Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

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Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:44 pm

Just got an interview to intern with ATF this summer. I'm a 1L with no law enforcement experience and limited exposure to law/policy surrounding firearms. I really want to learn more about what ATF does and I want the chance to do substantive work over the summer so I feel like it could be a good fit, but I'm really worried about having basically no relevant experience. How can I best prepare for this interview?

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kellyfrost

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby kellyfrost » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:15 pm

Do you have any relevant experience with the other items this agency enforces, alcohol and tobacco?
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:17 pm

kellyfrost wrote:Do you have any relevant experience with the other items this agency enforces, alcohol and tobacco?


...[OP here] uh, not in a way that I would bring up with interviewers...

kyle1978

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby kyle1978 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:22 pm

Just be prepared to talk about anything on your resume in detail. You should also be able to recite a cogent explanation for why you want the internship - it doesn't need to be long; just one or two sentences should be fine. Look on the DOJ ATF website for info, and you could also scan LinkedIn for how current attorneys there describe their experience. Good luck

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Most people won’t have relevant experience. If you can talk convincingly about your interest that will be fine; it’s very unlikely that you’re going to get grilled on anything substantive, no one expects 1L to have any substantive knowledge. They’re looking for interest and potential.

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mjb447

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:39 pm

The best thing you can do is come up with a good answer to "why ATF?" "I want to learn more about what you do and gain substantive experience" is pretty broad and general and you could say it about most (good) internships - ideally you'll be able to come up with a more tailored reason, perhaps making use of something in your background or something you've researched about the organization.

That said, it's definitely about interest and enthusiasm more than the expectation that you're bringing "relevant experience" to the table. Frankly, I'd probably view a rising 2L who said s/he brought "relevant experience" to this internship as overestimating his/her own usefulness and underestimating the work that ATF lawyers do.

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:06 pm

I had an interview for an internship there 5 or 6 years ago. I don't remember anything substantive about the interview at this point, but I DO remember having a HELL of a time getting into the building because I wasn't on the list, the person meeting me wasn't answering their office phone and wasn't in the lobby (I think they were in a meeting and therefore running late), and I think this was a building that took my cell phone away when I came in. (HQ in DC, by the New York Ave/NoMa metro stop.)

So uh if your interview is there, maybe have a hard copy of your contact's info in case you also get stuck in security hell.

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Re: Any advice for interviewing with ATF?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:14 pm

[OP here] Thanks - fortunately, this interview is over the phone since I"m not in the DC area. I appreciate all of your advice.



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