Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This site is great for finding out the status of applications (Did you get a request for a writing sample? Have people started getting invitations to interview? Have they called you back? Are you hired?), but really short on helpful information for the actual interview. I have interviewed and would like to share some info so you can be more prepared for your own interview.

Caveat: I have not yet gotten an offer or rejection. I can't tell you then what actually "worked" for me, since I have no idea if anything did! But at least you can have an idea of the process and questions.

Two panel interviews in one day. The first panel tells you about the job - but also asks you questions! The second panel assumes you now know more about the job and may ask you many of the same questions. Many of the questions I got were about my ability to produce work in a timely manner (since there are weekly production goals), my ability to accept criticism of my work (office actions are not like other writing you may have done, and your work is monitored pretty closely for at least the first 6 months), your ability to accept and adapt to training from the USPTO (especially if you have any trademark or other practice experience already), where you see yourself in 3-5 years, and any exposure you have had to trademarks already. On the scale of interviews, I would say it was one of the least painful ones I have ever done for sure.

Also, keep applying. I have met and heard of so many people who applied many times, interviewed multiple times, finally got an offer. The same way we hear about people coming straight out of unrelated clerkships and even directly from law school and getting offers from the USPTO or other federal agencies (doesn't that just make you a little crazy!). Some of it is luck, some of it is your competition (sure, you're great - but so was basically everyone else this time), some of it is who you know, some of it is it was raining on a Monday and the interviewer hates the color blue... who knows! But keep trying! Thankfully they have positions open up on a regular basis. I know this is easier said than done, I have applied multiple times myself.


I cannot thank you enough for this. How long did the interview last? How many USPTO employees participated in the panels? I'm guessing that they aren't doing telephone interviews anymore.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:35 am

Each panel was... 30-45 minutes? Sorry, I wasn't really paying attention to the time. But not so long that things got awkward :)

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:36 am

And I would say... about 10 people each panel?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:00 pm

Does anyone know when offers might go out? I know the class is expected to start January 17ish - that doesn't leave much time!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:33 pm

Did they tell you at the interview that the class is supposed to start in January? The original job posting said there would be two classes, one starting in March and one in May. January 17 seems very soon.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:09 pm

Yes, there are concerns about a hiring freeze under the new administration, thus the dates have been moved up, way up apparently.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:35 pm

Interesting. Will there still be two classes, or have they cut it back to one? This has got to be very hard for the PTO support staff. It normally takes much longer to make decisions, put together offers, contact references etc.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:22 pm

I think the start date for the class is January 17th. They are looking to hire between 20-25 people for the class. I do not know how many people total they are interviewing. There may be another class sometime in the spring, but that depends on what the new administration is going to do. Does anyone know the time frame for when offers are going to go out? I guess it should be soon, since the start date is in January. Good luck to everyone!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:15 pm

Just got a soft offer call. They wanted permission to contact my references. I interviewed on Monday, 12/5. I asked whether this was for the January 17 start date and they indicated it was. This is my second time applying for the position.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got a soft offer call. They wanted permission to contact my references. I interviewed on Monday, 12/5. I asked whether this was for the January 17 start date and they indicated it was. This is my second time applying for the position.


Congrats!

It's also good to know the interview window, mine is next week. Hopefully they save a spot for me!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:00 pm

By interview window do you mean that they told you calls for your interview date would go out next week?

I didn't ask when calls would be make when I interviewed, so of course I'll be on pins and needles until Christmas Eve, which I believe is the absolute latest that they would make an offer...

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:30 pm

Time for me to buy a well I suppose: https://twitter.com/nbcsnl/status/805516488421638144.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:38 pm

Has anyone else who interviewed last week received a tentative offer?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:51 pm

How did everyone handle "thank yous" after the interview? It seems impracticable under the circumstances to send a personalized note to each individuals on the panels.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone else who interviewed last week received a tentative offer?

What do you mean by "tentative offer"? I believe they are checking all of the references of everyone who interviewed, as is standard with government HR, but I do not think the federal government has anything akin to a "soft" or "tentative" offer unless they have actually offered you the job pending a reference check and are just waiting for it to be processed through HR.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:57 pm

They absolutely don't check all of the references of everyone who interviewed. They only check your references AFTER they have decided to extend you an offer. As long as your references check out (they confirm work history and don't call you a psychopath), you will receive a formal offer letter.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They absolutely don't check all of the references of everyone who interviewed. They only check your references AFTER they have decided to extend you an offer. As long as your references check out (they confirm work history and don't call you a psychopath), you will receive a formal offer letter.

Well I had not heard that before, but that's good news then!

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone else who interviewed last week received a tentative offer?


So the PTO is making offers the same week they are doing interviews this time?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone else who interviewed last week received a tentative offer?


So the PTO is making offers the same week they are doing interviews this time?

Many interviews were last week and the week before, I believe. As far as I can tell, only calls asking permission to check references have gone out - I have not heard of any actual offers being made.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:33 pm

Does anyone know if they are still interviewing?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:34 pm

Does anyone know if they are still interviewing?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:They absolutely don't check all of the references of everyone who interviewed. They only check your references AFTER they have decided to extend you an offer. As long as your references check out (they confirm work history and don't call you a psychopath), you will receive a formal offer letter.

They specifically told me when they asked to check my references that it was NOT a job offer and the offer would come from HR. Did they tell you something different?

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:52 pm

No, I didn't hear something different. It has just been their custom and practice to eventually extend offers to everyone who they ask to check references. See this post. Yeah, its possible that they might be doing things differently this time but I doubt it. I am guessing the supervising attorney emphasized that it was not a job offer in case of the remote possibility that your references don't check out but I think that is very unlikely. Its clear they are under time pressure to fill these slots before the inauguration. I am surprised they are calling people during the interview window (maybe they did that before and I never realized it) but I always thought they waited until all interviews had been completed to notify people and check references.

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How did everyone handle "thank yous" after the interview? It seems impracticable under the circumstances to send a personalized note to each individuals on the panels.


i was wondering the same thing! does anyone know how that works? because of how expedited this process is, they might not even get a thank you before deciding to extend/not extend an offer to someone...

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Re: Attorney Advisor (Trademark Examining Attorney) for USPTO

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No, I didn't hear something different. It has just been their custom and practice to eventually extend offers to everyone who they ask to check references. See this post. Yeah, its possible that they might be doing things differently this time but I doubt it. I am guessing the supervising attorney emphasized that it was not a job offer in case of the remote possibility that your references don't check out but I think that is very unlikely. Its clear they are under time pressure to fill these slots before the inauguration. I am surprised they are calling people during the interview window (maybe they did that before and I never realized it) but I always thought they waited until all interviews had been completed to notify people and check references.

This.

I've been reading this thread for a while, so I have a few things to add. It looks like in the last round of hiring, the "soft offers" went out before the final week of interviewing was complete. In the history of this thread, and from the couple of people I know who are examiners, no one who has received a "soft offer" has not gotten an official offer.

I interviewed during the week of November 28 and received a call with a "soft offer" last week. The exact words used were "We are considering extending you an offer and would like your permission to contact your references." Then they said that an actual offer would come from HR. It's not impossible that an official offer won't follow the references phone call, but it seems like something would have to go very wrong -- a reference throwing you under the bus or something. I'll certainly feel much better when I have something official in my hand, but if you've gotten the references phone call, you should be good to go.




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