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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What Is HillFaith and Why Should You Care?

This guy has been there, done that. And he just might have some useful insights to share about life on the Hill

By Mark Tapscott

If you work on Capitol Hill, you and I likely have a great deal in common. You, like me, love this country and want to make it better. You are passionate about politics, the campaign trail and the legislative process. You worry about the future, of America, and of you and your loved ones. You probably grew up somewhere else, most likely out there in “Flyover Country.”

Doesn’t matter which political party you identify with or where on Capitol Hill you spend your workdays. Your hours are long and odds are good you could be making more money working somewhere else (maybe a whole lot more if you’ve been here for a few years).

Yes, that’s me, a Hill press secretary in 1977. Can you believe the hair? This photo was taken in the Cannon House Office Building.

But you get to rub elbows with many of America’s most important and best-known leaders, and your work affords endless opportunities to meet and work with interesting and amazingly smart, skilled people. Money can’t buy the satisfaction that can come with that, right?

Fact is, for better or worse, the Hill is the center of your world. Maybe not tomorrow, but for now, most of your friends also work here, including people you socialize with, enter into (and out of!) romantic relationships, and compete with to grab that next rung up the success ladder. Continue reading “What Is HillFaith and Why Should You Care?”

$15-An-Hour Minimum Wage May Be Coming For Hill Interns

At $31,200 annually, the new rate would make the first experience working for Congress much more affordable

Forty House Democrats are sponsoring Rep. Adam Smith’s reintroduced House Intern Pay Act that would require a $15-an-hour minimum wage for the young employees.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state.

“Paid internships help to bring a diversity of ideas and backgrounds to both the Washington, D.C. and local district offices, and expand equality of opportunity for all to participate in our democracy,” Smith said in a statement Tuesday.

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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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There’s More To Keeping Talent On The Hill Than Pay

Pay is low on the Hill but there’s more to the issue of whether to stay or go.

By Bret Bernhardt

This may sound like an esoteric and idyllic response to retaining good talent on Capitol Hill, because that is what it is. But all worthy efforts start with big ideas and lofty aspirations.

So is the remedy for what ails congressional talent retention.  

In all the important decisions we make in life, including those of aspiring Hill staffers, we consciously or unconsciously keep two factors in mind:

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Five Biggest Staff Problems That Hurt Congress and America

One of the first things done by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after taking control of the big gavel was to appoint the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress to recommend measures to bring the First Branch into the 21st Century of organizational management.

In its first hearing, the modernization committee heard testimony from 30 members representing both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Kathleen Clarke (D-Mass.) who provided a concise assessment of worrisome staffing trends:

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Eight VIP Things You Should Know About Working On The Hill

Patricia Murphy covers national politics for the Daily Beast and is a former Hill staffer, most recently working as communications director for then-Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) from 2001 to 2003.

Murphy also writes a column for Roll Call and has a great piece today there based on her interviews with a number of present and former Hill staffers responding to the question of things they wish they had known when they worked on the Senate or House side.

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