FAQ: Qualification Evaluation Panel

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How long do you typically wait to hear from the QEP?

Recent QEP panels have taken 6-8 weeks.

I was recently promoted, can I update my registration info so the QEP is aware of this change?

Unfortunately no.  Your best bet to informing the QEP of your recent promotion is to include it in your personal narrative essays.

Does everyone in the QEP read my essays?

Yes, the three person QEP panel will review each of your personal narrative essays.

How difficult is it to get to the Oral Assessments? I've heard of very qualified applicants getting rejected.

Quick answer is that no one seems to know.

The QEPs are a new and untransparent process, but obviously related to the KSA essays used in civil service applications. From what the FSOT Study Guide has gathered, the QEP is a procedure to see how well candidates match up with the cone they are applying for.  The Personal Narratives are graded in some inscrutable way, you are assigned a score, everyone is ranked by score and cone, and a cutoff score is established to let through the number of people they think will yield a certain number of officers in that cone when the OA is finished. With all the variables involved, the final results become a bit of a crap shoot, which is why highly qualified individuals (at least they seem to be) are getting rejected.

Should I assume I'm not invited to the OA's if my references have not been verified?

No.  Many applicants have moved forward to the oral assessments without having verifiers contact their references.

Can I use a single verifier for more than one question?

There is no established rule indicating the use of one verifier for more than one question is not allowed.

With that said, it wouldn’t be a good idea to use one for all questions :)  You want to display a variety of experiences and having just one or two verifiers for all may not work to your advantage.

I was fired from my job about a year ago. I don't believe I would have a good reference from there. Should I not even bother applying?

A bad experience with a former employer shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a career in the Foreign Service.  If you believe that you exhibit the State Department’s 13 Dimensions and the circumstances of your termination have a plausible explanation, you should definitely consider moving forward with your plans.

Recently I have applied for a Foreign General Service Officer position through USAJobs and the status says that I am eligble and referred to hiring official. I am confused. The job posting does not talk about the FSOT.

Thanks for your question, our FAQ cuts off a question after a certain amount of characters, so feel free to send us an email at info@fsotstudyguide.com if the following doesn’t fully answer your question :)

I believe you’re asking about whether or not the position you have applied for through USAJOB.gov is in actuality a position with the Foreign Service.  The job you have applied to is a civilian position.  The State Department does have positions that are outside of the Foreign Service.  A civilian officer will be paid through the General Schedule, not the Foreign Service Schedule, but will receive the same benefits, security clearance in mnay cases, and overall duties/responsibilities.  Depending on the type of position, your employment may be for a fixed period of time.

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