Preparing for the FSOA

September 3, 2012

Most people who pass the Foreign Service Officer Written Assessment often ask me how to prepare for the Foreign Service Oral Assessment (FSOA).

Without breaking the law and telling them how I passed the FSOA and what exact questions they asked me, my advice to people taking the FSOA is pretty simple:

  1. Read the directions they send to you very carefully. 90% of all the information you need to succeed are in the instructions they give you.
  2. Be a team player.
  3. Don’t be an asshole.

That’s it. By the day of the oral assessment, you are who you are, there is no changing your personality to better fit the oral assessment. If you’re not a natural team player, there is nothing you can do to change that. So just relax and read the directions. On the day of the test, stay focused, be polite, be a team player, check your attitude at the door. After test day you can do back being your nasty self!