The Phone Interview

You’ve made it to the final step of applying for the Disney College Program! Hurray! In this series of blog posts I’ve outlined the steps of applying and interviewing for an internship through the DCP. In the last two posts, I covered the application, and the web based interview. In this last and final installment of the application process, I’ll be talking about my last phone interview experience, and some of the tips I found to be most helpful.

First things first, you have to be prepared. I created a list of questions, which you can find here, to help me think about how I would answer possible questions and get me in the right frame of mind. It’s important to remember that neither my list nor any other list of questions floating around on the internet are definite questions your recruiter will ask. I was not asked every question on my list, and there were things I wasn’t expecting. Don’t rely on another person’s experience, be prepared for anything. In no particular order, here are my top tips for preparing your reference/practice papers:

  • Don’t write lengthy responses. You don’t want to sound like you’re reading from a script during your interview. To make sure you sound natural, just jot down some brief notes that you can skim as your answering the recruiter’s questions.
  • Write down your top three roles. Be prepared to answer any question concerning any role, but the recruiter will ask you what your top three roles are, so make sure you’ve deliberated what those are and have them written down somewhere on  your page.
  • Leave a space to write your recruiter’s name. I’ll touch on this a bit more later on, but make sure you leave a space to write down their name. They should introduce themselves when you answer the phone, and you’ll want to call them by name, so get it on paper as soon as you hear it.
  • Don’t depend solely on your notes. Go over your answers in the days leading up to your phone interview. Do a mock interview with a family member or trusted friend. Reflect on why you want to work for Disney and what it would mean to you. Get yourself practicing and in the right frame of mind so that when it comes time to have your interview you sound confident and natural.
  • Prepare your own questions for your recruiter. These could be why they wanted to work for Disney, how they started working for Disney, and why they stayed. You can ask if this is an appropriate time to make a role or location request. It could even be a specific question pertaining to a role you really want.

So now that you’ve prepared your notes and are mentally prepared for the interview, let’s talk about finding a good spot for your interview, and the best way to prepare your space:

  • A calm, quiet, comfortable location. For me, this was in my bedroom, for others it could be their (parked) car, a study room, or an office space. Whatever it takes for you to be calm and comfortable, as long as it’s in a distraction- and interruption-free zone.
  • A place with good cell reception. If you’re not taking your call on a landline, make sure you’re in a space where you know you get good reception.
  • Make sure your cellphone is 100% charged. There’s nothing worse than having your phone die in what is arguably one of the most important phone calls of your life. I strongly recommend you keep your phone plugged in while you’re taking the call, and, when you schedule your interview, put down a backup phone number just in case. They give you that option, so use it.
  • In front of a mirror. I know this one sounds goofy, but trust me. You want to make sure you’re smiling during your interview so you sound more enthusiastic. Sitting where you can see yourself is a sure way to keep that smile on your face the whole time.
  • Have a glass of water handy. Your phone interview will last about 20-25 minutes, and a lot of that is going to be you answering questions. Keep a glass of water nearby so you can take sips in between your answers.

Okay, so you’ve prepared your notes, and you’ve prepared your space. By now your nerves are probably through the roof, and you’re impatiently waiting for the call. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re talking to your amazing recruiter:

  • Take a deep breath. Trust me, as soon as you answer that phone you’re going to feel so relieved. The recruiters are so kind and make you feel so comfortable. It’s that Disney magic, people!
  • SMILE! You’re talking to a Disney recruiter and you’ve made it to the last step of applying for a job in Walt Disney World or Disneyland. You have every reason to smile! Sound happy and show them that you can spread that pixie dust and Disney magic all over the parks.
  • Reference your recruiter by name. Remember when I told you to leave space in your notes to write their name? Write it down. As soon as they introduce themselves say, “Hi ___, it’s so nice to speak with you, thank you for taking the time to call me!” Try to call them by name a few times throughout the interview, and when you hang up say, “Thank you so much ___ for your time, I hope you have a great day!”
  • Speak clearly. Duh! Don’t let your nerves get to you, be clear and annunciate. You’re going to be talking to guests all day as a cast member, they want to hear that you’re good with communication.
  • Be concise. A to-the-point response is 10x better than rambling on for five minutes about what it means to be a good roommate, or how you have a ton of job experience handling cash.
  • Have fun! I can honestly say that my phone interview was such a genuine experience. My recruiter truly made me feel like a close friend. We were professional, but we also shared a laugh, and 22 minutes went by in the blink of an eye. Don’t be afraid to show your love of Disney; they want to see that passion! Being enthusiastic, having fun, and showing your Disney side will give the recruiter insight on how you’ll interact with guests as a cast member in the parks!

You’ve prepared your notes, you aced your interview, so now it’s time to take a deep breath and be positive! You likely won’t hear anything for 2-3 weeks, but don’t be surprised if you’re waiting longer. Some lucky people hear back from Disney in a matter of days, but I waited until the last possible day to get any word. Try to remain optimistic! And above all else, remember that hundreds of thousands of people apply for the DCP, and unfortunately they can only take thousands, so whether or not you’re accepted, know that you made it all the way through the process, and that means that you’re an awesome candidate no matter what happens!

Stay tuned for my next blog post about the dreaded waiting game, and some fun ways you can pass the time while you wait for your acceptance!

Until next time, have a magical day and I’ll see ya real soon! ºoº

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