Exhibit Realistic Expectations
Every government agency gets their share of applicants who think they will set the world on fire. A district attorney's office may get an entry-level applicant who talks about how great it will be to try a felony murder. The U.S. Attorney's Office may get someone talking about bringing down corrupt politicians. The State Department could have someone talking about major changes in foreign policy. In reality, you will not be doing any of this during your first couple of years as a government lawyer. In fact, your likeliest lot is prosecuting misdemeanors, trying small drug-related crimes, or writing memos and appellate briefs.
Know exactly what you will be doing if you get the job, and communicate this understanding to your interviewers in order to show that you will not quit after two weeks because you find the work too difficult or mundane. You will greatly increase your chances by conveying to your interviewers that you know what to expect, and that you are excited about this opportunity.
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