Been around for a long time. Things go in cycles. We are in the cycle where there are lots of dejected folks on the hunt because they have not gotten the invite.
Really have to keep in mind that there are tons of qualified candidates and only a few slots. Having requisite qualifications just makes you eligible, for most of us it is a lottery after that. The agency evaluators may have picked your application because they saw something they identified with in their own experience. Your file was next and they May have said we just picked the last application, lets keep looking at the applications and unfortunately for you, you will not get the call despite your qualifications etc.
The OP is mostly right, and has a great positive attitude.
Lottery is not quite right, though.
The new appointees from HQ who have never set foot in a courtroom, the long-time agency advisors who could never have made it past OPM (and yes, there are multiple new appointees who tried and failed to make a register). The mystery of their appointments is not best described by the word “lottery.” Frankly, we have to hope for the best, but it is quite distasteful.
Since this is the improvement board, I’m open to suggestions on how to deal with the new appointees that outright failed OPM’s situational judgment test, the writing demonstration, or the structure interview. It’s not like they failed the bar and retook it and passed, it’s just plain they failed the bar but since they had the right connections, welcome. We need to delete “merit based” from descriptions of the corps.