JOBS: Here’s Nine Valuable Tips For Interviewing Well On Capitol Hill

You’ve  followed up on that job lead from your college friend who now works on the Hill, you’ve prepared a relevant resume, found a good recommender, and you just got invited to meet with the hiring manager.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now, how do you make the best of that interview? Here are nine tips:

First, there are a few important things you’ll need to do leading up to the interview, but on the day of the meeting, it’s most important that you have the right frame of mind. If you are a Christian believer, you should exercise “confident humility,” as we discussed in my previous post (“Getting In The Door On Capitol Hill”).

This means having confidence in knowing you are loved and accepted by God, while asking the Lord to search your heart for anything that impairs your relationship with Him. Reading and meditating on Psalm 139, or other go-to verses, is an excellent way to accomplish this.

This will give you a measure of peace and tranquility, which prepares you to be relaxed and free from anxiety when you interview.

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JOBS: Getting In The Door On Capitol Hill

By Bret Bernhardt

Securing a meeting with your prospective employer is an important step in the process of landing a job on Capitol Hill.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Before we get into the mechanics, it’s important to recognize that looking for a job is one of the most stressful things you will do in your professional life. After all, you are trying to “sell” yourself. And what if they don’t like what you are selling?

You are confronted with the prospect of rejection, as well as acceptance, every time you are considered for a position. Dealing with this will be the topic for deeper discussion later but it’s important to keep this in mind now: Embrace the value God has given you while practicing confident humility.

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JOBS: Where Your Best Job Lead Is On Capitol Hill May Surprise You

By Bret Bernhardt

Conventional wisdom may say the best path to a good job on the Hill is through the hiring manager. That may be a chief of staff, legislative director, or state/district director.

However, there’s a surprise twist. More often than not, I have seen the best job leads for young and junior staff come not through senior staff,  but rather their own peers.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

As believers, we should know that community is very important. How often in the Scriptures is the fellowship of believers emphasized? This is no less true for you as you navigate, work, and live on and around Capitol Hill.

To this end, you will probably find the job you are seeking through a contact or connection with someone in your own age range or peer group. Take a look around and find out how your peers actually ended up in their first job on the Hill.

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Why Do You Persecute Me?

By Bret Bernhardt

How are we to respond when various threats are made against us as believers?

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

One such threat was discussed in this space — “TOLERANCE TODAY: Harvard Keynoter Said Jews, Christians Should Be ‘Locked Up’ For Their Views” — regarding a recent symposium in which a speaker previously advocated imprisoning Christians and Jews for their beliefs.

In today’s hyper-charged environment, these type of  statements are becoming more frequent. It’s understandable how one would react when hearing something like this. For me, a sense of indignation, fear, and anger are the emotions I typically feel.

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I’m ‘Only’ An Intern … On Life In The Trenches On Capitol Hill

Here are some smart suggestions for making the most of that first post working for Congress

By Bret Bernhardt

In the overall scheme of things on Capitol Hill, interns, and junior staffers for that matter, seem to be a relatively inconsequential part of the process. However, in my experience, it is quite the opposite.

The Farmers Insurance commercial on TV says “we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” That would pretty much describe my experience of 30 years working on Capitol Hill. This is particularly true about working with interns.

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