US Patent and Trademark Office
3.4 of 5 133 reviews
www.uspto.gov Alexandria, VA 5000+ Employees

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

Updated Jun 29, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

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Interview Experience 

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Interview Difficulty 

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46 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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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 When I received a call to set up an interview the hiring manager used an outdated calendar for scheduling purposes, which led to some initial confusion.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

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Design Patent Examiner Interview

Design Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and 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 Question – Explain the design patent process. This isn't that difficult without proper research here and on their website.   View Answers (7)

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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

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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

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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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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Attorney-advisor, Trademarks Interview

Attorney-advisor, Trademarks
Alexandria, VA

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

Interview Details – The interview process began with filing an application on USAJOBS.com. The job announcement closed on November 26, 2013 and I received my first email on that day stating that my application had been received. Approximately ten days later, I received a second email stating that I met the minimum qualifications and that my application would be sent to the selection officials. About a week later, I received an email requesting that I complete and submit a writing sample. The email contained three questions, provided a five-page limit, and a seven-day deadline to complete and submit. I submitted the documentation in mid-December and received notification of my first interview the day after Christmas. The notification came via email and stated that I had been selected for an interview in Washington, D.C., but I might be able to do a teleconference-style interview instead. I completed the first interview during the second week of January. I interviewed with three individuals, each of whom worked as a supervisor for trademark attorneys. The interviewers were friendly and cordial and told me a great deal about the position and their expectation of attorneys working there. In total the interview lasted approximately forty minutes. At the close of my first interview, I was told that they would finish interviews up that week, and could take up to two weeks after the close of first interviews to determine who would move on to a second interview. I received an email the same day as the first interviews closed inviting me to the second interview that MUST be done in DC. I received approximately eight days notice of the second interview.

The "second interview" was actually a second and third interview, as I spoke with two panels back to back. Each panel consisted of approximately eight law office managers or supervisors who asked a litany of questions. Most were typical interview questions, "Tell me about a time when..." sort of questions. The first panel lasted about 35 minutes; the second lasted a little less. I received a phone call about two weeks after my second interview tentatively offering me a position. I received a call from Human Resources (my first contact since the last mentioned) exactly two weeks after that asking if accepted the position.

Interview Question – Nothing Unusual   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Salary and Start Date are both non-negotiable.

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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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