US Patent and Trademark Office

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

Updated Aug 4, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

76%
21%
1%

Interview Experience  

68%
26%
4%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
48 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
Relevance Date Difficulty
in

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Junior Patent Examiner Interview

Junior Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in February 2012.

Interview Details – Four months after I submitted my resume at USAJOBS.gov I received an email stating that I was selected as a possible employee if I submitted a lot of paperwork that was sent along with it; I was given roughly 2 weeks to submit them.

About two weeks after submission I had an interview with a primary examiner and an HR person from the USPTO. They asked questions relating to customer service, technical interests, past experiences at work, and even life questions. The interview was fairly short and the interviewers were very nice.

Less than one month after that I received notification that I had been selected to be hired upon submitting more forms, which I did. From the start of my first contact from the USPTO to when I started was roughly three months.

Interview Question – What was the hardest customer service situation you ever dealt with?   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was none. The USPTO runs on government salary structure.


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in March 2012.

Interview Details – The hiring process took about 6 month from time of application submission to finally getting an offer. The phone interview was pretty easy and only behavioral questions were asked. Not many technical questions besides what relevant science/technology courses I have taken.

Interview Question – The behavioral questions dealing concerning working with difficult people are always hard to answer.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Not much negotiation involved.


No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Washington, DC

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in March 2013.

Interview Details – Went to my Alma Mater's career fair. Talked to a recruiter (who is a patent examiner himself/herself) for about half a minute and he asked me to sign up for interviews if interested, as long as you are an [insert technical B.S./M.S. major here] you can sign up at career fairs. Interviews were two-on-one (senior ex-patent examiners) at my school with one person talking while the other frantically takes notes. 30 minutes for first round.

Interview Question – Many "describe a time/situation when..." questions. Some I remember is "Describe a time when you were given a difficult task, how did you accomplish it"? "Describe a situation when you had to handle multiple assignments with the same due date when it seems you don't have enough time?"   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

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 October 2012.

Interview Details – Applied online through USAJobs...Was contacted after a couple months for phone interview. Interview was pretty simple, same script as everyone has mentioned before.

Interview Question – How would you handle a difficult customer or client?   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

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 in November 2012.

Interview Details – it was a phone interview with a SPE; interview questions are the same as people posted. you just need to prepare a little bit before the scheduled date. I spent half hour talking on the phone. Overall, it went well.However,i am not sure how they select candidates. hope they are going to hire more in this year.


4 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Patent Examiner At US Patent and Trademark Office Interview

Patent Examiner At US Patent and Trademark Office
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 6+ months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in November 2012.

Interview Details – I applied through usajobs.gov and got email for interview after the 4 weeks of closing date (August 28,2012) and got called in after 4 weeks (December 19, 2012).

Position: Patent Examiner - Electrical Engineer

Interview Question – "What do you know about the USPTO, what it does and its goals?"
"Describe a situation when you received constructive criticism and how did you handle it" Answer
"Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer"
"Give an example of a time when you had to make a persuasive argument, how did you accomplish it and what was the outcome"
"Describe a time when you had to do extensive technical research and had to write a technical report"
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took 6 months - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in October 2012.

Interview Details – Do a little research before your interview date and all should go well.

Interview Question – They are all basic questions   Answer Question


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 August 2012.

Interview Details – The phone interview latest about 40 minutest and was held by two senior patent examiners who were on two separate lines. The questions that have already mentioned were pretty much the same questions that I received. The main question was explain the role of the USPTO. They also asked several questions about time management, meeting deadlines and how to deal with difficult situations.

Interview Question – There were't really any difficult questions, but some questions were very similar so it was hard not to repeat myself.   Answer Question


12 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in August 2012.

Interview Details – Applied through usajobs.gov in June, received email for a "Patent Examiner Telephone Interview Invitational event" in late July for a phone interview scheduled a week later in early August. Had to complete a Candidate Interest Questionnaire and an OF-306 "Declaration for Federal Employment" form prior to the interview. Candidate Interest Questionnaire was basically ranking how well you were experienced and how interested you were in several technology areas. And there was a short answer question about why you are interested in those technology areas.

During the phone interview, there were two SPE's (Supervisory Patent Examiner) interviewing me, one doing the majority of the talking, the other just adding their own two cents. Interview started off with six questions: 1.) "What do you know about the US and international patent system, what it does and its goals?", 2.) "Describe a situation when you received constructive criticism and how did you handle it", 3.) "Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer", 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", 5.) "Describe a time when you had to do extensive technical research and had to write a technical report", 6.) "How would you complete four tasks of equal importance that were due at the same time?". All the questions that were asked are found here on glassdoor and I used those to prepare myself before the interview. I was also asked what departments I wanted to work in, so I suggest you research the different technology centers the have and which work group interests you.

After the questions, they talked about the next step in the interview process and the timeframe (surprisingly, the phone interview's the only interview they need in my case). Interviewers send their recommendations to HR and HR makes the hiring decision based on that and your resume. Decision will be made in one or two months. Interviewers were glad to answer all my questions and are very knowledgable. Overall, I think the interview went well and was easy because glassdoor was very helpful in preparing me for all the questions. Will update when and if received job offer.

Interview Questions

  • "What do you know about the US and international patent system, what it does and its goals?"   Answer Question
  • "Describe a situation when you received constructive criticism and how did you handle it"   Answer Question
  • "Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer"   Answer Question
  • "Give an example of a time when you had to make a persuasive argument, how did you accomplish it and what was the outcome"   Answer Question
  • "Describe a time when you had to do extensive technical research and had to write a technical report"   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Patent Examiner Interview

Patent Examiner
Alexandria, VA

I interviewed at US Patent and Trademark Office in July 2012.

Interview Details – It was same as other people mentioned. I applied through usajobs.gov and got email for interview after the 3 weeks of closing date and got called in after 3 weeks

Interview Question – questions were all behavioral...It was same as other people have mentioned   Answer Question

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2 people found this helpful

 Current Patent Examiner in Alexandria, VA

Pros: “Flexibility with workable hours and time off.” Full Review

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