VA Hiring Process: Job Application, Interviews, and Employment

By | July 15, 2023
VA Hiring Process
The VA hiring process involves assessment tests to determine candidates’ ability to perform certain tasks. Image source: IStockphoto.

This post presents detailed information on the VA hiring process, including the job application and interview stages you would need to complete to be employed by the agency.

If you are seeking to work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you should be prepared to go through the hiring process of the agency and be successful before you are employed.

Please, read on:

The VA Hiring Process

The hiring process at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs involves various stages, which include:

VA Job Application Process

The first step in applying for a position with the VA is completing an online form on their website.

This includes submitting your resume, writing a cover letter that explains why you want to work for the VA, and answering questions about your experience and education.

You can also upload documents such as transcripts or letters of recommendation. After you submit your application, it is reviewed by recruiters who may contact you for further information.

If they like what they see, they will send you a formal job offer.

Available Jobs at VA

Once you have applied for a job with the VA, you should check their career page to find out if there are any new positions open.

They post job openings regularly so make sure to keep checking back. When you locate a job that intrigues you, apply for it.

Available jobs at the VA include:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Counselor
  • Community Health Worker
  • Medical Assistant
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Public Health Advisor

VA Job Assessment Test

VA offers several different types of tests to assess your ability to perform certain tasks. Some of these tests include:

  • Computerized Adaptive Testing

The Computerized Adaptive Testing is used to determine how well you would do in a specific job.

It adapts to your answers based on how you did in previous questions.

For example, if you answered a question correctly the first time, then the next time you answer the same question, the computer won’t ask you the same question again.

Instead, it will give you another similar but slightly different question. This way, you don’t get bored answering the same questions over and over.

  • Cognitive Ability Tests

The cognitive ability tests are used to measure your reasoning, problem solving, memory, attention, language, and other abilities related to the job.

  • Drug Screening

The drug screening is used to ensure that you are not currently using illegal drugs. You must pass the drug screening before starting the job.

  • Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness test measures your strength, endurance, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination, and reaction time. You must pass this test before beginning employment.

  • Psychological Assessments

The psychological assessments are used to evaluate your mental health and emotional stability. You must pass all of the tests before getting hired.

Tips for Passing the VA Assessment Tests

These tips can help you pass the VA assessment tests:

  • Read the instructions carefully. If you make a mistake or miss something, you may fail the test.
  • Take your time when answering each question. Don’t rush through the test.
  • Answer every question honestly. Don’t guess at what the correct answer should be.
  • Practice makes perfect! Use the practice tests available online to see how you do before taking the real test.

VA Interview Process

After submitting your application, you may be contacted for a phone screen or face-to-face interview. Phone interviews usually last anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes while a face-to-face meeting could take up to two hours. During these meetings, you will answer questions about your previous work experiences, skills, and knowledge.

Tips for Passing VA Interview

These tips will help you prepare for your interview at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and pass the test:

  • If you get a call for a phone interview and/or face-to-face interview, do well to prepare yourself beforehand.
  • Make sure you know all of the answers to the questions asked because you don’t want to look unprepared during the interview.
  • Also, dress professionally. Wear clothes that fit well, clean shoes and socks, and put on makeup. When you arrive at the interview location, be punctual.
  • Don’t show up late or leave early. Be professional but friendly. Show enthusiasm and confidence when talking with the interviewer.
  • Ask them how they found you and thank them for considering you for the position.
  • Finally, smile! It shows interest and makes you appear more attractive.

VA Interview Questions and Answers

These are some common questions you might be asked during your interview at VA (with sample answers):

  1. Tell me about yourself?

I am a veteran looking to join the VA team. For almost 20 years, I have worked in the mental health profession. I have worked in private practice, community agencies, schools, hospitals, and other public settings.

My goal is to provide quality care and support to veterans through my counseling services.

2. What prompted you to apply for this position?

My husband has served our country honorably since he was 18 years old.

He was injured in combat and needs constant medical attention. The VA provides him with excellent care. I would love to continue his treatment and help others in similar situations.

3. Why do you want to work here?

It is my belief that the VA is one of the best places to work in America. I am excited to contribute to the mission of serving veterans and their families.

4. How did you hear about us?

A friend recommended the VA.

5. Do you have any military service?

Yes, I served in the United States Army Reserve from 1988 until 2002.

How Long Does VA Hiring Process Take?

You can expect to hear back from the VA within 2 weeks or in some cases within 2 months.

If you haven’t heard anything by then, contact the human resources department.

Major VA Careers and Jobs Available

The major careers and jobs at the VA include:

  • Clinical Counselors

Description: These counselors provide individual psychotherapy and group therapy to patients.

They also conduct assessments and make referrals to other professionals.

  • Mental Health Social Workers

Description: These social workers specialize in providing emotional support and helping people cope with life events.

They also assist clients who need assistance finding housing, employment, and financial aid.

  • Medical Assistants

Description: This job requires applicants to perform routine tasks such as taking vital signs, assisting patients with eating, bathing, dressing, and grooming, and performing physical examinations.

  • Pharmacists

Description: These pharmacists dispense medications to patients and answer patient inquiries regarding prescription drugs.

  • Physical Therapists

Description: These therapists treat patients with physical disabilities.

They evaluate and diagnose injuries and illnesses and prescribe exercises to improve mobility and strength.

  • Radiologic Technologists

Description: These technicians take X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and bone densitometry tests. They also operate equipment used to produce images.

What to Expect Working at VA

If you accept a job offer with the VA, you will receive many benefits.

These include:

  • Paid vacation days
  • Sick leave
  • Retirement plan
  • Tuition assistance

What Some Employees Dislike about Working at VA

Some employees report that they are treated poorly because they are employed by the federal government.

Others say they feel like second class citizens due to being required to wear uniforms.

VA Company Profile

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a Cabinet-level executive branch department of the federal government in responsibility of delivering life-long healthcare services to qualifying military veterans at 170 VA hospital facilities and outpatient clinics around the country.

Disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, school help, house loans, and life insurance are examples of non-healthcare benefits.

In this guide we will explain everything about the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) hiring process including its job application, interview and employment.

While the federal government has offered benefits to veterans since the American Revolutionary War, a veteran-specific federal agency, the Veterans Administration, was not founded until 1930.

Its mandate was expanded in 1982 to include a fourth goal to offer treatment to non-veterans and civilians in the event of a national emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

The Veterans Administration was renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989 and the department managed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

This individual is selected by the President as a cabinet member.

The VA employs 412,892 individuals at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, and cemeteries as at June 2020.

In Fiscal Year 2016, the department’s net program expenses were $273 billion, which included the VBA Actuarial Cost of $106.5 billion for compensation benefits.

The long-term “actuarial accrued obligation” (total expected future payments for veterans and their family members) for compensation benefits is $2.491 trillion.

$59.6 billion was for education benefits while $4.6 billion was for burial expenses.


This guide has provided all you need to know about the hiring process at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), to help you to effectively prepare for accessing a job with the agency and getting it.