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.