TSA Airport Assessment Guide: The Complete Guide

The hiring process at TSA is quite lengthy, peaking with the TSA Airport Assessment, which is a multistage process that all future employees must go through.

In this post, we will present the various stages of the Airport Assessment and provide valuable information and tips to help you outscore the competition.

Ready? Let’s get started.

If you get to pass the CBT test of TSA and also the security and credit check, they’ll reach out to you to set a time and date for an Airport Assessment. Keep reading to understand the entire process.

Looking for a way to practice the TSA CBT? Access the full-length TSA preparation guide.

The Check-In Stage

Congratulations, this is the first stage of the process, which will lead you to employment at the TSA.

  • The first thing they’ll ask you to do is provide two identification forms issued by the United States State or Federal Government, such as passport, social security card, driver’s license, and so on.
  • The next thing is to turn over every personal belonging such as keys and phones, but please you should not go with even a legal weapon as there is nowhere to keep it while testing.
  • Finally, you’ll sign a non-disclosure agreement to make sure that you don’t reveal the specific aspects of the process.

As soon as you’re in, you will then be presented with your first true hurdle.


Color Vision Test

There’s one more important aspect to a successful TSA career, and that is color recognition. In this process, the organization will introduce the Color Vision Test, Farnsworth D-15, which lasts for 3 minutes, and you either pass or fail it.

How Does the Test Work?

You’ll simply be offered fifteen small cubes with a range of shades for the color provided. You have to line up the entire color spectrum in the correct order and too many mistakes will result in failure . Although they’ll give you one more chance, they’ll automatically disqualify you from the exam if you fail for the second time.

If you fail for the second time, you cannot retake the assessment for an entire six months.

The Paneled Standardized Interview

Now that you’ve passed the first stage, you’re not done yet.

You can be relieved knowing that the interview is a standardized one, which means they give everyone the same (or very similar) questions. However, there are two variations in all standardized questions on the test, and you can only use the second one in the event you had difficulties with the initial standardized interview.

Two to six interviewers will sit on a panel to ask you questions related to soft skills. Below are the soft skills that you need to prepare to discuss.

Resilience, Flexibility, and Adaptability

  • Resilience: The power to face harsh circumstances and get back up after mistakes or losses.
  • Flexibility: The capacity and desire to adapt to all situations.
  • Adaptability: Flow well with your environment by adjusting characters and learning new skills as required.

Integrity and Honesty

  • Integrity: Job reliability and dedication while you remain totally ethical.
  • Honesty: Someone who is trustworthy, truthful, and fair.


Working effectively and collaboratively on a team level, and this includes skills such as conflict resolution, communication, and offering constructive feedback.


A TSA worker needs to be able to provide swift and methodological solutions to a range of issues.

They can accomplish this with the skill-sets that follow:

Active listening, team building, dependability, and creativity. Also working towards the expedient de-escalation of a bad situation as fast as possible. Additionally, working towards the expedient de-escalation of a bad situation is another primary attribute of a problem solver.

Decisiveness and Leadership

  • Decisiveness: Make swift and effective decisions.
  • Leadership: Positively and constructively control a situation or group to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Interpersonal Skills

Since you’ll be in an environment with high stress, it’s important to take note of your interactions with those around you.

The interviewers would like to know how friendly, courteous, and understanding you are. Moreover, sensitivity, empathy, and tact are also key to success because of the wide array of people you’ll cross in the field.


Standardized Interview Performance Tip

Most likely, the best way you can answer the above questions and perform well during the airport assessment hiring process is by using the STAR method.

With this method, you get to draw from the experiences you’ve had in the past and explain the results, while highlighting your abilities and skills.

What's the Meaning of STAR?

  • Situation: You should relate this question to an event at work where you played an important role, then thoroughly provide context. You can relate it to a managed project, a significant contribution, or any conflict you resolved. You shouldn’t forget any details from the timeline.
  • Task: Since you’ve now described the problem, explain your responsibilities and role clearly.
  • Action: This is the point where you should talk about the strategy you implemented. Remember to make it more about your specific role and less about the group effort.
  • Result: Finally, the short and long-term results of the events chain.

Why are Panel Interviews Used By the TSA?

In a standardized interview, making use of a panel interview has several advantages. With these interviews, TSA can save money and time with questions focusing on in-depth documentation, dynamic conversation, and follow-ups from several perspectives.

Even though you might be quite stressed by the panel interview, you must seize the moment because you’ll reveal several personality traits in their company and get the chance to make your mark from the start.


Scored Based Interview Questions

Now that you’ve seen how the test itself will go, you need to understand precisely how they grade the interview questions.

The required score for every competency is a minimum of 3 of 5 to pass, which gives a score of 18/ of 30. Meanwhile, they separately grade the Integrity/Honesty as pass/fail.

You need to remember that if you don’t get at least three on each segment, even while keeping an 18 average equals failure. Anyone who fails the exam will only get the chance to retake it after waiting for six months.

Fingerprinting & Your Digital Photo

This step is the last of the airport assessment, which means you’re edging closer to a job. Your fingerprint and digital photo will be taken by the agency and stored at TSC (Transportation Security Clearinghouse).

Navigating the Medical Evaluation Forms

There are some necessary medical forms to attend to as soon you successfully complete the hiring process:

  • SOMQ.
  • Candidate Pre-Medical Instruction Form.

These two forms are used by the TSA to get recent details regarding the health of an applicant. This is a mandatory form, and they’ll factor it into TSO hiring deliberations.

The Exit Process

This is the final stage, and here is where you need to relax as you’ll only get your job offer as per demand, and only after you’ve passed the drug, medical, and background checks.

Frequently Asked Questions for the TSA Airport Assessment

What Are the Qualifications Needed to Apply?

  • Fluency in English.
  • High school diploma, TASC, HiSET, or GED.
  • If you don’t have a high school diploma or anything equivalent, you’ll get the chance to apply after a years’ experience as a radiology technician, aviation safety control, or security.
  • In addition, they also accept applicants with National Service Duty such as AmeriCorps and Peace Corps.

How Long Will I Need to Wait to Get My Airport Assessment Results?

As soon as you’ve completed the Airport assessment hiring process, results are processed in 30 minutes. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you’ve gotten a TSA job; what it means is that you’ll get a contingent offer. They consider the Transportation Security Administration a “preliminary notice of acceptance.”

What Do I Need to Expect from The Credit Check of The TSA?

After the first offer, the credit check is to make sure that you don’t have unpaid debt of USD7,500, cases of repossession, court judgments remained unexecuted, and seizure of assets, and more. They should complete this check within 3 working days.

What's the Psychological and Medical Examination?

Next comes a comprehensive psychological examination and medical evaluation, which includes vision and hearing, nose, trachea, larynx, and pharynx, diabetes, Neurological disorders, and many more.

Do the Interviews for The TSA Airport Assessment Have a Dress Code?

Definitely! You need to get there in a business outfit.

What's the Importance of The Drug Screening Test?

Since you’ll be the first defender for the country, you must be 100% medically sound. Therefore, you’ll undergo both a blood alcohol test and a urine test. You should also keep in mind that every employee of the TSA undergoes an annual drug test to make sure they are always lucid.