Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 PMF Job Fair Recap + Updates

Today is the last day of the 2012 PMF job fair. I see on the PMF site that at least a few of the 2012 class have secured appointments. How are the rest of you doing? Any promising leads as a result of the job fair? Exciting experiences? Anyone get appointments without going to the job fair?

I don't have any new updates beyond this. There hasn't been a great deal of newsworthy information. One thing that I saw earlier this month, and which probably won't go anywhere, is a letter from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform [PDF] to OPM director John Berry regarding communications issues with finalists. While the commenters on the original WaPo article reporting on this were quick to suggest that the Committee is wasting its time over some email glitches, I'm not sure it's quite that simple. I guess we'll see if anything comes of it.

I am still planning to do some data analysis on this year's applicants and finalists. Due to work constraints, though, I haven't really had the time. (I might not even have all of the data; once I find out I can follow up with another post) If someone is interested in doing this and has free time and ability, let me know and I can help you get started.


  1. The last couple of days were a mixed bag for me but very exciting. I ended up doing 12 interviews with various agencies but was a little discouraged when I saw that nearly all of them were doing interviews at least every half hour. Everyone I talked with seemed like it would be 1-2 weeks until any follow up would happen, whether that be 2nd round interviews or offers. It's going to be a long couple of weeks! How did everyone else do? Did anyone manage a job offer at the fair?

  2. Job fair was somewhat of a disappointment for me. Though I did not apply 50+ jobs like most people did beforehand, I did send my resume to about 30 and had made contacts within a few agencies as well. In the end, I only had 1 interview lined up before the fair, and managed to secure only 3 more at the fair, one of which was over web video. Spending almost $800 for flight and lodging for 3 interviews (and one over the internet that I could have done from home) was extremely expensive.

    Of course, if either of those interviews leads to a job it makes it all worth it. But chances are, I will be one of those still looking for a job after the fair jobs are gone.

    I think it could have been more helpful for some agencies to indicate to those they do not intend to interview but who sent in their resume that they will not interview them at the job fair, or at least that the chances are very low. I applied for about 10 positions at one agency, and even after following up with calls and emails, I was only declined for 2 or 3. The other 7, I thought, were going to just interview at the job fair, but found out that they had already responded positively to some and set up those interviews, leaving very little time for everyone else. I completely understand they may be looking for experience or knowledge I do not have, but it would have been helpful to know ahead of time before spending so much money for this trip.

    Overall, a good experience for those interviews I did have...just wish I had more to justify the trip's cost!

  3. I had a little different experience at the job fair. From the beginning I only applied for 7-8 positions and 2 were no's (1 cancelled, 1 no). 1 of the 6 left, I had an interview lined up, and 3 others interviews outside PPS.
    After Monday's speech of the "cattle call" at 830, I decided to show up at 1030 day 1 and 10 day 2. When I got there I knew where I was going only had a few agencies in mind and stayed in those 2 rows for most of the time. Did several interviews for positions that I didn't intend to or even know about, received calls from people wanting to meet me at the job fair for unposted or positions they interviewed only a handful of people. I think I will have for sure 2, but up to 5 offers directly from the fair within next few weeks.

    But what I was so surprised about was the actual positions themselves. After getting there and really seeing what there was to offer I decided only to interview within DHHS, so can not speak for others. But I was very surprised at the level of authority/responsibility... that were offered with some of these positions (mostly in the unlisted positions). To me it was really humbling to be called and asked to interview for amazing positions with super cool high-level staff, that wanted to work around my schedule.

    I'm glad it's over though.
    @pmfellow I like the new format!!!

  4. @ktgrca: Glad you like the new look. This is something Google just rolled out in the last month. Usually I don't like to change things drastically, but I'm sure you saw how bad the last layout was (overlapping elements). Not to mention the styles themselves were starting to look old.

    As for the interview process, you'd be surprised who gets involved in selecting PMFs and the kinds of opportunities you can get into. For all the caution about not getting your hopes too high, there are still plenty of really high profile jobs that open up to you just by virtue of your PMF status.

  5. Hey pmfellow: I set up the spreadsheet for this year, and I would certainly be interested in taking an "exit-poll" of the results for this year's fair and program. I know folks this year (and the future finalists in future years) will have lots of questions, and I think data sets could help answer them! I saw you had an online poll set up from before...if possible, I'll help coordinate getting the information together for this year
    I can be reached at

  6. @MSB: Apologies for not getting to this sooner. I think it's an excellent idea to do an exit poll of the job fair and the program in general. I just looked, and the last survey, which wasn't really well put together, was generating slow but steady submissions all the way through September of 2011. Which reminds me, of course, that I need to go through it and see what can be gleaned.

    I'll admit I'm not the best at designing survey questions. I'm sure there's at least one of you out there whose graduate degree required some kind of survey methodology. Any takers? Should I open a new thread just to field potential survey questions? What kinds of things would you like to ask/answer/vent about in a survey?