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   Patent Agent Interview Questions?
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Patent_Type
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Posts: 80
Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 3rd, 2005, 11:43am »
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Most commonly asked questions in inteviews:
 
Q:  Why are you interested in patent law? (Always asked)
 
Q:  Why do you want to work at this firm?
 
Q:  Do you know if you want to focus on prosecution or litigation?  (I want to try both -- I can't really know until I've had experience with both)
 
Q: What questions do you have? (If you don't have any questions for them, you will come across as naive and uninteresting)
 
 
Aside from these questions, the rest of the interviews are usually spent listening and nodding, as the partner/associate describes his/her practice, type of clients, firm structure, how great the firm is, etc.
 
For some great interview advice, take a look at the Jim Longacre web site: www. passthepatentbar.com  and then scroll down to "Jim's Tutorials" and click on "about the profession".  The best link is "Interviewing for that first job as a patent attorney".
 
PT
 
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Kolina
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Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 3rd, 2005, 2:12pm »
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I am looking for a career change from electrical engineering to intellectual property.  I recently talked to a patent agent on the phone, he seems be interested and invited me to an interview of a patent agent trainee position next week.  I am so exciting as I didn't expect to get an interview opportunity so soon. (It is my first call to an IP firm).  Thus, I have the same concern with "patento"  
 
1)  What are the good questions for the firm I should ask, to show my enthusiasm?
 
2) When asked about the motivation to the career change, what is the best answer?  My real opinion is engineering career is not as rewarding as IP career and it is quite fragile to the fluctuation of the economy.  But is this the answer the interviewer is glad to accept?
 
Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Bill
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Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #7 on: Jun 3rd, 2005, 2:53pm »
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Kolina-
 
Sorry to do this, but I want to express my view about something, which will lead into an answer for your first question.
 
I believe that many new patent practitioners do NOT receive the necessary training to become good in this field.  (The reasons for that are not important here.)
Considering that patent law is not as concrete as engineering, good experience and education (including mentoring) are imperative to becoming a good patent practitioner.
 
That said, my answer to your first question is you should ask them what kind of experience you would get there.  For example, ask whether the job consists of writing patents (preparation) or getting them through the patent office (prosecution), or both.  Ask what technology areas the job will expose you.  
 
More importantly, ask how you will be mentored.  In particular, will the firm send you to class, take time periodically to train you, or do it on a project-by-project basis.  Also, considering a patent is a LEGAL document that has technical subject matter, ask how you will be trained regarding the legal aspects of patents.  I mention this because you say you will interview with a patent agent.  I would recommend you also get mentoring from a patent attorney.  
 
To answer your second question, I personally would appreciate an honest answer, like the one you proposed.  I would state it a little differently from the way you did, however, because I don't know how you know an IP career is more rewarding than an engineering career (seems you are speculating).
 
Anyway, be yourself and show enthusiasm.  You’ll do fine.
 
Good luck with the interview!
 
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patento
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Posts: 132
Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #8 on: Jun 3rd, 2005, 2:55pm »
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Just finished a telephonic interview. They are now setting up in-person interview.
 
The questions asked in tel interview were very generic. Nothing to do with patent law (or any law). What you do , what do you want to do type of questions. I guess they just want to get a feel of communication skills etc.
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Kolina
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Re: Patent Agent Interview Questions?
« Reply #9 on: Jun 5th, 2005, 6:29pm »
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Bill,
 
Thanks for the insight.  Your advice , especially the ones about mentoring are really helpful.  
 
I have been a electrical engineer for almost 7 years. I spent 2.5 years to obtain a master degree in E.E.  I graduated last fall, but feel frustrated to find out that even a senior engineer could be laid off with the discarded project.  I guess that is why I feel IP career is more rewarding: in additon to the decent income, stability is an important factor too.  Please correct me if I am wrong.  I just start to explore IP career.
 
Patento:  Good luck to your interview.  Pls keep us posted and share your experiences.
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