USA Hire Assessment: The Ultimate Guide & Practice [2022]
David PI Behavioral Assessment Expert

David, Psychometric Assessment expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: askdavid@jobtestprep.com 
 

 

 

What Is the USA Hire Assessment?

The USA Hire assessment is a series of federal online tests administered by OPM (Office of Personnel Management), to assess candidates’ core cognitive and interpersonal competencies.

The entire USA Hire Assessment takes about 2-3 hours to complete, while each of the questionnaires lasts about 30 minutes. Most USA Hire Assessments: Reasoning, Interaction, Math, and Reading, are timed to 5 minutes per question.

There are five standard USA Hire competency-based assessments:

These do not require any prior job knowledge; however, they can also be paired with other assessments measuring technical or other specific skills, depending on the position you applied for.

 

USA Hire Assessment Sample Questions and Answers

Occupational Reasoning Assessment 

The USA Hire Reasoning Assessment is one of the most difficult USA Hire tests. On this exam, you will have to evaluate arguments, draw logical conclusions, and analyze verbal and abstract information. It contains a few types of reasoning questions:

 

Occupational Reasoning Sample Question - Formal Logic

Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final statement: 1) True, 2) False, or 3) Uncertain based on the information provided?

All members of the football team came to the gym.

Elijah came to the gym.

Elijah is on the football team.

A. True
B. False
C. Uncertain
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Elijah can be at the gym even if he is not on the football team. If the information given was that there were only football team members in the gym, then the 3rd sentence would have been correct.  

For an answer to be “true,” the information must be deduced for sure, not an optional solution.

 

Solving Tip!

Since logic questions usually contain a large amount of information, Sketching often helps simplify the question. 

To combine two statements to a conclusion, both statements need to have a common element (Such as the gym), but they must be on two different sides. Then the common element will be eliminated and will end up with a new conclusion. 

For example:

reasoning-tip-1

If these were the two statements, the conclusion would have been: 

reasoning-tip-2

In this case, the answer would have been ‘True’. 

Occupational Reasoning Sample Question - Seating Arrangements 

Ellie, Norah, Ben, Helen, and Josh are waiting in line for the Ferris wheel. Norah is not first. Ben is immediately behind Ellie. Josh is second.

Which of the following statements is true if Ellie is behind Norah?

A. Ellie is first.
B. Ben is third.
C. Norah is third.
D. Helen is behind Norah.
E. Ellie is immediately behind Josh.
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

We need to go over the information provided, one sentence at a time.
Since Norah is not first, you know that she cannot be in the left-most line (reading left-to-right as first-to-last), but that is not enough to place her on any of the other lines. The following sentence tells you precisely how Ben and Ellie are placed in relation to each other. Write it down:

E  B

Since Josh is second, and you already know that Norah is not first, the only person who could be first is Helen. If Ellie were to be first, then Ben would have to be second, which contradicts what you already know.

Now, you can add Helen and Josh to the left of Ellie and Ben, the only person left to place now is Norah, who could be either third or last.

reasoning-sitting

The additional information in the question allows you to eliminate the second option. For Ellie to be behind Norah, the latter must be third. Now you have the full arrangement:

[picture]

Now when it is visual, it easier to see that the correct answer is that Norah is third. 

 

How to pass the USA Hire reasoning assessment?

Logical reasoning questions are just like puzzles- the more you practice, the better you get. Practice the same question types as the ones on the Occupational Reasoning exam and get detailed answers and solving techniques.


Occupational Interaction Assessment 

This assessment is also known as the Computer-Adaptive Occupational Interaction Assessment. It is a long questionnaire (150+ questions) asking about your interests, habits, and work preferences. Like in other personality exams, you will be asked to mark how you feel about each statement presented  (How much you agree with it or how often you do/think/feel it).

Occupational Interaction Sample Question 

Read the following statement and think about the answer that best describes you most of the time:

There are so many small tasks to be done, on occasion, I find it tempting to simply disregard them all

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neutral
  4. Disagree
  5. Strongly disagree
How to answer this question

This statement assesses Self-discipline- the ability to complete tasks and reach goals that have been set, despite various distractions, challenges, boredom, or loss of interest.

 

High scores characterize productive people who always do their job faithfully and have the ability to manage themselves and complete their responsibilities on time.

Low scores characterize people who have difficulty completing their tasks, who tend to waste valuable time before getting to work and giving up or jumping on to another task when faced with a difficulty or challenge.

 

Self-discipline is required in the vast majority of jobs and it indicates a desire and ability to work. Therefore it is worthwhile to get high scores on statements that assess this trait.


Occupational Reading Assessment 

The Occupational reading USA Hire Assessment is similar to standard reading comprehension tests, in which you are asked to read a passage or table, and then answer questions based on the information provided.

Occupational Reading Sample Question 

In the past few years, the government has turned to shock tactics in order to fight the battle against smokers and the burden they pose on the country's economy (manifested in sick days and health issues). The latest anti-smoking campaign showed tumors growing on a cigarette. Needless to say, this advert was contentious. On the one hand, the advert has become a viral sensation since its launch and has attracted plenty of attention to the subject. On the other hand, some argue that using a hard-hitting approach doesn't really work because people become very afraid. If someone thinks they might have cancer or a symptom of cancer, they're likely to try to push it out of their mind.

 

Which one of the following would best replace “contentious” while maintaining the meaning of the passage?

1. Problematic
2. Unpopular
3. Detested
4. Controversial 
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The word “contentious” means quarrelsome or debatable. In the context of the passage, it can be replaced with the word “controversial.”

A clue to the meaning of this word can be found in the phrasing of the passage after its use: “Needless to say, this advert was contentious. On the one hand… On the other hand…” This phrasing helps us understand that the advert had positive and negative effects, namely, that it was controversial.

Also note that all three distracters are very similar in meaning (negative adjectives), which can serve as an additional hint to the correct meaning of the word in question.


The Occupational Math Assessment

The USA Hire math test measures your ability to solve basic math reasoning questions and perform arithmetic calculations. You will be required to work with decimals, basic probability, fractions, percentages, basic algebra, and basic geometry.

*You are allowed to use a calculator and scratch paper in order to answer the questions.

Occupational Math Sample Question

An organic greenhouse grows Roses and Lilies in an 11:10 ratio in favor of the Roses. On Valentine's Day, the owner of the greenhouse was overflowed with orders and sold out his entire stock of flowers. If the total amount of Lilies was 2,000 how many more Roses than Lilies were sold?

Choose the correct answer:

A. 2200
B. 2100
C. 200
D. 180
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is 200.

In this question, we have both the ratio and an absolute value. Thus, once we calculate the value of a unit of ratio we can easily find the rest of the values.

Since the ratio between the Roses and Lilies is 11:10, we can consider the 2,000 Lilies as 10 units of ratio and therefore: 2,000 Lilies/10 units = 200 Lilies per unit of ratio. The difference between the number of Roses and the number of Lilies is one unit: 11-10 = 1, which equals 200.

 


Occupational Judgment (g2) Assessment 

The judgment Assessment, or Situational Judgment Test (SJT), is a video-based exam where you will be asked to provide the most and least effective responses to a given work scenario that played out on the screen.

The question will also instruct you as to whose perspective you should take. For those with hearing issues, there is also a closed caption option to read the text.

Occupational Judgment Sample Question

Mary has been working in your unit for six months. Her work is quick, she meets deadlines and she is friendly to other employees. 

However, she seems to be careless in her work – she doesn’t pay attention and doesn’t check herself properly. You have tried to work on this issue with her but it doesn’t seem to change. 

Although she meets her deadlines, discovering and correcting her errors has caused major set-backs to your team and some product releases had to be delayed. Eventually, you have decided to let her go. 

However, Mary spoke to the HR department and asked them to find her a new position in the company. They are asking for your input on her. What would you say?

A. Emphasize that her lack of accuracy would interrupt any type of work and unfortunately, your recommendation is to let her go.
B. Say that Mary is friendly and her work is quick but very inaccurate.
C. Emphasize her qualities and only mention the problems in a word, so that she gets a fresh start in her new position.
D. Tell them that since you have fired her you can’t provide an impartial opinion.  
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Best response: B

Core competency: integrity and reliability
Secondary competencies: organizational thinking

Explanation: In this question, you are asked for your professional opinion on a former employee. You like the employee personally, but your overall opinion is that her carelessness is too harmful.

Response A is honest and emphasizes the harmfulness of the employee’s carelessness.

However, this feedback lacks the employee's good qualities – her quick work, her time management, and her ability to work in a team.

Although in her position in your team her lack of attention was harmful, the overall feedback that should be delivered to the HR department should include all of these qualities – For sake of fairness, as well as for the possibility that they may find her a better fitting position that requires speed over accuracy.

 


Taking the USA Hire Assessment – Step-by-Step 

To clarify the OPM application and assessment process, we have outlined the main steps and guidelines when taking the USA Hire Assessment:

  1. Application
    Find a federal position in USAJOBS and apply for it.
  2. Accessing the USA Hire Assessment
    For positions that require completing an assessment, you should receive an email invitation to the test from OPM within 24 hours of applying. This email should be sent by the following address: Assessments@usahire.opm.gov.
    If you are unable to find the email, try checking your spam folder. Additionally, you should be able to access the link via your USA Jobs account.
  3. Taking the Assessment
    Next, you’ll need to open the link in order to access the assessment. The assessment window will typically be open for 48 hours from the moment the vacancy announcement is closed, so make sure not to miss it. You can log off and on to the system and take breaks between assessments, as long as you complete the entire assessment within this time frame. 
  4. Getting Score Results
    USA Hire Results are given straight to the hiring agency, so there is no way of knowing your score. You will know whether you passed once you are referred to the hiring manager.
    Your application status may either change to "Referred" or "Eligible" or remain as "Received". Only “Not Referred” status means you failed to pass the assessment.
     

The complete USA Hire practice pack will help you take the assessment, knowing you can solve any question in it. It contains short simulations for each of the assessments, with sample questions, answers, and explanations that sharpen the mathematical and logical thinking skills required to pass the test.

USA Hire Results 

To pass the USA Hire Assessment you need a score of 70% or above on each of the OPM assessment questionnaires since they are graded individually. Next, the hiring agency will rate you based on both your USA Hire assessment score and the score you received based on the application itself.

 

So, does the score matter if you pass the 70% mark? 

Hiring agencies often, but not always, select candidates according to the highest score on the USA Hire assessment, especially when it comes to graduate positions with little or no prior experience. So, it is better to aim for the highest score possible.

 

Can you retake USA Hire Assessment? 

You can retake the same USA hire assessment only after a year. The test score will be eligible for any position that requires the exact same test, so if you fail the assessment you will not be able to move on in the hiring process of positions from the same series and grade. However,  you might be asked to take additional assessments for different positions.

 

Other USA Hire Occupational Exams

Here are some details about some other sub-tests that may show up on the USA Hire Assessment. 

  • Job Knowledge Test – For positions that require specialized or technical training, a Job Knowledge Test is administered to assess the extent of job-specific knowledge each candidate possesses.
  • Writing Assessment – This portion of the exam measures the applicant’s ability to show writing skills similar to those required on an everyday basis at work. The items and multiple-choice responses include the sequencing of facts and grammatical issues.
  • Work Simulation – You may be asked to go to an assessment center and undergo a work simulation. The simulation will assess your reaction and skills as they related to scenarios you may encounter on the job.
  • Accomplishment Record – In this section of the exam, you will be asked about your general accomplishments and work accomplishments. This includes going over specifics of why you are proud of your accomplishments, what you did, and why it worked.
  • Structured Interview – This is an interview in which candidates for a position are ranked according to the rating scales that USA Hire uses. Candidates are asked similar questions as they relate to the job.

Interested in any of the USA Hire tests above? you are welcome to send us an email with any question on your mind, and we will get back to you within 24 hours. 

 


Links to Other Federal Government Tests

 

 

USA Hire, USA Jobs, OPM, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.