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Every year, thousands of people apply to work in armed forces and security in the United States and Canada. Candidates are often motivated by the desire to have a meaningful, stable career protecting the lives of others. Keep reading to learn about the hiring process for jobs in armed forces and security and our tips for securing the position that you want. 

Armed Forces & Security

Click on one of the links below to learn more about the different types of tests and hiring processes utilized by these employers.

EDPT - U.S Army GardaWorld Canadian Forces Aptitude Test
ASVAB - U.S Military ASTB - U.S Army

Positions in armed forces and security can be divided into two categories: national service (U.S. and Canadian militaries) and private security. On this page we will outline the hiring process for the Canadian and American armed forces as well as for airport security (pre-board screening officer positions, including private corporations as well as the Transport Security Administration).


Pre-Board Screening Officer Hiring Process

Applicants for pre-board screening officer jobs at private companies as well as the TSA must pass a series of assessments and interviews. 

X-Ray Object Recognition Test (ORT)

This test evaluates whether you have the basic skills necessary to perform well as a pre-board screening officer. This X-Ray security screening test requires you to identify dangerous objects as they pass through an X-Ray scanner. JobTestPrep offers practice tests that will help you to hone your skills and pass this test easily.

English and Basic Math Test

This test evaluates your English and math skills on a basic level. You must demonstrate proficiency in English to get hired as a pre-boarding screening officer. Specifically, you will be tested on your spelling, grammar, reading comprehension, logic, and math skills, with spelling making up the bulk of the test. The English and Basic Math Test includes 100 questions and has a time limit of 60 minutes. If English is not your first language, it is highly recommended that you practice for this test ahead of time since the spelling questions can be quite tricky.

Interviews

If you pass the assessments, you will be invited for in-person interviews. Your interview may immediately follow your test. You will be asked a series of questions about your availability, motivation, skills, and abilities. These are some questions you should prepare for in advance:

  • Why do you want to work as pre-board officer?
  • What does good customer service mean to you?
  • How do you deal with conflict?
  • Would you be able to report to work at the airport within an hour if called in?
  • What about you makes you a good candidate for this job?
  • Why do you think that the position of a pre-screening officer is important?
  • What would you do on your first working day, if you are hired?
  • What would you do if a customer refused to show his or her bag?

 

Armed Forces Recruitment Process

The hiring process for the Canadian Forces and the U.S. military follow the same basic format, although they differ slightly in the details and the assessments. Both militaries require you to pass a background check, medical exam, aptitude tests, interview, and physical fitness test.

U.S. and Canadian Forces Application Process 

  1. Apply online, by mail, or in person
  2. Reliability screening: This is a standard background check. If you have certain red flags, such as dual citizenship or a criminal record, you will go through enhanced reliability screening which will extend the length of your application process.
  3. Aptitude Test: This is explained in more detail below.
  4. Medical exam (physical)
  5. Interview
  6. Physical Fitness Test

Canadian Forces Aptitude Test

Every applicant must complete the Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT). The CFAT includes the following sections: 

  • Verbal skills: This tests your ability to understand the meaning of words. You will be presented with a word and you must choose another word which closely resembles the original word's meaning (is a synonym) or is the antonym (opposite) of the original word. You have five minutes to complete this test, which includes 15 questions.
  • Spatial ability: This tests your ability to recognize a form from a pattern, or to recognize a pattern from a form. You will be presented with a given box and must choose the unfolded pattern that would create this box, or alternatively, you will be presented with an unfolded pattern and must select the box that this pattern would create. 
  • Problem-solving: This is the main part of the CFAT, and it measures your ability to solve problems. It mostly tests your mathematical and logical reasoning capabilities. You need to solve 30 questions within 30 minutes. 

It is highly important to not only pass the CFAT but to get a high score, because the better your score, the more Canadian Forces occupational options will be available to you. 

U.S. Armed Forces Aptitude Tests

Applicants to the Armed Services must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This test determines whether you are qualified to enlist in the military as well as which career paths in the military will be open to you. The ASVAB is made up of nine sections, four of which make up your Armed Forces Qualification Test Score (AFQT score). To enlist in the military, you need an AFQT score of at least 31 for those with a high school diploma, and a higher score for those with a GED. Each position in the army requires a different score. The higher your score, the more options you have.

The AFQT is composed of four sections of the ASVB:

  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Mathematics Knowledge
  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension

The test is scored by percentile, meaning that you are evaluated based on well you did compared to other test takers. For instance, if you score in the 70th percentile,  that means that you did better than 70% of test takers.

 

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