Federal Careers

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If you’re applying for federal jobs, you’re probably very familiar with USAJOBS. However, have you run into USA HIRE yet?

More than 40 federal agencies use USA HIRE as part of the application process so if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re likely to see it at some point. What is it? Most of you are familiar with the standard occupational questionnaires that accompany USAJOBS—the Likert scale, with a through e answers when you self report your level of expertise. Not surprisingly, those questionnaires are not that reliable since many applicants simply self the highest and best answers to every question regardless of their real level of expertise.


USA HIRE on the other hand, target the “whole person” by using occupation series-specific questionnaires, leadership questionnaires, and critical skills questionnaires. These assessments have been developed for 100+ occupations. For example, for supervisory positions, USA HIRE can provide situational judgment questions where candidates are presented with a specific scenario and are asked to identify an appropriate response. There are also mathematical assessments for accounting and other math-focused positions, interpersonal skills, reading skills, reasoning skills, and written skills assessments where writing is critical.

Candidates who self-report minimal qualifications on the traditional questionnaire are then automatically taken to USA HIRE for additional assessment. USA HIRE then generates a combined score for best qualified determinations.

What can YOU do to maximize your success with USA HIRE?

• First, know that once you complete an application that includes a USA HIRE assessment, you will receive an email for a link to complete the assessment within 24 hours. Pay attention to your email—and don’t forget to check spam or junk folders. The email will come from: assessments@USAHire.opm.gov.

• Don’t blow it off. This is a real part of your application, and your score is good for one year. So if you apply for similar job that uses USA HIRE within one year of completing a USA HIRE assessment, the same score is used.

• Leave enough time to take the assessment in one sitting. USA HIRE assessments can take as long as 3 hours to complete; you have 48 hours from the closing date of the announcement (or other timeframe specified). Plan accordingly; if you don’t complete the assessment within the required timeframe you will be rated ineligible for that posting.

• Review practice questions. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has sample questions that can be found at: https://usahire.opm.gov/assess/default/sample/Sample.action.


• Have a problem? Contact the Help Desk: helpdesk@usahire.opm.gov

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2022 Federal Employees Handbook