Those who decide to apply for a politically-appointed job within any presidential administration should remember that, if selected, they will be serving at the pleasure of the President of the United States. In that light, applicants should be aware that presidents just hate to be embarrassed or surprised by the actions of their employees.
To help pre-screen job candidates, the 2008 Obama-Biden presidential transition team prepared a questionnaire of 63 questions covering virtually all areas of the applicant's life. Some examples of these deeply probing questions include:
Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved with during the course of your career.
Publications, Writings & Speeches:
Writings: Please list and, if readily available, provide a copy of each book, article, column or publication (including but not limited to any posts or comments on blogs or other websites) you have authored, individually or with others. Please list all aliases or “handles” you have used to communicate on the Internet.
Electronic communications: If you have ever sent an electronic communication, including but not limited to an email, text message or instant message, that could suggest a conflict or interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.
Relationships & Affiliations:
Please specifically describe any affiliation you, or your spouse or any member of your immediate family have, or have had, with any financial, banking, mortgage or insurance institution that is currently the subject of federal government intervention as part of the ongoing economic crisis. This question includes, but is not limited to, the following: Fannie Mac, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Washington Mutual.
Have you or your spouse at any time held property (as a named owner of record individually or in combination with others) the title to which contained any restrictive covenant based on race, sex, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation? If so, please provide all relevant information and records.
Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g., Facebook, My Space, etc.)
Do you know anyone or any organization, either in the private sector or government service, that might take steps, overtly or covertly, fairly or unfairly, to criticize your nomination, including any news organization? If so, please identify and explain the potential basis for criticism.