US Patent and Trademark Office

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US Patent and Trademark Office Interview Questions & Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jul 18, 2014

Getting an Interview  

65%
33%
1%

Interview Experience  

56%
34%
8%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
28 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
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2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner (Mechanical Engineer) Interview

Patent Examiner (Mechanical Engineer)
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and 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 Question – Describe a time in which you had a very short deadline to meet   View Answer


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

US Patent Examiner Interview

US Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and 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 When I received a call to set up an interview the hiring manager used an outdated calendar for scheduling purposes, which led to some initial confusion.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 Question – 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

Junior Patent Examiner Interview

Junior Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and 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 Question – Do you know what the patent process is like? What is the role of the patent examiner?   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Easy 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 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 Question – How would you finish a job that was due tomorrow and give an example.   Answer Question


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


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


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


5 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy 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 – Some background: Ph.D. EE (GPA 3.9/4), 5 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. Applied online through USAJOB for the position closing on 8/11/13. Received a notification of selection on 8/30/13 then a phone interview appointment on 9/5/13.
The interview proceeded well. I was asked 6 standard questions which were mentioned several times on this website: describe a difficult problem that you had to solve timely, describe an occurrence where you had to convince your boss about something, how do you handle criticism...and so forth. I advise some preparation and thorough revision of the USPTO's introduction presentation.

UPDATE: On Oct 1st 2013, I have received a notification that I did not make the cut after the phone interview. Not the GS9 grade or even the GS7! Seriously? I have a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with 5 years of experience and an outstanding professional record, and I though I sold myself pretty well during the interview...And that is not enough for a GS9 position that only requires a Masters? Very disappointed. I wonder if the Gov. Shutdown affected this round of hiring at the USPTO. I would appreciate any info from candidates with a similar strange outcome.

Interview Question – No surprises, all questions were previously rehearsed through preparation material from this site.   Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2013.

Interview Details – Applied online, filled out additional paperwork. A 30 minute interview was subsequently scheduled. The interviewer was an intensely awkward person. He didn't ask any of the questions listed here and the interview was only 15 minutes. Just very basic stuff regarding my background. "What software have you used to conduct literature searches?" I explained that I already held patents and had written multiple review papers during grad school, which would translate well to searching the patent literature. When I mentioned it seemed like a great job he made a snarky comment about it not really being great. Three weeks later I received an email that I was no longer under consideration.

Interview Question – Nothing difficult or unexpectd.   Answer Question


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office.

Interview Details – Only phone interview

Interview Question – None of the questions were hard   Answer Question

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