Mail carriers are those that keep the USPS afloat with how common sight they are when it comes to the delivery of parcels, letters, and packages
Although mail carriers are seen on a regular basis by the American public when it comes to the handling and delivery of their letters and packages, trying to land an available position as one isn’t that easy.
In fact, most applicants only have a single shot at landing the job at the USPS because failing the Virtual Entry Assessment 474 (VEA 474) would prevent them from applying again for a long period of time unless they’re aiming for a different position.
This is why they have to pass postal exam 474 expectations with flying colors because merely meeting the minimum score won’t secure the job at all, and on the off chance that you didn’t get hired by the USPS, you are also prevented from applying for a long while.
That’s correct, even if you managed to pass the exam and got the highest score possible, you will not be allowed to become a USPS employee unless you apply for a different position if you didn’t get hired.
This can range from you making a mistake or providing subpar interview results, having a major inconsistency in your application that borders on fraud, or having your personality profile results being deemed as ‘incompatible’ for that of a mail carrier.
This means that it is very important that you do your best to make sure that your first attempt at the Virtual Entry Assessment 474 goes smoothly because it will take a long while before you are allowed to retake it if you fail.
- Research what tasks mail carriers do and take them to heart
When you take the Postal Exam 474, it is not enough to assume that all you will be doing is handling the mail or packages of customers.
As an employee of the USPS, you will be expected to act a certain way when it comes to doing your duties and responsibilities, and you need to show that you are someone that can do their job correctly and not just quickly.
For example, you are presented with two routes: one is short but is very bumpy, and the other being long but the roads are well-maintained and smooth. You currently have a package that is labelled as fragile, which route should you pick?
Of course, the obvious answer would be the second option because you wouldn’t want the USPS to receive a complaint about you not handling the package with care despite it being labelled as fragile.
This is also considering that there isn’t a time limit to begin with in that question.
This is the nature of the Work Scenarios section of the 474 Postal Exam.
As a multiple choice-type Situational Judgement Test, you will be presented with a number of scenarios that are regularly encountered by USPS mail carriers, and you will have to select which of the provided courses of actions is the best or worst to take.
You are not expected to know how a USPS mail carrier works, but getting an idea on what kind of activities they do, how they operate, and how they are expected to handle packages will give you an edge over other applicants.
- Try to list details of your employment history as exact and as accurate as you can
One of the many reasons why applicants are turned away from the USPS is because they tried to ‘improve’ their chances of being hired by downplaying incidents or exaggerating achievements from their previous jobs.
This section is supposed to be considered as a ‘freebie’ because all you have to do is provide details about your employment history such as how many absences you got in the last year or what is the longest time you’ve been employed.
While the USPS uses this part of the Virtual Entry Assessment 474 as a ‘background investigation’ to see if your skills are applicable to being an effective mail carrier by having good metrics, its main purpose is to see how reliable you are with providing details about your employment history even if they are not so positive.
As a result, you need to be as honest as possible because any inconsistency will be treated as intentional and this will most likely lead to you being disqualified or rejected immediately.
- Get into the mindset of a USPS employee
Although it is not technically a personality test, the Describe Your Approach section of the Postal Exam 474 for Mail Carriers functions in a similar manner.
When you take this part of the Virtual Entry Assessment 474, you will be presented with a set of statements and you will have to select the one that best describes your work ethic.
You will see statements such as ‘I finish my work early’ or ‘I take my time with my tasks’ or even ‘I work as carefully as I can be’.
To some extent, every statement is desirable, the optimal one to select will vary depending on what job you are applying for.
In order to increase your chances of being selected by the hiring manager, you will need to show that your workplace behavior is similar to that of a mail carrier, or at least a USPS employee.
This is highly important to the company because they cannot afford to compromise their reputation as a reliable delivery service, and even a single bad hire can negatively affect the trust of the public towards the USPS for a long period of time.
You can prove that you are the best candidate to pick by selecting the statements that are in line with the duties and responsibilities of being a mail carrier, like the Work Scenarios section of the 474 postal exam, as well as the core values of the USPS itself.
Such values can be found online and on the USPS website.
- Consider looking up study guides or practice tests online
Although not a requirement when preparing for a job as a mail carrier at the USPS, or any of its available job positions, you should also make good use of any online resources available, especially if it’s free because other applicants are likely to do so as well.
Remember: most will only have one shot at landing the available job position, and they cannot afford to go through the waiting period if they fail.
These resources contain study guides and practice tests that contain questions that are similar to the ones that you can encounter in the actual exam, with some of them containing extensive explanations on how to tackle each section in the 474 Postal Exam effectively.
Furthermore, a few of them also contain good tips and even a dedicated study guide on how to ace the interview process, giving you another edge over others.