The US postal service processes almost 500 million mail pieces each day. And though people send over 300 billion emails each single day, all over the world, physical mail is far from dead. And so is the job of a mail clerk, in both postal services and big corporations that receive thousands of mail pieces each day.

You will be responsible for sorting and collating mail, placing it to proper buckets for distribution (for example to various departments within the company), opening envelopes that aren’t addressed, and disposing of junk mail. Second part of your duties relates to outgoing email. You will receive it and apply correct postage, stamp it with postage maters, record registered mail, and so on.

Let’s have a look at 10 questions you may face while interviewing for this job in a corporate setting.


Why do you want to work as a mail clerk?

You probably wasn’t dreaming about this job as a kid, but you should try to find something positive about the job, and explain how it matches your abilities, skills, and preferences.

You can say that you have excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. What’s more, you are fast with paper work, have delicate hands when it comes to opening and closing envelopes, and enjoy working with mail–maybe even more than working with people.

You enjoy doing the simple manual jobs you’d do as a mail clerk, and considering your education and experience (or lack of it), the job seems like a perfect choice for you.


How do you imagine a typical day in work of a mail clerk?

They are looking for a person with systematic approach to work. And that’s exactly what you should focus on in your answer–some system, from morning to afternoon. Try to explain your routines, as you imagine them.

For example starting the day with getting through all incoming mail pieces, sorting them out and distributing them to respective departments in the company. Then receiving mail from your colleagues,  responding to any queries/questions they may have, and preparing the letters and packages to be sent on the same day.

You can also say that you expect to be busy at work, and a heavy workload. But you are sure that once you get into the grove and become familiar with the routines, you won’t struggle to process loads of incoming and outgoing mail.

How do you ensure to make no mistakes in your work of a mail clerk?

Mistakes won’t prove as costly here as they’d in many other professions (think accountant, engineer, etc). But you should still try your best to eliminate mistakes, because nobody is happy to wait for a mail that accidentally ended up in a different department or building.

Say that you will try to have a clear system in everything you do. Once you know exactly what to check on each envelope and package and where you should place it, the mistakes should not occur often. Sure, when one deals with hundreds of mail pieces each day some mistakes will occur, but you will try your best to minimize the occurrence. You can also say that you try to eliminate all distractions at work, such as looking at your smartphone or making calls while sorting mail.


Imagine that an envelopes arrives, addressed to someone who isn’t working in the company. You cannot find them in your database of employees. What will you do?

This situation is not uncommon at all, because people change jobs, and the letter can simply be addressed to someone who has left the place recently. Ensure the hiring managers that you won’t just throw the envelope away, or return it.

You will try to guess to which department the letter was addressed (sometimes you can find it out looking at the name of the sender, or googling the name of the intended recipient and identifying their position in the company).

If nothing else works, and you are still not sure where to forward the mail piece, you may open the envelope. Reading the first few lines, you will identify then right department and forward the envelope there, with a clear not on it (that the intended recipient doesn’t work in the company anymore, so someone else–head of the department, secretary, person who replaced them, should read the letter).


One of your colleagues complains that they are not getting their mail in time. How will you react?

Ensure the hiring managers that you won’t get angry, or start a conflict with the colleague. You will clearly explain them that you simply sort the email as it arrives, not prioritizing them or any other colleagues. Certainly the workload is heavy on some days, and it may take you longer to send mail to their department, but there’s not much you can do about it.

If the information is vital for their work, and they cannot proceed without reading their offline correspondence, you can say that you’d suggest to move it online instead. And while you understand their frustration, you cannot really do much for them from your position.


Other questions you may face in your mail clerk job interview

  • This job is super repetitive. How will you avoid boredom, and how do you want to motivate yourself to try your best every day at work?
  • What is your opinion about multitasking? Do you have any experience with it?
  • What steps do you take to ensure proper organization of mail?
  • In your opinion, what role does communication with colleagues play in a job of a mail clerk?
  • Do you drive? Are you comfortable with driving from here to the post office?
  • What are your salary expectations?


Conclusion, next steps

Mail Clerk is not a fancy job title and you typically won’t compete with many people for the position. It makes your situation easier.

On the other hand, you still have to show some enthusiasm for the job, motivation to work hard, and right attitude to various situations that can happen in a job (getting a mail for someone who isn’t working in the company, having a conflict with the colleague, experiencing a crisis of motivation, etc).

I hope you will manage to do it, and wish you good luck in your mail clerk job interview!


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Matthew Chulaw
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