US Patent and Trademark Office Examiner Interview Questions

Updated Sep 10, 2014
Updated Sep 10, 2014
113 Interview Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Patent Examiner (Mechanical Engineer) Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Alexandria, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    After applying on the USA jobs website, I was notified about 1 week after the position closed that I had met the basic qualifications and that a hiring official would further review. About two months later I had a schedule for an interview. The interview was a video conference. I was told to expect a yes or no in two weeks. Three weeks later I called them and found out I didn't get it.

    Interview Questions
    • Describe a time in which you had a very short deadline to meet   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office.

    Interview Details

    Applied online in the mid of April 2014 and got interviewed second week of June 2014. Got the offer after two weeks of interview.

    Got an email to schedule an interview after 1 1/2 month of applying. Scheduled an interview from a week after getting the email and it was a WebEx interview. During the call, there was one hiring manager to whom I talked to. Hiring manager who conducted the interview was friendly and pleasant. She first explained the job requirement and gave a job description. Then she started with the interview. Along with the 4 questions given below, she asked me about my work. The interview call lasted for 45 minutes.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions asked:
      1. Describe a situation/project you had to prepare a technical paper/presentation.
      2. Describe a task/project that you had to accomplish with a short turn around time.
      3. Describe a situation in which you received constructive criticism about work you have done and how you handled it.
       4.Give an example of a time when you had to make a persuasive argument, how did you accomplish it and what was the outcome?

      Give an example for each situation.
        View Answers (21)
    Negotiation Details
    There was no negotiation.
    Accepted Offer
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    US Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Alexandria, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in May 2014.

    Interview Details

    The initial process of determining whether I would be referred for an interview took approximately 3 weeks. When I received a call to set up an interview the hiring manager used an outdated calendar for scheduling purposes, which led to some initial confusion. There were two managers who conducted the interview and both were friendly and pleasant. I have an extensive background in art education and it seemed as though the managers were uncertain as to why I would want to leave my present career to become a patent design examiner. The first part of the interview requires you to complete a written examination. I do not suggest interviewing via teleconference as the written exam was provided in a PDF format with a time limit of 15 mins. There was not enough time to print and review the 6 page document and it was extremely difficult to complete scrolling back and forth on a computer screen. It was also necessary to draw and circle specific items on the document, which was nearly impossible to complete in a PDF file with the provided time constraints.

    Interview Questions
    • Questions were quite standard, but be prepared with background knowledge of basic patents. The US Patent Office has a helpful video that is accessible online   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Denver, CO
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Denver, CO
    Application Details

    I applied through other source - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    One interview at hiring fair held specifically for this position, hosted by USPTO at local hotel. Hiring managers gave presentation, met with each candidate individually. I was asked which tools I'd used for patent-related research, to elaborate on my experience and ability to work alone (job requires extensive solo work), describe expertise/ability to determine if a submitted design will function or is technically accurate. Hiring managers very open, revealing. Culture appears similar to NASA or a department office at a research university: Laid back academic yet professional interactions.

    Interview Questions
    • I can't say any question was difficult or unexpected. I wasn't expecting the dress to be as casual as it was: 8 hiring managers were there, all wearing jeans/dockers and short sleeved golf shirts or colored denim long sleeved shirt.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Design Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Alexandria, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in May 2014.

    Interview Details

    Applied February 2014 and interviewed mid May 2014. Still currently waiting to hear back but I will definitely update. This site is a great resource for the process. My interview consisted of a 15 minute assessment test - basically to see how well you can identify differences and very minor details. That was followed by a group interview with standard questions (all can be found here).

    Interview Questions
    • Explain the design patent process. This isn't that difficult without proper research here and on their website.   View Answers (7)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied for several positions and was contacted for an interview a couple weeks after the first position I applied for closed on usajobs. My interviewer said that this interview would be for all positions I have applied for. The interview was 25-30 minutes and all of the questions I was asked were already listed here (describe a time you had to present technical info, describe a time you received constructive criticism and how you reacted, describe a time when you had to persuade someone you worked for). The questions were very detailed - for example, for describing presentation of technical info, interviewer asked what my role was, how i conducted research, problems I ran into, how I resolved them, what the outcome was, etc. The interviewer also asked a few questions from my resume about classes and work experience. At the end of the interview, I was able to ask a few questions and the interviewer briefly talked about the patent training academy. The interview was conducted on webex but my computer audio wouldn't work so I had to use my cell phone, which was kind of awkward. The interviewer was very kind and easy to talk to. I was not given a time frame as to when to expect to hear from HR, but the interviewer said "soon"...

    Update: my status switched to "selected" on USA Jobs about 2 weeks after the interview and the next day I got a call offering me the job.

    Interview Questions
    • No unexpected questions, but the amount of detail asked for was unexpected   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8.  

    Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 4 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied for the job openning on December 2013 and received an interview schedule for mid April 2014. The interview was done on through video webcam on WebEx and the interview was informal. Most of the questions were basic behavioral questions that other people outlined in this website. The interview lasted approximately 45min.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Junior Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in April 2014.

    Interview Details

    The interviewer did a phone interview and it lasted 30~35 minutes. The questions were pretty standard, but the ones I recall were:
    1. Is there a particular area of technology you'd be interested in?
    2. Describe a technical project for which you had to do extensive research.
    3. Describe a task / project that you had to accomplish with a short turn around time.
    4. If you were given 4 projects, all with the same importance and same deadlines, how would you prioritize these projects so that all 4 a completed on time?
    5. Describe a situation in which you received constructive criticism about work you have done.

    Interview Questions
    • The questions were not difficult, all of them pretty standard. The interviewer mentioned that he is required to ask all applicants a set of standard questions.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  10.  

    Junior Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Alexandria, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    Via web-ex. Interview was casual. Questions asked could be found online. Interview process took 45 min. SPE was very informative and answered all questions I had about the position as well as the hiring process, including the start date of the next class and how long I should expect to hear back from HR.

    Interview Questions
    • Do you know what the patent process is like? What is the role of the patent examiner?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  11.  

    Patent Examiner Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Alexandria, VA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Alexandria, VA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    See the other posts to get an idea of the behavioral questions asked. This was for a biomedical examiner position. I prepared an eight-page document over the course of a few days with possible questions and answers and practiced them the night before. I was able to answer most of the questions as rehearsed. Interviewer was casual and nice. I asked a lot of questions myself. I ended the interview weakly, though, which made me paranoid.

    Few weeks after the interview, I got two emails saying I did not make the GS-7 or GS-9 opening. USAjobs profile was updated as well. Very sad to see those as I was very excited for the opportunity and was thinking of making it a career (I have a JD).

    Interview Questions
    • How would you finish a job that was due tomorrow and give an example.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Easy Interview

See What US Patent and Trademark Office Employees Are Saying

4 people found this helpful

 Former Examiner in Alexandria, VA

Pros: “The pros are the full-time telework and the enhanced GS pay scale. You can live anywhere and not have to report to work.” Full Review

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