Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Interview Experience

My phone interview for the College Program was Friday August 28 shortly after 6pm. I had prepared myself all summer long for this interview, I DID NOT want to mess it up. I researched online Disney forums for advice and information about what kinds of questions they asked and I took THREE pages of notes for myself. I was prepared to answer any questions regarding my top 3 role choices (Atmosphere Character, Character Attendant & Entertainment Costuming), as well as answers for the basic job interview type questions.

I was nervous all day long, there is something about auditioning and interviewing for the Mouse that ALWAYS throws all my confidence out the window. My stomach was in knots and I was fidgety. I had worked myself up so bad that my voice was cracking when I spoke, making me sound like I had the worst case of a cold ever. I tried taking deep breaths to calm myself down but they proved to be little help. My interviewer (who was extremely nice) was about 15 minutes late in calling me, which only made my nerves worse. Finally the call came through, I answered and the interviewer apologized for being late. She explained that she had just arrived at work and was running a little behind.

She informed me that the interview would take in between 15 to 20 minutes. The actual time on my interview ended up being just over 28 minutes long. I think that was only because I rattled on so much. I couldn't leave any stone unturned, this was my only chance to shine! I started out by answering her questions about which college I was enrolled in, my past work experience, confirming I was over 18, confirmed that I wanted housing and why I wanted to be a part of the program. Although my voice was still shaky I was starting to feel a little more confident in my answers. I shared the story with her about when I was young how I always told everyone that I wanted to be 'Michael Eisner' when I grew up, not knowing what his real job title was CEO. All I knew was that he ran Disney and that he got to introduce the Disney movies every week on the Wonderful World of Disney, I wanted that job! The interviewer got a little giggle out of that one.

But of course this wouldn't be a true Kira adventure without some sort of snag. She asked me for my top 3 role choices, so I started naming them off. All of my choices were entertainment positions. She politely informed me that because the Disneyland program was so small that the Entertainment division is NOT hiring college program applicants this time around. The sound of DOOM came crashing down on me. My entire 3 pages of notes I had prepared covered everything about the entertainment roles, but provided me with not one back up plan. I started to freak out inside. She asked me what my other 3 options would be so I fumbled for a few seconds...I had no idea what I wanted. I figured this was the end for me. After a minute or so I ended up choosing Attractions, Guest Relations and Photopass (with the interviewers help of course).

Later I convinced myself that these 3 roles weren't such bad choices after all. Even if it meant that I would spend my semester in the janitorial division scrubbing toilets and picking up trash, I would have done it for the chance to be in the program. I listened intently to every question she asked about these new roles and had to stop and think a few times about how I could bring my past experience into play to give my answers some sort of substance and be more than just a simple yes/no answer. I was only asked one question about Photopass, so obviously I wasn't going to be chosen for that. That left me with Attractions and Guest Services. The one question that I felt pretty stupid over was "Why do you want to work attractions?". I was unprepared, so I BS'ed my way through an answer in an attempt to make it sound great. I don't even remember what all I said now, but I do know that I was embarrassed.

The interviewer hopped around with questions for both the Attractions and Guest Relations roles, so it kept me on my toes. Some of the questions asked were:
Describe your idea of perfect weather
Can you work indoors and outdoors
Can you stand long periods of time
Give an example of when you provided outstanding guest service
Can you handle large amounts of cash
Do you prefer to work alone or in a team environment
Can you memorize spiels
Are you comfortable speaking in front of large crowds
Can you remain calm in emergency situations *said yes, then was asked to give an example of why I thought so*
A question somewhere along the lines about how comfortable I was with information about the resort. I followed it with an answer about how all my friends and family turn to me as their personal tour guide when it comes to Disneyland resort.
How I handle stressful situations/negative customers
How comfortable I am with arriving at solutions quickly when problems with guests arise
What is the most rewarding thing about my current job

There were so many questions that I can't remember all of them. I was also asked a little bit about my time at the Disney Store. Most of my answers truly came from my past experience with working at the store and working as the color guard instructor. I made the interviewer aware of my experience with handling issues between teenage girls and upset parents on a weekly basis, how I worked to build the color guard program on my own from scratch and how successful it had become, plus all of the fun times I had working at the Disney Store and how I loved all of the guest interaction I had. The interview ended with a reminder that I would hear back in 4 to 6 weeks on Disney's decision to accept me into the program or not. I thanked the interviewer for her time and went on my way.

Over all, I felt it went decent. It could have probably gone better had I not been so nervous the ENTIRE time and if I had been prepared for questions about my newly chosen roles. I did fumble and mumble over some words and often had some long winded answers followed with some even longer examples. I definitely wasn't very "cut to the chase" about it at all.

But the worst of it was over. Now all there was left to do was wait...and wait...and wait some more to hear back from Disney.

No comments:

Post a Comment