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Vacancy Questions Preview

Vacancy Questions Preview

Grade: 15
* 1.[344] Choose the statement that best describes your specialized experience that qualifies you for this GS-15 position.
  1. I possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 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.[52124] Do you have at least one year of equal or equivalent experience managing a national safety program related to signal and train control (S&TC ) systems, processor-based/communication-based S&TC technologies and systems, and highway-rail grade crossing warning systems? This experience must be well documented in your resume. Failure to do so may cause your application to be rescored or removed from consideration.
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 3.[52125] Do you have at least one year of equal or equivalent experience advising labor unions and senior management in public/private organizations on all aspects of railroad safety to include signal and train control (S&TC), highway-rail grade crossing warning systems and processor-based/communication-based S&TC technologies and systems? This experience must be well documented in your resume. Failure to do so may cause your application to be rescored or removed from consideration.
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 4.[52126] Do you have at least one year of equal or equivalent experience developing policies, guidance, and regulations used for program performance evaluation associated with processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems, and locomotive propulsion systems? This experience must be well documented in your resume. Failure to do so may cause your application to be rescored or removed from consideration.
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 5.[52113] Select the statement(s) that describe your experience in conducting analyses of facts and circumstances related to conventional as well as new signal and train control, highway-rail grade crossing warning systems and processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems?
  1. I have identified the issues involved.
  2. I have developed methods and approaches for gathering data.
  3. I have developed analytical techniques to review and process the data.
  4. I have examined and reviewed various records and reports.
  5. I have observed various work methods.
  6. I have analyzed photographic and other evidence.
  7. I have analyzed incidents of probable cause(s) of accidents.
  8. I have evaluated design and safety case documents.
  9. I have identified, located, and evaluated technical guidance and regulatory documents.
  10. I have consulted with other occupational experts.
  11. None of the above.


* 6.[52119] Select the statement(s) that best describes your experience in leading and conducting special investigations and inspections involving traditional as well as new signal and train control, highway-rail grade crossing warning and processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems and technologies. The responses selected must be well described in your resume.
  1. I have lead or conducted eight or more accident investigations to assess damage and recommended action to be taken by a carrier.
  2. I have assisted on at least four teams that investigate complicated accidents or noncompliance issues.
  3. I have served on more than three teams of investigators during complicated accident investigations which required interaction among agency and outside personnel.
  4. I have experience in conducting major accident investigations and provided written reports to supervisors concerning the causes/effects of the incident.
  5. I have led or conducted accident investigations to assess damage.
  6. I have participated in a major accident investigation where recommendations were provided concerning the cause and effects of the incident.
  7. I have served as the primary investigator or team leader on three to five complicated accident investigations which require coordination among agency personnel and outside parties.
  8. I have participated in accident investigations to assess damage.
  9. I have served as team leader; liaison between field offices, central Office and the accident site, to gather information, conduct analysis of information, etc., during major accident investigations and have provided final written reports or guidance on how to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
  10. None of the above.


* 7.[52114] Select the statement that best describes your experience with Positive Train Control (PTC) Systems.
  1. I have deployed PTC systems.
  2. I have tested and deployed PTC systems.
  3. I have reviewed the designs, tested, and deployed PTC systems.
  4. I have reviewed the designs, tested, deployed, and evaluated for regulatory compliance PTC systems.
  5. None of the above.


* 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.[52115] Select the statement that best describes your experience analyzing and interpreting rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, and system design and implementation documentation in order to make recommendations to address/resolve regulatory or industry standards.
  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 interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, and system design and implementation documentation 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 interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, and system design and implementation documentation but generally consult others for assistance and/or 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 system design and implementation documentation and only require technical assistance or review of my work on complex assignments and/or tasks.
  5. I have demonstrated work experience managing research or evaluation programs that required the analysis and interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, and system design and implementation documentation in order to make recommendations concerning how to address/resolve regulatory or industry standards issues with little or no supervision.
  6. In addition to having demonstrated work experience managing research or evaluation programs that required the analysis and interpretation of rail and/or transit industry rules, regulations, standards, policies and procedures, and system design and implementation documentation in order to make recommendations concerning how to address/resolve regulatory or industry standards issues, I am often consulted for my expertise.


* 10.[52116] Select the statement(s) below that best describe(s) your level of experience related to planning and coordinating a freight or passenger rail safety management program.
  1. Prepared strategic roadmap in the development of short and long-term goals.
  2. Developed performance measures for the goals.
  3. Promoted strategic roadmap to gain approval and secure program support.
  4. Developed marketing strategies to implement a rail management program.
  5. Successfully executed program roadmap and marketing strategies for safety management program.
  6. None of the above.


* 11.[52127] Select the statement that best describes your work experience applying operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues.
  1. I have education and training applying operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues, but have not performed it on the job.
  2. I have applied operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues, usually under the direction of a supervisor or senior employee.
  3. I have independently applied operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues while seeking help or advice only for complex issues or challenges.
  4. I have experience in managing a research or evaluation program requiring the application of operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues with little or no direct supervision.
  5. I have managed a research or evaluation program requiring the application of multi-disciplinary operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues with little or no direct supervision.
  6. I am considered a technical authority in managing research or evaluation programs that require the application of multi-disciplinary operational and system analyses concepts/disciplines to develop solutions addressing freight and passenger, new train control systems and technologies safety issues with little or no direct supervision.
  7. None of the above.


* 12.[27738] Select the statement that best describes your experience organizing and managing several projects concurrently, setting priorities, and responding to tight deadlines.
  1. I usually delegate assignments to subordinate staff members with due dates and follow up on the most important projects to ensure that deadlines are met.
  2. As a team leader, I work with other staff members to ensure that all projects are completed in a timely manner.
  3. I prioritize work assignments, completing those projects within due dates.
  4. I am accountable for overall program accomplishments ensuring that projects are completed within timeframes requested by senior management.
  5. Serve as a project manager ensuring that all tasks are on schedule and are completed within the assigned due date.
  6. My experience is not listed above.


* 13.[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


* 14.[10493] 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 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.


* 15.[52117] Select the statement(s) that describe(s) your experience managing, directing, and administering an important program and/or significant program segment of new or advanced technologies.
  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. Promote program and provide expert advice to a variety of senior officials.
  5. Develop program performance measures and 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.


* 16.[43927] Select the duties you have performed on a regular and recurring basis as a team leader or supervisor.
  1. Responsible for the first line supervision of employees
  2. Oversaw, directed or developed work to be accomplished by subordinates including setting priorities and preparing schedules for the completion of work and adjusted as needed.
  3. Assigned work to subordinates based on priorities, consideration of the difficulty of assignments, and the capabilities of employees.
  4. Scheduled employees to cover varying shifts
  5. Developed performance standards and evaluated employees' work
  6. Gave advice, counsel or instruction to employees on program specific, technical, and/or administrative matters
  7. Interviewed candidates and made recommendations/selections to fill vacant position(s).
  8. Recommended and/or selected individuals for appointment, promotion, or reassignment
  9. Worked with employees to identify their developmental and training needs based on organizational goals and budget realities
  10. Worked with management to identify developmental and training needs of employees based on organizational goals and budget realities.
  11. Conducted workforce/succession planning
  12. Resolved office conflicts through meetings
  13. Delegated authority to the lowest levels
  14. Resolved office conflicts by providing written guidance
  15. Resolved office conflicts through mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution
  16. Addressed employee conduct issues by taking appropriate human resources actions such as oral admonishments or suspensions
  17. Coached, counseled and/or disciplined employees on performance issues
  18. Coached, counseled and/or disciplined employees on conduct issues
  19. Followed necessary steps when an employee's performance did not improve
  20. Developed performance improvement plans
  21. Recognized and rewarded employees for their contributions
  22. Have no managerial/supervisory experience, but have been designated as a team leader, assisting the immediate supervisor with assignment of tasks.
  23. Have not performed any of the above listed supervisory duties


* 17.[52118] Select the statement that best describes your experience planning, scheduling, and coordinating project activities, including: assigning work; training or instructing employees; reporting problems and offering solutions to your supervisor; meeting deadlines; monitoring work in progress, and making day-to-day adjustments to resolve unexpected conditions.
  1. I have no experience planning, scheduling, and coordinating project activities, but have participated as an individual contributor in multiple, technical project teams.
  2. I have demonstrated experience planning, scheduling, and coordinating some, but not all of the project work activities listed, with guidance from my supervisor or senior employee.
  3. I have demonstrated experience planning, scheduling, and coordinating all of the project work activities listed, with some guidance from my supervisor.
  4. I have demonstrated experience coordinating work activities as a team leader over a small group (2-3) of employees assigned to a project.
  5. I have demonstrated experience coordinating work activities as a team leader over a moderate group (4-6) of employees assigned to a project.
  6. I have demonstrated experience coordinating work activities as a team leader over a large group (7 or more) of employees assigned to a project.
  7. I have demonstrated experience planning, scheduling, and coordinating work activities of a large group (7 or more) of geographically dispersed employees assigned to a project.
  8. None of the above


* 18.[6206] Select the statement(s) below that best describe your abilities to hire and manage a diverse work force.
  1. I have communicated a formal commitment to establishing a diverse work force.
  2. I have utilized organizational assessments (e.g., cultural audits) which evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of organizational diversity standing.
  3. I have used workforce planning strategies to find skill gaps that may lead to opportunities for targeted recruitment.
  4. I have implemented a diversity program.
  5. I have utilized tailored recruitment efforts to reach under-represented groups.
  6. I have utilized special hiring flexibilities and authorities, e.g., persons with disabilities, veterans and bilingual.
  7. I have fostered a supportive work environment to include initiatives, e.g., alternative work schedules, telecommuting, family friendly programs, etc.
  8. I have sustained a culture of diversity over several years.
  9. I have regularly monitored results and called for accountability from managers.
  10. None of the above.


* 19.[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.


* 20.[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.


* 21.[9782] Select the statement that best describes your level of experience in developing and writing procedures and policies that impacted an organization.
  1. Researched, developed, and wrote procedures and policies that impacted an organization.
  2. Provided the analytical research for the development and writing of procedures and policies that impacted an organization.
  3. I have limited experience in developing and writing procedures and policies that impacted an office.
  4. None of the above.


* 22.[9711] This position requires strong communication skills in a variety of railroad program issues. Please select the statement(s) that best describe(s) your experience communicating with others both within and outside of your work organization on a regular basis.
  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 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.[35568] Select the response that is the GS equivalent grade level of the highest grade to which you have held on a permanent basis or have competed for promotion potential. Please ensure that you have also provided a supporting SF-50. Without the supporting SF-50, we may not be able to consider your application for this position.
  1. I have not held a government position.
  2. 04
  3. 05
  4. 06
  5. 07
  6. 08
  7. 09
  8. 10
  9. 11
  10. 12
  11. 13
  12. 14
  13. 15


* 3.[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


* 4.[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.

* 5.[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


* 6.[587] Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade. Please include the date of your last promotion (in mm/dd/yy format).
Maximum length of 20 characters.


* 7.[620] My most recent work performance evaluation was satisfactory or better (includes pass in pass/fail systems).
  1. True
  2. False


* 8.[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.