Interviews at USPS belong to easy interviews. In many cases there won’t actually be any interview at all--as long as you pass the online assessment and reach certain score in the test, they will offer you the job straight away. Just ensure you’ll pass a drug test, and come in with a good mood for the orientation.
In other cases, however, you will have to answer some personal and some situational questions. No difficult stuff, and as long as they see your motivation and commitment, and as long as you don’t remain silent once they ask you their questions, they will give you a chance to prove your abilities and try the job. Let’s have a look at the questions.
Why do you want to work for USPS?
Because you love their brand, and understand the indispensable service US Postal Service has done for the citizens throughout the history of the country. Mail always has to be delivered, and from a legal point of view many things can’t be sent electronically–and they never will.
USPS is here to stay, working for them equals job stability, and a prestige of working for the governmental agency. And that’s exactly what you are looking for–job stability under an umbrella of a successful public organization.
Why do you want to work as a carrier/agent/delivery driver?
Because you do not find the job difficult, and believe that your skills match perfectly with the job description. You excel in communication and orientation, you can adapt to changing conditions, and you think you will enjoy doing what mail carriers usually do.
What’s more, you do not want to spend your life sitting in a chair somewhere in the office. You love to work outdoors, to meet people, to do something for your body in order to stay healthy. Hence the job of a carrier is an ideal choice for you. Try to talk with some enthusiasm about your future job. They shouldn’t get an impression that you’re in only for an easy buck.
What is your definition of a great customer service? How do you plan to deliver such?
Try to adjust you answer to the job you are applying for. As an agent working at a post office, you can say that you will try to approach each customer with smile, give them your utmost attention, and process their request as quickly as possible. People do not like to wait for long and there is always another customer waiting at a post office, so speed definitely matters.
As a mail carrier, or a delivery driver, you can talk about making a call to a recipient upfront, so they expect the delivery of a package, and of course being friendly and courteous in all your communication with the customers. Ensure the interviewers that you want to try your very best.
How do you feel about working overtime, or on holiday?
US Postal Service delivers mail on holidays, with Thanksgiving and Christmas the only exception. Ensure the hiring managers that you understand the job requirements, and do not mind working on Sunday sometimes–as long as shifts are balanced, and you do not work all weekends. You dodge the bullet on some occasions, your colleagues on other.
You can also tell them that you are well-aware of the uneven patterns in the quantity of parcels delivered during different periods of the year. Before Christmas and during other “high times” of a year, you may need to work longer, and you are ready to do that–of course as long as they compensate you properly for your extra efforts.
Can you tell us something more about your driving experience?
You will get this question when applying for a job of delivery driver, or other position with USPS that requires driving a vehicle.
Tell them how many miles you’ve covered on four wheels during your life. If you had an accident before you should not try to hide it. Admit making a mistake, and tell them how the experience actually taught you an important lesson, and made you a better driver.
You can also tell them that you are pretty strong with navigation and have experience driving in both busy city centers and urban areas, and should not find it hard to reach any place with your delivery van. The most important thing is to show confidence in your driving abilities.
What is your availability? What hours can you work?
US Postal offers many part time opportunities, especially at their post offices across the country. If you apply for a part time opportunity, you should show some flexibility.
Telling them that you can work only when you aren’t studying, dating your boyfriend, or taking your child to a dance class won’t make much impression on the interviewers... They should feel that this job has a high priority on your list, and that you are ready to sacrifice something for your new employment.
You can actually prepare your weekly schedule–with exact days, hours, and activities you have during the week, and refer to it in your interview when explaining your availability. As long as your answer makes sense, they will be happy about it.
It’s freezing outside and the wind is blowing hard. How do you feel about starting your shift and delivering hundreds of parcels?
Of course nobody likes a proposition of a working on an extremely chilly or rainy day. Freezing outside is not fun, and you can get sick. However, you understand that mail has to be delivered regardless of weather. And so you will put on some extra clothes, and an extra layer of resilience, and will walk out from your comfort zone into a freezing day.
You should convince the interviewers that you understand both the good and bad things about the job. You prefer to work in favorable weather conditions–just like everyone else, but you won’t stay home jut because it is very cold or very hot.
What will you do if a customer complains about your service?
You’ll tell them to shut up and mind their own business. I’m joking, of course :). Ensure the interviewers that you will listen carefully to each word of your customer. You aren’t perfect, and you can make a mistake. You can even have a horrible day at work sometimes… Hence you want to be receptive to the feedback from your customers.
Carefully listening to their complaints, you will try to understand what went wrong. Maybe you made a mistake, maybe they misunderstood something, and maybe they are just drunk or miserable from life and want to vent their anger on you.
In any case, you will try your best to remain courteous. And you won’t take their feedback personally. After all they complain about your service, and not about you. You will try to solve their complaint, but if you cannot, you’ll simply move on and try your best with another customer.
This is a repetitive and sometimes also a hard job. What will motivate you to keep going?
Try to refer to your goals, things you want to achieve outside of work. Perhaps you try to provide for your family, or want to have a decent lifestyle on your own. Either of it won’t be possible without earning a nice and regular income. And you know that postal service has many quality checking processes in place. If you do a terrible job, they will fire you.
Alternatively you can try to convince them that you enjoy this kind of a job (delivery, carrier, agent, analyst) so much, that you don’t mind repetition. Since you aren’t the most creative person in the city, you prefer to have your daily routines, and to leave the office each day with a clear desk and a clear mind. That’s always possible with routine jobs.
What are your salary expectations?
This is a governmental agency job, which means that there’s no room for salary negotiations in the interviews. You can check how much they pay their new hires on each position (just google the position name and the area), and you’ll see the exact number.
Alternatively you can say that salary in not the deciding factor for you, and you will accept the standard salary they pay to each new employee. They won’t pay you more anyway :).
Conclusion, next steps
US Postal Service hires an immense number of new employees each year, both for full time and part time placements. They need stuff, they can’t afford to remain understaffed, and therefore their requirements aren’t especially high.
You won’t face any difficult questions in this interview. Just a few questions about your motivation, availability, experience and customer service. Try to stay upbeat during the interviews, and show positive attitude to work and to your future, as as well as confidence in your abilities to handle the job–with both good and bad things that belong to it. We wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- How to overcome interview nerves? – We do our best when we feel relaxed. Learn how to get rid of anxiety and show them your best version of yourself in the interviews.
- How to dress for an interview – A simple guide you can follow when choosing the right clothes to wear.
- 15 most common interview questions and answers – Test the waters and learn how to answer the typical interview questions.