Page 1 - Tell Us Your Story Study Guide for the Postal Service Exam
This is part of our test prep for the new cluster of Postal Service Exams that were instituted in April 2019. They are tests #474, 475, 476, and 477. These tests replaced Postal Service Exam #473, which is no longer given and whose scores are no longer valid for Postal Service job applications.
Before you start, be sure you are preparing for the right test content. This section (Tell Us Your Story) is included in all four of the Postal Service Tests™ (#474, 475, 476, and 477), so you’ll definitely need more information on it. But there are other sections that are only present on certain test numbers. To be sure you are adequately preparing for the exact test you’ll take, please follow this link and look under “General Information” for more details on each of the four tests and the sections they include. You will find this information or a link to it in all five of our study guides for this test.
What You’ll Be Asked to Do in the Tell Us Your Story Section
In this section of the Postal Service Exam™, you’ll be asked 21 questions regarding your previous work experience. The questions may concern maximum and minimum length of previous employment, approximate number of days taken off during previous employment, and other details of your work experience, like how much experience you’ve had running a cash register.
This is an example of the type of question and the format that may be used:
On this type of question, you’ll need to click the answer choice that best fits your work history. Be sure it matches any of the other information you have provided in the Post Office job application process.
Tips for Success
This section is another part of the Postal Service’s effort to match job applicants with the best position for them and ensure that they find the best available candidate in terms of work experience and job performance.
Be sure your answers match any information you have provided in previous parts of the job application process.—This is the major disqualifying point regarding this section of the test. If there are any inconsistencies between your profile, resume, and the answers you give for these questions, you will probably be disqualified for the job for which you are applying. Period. Know the exact information you give in all phases of the application process. Keep accurate notes of anything you write and refer to them as you answer these questions. Be sure every piece of data is consistent. For example, if you say on your resume that your longest employment was “1.5 years” and then put “over 2 years” as the answer to one of these questions, you probably just made yourself ineligible for the job.
Be totally honest.—Consistent or not, if you misrepresent yourself in any way when answering these questions, there’s a really good chance you will be deemed ineligible or later terminated for lying on the application. Just don’t do it. Answer the questions honestly, always.
As you work on each question, be sure to finish it before moving on.— You will probably be **able to go back one question** after moving to the next one in this section, but no further. So, if you are on question 4 and suddenly remember something you forgot in question 2, you’ll be out of luck. Work thoughtfully and carefully. It usually takes people only about 2 minutes to complete this section, but it’s not timed, so you *can **be thorough.
Know the stats of your previous work experience.—Take some time before you apply for a Post Office job to get your work history together on paper or using technology. This way, if a question comes up that you don’t expect, you’ll have a ready reference and can keep answers consistent (see first suggestion, above). Good things to include in this history are:
- Exact dates (or as close to exact as possible) of every job you’ve had, beginning and ending
- Reason for leaving each job
- Explanation for any gaps in employment from the time you started to work (going to school, illness, etc.)
- Duties performed on each job, responsibilities involved, specific job titles (If your official job title was “manager” you can put that, but don’t do so if you only thought of yourself as a manager or if coworkers just called you that.)
- How many days you were absent from each job and the reason: illness, vacation, annual leave, etc.
How You Can Practice
Our best suggestion is to know your job history thoroughly. Write it down and become familiar with it, especially if you’ve had a long and/or complicated work experience. And, remember, the most important strategy is to be honest and accurate in your responses.
To get more ideas about the type of questions you might see in this section, scan the Internet and/or job search books for the typical questions asked on job applications and during interviews. This process might alert you to the information you’ll need to have before applying for a job and receiving the test link from the Post Office.