Postal Service also operates as one of the largest employers in the country. More than 500,000 employees work for the United States Postal Service nationwide.
Rigorous interview process
As positions become available, the U.S. Postal Service conducts hiring and offers opportunities for interviews across operations. The United States Postal Service hiring process involves intense scrutiny stemming from the company operating as a branch of the Federal Government, which imposes stiffer regulations and standards.
More than one interview
Applicants often need to participate in multiple job interviews in order to secure employment with the federal courier.
Applicants in search of letter carrier jobs typically spend about three weeks going through the necessary requirements for the position.
Initial online test
Prior to participating in United States Postal Service job interviews, applicants must successfully complete online assessments or civil service tests. Job seekers must pass the examination in order to interview with the national courier.
Candidates generally start out in group interviews and move on to one-to-one interviews based on performance. USPS group interviews may last upwards of two hours.
During in-person interviews, United State Postal Service applicants complete a second test. Passing both tests and performing well during group interviews and 1:1 interviews stand as prerequisites to gaining employment.
Mail Clerk and Sorter
Mail clerk and sorter positions carry relatively similar hiring requirements for employment consideration. Applicants generally submit hiring forms online and then receive invitations to interview in-person.
The entire United States Postal Service interview process lasts about a week for sorter and mail clerk jobs. In some cases, applicants must participate in open interviews prior to personal, 1:1 interviews. United States Postal Service hiring representatives orient candidates on the positions available and typical working conditions and select individuals to return for further screening.
Skills tests often take place in between initial open interviews and personal interviews.
Drug testing and background checks follow formal job offers.
Most of the interview questions job hopefuls encounter during the United States Postal Service hiring process center on job duties and codes of conduct.
To uncover potential behaviors in given circumstances, U.S. Postal Service interview questions may include situational queries, such as:
- Are you able to work and adjust to both hot and cold temperatures?
- How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?
United States Postal Service interview questions also regularly touch on the subject of availability.
Prospective mail carriers may receive additional questioning into physical endurance, feelings on animals, and driving records.
How to Dress
Suits and ties or professional dresses represent appropriate clothing to wear to United States Postal Service job interviews.
How to Behave
Throughout the United States Postal Service interview process, maintain professional and cooperative attitudes.
How Long Until You Hear Back?
Due to regular high numbers of applicants, potential employees may wait anywhere from a few days to over a year to receive United States Postal Service interview consideration. Follow up the final United States Postal Service interview session with a phone call to check on the status of the job.
Video interview: a former employee describes what its like to work for USPS.
US Postal Service Supervisor Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
US Postal Service Supervisor: I am the student supervisor. Basically, it’s the same duties as other postal workers. We stamp the mail, send it out, and give people all the options in terms of services, inventory, getting stamps, getting new boxes, getting whatever is needed for the customers. Mainly, customer service – make sure you’re serving them as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a supervisor, I had to deal a lot with disgruntled customers, answer questions that other workers don’t know the answer to, and stuff like that.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
US Postal Service Supervisor: It’s very busy most of the time. In the mornings, it’s pretty chill, but the lines can sometimes get about 50 people long. So, you have to have the ability to work under pressure very well and be nice at the same time. It’s really fun, though. We’re all students. We play music. No other post office plays music. People really like us a lot more. We’re friendlier; we’re not disgruntled yet or anything. We’re not going postal on them. So, it’s fun, close with all the coworkers, we hang out outside of work.
Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
US Postal Service Supervisor: First of all, commitment, availability. Second, ability to work under pressure. Third, great customer service. Happy, jovial, able to keep your cool, stay happy, even when you’re not having a good day or when customers make you angry, and that’s pretty much it.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
US Postal Service Supervisor: Definitely perseverance. It’s just a typical job in terms of customer service, and it’s a very good experience, just learning how to work with people in general.