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Post Office Job Interview Process

Job Interview - How To Interview For A Post Office Job


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Page updated 10/3/2016

The job interview is usually a two-way discussion between you and a prospective employer. The interviewer is attempting to determine whether you have what the Postal Service needs, and you are attempting to determine if you would accept the job if offered. Both of you will be trying to get as much information as possible in order to make those decisions.

The interview that you are most likely to face is a structured interview with a traditional format. It usually consists of three phases. The introductory phase covers the greeting, small talk and an overview of which areas will be discussed during the interview. The middle phase is a question-and-answer period. The interviewer asks most of the questions, but you are given an opportunity to ask questions as well. The closing phase gives you an opportunity to ask any final questions you might have, cover any important points that haven't been discussed and get information about the next step in the process.

Also, explore and apply for all job vacancies in the government and private sectors to improve you chance of employment.

Structured Interview

In a structured interview, the interviewer explores certain predetermined areas using questions which have been written in advance. The interviewer has a written description of the experience, skills and personality traits of an "ideal" candidate. Your experience and skills are compared to specific job tasks. This type of interview is very common and most traditional interviews are based on this format.

The Postal Service hires the best qualified candidate for the position with the abilities and talents they need. The interview is where they make that final hiring decision and you must be prepared. It is up to you to demonstrate at the interview that you are the person they want. Most don't prepare for an interview and that is a mistake.

Before the Interview

Prepare in advance. The better prepared you are, the less anxious you will be and the greater your chances for success.

  • Role Play. Find someone to role play the interview with you. This person should be someone with whom you feel comfortable and with whom you can discuss your weaknesses freely. The person should be objective and knowledgeable, perhaps a business associate.
  • Use a mirror or video camera when you role play to see what kind of image you project

Research the Postal Service. The more you know about the Postal Service and the job you are applying for, the better you will do on the interview. Get as much information as you can before the interview.

Professional applicants and applicants for positions that do not require entrance exams should have extra copies of their resume or application available to take on the interview. The interviewer may ask you for extra copies. Make sure you bring along the same version of your resume or application that you originally provided. You can also refer to your resume to complete applications that ask for job history information (i.e., dates of employment, names of former employers and their telephone numbers, job responsibilities and accomplishments.) During the interview don’t make negative comments about anyone or anything, including former employers.

Arrive early at the interview. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Give yourself time to find a restroom so you can check your appearance.

It's important to make a good impression from the moment you enter the reception area. Greet the receptionist cordially and try to appear confident. You never know what influence the receptionist has with your interviewer. With a little small talk, you may get some helpful information about the interviewer and the job opening. If you are asked to fill out an application while you’re waiting, be sure to fill it out completely and print the information neatly. The 6th edition of Post Office Jobs includes an interview preparation guide that includes sample question that you may encounter.

 

Assess your interviewing skills.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Work on correcting your weaknesses, such as speaking rapidly, talking too loudly or softly, and nervous habits such as shaking hands or inappropriate facial expressions.
  • Learn the questions that are commonly asked and prepare answers to them. Career centers and libraries often have books which include inter-view questions. Practice giving answers which are brief but thorough.
  • Decide what questions you would like to ask and practice politely interjecting them at different points in the interview.

Chapter Six of Post Office Jobs by Dennis V. Damp is devoted to interview preparation including sample interview questions that you may encounter at your interview and steps that you can take before, during and after the interview. You can also visit your local Library's Reference Department to review this informative book or order a copy on-line.

During the Interview

The job interview is usually a two-way discussion between you and a prospective employer. The interviewer is attempting to determine whether you have what the Postal Service needs, and you are attempting to determine whether you would accept the job if offered. Both of you will be trying to get as much information as possible in order to make those decisions.

The interview that you are most likely to face is a structured interview with a traditional format. It usually consists of three phases. The introductory phase covers the greeting, small talk and an overview of which areas will be discussed during the interview. The middle phase is a question-and-answer period. The interviewer asks most of the questions, but you are given an opportunity to ask questions as well. The closing phase gives you an opportunity to ask any final questions you might have, cover any important points that haven’t been discussed and get information about the next step in the process.

After the Interview

You are not finished yet. It is important to assess the interview shortly after it is concluded. Following your interview you should:

  • Write down the name, phone number, e-mail address, and title (be sure the spelling is correct) of the interviewer.
  • Review what the job entails and record what the next step will be.
  • Note your reactions to the interview; include what went well and what went poorly.
  • Assess what you learned from the experience and how you can improve your performance in future interviews.
  • Follow-up with a phone call if you haven't heard anything after several weeks.