Advice on how to answer those MSC questions

These kinds of question drive me a little crazy, they are so generic. I want to simply answer “yes” to them. could anybody that has worked with MSC give me some advice on how to SUCCESSFULLY answer these? for instance how did you touch on “ability to use hand tools” with out being flippant?

-Knowledge and ability to operate, maintain, repair liquid cargo, and ballast systems and associated equipment.
-Ability to use hand tools, measuring instruments to maintain and repair pump room equipment
-Knowledge and ability to use, read and effectively interpret technical manuals and blue prints.
thanks guys

They want to know how, where and when and how long you have done so, not just a statement that you know how to. There is guidance on line for this. Google something like ksas how to answer.

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I answered my KSA pretty bluntly. It worked well for me. Writing these types of things is not one of my strong points.
I just imagined myself being the reader/decider, going on all day reading this stupid stuff.
I made a quick reference to when I did the task, how I did it, and how it will be useful to MSC in the future.
I know some guys spent days writing KSAs. I did all mine in about an hour total. Most importantly checked for grammar and spelling. Also, I didn’t know much about the in house programs so I just gave examples of similar programs I’ve used.
This served me well I guess. I think it also depends on the position you are applying to. Officer vs electrician vs OS etc.

I am not sure how MSC civmar hiring works, but for Federal hiring generally, the process is different. In the private sector you use a brief letter and a resume to get in the door, and get into details after. For Federal jobs, you may not get in the door without detail up front. So for Feds, less is not more. Consider also that you will probably be competing against ex-Military, and in military fitness reports, the rule seems to be why use 5 words when you can use 500?

Consider also the gatekeeper is comparing what you provide to a set of job skills, and that gatekeeper may not know much about the job itself. So don’t make assumptions. For example, if the KSA is “Knowledge of cargo transfers to and fro oil tankers” don’t assume “I was Chief Mate for Mobil” will be sufficient.

This is right. I half assed the it because I wasnt sure I wanted the job or not. Only wrote a couple sentences for each question. I got the job, but I know people who wrote longer KSAs got hired quicker. Write as much as you can with as much detail as you can. MSC is really hurting for people right now though so theres a good chance it doesnt matter but put in the time anyway if you want the job.

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I was unfamiliar with “KSAs” appreciate the insight. Just knowing what they were was huge a help.

jdcavo’s advice that you should answer the KSAs as if the gatekeeper may not know much about the job itself is right on point.

Job Hunting 101. Since you are not getting help here. Don’t know we’re you are at but assuming that you are near a union hiring hall. Go there, ask someone waiting around if they were in MSC and offer Beer/dinner to help you (even if they tell you MSC sucks they could help). Especially if you are near a port, go to Workforce Center (or whatever they call state employment office) there is usually someone there who knows all about federal job applications. If you are a veteran there are even more resources.