Skip Navigation

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.[9432] Do you have experience leading and conducting special investigations and inspections involving hazardous materials?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 3.[9424] Do you have experience dealing with the railroad industry, labor unions, the general public and State and local governments such as a first responder, rail safety manager, quality assurance manager, or regulatory compliance officer on matters relating to hazardous materials transportation.
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 4.[9426] Do you have experience preparing detailed technical reports, narratives, and correspondence as well as recommendations concerning the interpretation of regulatory materials in the area of rail hazardous materials transportation?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 5.[25348] Select the response that reflects how you have applied your knowledge of railroad hazardous materials transportation rules, regulations, and procedures in order to disseminate information and ensure uniform application of rules and regulations.
  1. My work has provided me with experience in interpreting railroad operating rules and procedures that pertain to the transportation of hazardous materials.
  2. During my career I have been promoted to successive positions of leadership where I have been responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of railroad operating rules and procedures that pertain to the transportation of hazardous materials in accordance to FRA policy. (Work includes the technical aspects managing and maintaining the fixed physical plant and rolling stock; knowledge and experience dealing with train operation and transportation of hazardous materials by rail).
  3. I have held positions in the railroad industry that have provided me with exposure to railroad operating rules and procedures that pertain to the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
  4. I have taken classes on Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rules and regulations, but do not have any experience applying the rules and regulations in accordance with FRA policy of railroad procedures.
  5. None of the above


* 6.[9429] Do you have experience in developing practical solutions to persistent hazardous materials rail transportation safety problems?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 7.[19189] Select the statement that best describes your experience developing practical solutions to persistent hazardous materials rail transportation safety problems.
  1. During my career I have been promoted to successive positions of leadership where I have worked on a daily basis with industry officials to develop solutions for hazardous materials communications, hazmat packaging, training and security plans as well as issue and provide guidance to hazardous materials manufacturers and shippers to prevent accidents and ensure compliance with Federal regulations.
  2. As part of my job I have worked several times with industry officials to develop solutions for hazardous materials communications, hazmat packaging, training and security plans as well as issue and provide guidance to hazardous materials manufacturers and shippers to prevent accidents and ensure compliance with Federal regulations.
  3. I have held a position where I have provided information that may be used to determine future practices, but did not work on a regular basis with industry officials to resolve complex issues; occassionaly I have provided general advice and guidance to shippers and manufacturers concerning the transportation of hazardous materials by rail
  4. None of the above.


* 8.[32188] Select the response(s) that best describes your experience in leading and conducting special investigations and inspections involving hazardous materials.
  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 require 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 at 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 or Inspector in Charge; liaison between Regional Headquarters or Central Office and the 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.


* 9.[9438] Select the response(s) that reflect(s) your experience with planning and managing a regional program related to hazardous materials rail transportation.
  1. During my career I have been promoted to successive positions of leadership where I have experience and responsibility in leading teams of investigators on a variety of hazardous materials inspection activities.
  2. I have held at least one position where I have been responsible with planning and managing a regional program related to hazardous materials transportation.
  3. I have held at least one position where I served as a technical expert on a focused Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) audit team(s) and/or task group(s) involving the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
  4. I have held at least one mid-level position where I have had some experience and responsibility in planning and managing a regional program related to hazardous materials transportation.
  5. I have held positions where I served and the organizations representative on various task groups involving Department of Transportation (DOT) and FRA policy decision making related to the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
  6. None of the above.


* 10.[6569] Select the response that best describes your highest level of experience leading a workforce or team in the delivery of programs or projects.
  1. I have led a workforce of professional or technical disciplines and administrative staff in the delivery of programs or projects. I established and communicated program objectives, assigned work to others, monitored the progress of the assignments, provided guidance and instruction as needed to members of the group, evaluated and/or rewarded the contributions of the individual team members, and assured that the program's objectives were successfully met.
  2. I have held a lead or senior position or positions with formal responsibility for providing technical guidance and instructions on policy, procedures, regulations or complex assignments to others in the organization. Led, directed, and managed a workforce or team of professional or technical disciplines to accomplish the delivery of programs or projects.
  3. I have led, directed, and motivated team members to accomplish a specific project or provide assistance on organizational programs.
  4. I have provided guidance to a workforce in prioritizing work and accomplishing it in a timely, satisfactory manner.
  5. I have no experience in leading a workforce or team.


* 11.[8419] Select the statement(s) that reflect your experience in interpersonal communication while serving in a supervisory or team lead position.
  1. I have negotiated with and influenced others in order to gain their commitment to pursue new or existing initiatives.
  2. I have persuaded others to adopt new or existing methods, procedures or techniques in order to accomplish their work.
  3. I have provided direction, guidance or instruction to members of inter-disciplinary teams charged with carrying out a technical project.
  4. I have facilitated the resolution of competing or conflicting interests among co-workers whose cooperation is essential to the success of a project.
  5. I have enforced program policies and standards in the workplace, holding others accountable for their work and administering consequences, if necessary.
  6. I have used consensus-building techniques to persuade representatives of groups that hold opposing views or positions, to reach agreement on important issues.
  7. I have coordinated efforts to adjust work activities in situations where frequent changes, delays or unexpected events arise that cause major shifts in priorities, timetables or work assignments.
  8. None of the above


* 12.[9435] Select the response(s) that describe(s) your experience in dealing with the railroad industry, labor unions, the general public, and State and local governments in positions such as a first responder, rail safety manager, quality assurance manager, or regulatory compliance officer on matters relating to hazardous materials transportation.
  1. I have assisted in the development of training materials for industry officials.
  2. As part of my job, I have provided guidance and advice on a daily basis to railroad officials concerning transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
  3. I have held a position where I provided general guidance to railroad officials concerning transportation of hazardous materials by rail on a monthly basis.
  4. I have developed and delivered training courses to industry employees on the rules and regulations governing the transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
  5. I have responded to inquiries that require only a general knowledge of hazardous materials regulations.
  6. I have served as an expert witness or technical authority in investigating hearings and provided technical information to various individuals and groups.
  7. On at least three occasions I have interacted with counterparts in the railroad industry to resolve technical issues or clarify regulatory guidance.
  8. As part of my job I have provided technical guidance and advice to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and railroad officials concerning railroad transportation of hazardous materials by rail on a weekly basis.
  9. I have interacted on a day to day basis with counterparts in the railroad industry to resolve technical issues or clarify Agency/organizational position.
  10. None of the above.


* 13.[9436] Select the response that best describes your experience preparing detailed technical reports, narratives and correspondence as well as recommendations concerning the interpretation of regulatory materials in the area of rail hazardous materials transportation.
  1. During my career I have been promoted to successive positions of leadership where I have written accident investigation and other narrative reports that include derailment cause finding and rail car integrity analysis and technical expertise in the area of rail hazardous materials transportation. (Writing includes correspondence or responses to Congressional inquiries requiring technical analysis of issues).
  2. I have held at least one position where I have written standard reports that require technical knowledge in the area of hazardous materials transportation that require review by and approval by a senior staff member and have responded to offering or transportation inquiries pertaining to hazardous materials regulations.
  3. I have experience responding to inquiries that require knowledge of communication, transport, training, or security plans as well as hazardous materials regulatory issues and have written accident investigation and other narrative reports that require analysis and technical expertise in the area of hazardous materials transportation.
  4. None of the above.


* 14.[2831] Select the statement(s) that describe(s) your communication skills.
  1. I have represented and spoke on behalf of my organizational unit and its work to those within and outside the office.
  2. I have made clear and convincing presentations to individuals and groups.
  3. I have facilitated an open exchange of ideas.
  4. I have established and maintained working relationships with internal organizational units.
  5. I have approached each problem/situation with a clear perception of organizational and political reality.
  6. I have used contacts to build and strengthen internal support bases.
  7. I have developed and enhanced alliances with external groups.
  8. I have engaged in cross-functional activities.
  9. I have found common ground with a wide range of stakeholders.
  10. I have worked in groups and teams.
  11. I have conducted briefings and other meetings.
  12. I have gained cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.
  13. I have facilitated controversial/complex situations.
  14. I have considered and responded appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations.
  15. I ensure that reports, memoranda, and other documents reflect the position and work of the organization in a clear, convincing, and organized manner.
  16. I have the authority to speak on behalf of my organization in making decisions in one or more program areas.
  17. 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.[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


* 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


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.