Rural carriers usually deliver mail to residents and businesses in sparsely populated areas by truck. Many of these residents have mail boxes near the street so mail carriers can make deliveries without leaving their trucks. To become a rural mail carrier, you will need to apply for a job and then pass the U.S. Postal Exam. If you are called in for an interview, you can expect the interviewer to ask you questions that determine your suitability for the job. How you answer these questions will largely dictate whether you get the job.
What Are Key Qualities of a Rural Carrier?
All employers -- the U.S. government included -- like when applicants are prepared for interviews and know a little about the job in advance. This not only demonstrates your research abilities, but your interest in the job as well. If an interviewer asks what you think are the key qualities of a rural carrier, discuss characteristics such as attention to detail, organizational and customer service skills. Provide examples of how you demonstrated these skills in past jobs. Rural carriers must organize their routes by address and check for accuracy to avoid delivering to the wrong homes. They must also ensure they meet the demands of everyone on their routes.
How Well Do You Work Without Supervision?
Rural carriers may spend hours working under little supervision. An interviewer who asks you how well you work without supervision wants to know that you're a self-starter. She wants to assure herself that you can make decisions on your route once you learn the basic responsibilities of the job. To reinforce your response to this question, provide an example of how you plan your day and make decisions in your present job -- or on a previous job.
How Do You Handle Pressure?
You can experience pressure on any job, even when working as a rural carrier. Post offices are extremely busy before the Christmas holiday, when the volume of mail increases considerably. If you work as a rural carrier, you will have pressure to deliver that extra mail, including big packages, within the same time frame. One way to answer a question related to pressure is to acknowledge that you can handle it. Tell the interviewer that you usually try to avoid pressure by planning well in advance. Career Profiles recommends that you discuss how you anticipate problems in advance before they become major problems.
Why Should I Hire You?
If you know the basic traits required of a rural carrier job and have demonstrated how you've used similar skills on past jobs, you may have already convinced an interviewer that you can do the job. It's then just a matter of summarizing those skills and telling the interviewer why you're a good fit for the job, according to Virginia Tech. Interviewers usually ask this question toward the end of the interview. When applicable, use stories or actual examples of projects you've worked on to demonstrate skills related to the rural carrier job. Stories are more memorable and can make a more lasting impression with interviewers.
- Glassdoor: Rural Carrier Associate Interview Questions
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Postal Service Worker
- ONET Online: Summary Report for: Postal Service Mail Carriers
- Virginia Tech: Typical Interview Questions
- National Postal Training Inc.: United States Postal Exam
- Career Profiles: Stress Interview: Questions and Answers on - How Do You Handle Stress?
- Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
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