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Old 12-18-2009, 02:57 PM
 
429 posts, read 1,060,836 times
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I hate posting here all the time. I'm sure it's annoying. Mods, if this forum is inappropriate for my thread, be happy to move it to wherever.

Anyway, I have yet ANOTHER interview on Monday, for a Congressional Internship, and I'm really excited. I just wanted to know what I should bring, what kind of questions they will ask me, and what I SHOULDN'T talk about during the interview.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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They'll ask you about your political experience. Have you worked campaigns, in government, in student government, etc. What did you do in school, any extra curricular stuff of note. Do you know anyone in the district? Have you been to the district/state in question? Honestly it's a pretty standard interview.

It really isn't issue based. They probably won't ask you 'what do you think of the Stimulus bill' or 'what is your view on federal funding of abortion' or something like that, but they might. (Generally they don't care what you think as it is what the Congressman thinks that is important).

You should know more than a little bit about the Member of Congress. What bills have they sponsored, what committees are they on, what their focus is in the next year. Tough election, yes/no?

Congressional offices are political, but they are not as political as say a campaign office. In part, they are a government entity and they need someone who is going to be competent, professional, knowledgeable and (kind of most importantly) going to represent the Member well. You don't want to be a 'I'll fall on my sword' idealist but be a passionate but pragmatic person.

In the end though, be yourself. Honestly. Be who you are and if they like you, they'll give you the job. This interview is in large part about 'will this person fit in well with the team of 12 others we have stacked in two tiny offices such that they will do their job and not drive the rest of us crazy'. If 'who you are' is the person who wouldn't mesh, then you won't go far in the environment of that office and frankly, it's not worth it (many internships turn into jobs so you want to be thinking of that next step). But fear not, there are 434 other representatives who you can turn to next if this one falls through.

(source: I worked on the hill seven years and interviewed dozens of people for jobs up there).
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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Thanks for all your help. I"m really nervous because I REALLY want this job. Granted, it's unpaid, but it's with the House Democratic Caucus. I am worried because it's really competitive and there are very few slots. I don't even know how many people they are interviewing for the internship so I really just pray that I do well and get the position.

I guess I should be flattered that I got an interview. The position closed just a week ago and I already got a call back. I have had three previous internships before, including a state congressional page position, and I have a state representative as a reference. I hope that that's enough to sway them that a career in politics is what I really want to do.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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Oh boy, innocent enthusiasm about life on the Hill. Since I've been there, too, I'll first reassure you that you shouldn't have any trouble finding some kind of internship on the Hill (after all, you are UNpaid; that = free labor for offices that already have no cash). Working on the Hill is a truly unique experience, but it's not glamorous and there is absolutely no money to be made in the long run (unless you are working as a lobbyist, of course).

You will too see the innards of the national political sausage factory and see why the best thing about our government (and the only thing keeping it from utter collapse) is that it moves so slowly. Enjoy the internship, and hopefully you'll someday get tapped for the exciting role of paid intern, a.k.a L.A.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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Well, that's fine. I'm not going into Politics for the money. I'm young and single, and I want the experience and I'm willing to work for it.

Anyway, I got the internship on the Hill, and i'm really excited. Do you know any places I could find cheap housing for interns? Right now, all I see are WISH and things, and that's really exciting.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:02 AM
 
1,054 posts, read 4,845,813 times
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Check the bulletin boards in the House Office buildings themselves (next to the cafeterias) along with Roll Call, the Hill, and other newsletters up there. Best to find a group house with several other staffers--really the only way to survive when just starting out. Doubtful you'll be able to afford anything on your own for awhile.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:33 AM
 
Location: DC
3,303 posts, read 11,141,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewGrad2009 View Post
Anyway, I got the internship on the Hill, and i'm really excited. Do you know any places I could find cheap housing for interns? Right now, all I see are WISH and things, and that's really exciting.
Congrats!! I know you really wanted to get up here, so I'm glad something came through.

As for housing, look for shared or group housing. CraigsList can be great, but there's also scams, so you'd have to be careful. Since your sister is in the area, she could try checking things out for you to make it easier (I did this for a friend last summer), until you can get to the area yourself. Looking for other interns is also a good idea.
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