I really appreciate the post above by JustAnotherExaminer. I've been doing a lot of reading here, and it's the first post I've seen that lays out the hiring process and sequence of events. I am, however, left with a few questions and observations.
First off, let me say that I attended the interview invitational event on Jan 10. At the end of the interview, the interviewer made sure that I had received the promotional goodies bag (I hadn't, so he actually went out into the lobby and fetched one for me) and when I asked what the next step would be, he said my application would be reviewed, and if I hadn't heard anything within a month, to call back to HR. Although I didn't get a contingent offer like some others did, I also don't have the in-demand EE or CE degree, so I am guessing they just didn't have immediate need for examiners with my specialty.
1. Were all of the interviewers at the Jan 10 event either SPE's or Hiring Managers?
2. I have learned, I think, from other sources that Hiring Managers are a subset of SPE's. (In other words, all Hiring Mangers are SPE's, but not all SPE's are Hiring Managers). Is this true?
3. At the event we filled out a questionnaire regarding experience and interests. At first I thought this might be for the use of the interviewer, but the interviewer only collected it from me at the end of the interview, so I wonder how it is used.
4. I did not hear back within one month. In the meantime, I discovered that I actually qualify for 5-point Veteran's Preference. I call up HR about a week ago and get connected with a friendly and helpful person - she has me add my veteran's info to my application package on USAJobs, revise my application answers to claim 5-point VP and get back to her. I get back to her, she verifies everything, and then she says I will be placed on the next referral list to go out (I think she said that would happen on 2-13). Okay, so this leads to the question: is this "referral list" the same as the "hiring manager's list" mentioned by JustAnotherExaminer? Does anyone know if the hiring managers pay attention to Veteran's Preference, and how it plays into the process?
5. What decides when and how many people a given hiring manager "picks" off the "list"? I am guessing that for each academy class, some really high-level person decides they need to fill the class with X number of Examiners for TC2600 and Y number of Examiners for TC2100 and so on. I guess also that once you are on the "list" it is already determined which TC you will be placed in.
6. I didn't understand the classification system of the art units into workgroups and technology centers on Jan 10. As a result, I screwed up when answering the questionnaire and provided some unintentionally misleading answers to the interviewer on questions which involved the types of patents I would be best suited to examine. I am an experienced applicant (i.e., not fresh out of college) and it seemed to me that the interviewer hadn't actually read my resume. Well, now I know exactly which TC I should be placed in, and even which class of devices I would be best suited to examine. Not that I would insist on a single class of devices, but I would like to make sure that the notes attached to my application are accurate - anyone have suggestions as to who I should contact to get this fixed? Perhaps I could/should try to schedule a second interview?