US Patent and Trademark Office
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US Patent and Trademark Office Examiner Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 1, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

79%
11%
0%

Interview Experience 

72%
24%
3%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
101 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Patent Examiner (Mechanical Engineering) Interview

Patent Examiner (Mechanical Engineering)

Interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office

Interview Details – Applied for the position, got interview date, now trying to have some interview questions and answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner

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

Interview Details – Applied for the Patent Examiner Position (Electrical Engineering) on 01/08/2014. 02/18/2014 got an email from HR saying I met qualifactions and my application was forwarded to selecting official for further consideration. 02/24/2014 got an email for a phone interview scheduled for 2/28/2014. Interview was done using webex (audio & video). Audio piece was done with cell phone (only option allowed). Interview lasted 30 minutes. Very straight forward interview all questions asked were covered in glassdoor. Now waiting for the decision (hopefully here back soon!)

Interview Question – Asked a question about my work background and what I used to do.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner

I applied online and interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office.

Interview Details – I applied online at USAJOBS and received periodic updates through email up to the interview. The interview was by phone and most of the other posts covered the details thoroughly. Very relaxed and comfortable. I am currently in the waiting process.

Have specific examples ready for the interview questions! Don't answer them with hypotheticals. I suggest you review all the questions posted on glassdoor and be familiar with the material on your resume. The questions I received were:

- Describe a situation/project where you had to prepare a technical paper/presentation.
- When was the last time you had an assignment that had to get completed quickly? How did you organize/manage your time?
- 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 of when you received constructive criticism, and how you handled it.
- If you have more than one task, how do you get them done?
- What software/databases have you used to conduct patent/literature searches?
- Expect to answer questions regarding gaps in work/study, assuming you have one.

I didn't get any questions on the USPTO itself but I suggest you go over the link they provided to be familiar with what USPTO does, what a patent is, etc.

Remember that while the interview questions are behavioral questions, you should also try to demonstrate your technical competency if possible through your examples. They'll want to know which department is best for you. On a related note, do some research into the USPTO departments before the interview so that you can tell them what departments you'd be most adept in.

EDIT: I was not selected. I hope you had better luck than I did.

Interview Question – N/A since everything was provided here. I suggest reviewing questions here that you would be uncomfortable with.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner

I applied through college or university and interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office.

Interview Details – It was a very informal interview. They were at our school career fair. If I remember correctly, I had a short, quick interview on the spot with the gentleman at the booth. I gave him my resume, talked for a few minutes and received a job offer not too long after that.

Interview Question – It was very casual and no unexpected questions. It was more of what my major was, what kind of classes I took, GPA, etc...   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 5 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in July 2012.

Interview Details – Took a phone interview. Basic questions. They asked things like "explain a problem you encountered in the workplace and how you overcame it". The key thing is qualifications. They basically have a check list of the requirements that you must meet before you are considered for employment. If you miss any one of the requirements, your application will be thrown out before it even gets to the hiring manager.

Interview Question – Nothing unexpected   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – They took too long to get back to me.

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner

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

Interview Details – The interview process was short -about 30 minutes. It consisted of basic questions. Also, the interviewer was very polite and knowledgeable. I received an offer about 3 months after applying.

Interview Question – The questions were as noted in other reviews. They were very general. For example, one question posed was, "... can you give me an example of when you had to document and present a problem to your management team?".   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in January 2014.

Interview Details – Applied online in November, recieved phone interview through email in early January.

Interview Question – All questions were previously listed here.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Arlington, VA

I applied online and the process took 6 weeks - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in September 2013.

Interview Details – Applied online and received a telephone interview through email.

Interview Question – Nothing was unexpected after reading through other's reviews. The Interview was straight forward. No tricky questions   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 2+ months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in November 2012.

Interview Details – Applied online and was invited for a phone interview. The phone interview mostly involved how questions about multitasking. I then received periodic emails about the application moving through various review stages. You can also check the status of your application online. The careers webpage associated with the US Patent and Trademark Office is fairly helpful.

Interview Question – If you have more than one task, how do you get them done?   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in September 2013.

Interview Details – I applied thru. usajobs process took 2 months. After 2 weeks closing date I received an email and says" eligible" Then received another e-mail to schedule an interview and got interview on september. All questions were behavioral type. It took 30 minutes. I had good experience but received an email mid october and not selected

Interview Question – nothing was unexpected question   Answer Question

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 Former Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

Pros: “Flexible work schedule and workload.” Full Review


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