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Vacancy Questions Preview

Vacancy Questions Preview

Grade: 11
Carefully read each question and all possible answers before selecting a response. Some questions will be used to screen out ineligible applicants. Applicant errors in responses will not be corrected. You are responsible for the accuracy of your application. Your application must describe your work and experience, in your own words. If you fail to provide requested information, or the information submitted is insufficient, you may lose consideration for the position.

* 1.You must meet the education requirement as described in the Vacancy Announcement OR meet the experience requirement (competencies and one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to the next lower grade level). Do you meet the education or experience requirements for this position?
  1. Yes
  2. No


NOTE: If you are using education to qualify, you must provide transcripts to receive consideration. Transcripts MUST be received in the announcing office by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

Applicants who meet the educational requirements for this position, DO NOT need to complete the competencies and specialized experience.

Qualification Requirements

To be considered for this position, you must meet the following qualification requirements:

You must have IT related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below. Please review the level of proficiency required for each competency. Your resume must clearly address how your IT related experience meets the level described.

Failure to provide this information may result in loss of consideration for this position.

Attention to Detail:

  • Utilized routing protocols (i.e., TCP/IP, DNS, RIP) to assist in maintaining the integrity of the network.
  • Tracked and recorded hardware specifications and configuration files.
  • Used technical specifications to install hardware and software.
  • Participated in implementation of systems and applications.
  • Followed operating systems procedures for running times or scheduled events such as file backups.
  • Observed staff sharing password information and wrote up a notice of violation.
  • Created queries, reports and forms in Access to manage, display and report data.
  • Complied information on the available space for hardware installation.
  • Wrote a program according to specifications.
  • Installed and configured file servers for sure in a small to medium multi-user network (less than 100 users).
  • Acted as a consultant or lead technical specialist for the planning and implementation phases, including infrastructure hardware, software, and capacity requirements for use in small to medium multi-user network.
  • Prepared mom/instructions for users as a reminder of the correct operation and/or security procedures of a system.
  • Developed flow charts.
  • Created report layouts.
  • Completed sections of technical instruction manuals for use by end users concerning new software or new hardware procedures.
  • Created queries, reports and forms in Access to manage, display and report data.
  • Assisted in writing procedures for a new computer system.
  • Assisted in determining resource requirements for a proposed project.
  • Coordinated the creation, modification and removal of user accounts and permissions of resources as outlined in policy/guidelines.
  • Modified code in a series of programs to conform to database update.
  • Compiled information on the available space for hardware installation.
  • Performed IT assignments for multiple supervisors and kept separately or in order.


Customer Service:

  • Followed clearly established written instruction guide to complete basic assignments.
  • Sent e-mail reminders to staff on a LAN concerning technical training courses being offered.
  • Created queries, reports and forms in Access to manage, display and report data.
  • Researched and produces a listing of available vendors.
  • Created a user menu; assisted with the preparation of training materials.
  • Assisted users in running Norton Anti-virus to check diskettes or hard drive.
  • Referred staff to agency/organization policies and procedures concerning information security.
  • Performed research on user needs.
  • Assisted end users with a variety of basic hardware and software issues.
  • Assisted a user in meeting requirements for web page development.
  • Advised/counseled employees of the danger of sharing passwords.
  • Provided training session on basic information security procedures in a group setting.
  • Referred staff to appropriate policy regarding information security.
  • Recommended and/or assisted in the development of a newsletter in order to keep staff informed of IT issues.


Oral Communication:

  • Assisted lead instructor to facilitate training exercise on IT related topic.
  • Presented IT information to co-workers or other personnel during an informal training session.
  • Briefed new employees on security procedures.
  • Served as basic help-desk contact person for computer related systems and monitored incoming calls for assistance.
  • Telephonically resolved discrepancies with information sources.
  • As necessary, communicated sensitive information relative to information security.
  • Provided instructional course through team teaching.
  • Communicated with end-users to resolve non routine computer hardware or software issues.
  • Communicated non-technical computer security information to others.
  • Assisted in providing training for new users.
  • Taught staff to "log-in."
  • Monitored incoming calls for LAN assistance.
  • Advised supervisor when unexpected issues prohibit completion of a task by assigned date.


Problem Solving:

  • Eliminated configuration errors using debugging techniques.
  • Called a program's technical support service center to discuss a problem and applied their recommended solutions.
  • Isolated a programming problem and referred to technical support center or appropriate source for corrective action.
  • Made recommendations and proposals to correct problems in maintaining a program system.
  • Provided basic update/input to senior IT specialists which assisted in resolving general operating system or hardware problems.
  • Solved general errors in computer programs.
  • Assisted in testing and debugging according to associated system guidelines.
  • Served on a computer security committee to resolve security issues affecting the organization.
  • Diagnosed and solved system problems as member of a team to re-design a system.
  • Coordinated efforts to integrate and install soft/hardware components during large-scale computer upgrade.
  • Recommended large-scale upgrades of computer systems.
  • Participated on inter-departmental teams which provided information on current system use and/or assists with the implementation of proposed solutions.
  • Recognized and reported average to complicated network problems to lead technician or technical support staff for guidance and/or assistance in resolution.
  • Eliminated procedural errors with debugging techniques.
  • Recognized/resolved software problems by writing code in a series of programs to conform to a database update.
  • Worked on teams which found solutions to IT problems.


* 2.In addition to meeting the competencies listed above, you must also have one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-09 grade level as described in the vacancy announcement. Do you meet the specialized experience requirement for this position?
  1. Yes
  2. No


Applicants applying for this position, MUST also possess the following Selective Factors. In the event you do not possess the Selective Factors, you will be found ineligible for the position.

Selective Factors:

  • Applicants must have three years or more experience developing and supporting applications using Metastorm BPM Designer software.
  • Applicants must have experience administering and providing support for a relational database such as Oracle or SQL.
  • Applicants must have experience working directly with customers to analyze project requirements and determine design specifications for new applications.

Applicants must clearly address this experience in their resume to be found qualified.



* 3.Do you meet the Selective Factors for this position?
  1. Yes, I meet the Selective Factors for this position and my resume clearly addresses this experience.
  2. No, I do not meet the Selective Factors for this position.


ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

LISTED BELOW ARE GROUPED STATEMENTS RELATING TO THE ASSESSMENTS/COMPETENCIES NECESSARY FOR THE POSITION. Read each question carefully and select the answer choice that best describes your experience.

4.Information Technology Specialists analyze and anticipate system design needs, revise and debug computer programs, and propose and implement solutions. They must understand data structures in order to produce meaningful information and develop alternative solutions to data and system design in order to meet the needs of management and end users. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.

  1. I have recognized and resolved software problems by writing code and testing the changes to programs as instructed by the supervisor; and/or I have followed operating systems procedures for running timed or scheduled events such as file backups; and/or I have created queries, reports and forms in Access to manage, display and report data; and/or I have modified code in a series of programs to conform to a database update.
  2. I have resolved system design issues; and/or I have served on a computer security committee to resolve security issues effecting the organization; and/or I have diagnosed and solved system problems as a member of a team to re-design a system; and/or I have coordinated efforts to integrate and install software/hardware components during large-scale computer upgrades; and/or I have prepared memo/instructions outlining the correct operation of a system.
  3. I have assisted in the development of data models, ensured compliance with data management standards and recommended new or modified standards to increase efficiency; and/or I have conducted performance tuning activities designed to optimize data management processes and recommended performance enhancements such as increasing storage capacity or modifying interfaces.
  4. I have ran existing test queries to troubleshoot database problems and followed established procedures for making corrections to the data or structures.
  5. None of the above.


5.Information Technology Specialists must communicate technical information with end users in a non-technical clear manner. For example, they write computer documentation, teach computer operation, provide support for end- users and management, and serve as in intermediary with other divisions/units/offices. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have compiled a listing of IT terms/acronyms tailored to the agency to assist new users; and/or I have taught executives how to use a new application designed exclusively for them; and/or I have coordinated vendor demonstrations for end- users and provided an interface with the vendor.
  2. I have assisted end users with a variety of basic hardware and software issues; and/or I have sent e-mail reminders to staff on a LAN concerning technical training courses being offered; and/or I have recommended and assisted in the development of a newsletter to keep staff informed of IT issues.
  3. I have analyzed individual user requirements to assist in identifying appropriate IT solutions for their work assignments; and/or I have written the procedures for staff to update specific files on their PC's (i.e., travel per diem tables for a travel program, etc.).
  4. I have served as the computer contact person for LAN and monitored incoming calls for assistance; and/or I have assisted end users on an individual basis to help identify and resolve problems and followed up to ensure that the problem was resolved; and/or I taught new staff how to log in and use their PC's, e-mail, word processing and the internet.
  5. None of the above.


6.Information Technology Specialists must communicate, technical information with end users in a non-technical clear and concise manner. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have served as the computer contact person for LAN and monitored incoming calls for assistance; and/or I have assisted end users on an individual basis to help identify and resolve problems and followed up to ensure that the problem was resolved; and/or I have taught new staff how to log in and use their PC's, e-mail, word processing and the internet.
  2. I have communicated non-technical computer security information to others; and/or I have assisted the lead instructor in facilitating training session on IT topic; and/or I have presented IT related information to co-workers during informal departmental training session.
  3. I have contacted the vendor for release of new software packages; and/or I have worked with end users, one-on-one, in resolving routine software/hardware problems; and/or I have explained security procedures and measures in place.
  4. I have worked on the IT helpdesk providing basic support; and/or I have resolved routine problems and followed up to ensure that the problem did not recur; and/or I have taught new staff on information security policies and procedures.
  5. None of the above.


7.Information Technology Specialists must possess the ability to effectively communicate in writing. They may be required to produce reports, correspondence, etc., that must be written in a manner understood by targeted audience. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have prepared departmental meeting minutes; and/or I have assisted in revising/preparing training materials; and/or I have responded to routine end user inquiries.
  2. I have used existing documentation to communicate with and train staff; and/or I have communicated information in writing in a variety of settings (groups, one-on-one, executive) in a manner understood by varying knowledge levels; and/or I have responded to end user inquiries to resolve software problems encountered.
  3. I have prepared instructional e-mails to end users informing them how to complete a specific task; and/or I have responded in writing to questions received seeking guidance on resolving routine computer related issues; and/or I have assisted in revising/preparing functional requirement documentation.
  4. None of the above.


8.Information Technology Specialists must develop technical documentation, such as systems design, user guides, data flow diagrams, and program specifications. They must also apply existing documentation by writing programs according to specifications. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have coordinated efforts in the installation of WordPerfect, dBase IV, or Lotus 1-2-3; and/or I have applied proper configurations in the installation of hardware; and/or I have installed emulation or network cards in accordance with manufacturers instructions and specifications.
  2. I have written a program according to specifications; and/or I have researched and produced a listing of available vendors; and/or I have created a user menu; and/or I have formatted a report
  3. I have developed data flow diagrams; and/or I have completed sections of larger reports for review by management concerning information technology use or proposals; and/or I have completed sections of technical instruction manuals for use by end-users concerning new software or new hardware procedures.
  4. I have prepared instructional e-mails to end users informing them how to complete a specific task; and/or I have responded in writing to questions received seeking guidance on resolving routine computer related issues.
  5. None of the above.


Grade: 12
Carefully read each question and all possible answers before selecting a response. Some questions will be used to screen out ineligible applicants. Applicant errors in responses will not be corrected. You are responsible for the accuracy of your application. Your application must describe your work and experience, in your own words. If you fail to provide requested information, or the information submitted is insufficient, you may lose consideration for the position.

Qualification Requirements

To be considered for this position, you must meet the following qualification requirements:

You must have IT related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below. Please review the level of proficiency required for each competency. Your resume must clearly address how your IT related experience meets the level described.

Failure to provide this information may result in loss of consideration for this position.

Attention to Detail:

  • Reported serious security deficiencies to appropriate party for corrective action.
  • Provided installation documentation in support of an IT network.
  • Conducted a hardware equipment review as instructed.
  • Modified existing program.
  • Attended design meeting.
  • Controlled and maintained physical storage of media in accordance with policies and procedures.
  • Monitored security procedures to determine if employees were adhering to policy.
  • Determined availability of space for hardware.
  • Assisted in the development of data models, ensuring compliance with data management standards.
  • Developed web page in compliance with specifications and instructions.
  • Ensured web page requests were consistent with relevant design and formatting standards.
  • Assisted with or performed some tasks required to set up a file server.
  • Assisted with the planning and implementation of a computer network.
  • Ensured application changes were consistent with relevant design and formatting standards.
  • Assisted in the development of equipment build documents.
  • Reviewed and provided comments on draft procedures/policy with regard to implementing or using a system or program.
  • Assisted in the development of data models, ensuring compliance with data management standards.
  • Determined availability of space for hardware.
  • Controlled the physical storage of notebook computers and all associated hardware.
  • Conducted performance tuning activities designed to optimize data management processes.
  • Assisted in calculating the cost of new hardware to be included in the cost benefits analysis of a feasibility study.
  • Applied proper configurations in the installation of hardware.
  • Installed emulation or network cards in accordance with manufacturers instructions and specifications.
  • Monitored database systems that were covered by a system or records to protect the privacy of the individual data contained in the system.


Customer Service:

  • Responded to end user inquiries to resolve software problems encountered.
  • Provided guidance to staff regarding proper labeling and protecting sensitive electronic information.
  • Analyzed individual requirements to assist in identifying appropriate IT solutions.
  • Provided assistance to peers in the design of a planned IT network or system.
  • Evaluated and assisted peers with a network design draft for an IT network or system.
  • Assisted in providing informal training to others on network operations, protocols and trouble shooting.
  • Provided assistance to users by referring computer questions to the proper contact person.
  • Utilized existing documentation to communicate with and train staff.
  • Responded in writing to questions received seeking guidance on resolving routine computer issues.
  • Trained end users to correct information security deficiencies.
  • Surveyed user requirements and summarized results for supervisory consideration.
  • Taught new staff how to log in and use their PC's e-mail, word processing and the internet.
  • Assisted end-users on an individual basis to help identify and resolve problems and followed up to ensure problem was resolved.
  • Assisted in monitoring security procedures and reported deviations to appropriate party.
  • Provided routine guidance to staff in the area of system development and planning.
  • Developed user guides for applications and operating systems.
  • Assisted in writing procedures for a new computer system.
  • Coordinated efforts in the installation of WordPerfect, dBASE IV, or Lotus 1-2-3.
  • Provided advice and guidance to co-workers, managers, etc. on a various IT related issues.
  • Provided technical assistance to end users on non-routine issues/problems.
  • Performed research on user needs.
  • Served as a computer contact person for LAN and monitored incoming calls for assistance.


Oral Communication:

  • Advised internet content reviewers on web page requirements.
  • Worked on IT help desk providing basic support.
  • Communicated information in a variety of settings (one-on-one, group, executive) in a manner understood by varying knowledge levels.
  • Obtained reports on virus incidents and notified appropriate party for further action.
  • Conducted computer security training to new employees.


Problem Solving:

  • Solved routine errors in computer program.
  • Followed instructions provided by technical support personnel to correct a computer problem.
  • Troubleshoots and diagnosed most network problems (i.e., network cards, cables, switches, hubs and routers).
  • Ran text inquiries to troubleshoot data.
  • Solved problems independently by studying logical progression of an event which led to a problem then recommended a method to prevent a recurrence by modifying program.
  • Assisted in one of the following: Participated in the creation of a program or procedure for gathering data or input, established criteria for analysis, or developed proposals for resolution and provided recommendations.
  • Recovered lost data from a taped backup.
  • Used diagnostic programs to diagnose drive problems and either replaced damaged disk drive or recovered drive, as appropriate.
  • Served as a team member tasked with redesigning system after a serious problem was detected/diagnosed.
  • Detected a deficiency in a software program and coordinated with the developer to resolve.
  • Conducted performance tuning activities designed to optimize data management processes.
  • Provided technical assistance to end-users on non-routine issues/problems.
  • Performed minor adjustments to maintenance on LAN or mainframe system.


* 1.In addition to meeting the competencies listed above, you must also have one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-11 grade level as described in the VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT. Do you meet the specialized experience requirements for the position?
  1. Yes
  2. No


Applicants applying for this position, MUST also possess the following Selective Factors. In the event you do not possess the Selective Factors, you will be found ineligible for the position.

Selective Factors:

  • Applicants must have three years or more experience developing and supporting applications using Metastorm BPM Designer software.
  • Applicants must have experience administering and providing support for a relational database such as Oracle or SQL.
  • Applicants must have experience working directly with customers to analyze project requirements and determine design specifications for new applications.

Applicants must clearly address this experience in their resume to be found qualified.



* 2.Do you meet the Selective Factors for this position?
  1. Yes, I meet the Selective Factors for this position and my resume clearly addresses this experience.
  2. No, I do not meet the Selective Factors for this position.


ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

LISTED BELOW ARE GROUPED STATEMENTS RELATING TO THE ASSESSMENTS/COMPETENCIES NECESSARY FOR THE POSITION. Read each question carefully and select the answer choice that best describes your experience.

3.Information Technology Specialists analyze and anticipate system design needs, revise and debug computer programs, and propose and implement solutions. They must understand data structures in order to produce meaningful information and develop alternative solutions to data and system design in order to meet the needs of management and end users. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.

  1. I have participated on a team designing, developing, testing and implementing software for less complex programs, such as modifying input forms; and/or I have documented the rules of a process, developed flow diagrams and/or pseudo-code, tested and debugged programs according to detailed requirements and submitted completed applications to the project leader.
  2. I have assisted in the development of data models, ensuring compliance with data management standards; and/or I have conducted performance tuning activities designed to optimize data management processes; and/or I have ran existing text inquiries to troubleshoot database problems following established procedures.
  3. I have supported the maintenance of existing applications software, designed, developed, and performed ongoing updates to a web site and wrote queries in Batch Focus in a mainframe environment to produce management reports; and/or I have created a PC database system using complex queries to summarize/analyze data for management reporting; and/or I have converted executive PC applications to Web applications by creating web pages to store and retrieve data.
  4. I have coded and tested changes to programs as instructed by the manager; and/or I have reviewed hardware equipment for compatibility with present equipment; and/or I have isolated a programming problem and referred it for appropriate action; and/or I have recommended new or modified data or programming standards to increase system efficiency.
  5. None of the above.


4.Information Technology Specialists must communicate technical information with end-users in a non-technical clear manner. For example, they write computer documentation, teach computer operation, provide support for end- users and management, and serve as an intermediary with other divisions/units/offices. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have compiled a listing of IT terms/acronyms tailored to the agency to assist new users; and/or I have taught executives how to use a new application designed exclusively for them; and/or I have coordinated vendor demonstrations for end-users and provided an interface with the vendor.
  2. I have served as a computer contact person between the agency and outside personnel to communicate IT problems an end user was experiencing which expedited the resolution and translation of the fix for the end user; and/or I have discussed and assessed end user problems then contacted technical support groups to test and research the issue which was then communicated back to the user.
  3. I have served as the computer contact person for LAN and monitored incoming calls for assistance; and/or I have assisted end users on an individual basis to help identify and resolve problems and followed up to ensure that the problem was resolved; and/or I taught new staff how to log in and use their PC's, e-mail, word processing and the internet.
  4. I have evaluated new IT tools and trends then reported findings to end users to keep users informed of new technology available to them (i.e., software with voice recognition capability); and/or I have informed management of the nature of a programming problem with existing software; and/or I have updated an existing users guide on how to operate an organization's computer system.
  5. I have analyzed individual user requirements to assist in identifying appropriate IT solutions for their work assignments; and/or I have written the procedures for staff to update specific files on their PC's (i.e., travel per diem tables for a travel program, etc.).
  6. None of the above.


5.Information Technology Specialists must communicate, technical information with end users in a non-technical clear and concise manner. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have worked on IT helpdesk providing basic support; and/or I have resolved routine problems and followed up to ensure that the problem did not recur; and/or I have taught new staff on information security policies and procedures.
  2. I have contacted a vendor for technical support in resolving end user problems; and/or I have obtained user requirements for ADP equipment/software applications; and/or I have served as a resource person for technical problems within the organization; and/or I have informed management of the nature of a programming problem with existing software.
  3. I have contacted a vendor for release of a new software package; and/or I have worked with end users, one-on-one, in resolving routine software/hardware problems; and/or I have explained security procedures and measures in place.
  4. None of the above.


6.Information Technology Specialists must possess the ability to effectively communicate in writing. They may be required to produce reports, correspondence, etc., that must be written in a manner understood by targeted audience. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have prepared instructional e-mails to end users informing them how to complete a specific task; and/or I have responded in writing to questions received seeking guidance on resolving routine computer related issues; and/or I have assisted in revising/preparing functional requirements documentation.
  2. I have developed data flow diagrams; and/or I have completed sections of larger reports for review by management concerning information technology use or proposals; and/or I have completed sections of technical instruction manuals for use by end users concerning new software or new hardware procedures; and/or I have revised established functional requirements documentation.
  3. I have used existing documentation to communicate with and train staff; and/or I have communicated information in writing in a variety of settings (groups, one-on-one, executive) in a manner understood by varying knowledge levels; and/or I have responded to end user inquiries to resolve software problems encountered.
  4. None of the above.


7.Information Technology Specialists must develop technical documentation, such as systems design, user guides, data flow diagrams, and program specifications. They must also apply existing documentation by writing programs according to specifications. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have coordinated efforts in the installation of WordPerfect, dBase IV, or Lotus 1-2-3; and/or I have applied proper configurations in the installation of hardware; and/or I have installed emulation of network cards in accordance with manufacturers instructions and specifications.
  2. I have developed several end user guides which were adopted and implemented agency/organization wide; and/or I have established complex functional requirements documentation; and/or I have written a PC operations manual; and/or I have developed systems design; and/or I have written technical procedures to be applied by a corporation.
  3. I have prepared instructional e-mails to end users informing them how to complete a specific task; and/or I have responded in writing to questions received seeking guidance on resolving routine computer related issues.
  4. I have developed data flow diagrams; and/or I have completed sections of larger reports for review by management concerning information technology use of proposals; and/or I have completed sections of technical instruction manuals for use by end users concerning new software or new hardware procedures.
  5. None of the above.


Grade: All Grades
1.How did you hear about this employment opportunity with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP)?
  1. Private information service
  2. Magazine
  3. Newspaper
  4. Radio
  5. Television
  6. Poster/Flyer
  7. Private employment office
  8. State Employment/Unemployment Office or Career Service Center
  9. State or local Job Information Center
  10. BOP Employee Services Department (bulletin board or other form announcement)
  11. School or college counselor or other official
  12. Agency or other Federal government recruitment at school or college
  13. Recruitment event (other than school or college)
  14. Friend or relative working for the BOP
  15. Friend or relative not working for the BOP
  16. Religious organization
  17. USAJOBS, the official job site of the US Federal Government
  18. BOP Website
  19. Internet job site
  20. Contacted the BOP on my own
  21. Military publication
  22. Military Separation Center
  23. Professional Organization
  24. Federal Job Publication (i.e., Federal Jobs Digest, etc)
  25. Discover Corrections
  26. Washington DC Diversity
  27. Other


Thank you for applying for a position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. We appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey.





This is a Federal job application system. Providing false information, creating fake IDs, or failing to answer all questions truthfully and completely may be grounds for not hiring, for disbarment from Federal employment, or for dismissal after the applicant begins work. Falsifying a Federal job application, attempting to violate the privacy of others, or attempting to compromise the operation of this system may be punishable by fine or imprisonment (US Code, Title 18, section 1001).