The MKE FSDO has been assigning some of the initial CFI rides to slected DPEs. There are 5 of us. While the applicant doesn't get to choose who he gets at least he/she gets to go with the DPE. That's good and bad news. The good news is the DPE rides are a little shorter. The bad news is the applicant has to pay the DPE.
Let me tell you a little about my Initial CFI check rides. First of all the oral is designed for 3 hours for the average applicant. Depending on how well the applicant is prepare it may last more, or less.
The flying part of the initial CFI lasts about 1.5. The applicant will do most of the flying but I will play student pilot during some of the maneuvers. This way the CFI applicant can critique my performance and provide solutions to my errors. This seems to work well for everyone.
Some of the problems: There are parts to the CFI PTS that are required to be tested during the ride. I've seen a couple of applicants that weren't prepared for these areas of the PTS. With a prepared applicant these areas take about 20-30 minutes to cover. I've also seen problems with determining the airworthiness of the aircraft and airspace knowledge.
The biggest issue with the flight portion of the initial CFI is not being able to teach and fly the flight maneuvers correctly. For example one CFI applicant demonstrate a private pilot steep turn at 70 degrees bank with a loss of 400 feet of altitude. I had one applicant enter and incipient spin during a stall demonstration. The FAA flight training handbooks and applicable PTS are two valuable sources of information you'll need to know for your check ride.
Enough fear mongering. The good news....... I like a low key, fun check ride. If the applicant is relaxed the ride will go well. So, I'll joke around and try to lighten the mood. I know the stress is high but try to relax and breath. We'll take plenty of breaks. We WILL take lunch! Hopefully you'll walk out of the ride saying "That wasn't so bad"