The United States Postal Service has one of the easiest interviews. Most of the time, you won’t even attend any interview if you pass their online assessment and manage to reach a specific set score.
However, if you need to answer a few personal and situational questions, you can expect the following:
1. Why Do You Want to Work for Us?
This is a common opening question in interviews that you should always be ready for. What excites you about the United States Postal Service that makes you want to work for them? You can mention your love for their brand or some of the things they have done for citizens throughout the country.
I love your brand and understand how important your services are for the millions of Americans depending on you. Even though the world is fastly adopting technology, everything cannot be sent electronically, meaning that your services may forever be indispensable. I would love to be part of this entity and give my all to serve millions of customers all through the United States.
2. Why Do You Want to Work as an X (Position)?
USPS has opportunities for carriers, agents, and delivery drivers who form the largest part of their workforce. The interviewer will always want to know why you chose the position you are interviewing for. Sell yourself by talking about the relevant skills you possess when it comes to a specific position. Show enthusiasm and passion for it.
I have an array of skills that matches perfectly with the provided job description. I am good at communication and orientation and can quickly adapt to changes in my life and working environment. I will therefore enjoy my time and give my best.
3. Define Great Customer Service
USPS highly values the service their customers get since their entire brand is built on it. Your definition of excellent customer service should match what the organization wants and stands for. Also, make sure that you adjust your answer to the job you are interviewing for. If you are a mail carrier, talk about calling the recipient upfront and being friendly and cautious throughout your interaction.
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As an agent in the post office, I will approach all the customers with a smile, give them my full attention and deal with their requests swiftly. Nobody likes being kept waiting, which means that I have to serve the customers fast and efficiently.
4. Can You Work Overtime, or on Holidays?
USPS does not stop sending mails just because it is a holiday, save for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You may also need to work longer during peak times, such as before Christmas and Thanksgiving. Show that you understand what the job requires and don’t mind working overtime, provided that the shifts are balanced and you are compensated for it.
I understand the job requirements of this particular position. I don’t mind working overtime, provided I am informed early enough and the shifts are well balanced. I also know the uneven pattern in the number of deliveries during different periods. I am willing to work longer during such periods, provided that my efforts are compensated.
5. Comment about Your Availability
The interviewer wants to know the number of hours you can work. What is your availability? Remember, this entity offers part-time opportunities in their post offices, and to grab one; you need to show that you are flexible. Your answer should reveal that you prioritize your job and are ready to sacrifice something for it.
Also, ensure that you are honest. You don’t want to come out as a liar a few weeks into the job.
I am available every day of the week except during the weekends when I travel to spend time with my parents. I can always create time depending on the shifts you have and be at the office anytime needed.
6. Tell Us About Your Experience
Your answer to this question will depend on the position you are interviewing for. If you want to be a driver at USPS, narrate your driving experience. The same applies to other positions such as carrier and agent. Make sure that you only include the relevant experiences and sell yourself.
This is my tenth year as a commercial driver. I have covered north of 500,000 miles and haven’t been involved in any major accident. My dad was a long-distance driver and therefore introduced me to this world at a relatively young age. I am confident with my driving ability and navigation and can drive well in busy city centers and urban areas.
7. How Would You React if a Customer Complained about Your Services?
Excellent customer service is critical when working for USPS. However, nobody is perfect, and you can easily make a mistake that may not sit well with the customer. Assure the interviewer that you will handle such a situation professionally, devoid of emotions. Your answer will also tell just how well you can take feedback.
I understand just how crucial customer feedback is when working in an establishment such as USPS. I will listen carefully to every word that the customer has to say and understand what may have gone wrong. There is a high possibility that I may have misunderstood something, or they just want to vent. All in all, I will remain courteous and avoid taking the feedback personally. I will solve the complaint but move on if it is malicious.
8. Working for Us is Pretty Much Repetitive. What Will Keep You Motivated?
Repetitive jobs can be exhausting and annoying. You must therefore have a source of motivation that pushes you to give your all. You can refer to your goals and whatever you want to achieve outside the work environment or mention your passion for the particular job that beats its repetitive aspect.
I enjoy what I do. Being part of an organization that delivers services to millions of Americans makes me happy and overpowers the repetitive aspect of this job. I also have goals that I need to achieve outside work. I have a family that needs to be provided for and a lifestyle to maintain.
9. What Do You Know About Us?
What do you know about USPS? It would be best to mention key facts about this entity that will convince the interviewer that you did your research well. Try to be as detailed as possible and ensure that whatever you say is factual.
The USPS took over operations from the Post Office Department, founded in 1792 after its formation in 1971. Its existence is recognizer by the US constitution, and the entity has an obligation to serve all Americans. It is headed by a Postmaster-General, with the first one being Benjamin Franklin.
10. What Strengths are You Bringing to this Workplace?
The answers you give should be based on the position you are interviewing for. Your primary focus should be on the strengths that will benefit the workplace. You should also be prepared for a question about your weaknesses. Therefore, be wise and include strengths that counter these weaknesses.
I have several strengths that USPS will benefit from. I am detail-oriented, loyal, and can work well under pressure. I also love working in team settings and will therefore enjoy being part of a team. Lastly, I have an increasingly high thirst for new information and self-improvement.
11. Can You Work Well in a Team Environment?
Only letters carriers at USPS spend more time on their own for much of the day. This entity’s work environment makes working together with others inevitable. Therefore, you must convince the interviewer that you have no problem working in team settings and will give your all to succeed at contributing positively to the workplace.
I have no problem working in teams. Most of my career has always involved working together with others. I am a pretty social and outgoing person with many people skills that help me survive in team settings. I find collaborative work highly satisfying and rewarding.
12. How Would You Deal with Conflicts from Co-Workers?
The interviewer wants to know if you can work well with others and respond to conflicts. Keep in mind that USPS is committed to offering a safe and stress-free work environment to all its workers. You can highlight the need for good communication and reasonableness in solving conflicts. You can also give an example highlighting how you handled a situation and the outcome you had.
Conflicts can be inevitable when working with others since there are many things that people may disagree on. However, I believe that the best way to deal with conflicts is through effective communication, being reasonable, and being willing to find common ground. (This is where you give an experience if any)
13. What Would You Do if a Supervisor asked You to Do a Task that Seems Unsafe to You?
This is a pretty challenging question, given that you have to protect yourself as much as you have to follow the supervisor’s instructions. Remember, every workplace has its organizational hierarchy that you are expected to respect. Be tactful in your approach, and do not bluntly tell the interviewer that you will refuse. Show the interviewer that you can handle a possible conflict well before it happens.
I understand that I have to respect my superiors. However, I also have to keep myself safe and free from harm. In such an instance, I will ask for directions on how to safely accomplish the task while sticking to protocol.
14. How Do You Normally Handle Work Pressure?
Working at USPS can get quite difficult, especially during high seasons right before Christmas and Thanksgiving. You must therefore know how to handle the pressure that comes with the job during such times. You can use your work experience if you have any to tackle this question.
I have a calm attitude and demeanor that helps me manage job situations. I take a deep breath during such times, organize myself and prioritize work. I do not also shy away from openly communicating with my supervisors about any job concern that causes stress is that the situation is handled.
15. What Would You Do if You Have the Opportunity to Look Inside a Package You are Delivering?
The interviewer wants to know whether you can uphold the required job ethics when working at USPS. Do you respect privacy and confidentiality? Things may happen during delivery, and a box or envelope may be opened due to improper dealing or damage. Show the interviewer that you understand USPS policies and wouldn’t dare try even when presented with such an opportunity.
I believe that everything in the mail or package is confidential. I would not, therefore, peer inside the box when presented with such an opportunity. I also value people’s privacy and wouldn’t look inside the package even if it didn’t go against the USPS policies.
16. We Have Received Your Application for Being a Letter Carrier. Tell Us How You Would React When Confronted With a Dog?
This is a common situation for letter carriers. You are likely to run into a dog when dropping off letters. The best approach is to convince the interviewer that you are not nervous around dogs and can quickly get out of such a situation. You can also give an experience of such a confrontation and clearly outline what you did.
I usually try to avoid such confrontations in my line of work. However, I have encountered several dogs when dropping letters at different residences. I am not nervous around dogs and would remain calm throughout the entire altercation. However, I will also take action to keep myself safe.
17. Mention Your Customer Service Skills
Working at USPS will constantly bring you in contact with customers and the general public. You must, therefore, invest in quality customer service. Your customer service skills will tell the interviewer if you will be an excellent addition to the USPS. You can also highlight any of your job experiences that required customer service.
I know how to interact with and be of assistance to customers. I have excellent communication skills to help me put across information and respond to their inquiries. I am also a social person who finds it easy to pick up conversations.
18. How Would You Handle an Upset Customer?
The interviewer is still trying to establish how well you can handle customers, which refers to the people relying on USPS letter carriers to deliver their mails. Your response should show that you are conversant with customer service and the USPS policies. Also, tell the interviewer that you will stay calm and professional while dealing with the upset customer.
I had dealt with upset customers before and even came to learn that the best way to diffuse such a situation is to stay as calm as possible. I will calmly talk to the customer to find out the issue, carefully listen, and think about the best action to take. Depending on the matter, I may refer it to the manager if indicated in the USPS policy.
19. What are Your Weaknesses
This is a common question in interviews asked to determine if you know your shortcomings. Do not shy away from mentioning any of your weaknesses. There is power in knowing and admitting that you are not good at something. However, be wise not to say a weakness that renders you incompetent.
My biggest weakness is finding it hard to ask for help whenever I feel that something is manageable. I feel like I will be burdening others who also have things to do whenever I ask for help. I, therefore, end up doing everything alone, even if it means working overtime. However, I am slowly overcoming this trait by taking up more projects that require teamwork.
20. When are You Ready to Start if Given a Chance?
This question usually comes at the end of the interview. It is a test of your availability. Are you going to need some time to clear from your current workplace before joining the entity, or are you ready to start working as soon as possible? Interviewers love the latter. However, be honest. You should tell the interviewer if you still need time to clear from your former workplace.
I have cleared from my former workplace and can therefore start working as soon as possible. I have everything that will facilitate the swift assumption of duties when I get this position.
These are some of the commonly asked questions in USPS interviews. Make sure that you have the answers at your fingertips to earn a chance of serving millions of Americans. Also, prepare well for your interview and work on your etiquette.