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Vacancy Questions Preview

Vacancy Questions Preview

Grade: 13
* 1.[342] Choose the statement that best describes your specialized experience that qualifies you for this GS-13 position.
  1. I possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 as described in the vacancy announcement. This experience is well described in my application.
  2. I do not meet the one year specialized experience requirement as described in the vacancy announcement.


* 2.[22034] Do you have one year of experience, equal or equivalent to, applying policies, guidance, and regulations used for evaluating performance of programs associated with the design, implementation, and test of software and hardware for processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems (positive train control systems), and/or, locomotive propulsion systems associated with, or that interface with, processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 3.[22035] Do you have one year of experience, equal or equivalent to, using rules, regulations, and/or guidelines pertaining to the design, implementation, test, or certification of processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems (positive train control systems), as well as regulations and principles associated with conventional signal or train control systems?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 4.[22036] Do you have one year of experience, equal or equivalent to, using regulations and principles associated with conventional signal or train control systems?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 5.[14557] Select the statement(s) that best describe(s) your work experience related to the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines towards the application, and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address freight and passenger processor-based/communications-based signal or train control systems safety.
  1. I have education and training in the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address transportation system safety, but have not performed it on the job.
  2. I am considered a technical authority in managing research or evaluation programs that require the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address freight and passenger processor-based/communications-based signal or train control system challenges with little or no direct supervision.
  3. I have applied operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address transportation system safety, usually under the direction of a supervisor or senior employee.
  4. I have applied operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address freight and passenger processor-based/communications-based signal or train control system safety, usually under the direction of a supervisor or senior employee.
  5. I have independently applied operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address transportation system safety challenges while seeking help or advice only for complex issues or challenges.
  6. I have experience in managing a research or evaluation program requiring the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address transportation system safety challenges with little or no direct supervision.
  7. I have managed a research or evaluation program requiring the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines toward application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address freight and passenger processor-based/communications-based train control system safety challenges with little or no direct supervision.
  8. I am considered a technical authority in managing research or evaluation programs that require the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines for application and effective evaluations of innovative solutions to address transportation system safety challenges with little or no direct supervision.
  9. None of the above.


* 6.[14558] Select the statement that best describes your previous experience analyzing and/or interpreting rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures in order to make recommendations to address/resolve technically complex, conflicting, ambiguous, or unprecedented regulatory or industry standards issues.
  1. I have no education, training and/or work related experience in this functional area.
  2. I have an understanding of the concepts, principles, and processes gained from education and/or training in the analysis and/or interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, but have little to no experience applying the knowledge in a work environment.
  3. I have had direct experience applying the concepts, principles, and processes on common, routine tasks and assignments related to the analysis and/or interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, but generally consult others for assistance to have my work reviewed.
  4. I have had direct experience applying the concepts, principles, and processes on common, routine tasks and assignments related to the analysis and interpretations of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures and only require technical assistance or review of my work on complex assignments and/or tasks.
  5. I have previous work experience managing research or evaluation programs that required the analysis and/or interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures in order to make recommendations concerning how to address/resolve technically complex, conflicting, ambiguous, or unprecedented regulatory or industry standards issues with little or no supervision.
  6. In addition to having previous work experience managing research or evaluation programs that required the analysis and/or interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures in order to make recommendations concerning how to address/resolve technically complex, conflicting, ambiguous, or unprecedented regulatory or industry standards issues, I am often consulted for my expertise.


* 7.[14837] Select the statement(s) that describe(s) your railroad related investigative experience.
  1. I have conducted investigations and analyses.
  2. I have conducted on-site investigations.
  3. I have planned investigations.
  4. I have reviewed reports of others investigations for completeness and accuracy.
  5. I have limited or no investigative experience.


* 8.[9024] Select the answer that best describes your experience in using a risk assessment process in identifying priorities to direct oversight activities or limited resources.
  1. I have limited experience in this area and have applied a formal risk assessment process as part of my program management responsibilities.
  2. I have no experience in using risk assessment but am familiar with the principles and application of risk assessment as part of program management.
  3. I have conducted risk assessment at the program level and incorporated the results into risk management/mitigation programs as part of overall program management.
  4. I have conducted multiple risk assessments at the project level and incorporated the results into the risk management/mitigation programs as part of overall program management for multiple programs.
  5. None of the above.


* 9.[2038] Select the program management functions you have performed as a regular part of your job.
  1. Designed research studies
  2. Prepared prospectuses
  3. Estimated needed resources
  4. Established reporting requirements
  5. Coordinated with operating and field offices
  6. Obtained clearances as required
  7. Established evaluation criteria
  8. Prepared technical and cost evaluations of proposals
  9. Monitored the work to ensure the contractor adhered to the statements of work and cost
  10. Provided technical assistance to the contractor
  11. Devised and described the required sequence of tasks
  12. None of the above


* 10.[14559] Select the statement(s) below that best describe(s) your level of experience related to planning and coordinating, and/or conducting inspections for determining compliance related to a freight or passenger rail safety program.
  1. I have prepared strategic roadmaps in the development of short and long-term goals.
  2. I have developed performance measures for the goals.
  3. I have promoted strategic roadmaps to gain approval and secure program support.
  4. I have developed marketing strategies to implement a rail safety management program.
  5. I have conducted inspections on one or more railroad properties to determine the level of compliance with associated Federal requirements.
  6. None of the above.


* 11.[14560] Select the statement(s) below that apply(ies) to your experience providing advice and technical assistance to others on freight and passenger processor-based/communications-based signal or train control systems.
  1. Interpretation/application of emerging technology and specification
  2. Research and development
  3. Best practices in design and maintenance
  4. Regulations, program policies, and standards
  5. Behavior of various rail materials used
  6. None of the above


* 12.[14561] Select the statement(s) that describe(s) your experience monitoring, managing, directing, or administering an important program or significant program segment.
  1. Issue technically authoritative interpretations and decisions regarding rules, regulations, and program policies relating to the program.
  2. Develop and recommend program policies, strategies, and goals.
  3. Develop and approve program procedures and practices.
  4. Monitor program and provide expert advice to a variety of officials.
  5. Develop program performance goals or track program progress against measures and milestones.
  6. Conducted inspections on one or more railroad properties to determine the level of compliance with associated Federal requirements.
  7. Assisted in or conducted test monitoring duties related to field and/or laboratory testing of Positive Train Control (PTC) or other advanced train control systems.
  8. I have attended training associated with conducting test monitoring duties related to field and/or laboratory testing of PTC or other advanced train control systems but have not actually performed such duties.
  9. None of the above.


* 13.[14562] Select the statement(s) that best describe(s) your experience representing your agency or organization on matters involving freight and passenger processor-based/communications-based signal or train control systems in briefings, meetings, or conferences within and outside your organizations as part of your job.
  1. I have served as an agency or organizational representative or regular participant on policymaking committees to present agency/organization's position, concerns and viewpoints.
  2. I have attended committee meetings as an alternate or guest speaker to present information on specific topics.
  3. I have periodically attended committee meetings with one or more officials.
  4. I have represented my organization/agency at briefings, meetings, or conferences with Federal, State, or local government officials, labor unions, consulting firms, technical organizations, or railroad management or other personnel to disseminate information and settle matters involving significant or controversial issues.
  5. I have represented my organization actively at conferences, seminars, and workshops to ensure that management's concerns, viewpoints, and interests are effectively represented.
  6. I have chaired internal advisory groups or committees to communicate, facilitate and explain policy matters within my organization.
  7. None of the above.


* 14.[14563] Select the statement that best describes your level of experience in developing and writing procedures and/or policies for an organization.
  1. I have researched, developed, and wrote procedures and/or policies for an organization.
  2. I have provided technical research for the development and writing of procedures and/or policies for an organization.
  3. I have limited experience in developing and writing procedures and/or policies that impacted an office.
  4. None of the above.


* 15.[14564] Select the statement(s) that describe the types of technical written communication you have prepared, especially that related to processor-based/ communication-based signal or train control systems.
  1. I have written and presented technical information for internal and/or external audiences.
  2. I have developed material for communicating information on policies, procedures and strategic plans to a broad base of constituents including the Congress and key stakeholders.
  3. I have developed materials for communicating information on strategic plans to a broad base of constituents including the Congress and key stakeholders.
  4. I have prepared and presented subject-matter issue papers and/or briefings to program personnel, subject-matter groups and/or management officials at all levels within an organization in a technical advisory capacity.
  5. I have reviewed reports for technical accuracy, adherence to policy, organization of material, clarity of expression, and appropriateness for intended audiences.
  6. I have prepared scholarly reports for publications.
  7. I have prepared scientific manuscripts for publication in scientific journals and technical publications.
  8. I have published articles and reports in professional, scientific or industrial journals and newsletters, including national or international publications.
  9. I have developed materials for communicating information on technical issues.
  10. None of the above.


* 16.[14873] This position requires strong communication skills in a variety of railroad issues. Please select the statement(s) that best describe(s) your experience communicating with others both within and outside of your work organization.
  1. I have gathered and exchanged information, resolved routine issues, and gained or secured compliance.
  2. I have made program decisions and policy interpretations.
  3. I have persuaded others to accept new technology, concepts, and programs.
  4. I have resolved and negotiated significant and controversial issues to gain compliance and agreement.
  5. I have conducted training or given various technical presentations related to railroad transportation to varied audiences with different levels of comprehension.
  6. I have written position papers on controversial issues.
  7. I have provided leadership and guidance in my field.
  8. I have explained program, policies, standards, and procedures.
  9. None of the above.


Grade: All Grades
[16869] Please note that ALL candidates must submit a resume online and complete the entire application (Resume, Core Questions, Vacancy Questions) process.

Ensure that your resume thoroughly supports your responses to the job specific questions and that it contains the names, titles, and phone numbers of your most current and previous supervisors so that we may contact them.

Please also be sure that your preference regarding contacting your current supervisors is shown in the User Information area.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete all questions.

High self-assessment in the application questions that is not supported by information in your resume may prevent you from being found best qualified, in which case your application will not be referred to the selecting official.



* 1.[31608] I understand the resume I have submitted for this position will be thoroughly reviewed to determine whether my experience and/or educational background is sufficient to meet basic and/or specialized experience requirements as outlined in this announcement. I also understand that if the information provided in my resume is not sufficient to support my responses to the vacancy announcement questions, it will affect the overall assessment of my application package.

  1. Yes
  2. No


[31648] When you are finished with the question phase of this announcement, you will be shown a list of documents that may include documents that do not apply to you. Review the list and the required documents section of the vacancy to determine which, IF ANY, are required for your application to be considered a complete application. Please do not submit documents that are not requested.
  • If you are not a veteran, the DD-214 and the SF-15 do not apply to you.
  • If you are not applying to an engineering position, the P.E. license or EIT exam does not apply to you.
  • If you are not requesting consideration under a special appointing authority, the special appointing authority documents do not apply to you.
If any of the requested documentation pertains to you, you have the option to fax using the fax coversheets provided, upload to this system or you may transfer the documentation from your USAJOBS account. Please note documents are NOT automatically transferred from USAJobs. Contact the office no later than the closing date, if you require assistance.

* 2.[3057] By responding to this question, you acknowledge that you have reviewed the Required Documents section of this announcement to determine which documents, if any, you need to provide in support of this application.
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 3.[31609] I understand that if I do not submit all REQUIRED documents by the closing date, it will affect the overall assessment of my application package.
  1. Yes
  2. No


For all positions requiring travel, potential applicants must be able to obtain and retain a Government contractor-issued travel card to be used for official business as a condition of employment.

For those employees who enter on board and find that they are unable to obtain a card based on their credit history or who do not retain their card during employment may be subject to removal from the Federal service.

Applicants (who have Federal employment experience) will be required to certify in writing that they have not previously had their travel card suspended or cancelled. Those who fail to meet this condition of employment will have our offer of employment rescinded.

* 4.[588] Have you ever held a government travel card?

  1. Yes

        BRANCHED: * 1.[577] Do you certify that you have not previously had your travel card suspended or cancelled?
    1. Yes
    2. No
  2. No


* 5.[620] My most recent work performance evaluation was satisfactory or better (includes pass in pass/fail systems).
  1. True
  2. False


* 6.[586] How did you initially hear about this position?
  1. Email notification
  2. Agency website
  3. USAJobs (OPM) website
  4. Newspaper advertisement
  5. Magazine advertisement
  6. Commercial employment site (i.e. Careerbuilder, Monster)
  7. Placement office (Federal, State, College or University)
  8. Friend or relative
  9. Job Fair
  10. Minority professional network
  11. Other

        BRANCHED: * 1.[5063] Please indicate how you heard about this position.

       Maximum length of 250 characters.