Service Exams / Government Jobs Exams / Postal Exams
Page updated 10/27/2014
Many agencies allow applicants to bypass the written test for select
occupations by completing an “Occupational Questionnaire.”
This is a series of questions, often 30 to 75 or more, that you have to
answer in detail, often online. Occupational questionnaires are not
KSAs. Many applicants confuse them for KSA
statements. If KSAs are required, the job announcement will identify
them as such.
Occupational Questionnaire Menu
Occupational questionnaires are extremely important
in the evaluation process. They are often scored and inadequate responses
may prevent you from being rated in the “Best Qualified” group.
The federal resume and/or application information presents Human
Resources with the information they need to determine if you are qualified
for the position applied for. These essay questions help to further describe
your skills using actual work experiences.
All of your questionnaire answers must be job related and show case the
qualifications and skills described in the job announcement. Agency are not
permitted to ask questions that do not support the job’s position
Occupational questionnaire measures the candidate’s proficiency in
various job required skills. Typically, the questions consist of
multiple-choice or Yes/No responses to measure the candidate's level of
experience. Narratives, essay type questions, are included to substantiate a
candidate’s work experience.
An example of an occupational questionnaire is presented in Chapter Six
of The Book of U.S.
Government Jobs. The example was taken from an actual job
announcement. The online application limits your answers for each question
to a specific character-count.
The following sample questionnaire is from a Department of the Navy job
announcement for a
position. Note that this particular questinnaire is 100% multiple
choice. It was posted on USAJOBS March 2, 2012.
Vacancy ID: 614902 Announcement Number: NE20303-08-6149024F271702 USAJOBS
Control Number: 310279600
The following section is used to determine your eligibility for
appointment in the Federal Government or Status for referral consideration.
Please respond yes to ONLY ONE of the following questions. FAILURE TO
RESPOND TO THESE QUESTIONS WILL RESULT IN AN INELIGIBILE RATING. NOTE: You
must submit the required documentation to verify your eligibility as
indicated below. Failure to provide the required documents will render you
not eligible for consideration. See instructions under the "How to Apply"
tab for submitting documentation.
Current Federal - I am currently employed as a career or career-conditional
employee in the competitive service or excepted service. (NOTE: If you
indicate "yes" for this question, you MUST submit a copy of your most recent
career/career conditional SF-50 AND you must submit a copy of an SF-50 that
reflects your highest grade held on a permanent basis).
30% Disabled Veteran AND NOT a current Federal Employee - I am a disabled
veteran rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as having a
compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more; or a
disabled veteran who retired from active military service with a disability
rating of 30 percent or more; AND my discharge was under conditions other
than dishonorable. NOTE: If you respond "yes" to this statement, you must
submit a copy of your DD Form 214 documenting final military discharge,
release or retirement (your DD Form 214 must reflect the dates of service,
character of discharge, and time lost, if any) and an official statement,
dated 1991 or later, from the Dept of Veterans Affairs (VA), or from a
branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that you have a service-connected
disability of 30% or more along with your application/resume package.
I am claiming Veteran's Preference AND NOT a current Federal Employee NOR a
30% Disabled Veteran. Please go to following link to determine whether or
not you are eligible for preference.
http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/vetpref/mservice.htm. NOTE: If you respond
"yes" to this statement, you must submit a copy of your DD Form 214
documenting final military discharge, release or retirement (your DD Form
214 must reflect the dates of service, character of discharge, and time
lost, if any). *Not applicable to current federal employees.
4. I am a US Citizen that does not meet any of the above criteria
1. Select the one statement that best describes the education and/or
experience that you possess that demonstrates your ability to perform
Administrative Assistant work at the GG-08 grade level or equivalent pay
band in the Federal service.
A. I have one year of specialized experience at the GG/GS-07 grade level or
equivalent pay grade in the federal service or one year of specialized
experience in the private or public sector performing the following duties:
1) providing advice and training on formats and procedures pertaining to
support functions of a department; 2) assisting with researching and
compiling data in preparation of briefings, reports, personnel actions,
performance measurement and budget submissions; 3) developing formats,
compiling information, updating processes, and preparing project status
updates for all functions; 4) reviewing and editing clerical and
administrative reports for consistency, accuracy, grammar, and punctuation
following established administrative procedures; 5) presenting oral
presentations regarding administration information such as changes to
policies, regulations, precedents and work directions to cases or problems
within the department; 6) ensuring travel arrangements are accurately
prepared in accordance with guidelines and instructions; 7) interpreting and
analyzing administrative policy and helping resolve work related problems
throughout the agency.
B. My experience is not reflected in the above statement.
For each of the items below, select the one statement that most accurately
describes your training and experience using the scale provided.
A- I have not had education, training, or experience in performing this
B- I have had education or training in how to perform this task, but have
not yet performed it on the job.
C- I have performed this task on the job. My work on this task was monitored
closely by a supervisor or senior employee to ensure compliance with proper
D- I have performed this task as a regular part of a job. I have performed
it independently and normally without review by a supervisor or senior
E- I am considered an expert in performing this task. I have supervised
performance of this task or am normally the person who is consulted by other
workers to assist or train them in doing this task because of my expertise.
2. Locate, select, and collect data for use by Administrative Specialists.
3. Research in-house records, manual and automated databases at manager's
request for information.
4. Maintain and organize manual and automated databases for assigned
5. Extract and correlate information from various sources for supervisors.
6. Review and edit clerical and administrative reports for consistency,
accuracy, grammar, and punctuation following established administrative
7. Type correspondence, reports, studies, and messages in final form from
rough drafts, notes or oral instructions.
8. Assist with researching and compiling data in the preparation of
briefings, reports, personnel actions, performance management and budget
9. Develop formats, compile current information, update processes, and
prepare project status updates for all functions.
10. Present oral presentations regarding administration information such as
changes to policies, regulations, precedents and work directions to cases or
problems within the department.
11. Provide advice and training on formats and procedures pertaining to the
administrative, research, reporting, personnel and information technology
support functions of a department.
12. Coordinate information technology requests (email and telephone
accounts) and telephone asset requirements as needed for all departmental
13. Coordinate visits and escort customers to the department in order to
enhance professional relationships.
14. Ensure travel arrangements are accurately prepared in accordance with
guidelines and instructions.
15. Coordinate the staffing of civilian position descriptions and hiring
16. Identify rules and procedures or operations requiring facts for
17. Interpret and analyze administrative policy and help resolve work
related problems throughout an agency.
As previously explained, your responses in this Assessment Questionnaire are
subject to evaluation and verification. Later steps in the selection process
are specifically designed to verify your responses. Deliberate attempts to
falsify information will be grounds for disqualifying you or for dismissing
you from employment following acceptance. Please take this opportunity to
review your responses to ensure their accuracy. If you fail to answer this
question, you will be disqualified from consideration for this position.
18. I certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, all of the
information included in this questionnaire is true, correct, and provided in
good faith. I understand that if I make an intentional false statement, or
commit deception or fraud in this application and its supporting materials,
or in any document or interview associated with the examination process, I
may be fined or imprisoned (18 U.S.C. 1001); my eligibilities may be
cancelled, I may be denied an appointment, or I may be removed and debarred
from Federal service (5 C.F.R. part 731). I understand that any information
I give may be investigated. I understand that responding "No" to this item
will result in my not being considered for this position.A. Yes, I certify
that the information provided in this questionnaire is true, correct and
provided in good faith, and I understand the information provided above.
B. No, I do not certify/understand the information provided above.
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