Part 3: Phone Interview
Set-up & Preparation
As I stated in part 2 of our DCP application journey, once you finish the Web-Based Interview and pass with flying colors you are emailed a link to set up the next step: the phone interview.
Depending on how early you apply and at what time you finish your web-interview, will decide what time slots are available for your phone interview. Applications were released on Friday and the first day for interviews began on that Sunday! By the time I finished my web-interview at 6:30PM that night, Sunday and Monday time slots were filled! The phone interview times span the entire day. From what I remember they began around 8AM EST and went in about 15 minute intervals up until 12:30 AM EST. Because I was busy on Tuesday, I set up my interview for 5:15 CST on Wednesday, February 13th!
Then, you can only wait and prepare. I had been preparing for the DCP applications for about a year in advanced. I was checking out blogs, reading about experiences, and gathered up quite a nice word document of possible interview questions. If anybody is interested in applying for the DCP and would like a list of the questions I gathered emailed to them, please shoot Addicted to Mickey an email and I’ll get it passed on to you! Sharing is caring!
Hollywood Studios Countdown to Fun Parade
For the interview, I do suggest coming up with answers to many of the possible questions ahead of time and take some time to study them. Pick out the ones you think will be most important and the ones important to your specific role choices and try and remember what you want to say. You’ll feel much better prepared if you’ve heard most of the questions. Definitely study the harder questions more, the easier questions will be a breeze to come up with off the top of your head but the ones that require some thought can trip you up in the middle of the interview.
Here are the questions that, from what I have read and from my interview, are almost always asked (or some variety of these):
How do you feel about the Disney Look? Could you comply with it?
Do you have any visible tattoos?
Why do you want to do the Disney College Program?
How do you handle multi-tasking or working with interruptions?
Explain your previous jobs and how they might help you with your chosen roles.
Have you ever lived with roommates or in dorms?
How would you handle a difficult roommate situation?
If you were doing a repetitive task, how would you stay interested?
How would you make a guests day?
I can’t guarantee you will be asked these, or in this way, but these are very basic questions that are likely to come up.
As I said, studying is important, but make sure to stay loose and not to study too much. Speak with your heart, you don’t want to memorize every word, just make sure you know kind of what you want to say. Interviewers don’t want someone who sounds scripted, they want someone who can think off their head and are passionate in their answers. Try a few mock interviews with friends or someone at your university. Maybe have your current boss sit down and interview you, get feedback. This can only help and can make you more prepared!
Many of my friends came up with creative ways to set-up for their interviews some, which I adapted for myself. Something I suggest is taking a piece of paper or post-it notes and writing down the questions you feel are most important and then answer them in keywords. For instance, I took a pad of paper, wrote down all the important questions I thought would come up, and wrote short, keyword answers so I could glance at them and remember what I wanted to say. Under “Why do the DCP”, I wrote “Educationally, professionally, personally” and in my interview named off my reasons that fell under each category. You won’t have much time to look around pages after pages of questions and answers so pick a few that’s important. On my paper I wrote down my date, time, a few positive notes (stay happy! Smile! Have fun!), a space for my interviewer’s name, my questions and keyword answers, questions for the interviewer, and then a small space for me to take notes during the interview. I also decided to wear my Mickey ears to keep me in the spirit!
The most important thing to remember is to SMILE! We all know those people who we meet who are always smiling or laughing, it’s contagious. The interviewer can tell when you are having a good time and it will definitely help you. Also, as I mentioned before, leave a space to write your interviewers name down and don’t forget to thank them by name when you have finished the interview. They are an important part of your application and deserve to be thanked!
The days leading up to my interview, I nearly forgot all about it. It was only when I would suddenly remember when my heart would drop and I felt sick. I was so nervous, but so excited! After seeing so many of my friends have their interviews (some going well, some not), I just wanted mine to be over with.
Grand Floridian Gingerbread House
Finally, Wednesday, after a stressful day of waiting around in a doctor’s office and 4 classes in which I could barely pay attention, it was evening and almost time for my interview. As others recommend, I too recommend setting about an hour out of your day to get in the zone. Make sure you are somewhere quiet without interruptions. Tell your roommates or parents not to bother you until you are done. Listen to some Disney music, chat with your friends, get support from other DCP applicants. At 4:30PM I shut my door and hid myself from outside contact. I cruised Tumblr, listened to Disney music, surfed through the DCP facebook pages, and sat out all my notes.
The interview time is also not set in stone. Throughout the day some interviews go short and some go long. I’ve heard anywhere from 10-40 minutes. A typical interview, and what they tell you over the phone, is that each is about 20 minutes long. Make sure your phone is charged and loud, you don’t want to miss it. Sit it in front of you and when the call does come it is from a restricted number; answer it!! 5:15 came and went without a call, I was shaking in my boots and finally around 5:30, the phone rang. The interviewer will tell you their name (write it down!) and then ask you to confirm some information about your application, then it’s onto the questions.
Some interviewers are nicer than others, some like to chat, some are more professional, some will laugh when you laugh, some will be very dry. Don’t let it get to you, just stick with the plan, smile, and answer the best you can. My voice shook for about a minute and a half as I stumbled out the answer to the first questions “Why the DCP?” Once you get into the rhythm, the interview gets much easier. Hopefully your voice will stop shaking and you will take time to think about your answers. The interviewer knows that you’re nervous they are not here to criticize you. Overall, my interview lasted about 20 minutes and ended up being fairly pleasant. I laughed a lot and while she didn’t necessarily seem very chatty, she was kind and let me ramble on. At the end of all the questions the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. Ask something! Have a couple questions down! They will then tell you that it will be around 2-3 weeks to receive an answer back and that is the end of your interview. You’re done!
So, what questions was I asked? Here is a list of the ones I can remember. My interview only lasted 20 minutes, but now when I look at the amount of questions, I’m surprised it was so short:
How do you feel about the Disney Look? Could you comply with it?
Do you have any visible tattoos or piercings?
Why do I want to do the CP at this point in my life?
If you have a conflict with your roommate, how would handle it?
If you were doing a task that was repetitive, how would you keep yourself interested in it?
Name a time when you had to multi-task to complete a job and how did it effect the end results of what you were trying to accomplish?
How do you deal with multiple things going on at once and having multiple tasks to get done?
How do you feel speaking in front of large groups?
How does your past job experience relate to the roles you chose and how would it help you?
Name your top 3 roles and why you chose them.
Would you be okay working outdoors?
If you were the first person a guest saw how would you make their day?
Do I have a valid US drivers license?
Are you here on a student visa?
Do I prefer working in a fast paced, medium paced, or slow environment?
Do you prefer to work alone or in groups?
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade
I am pretty sure I had more questions, but this is all I can remember at the moment. I really stressed how badly I wanted Photopass, most of the situational questions I answered “If I were photopass”, whether that is a good thing or not, I’ve yet to figure out! There are some other situational questions that have to do specific roles, which I have on a word document. I smile the entire time, laughed (even though my interviewer did not laugh as much), and thanked her by name at the end. Don’t be afraid to elaborate on any question, I’m a very wordy person and felt like I dominated the interview and rambled too much, it’s okay!
I asked her the following questions:
How did you get started working for Disney? She did the DCP!
Do Photopass parkhop throughout the week? Didn’t necessarily know but knew they parkhopped in the same park.
Any way to get in touch with digital media and network within the company? Yes! DCP is very much about networking and getting foot in door. You can ask one of your Disney educators to help you get in touch with someone in your field.
So, other tips?
Jen (Accepted attractions!) says: Breathe!!!! And really stress your career goals and how Disney will be a part of them! Also, ace the questions about guest interaction. They are key!!
Good luck! You’ll do great!
This is part 3 of a group of posts that I will be making throughout my journey as a DCP applicant. My next post will be entirely about waiting for an answer and what each status on your dash means. I applied as a Photopass Photographer and my application is still in progress!