Monday, December 22, 2014

Disney CEP Interview Tips

I know it's getting to Disney CEP interview time in the UK, so I thought I'd do a quick blog post on interview tips.
Group Interview
Overall this interview is nothing to worry about. Get an idea of what
you're going to say in your head, they ask all the typical interview
questions. It's never a bad idea to do some research on the roles and
past CEP/ICP experiences either. The interview seems like more a chat
with a bunch of new people rather than an interview and you'll be in and
out in what will seem like 5 minutes.
Here's some tips:
1. Be polite. This goes without saying for any interview, but especially
for group interviews. Make sure you get your point across, but let
others get a word in edgeways. 
No doubt you'll end up in the standard British "No you go first" "No you go first!" situation at some point…
2. Be yourself. Yummy Jobs will be looking for someone who they think
will fit in with the rest of the cast members at Walt Disney World and
who has the enthusiasm and dedication for the job. They'll ask the
standard questions like why you want to work for Disney, what character
are you most like and why and what role you want and why. Be honest and
be succinct with your answers, whilst getting your personality across.
3. Arrive early. Remember first impressions are everything, so try to
not make you sneaking into the back of the presentation their first
impression of you. When you get allocated your group interview time,
arrive at the room early. Interviews tend to run a bit late but don't
count on that. 
4. Remember your paperwork. Forgetting your paperwork is just going to
make you look unorganised, unprofessional and cause extra work for
everyone involved.
5. Be professional. I know the thought of going to work at Disney World
is a very exciting, but they don't want to hear all about how you've
always wanted to be a Princess and that Disney World is your dream blah
blah blah. Passion is one thing, but remember Disney is still a
professional business so don't go OTT.

Face to Face Interviews
Now I have to say, these were much more nerve wracking than the group
interview. My face to face interview for my second program made me so
nervous, I completely forgot all of my prepared answers and thought I'd
completely blown it. Saying that, some people thought they were fine, so
don't panic. 
These interviews are going to be with people from the International
Recruitment Team at Disney, so you're looking to impress. Don't be
alarmed if your interview is very short and to the point. Every
recruiter has a different style. Some last as short as 5 minutes and 3
questions, others are more about 15 minutes. 
Here's some tips:
1. Do your research. Like I said above, Disney is a professional company
so do your research like you would for other jobs. For my first
interview, I found out about Disney's Four Key Basics and said how I'd
implement each of those into my time working as a Cast Member. The
interviewer was impressed I'd done that much research, so it's
definitely worth it.
2. Look presentable. Disney are very particular about how you're
presented. Try and stick as close to the Disney Look as possible and
wear smart casual clothes.
3. Find your location. Unless it changes, your interview will most
likely be at Disney HQ in Hammersmith, London. If you're not used to
London, make sure you know exactly where it is for the morning of your
interview. It might be worth meeting up with others beforehand, there's
normally a Facebook group each year so have a search! 
4. Know your strengths. The recruiters are most likely to put you in a
role depending on your past jobs. I've only ever worked retail, so I
ended up in merchandise both times. If you're worked in Food and
Beverage roles, you're likely to end up in Food and Beverage roles.
However, if you really think you'd be good at another role let them
know. Sell yourself well enough and you never know what might happen.
5. Be Flexible. Following on from the above point, remember they're
looking for flexibility too. The less picky you are, the more likely
they'll find a role for you. I'd still suggest clearly stating what you
want to do, but don't make them think it's the be all and end all if you
don't get that role.
6. Finally, smile. You're being interviewed to work at Disney. When
you're "on stage" you're representing Disney, so keep that smile up.
It'll be good practice for when you get an offer! 

Possible Questions:

The questions they ask seem to depend on who you have interviewing you. I
had Jill Jacobsen who asked the standard questions such as why you want
to do the program, what you're looking to achieve from your time at
Disney, what role you want to do and why and also what past work
experience you've had. They'll also ask you a few general questions such
as if you think you'll cope ok in the Florida heat and humidity and if
you're willing to abide by the "Disney Look".

Those of you who have done the program before, they ask pretty much the
same questions, just tailored towards why you want to return and what
you'd do differently this time round.

What to wear:
Smart casual is the way to go for these interviews. Girls, smarter
skater dresses, a nice blouse and smart trousers. Guys, most guys wore a
nice pair of chinos, shirt and brogues. For my interviews I wore a
smarter style, black skater dress, tights, a pink blazer and plain
If it helps, for my first ever group interview in 2012 I went to the
interview on a whim after seeing the application presentation (the
process has changed slightly since then). It was one of those times at
uni where I desperately needed to laundry so I was wearing the most
casual mis-matched outfit ever and I still got through to the next
round. Of course I don't suggest you just go in jeans and a t-shirt, but
what I'm trying to say is they're looking more at your personality and
enthusiasm than your dress sense. Don't stress too much. 
Also, it's going to help if you stick to the Disney Look, especially for
your second interview with Disney recruiters. Ladies, natural coloured
hair and not plastered in make up. Gents, clean shaven or fully grown
beard and traditional hairstyle. 
Whilst we're talking about Disney Look, don't lie about any
tattoos/piercings you have. They aren't going to not hire you just
because you have a tattoo (as long as they can be hidden). Several of my
friends had tattoos and even one of my managers had full on sleeves and
a chest piece. So long as they're hidden you'll be fine, they'll just
put you in a position where the costume can hide them.
Just a few extra words:
Now I also feel the need to say a few things at this stage.
Some people go in with the mindset that working at Disney is going to be
like a fairytale. Remember it's a real job and essentially, as harsh
and unmagical as it sounds, as an ICP/CEP you're just extra staffing for
Disney's busy summer period. Guests have very high expectations whilst
they're at Disney World and it's your job to fulfil these expectations.
You're going to be very busy, it's going to be very hot, you'll be
working long hours and potentially working until/starting in the early
hours of the morning. 
It's also going to be expensive. You're probably going to be spending
close to the £2000 mark once you've factored in flights, transportation
back and for to interviews, visa payments, program fees, spending money
and all those new summer clothes you'll definitely buy. Make sure you're
going to be able to afford this, some people really struggled to make
payments and wished the expenses were emphasised more.
Finally, if you're lucky enough to get offered a position, don't get put
off if it's not the role you want. I've never met anyone who hasn't
really enjoyed their role, even those in the less "glamourous" positions
such as custodial and Quick Service Food and Beverage. Remeber, you'll
be living at Disney World. Some people would do anything to do what
you're doing. The cast members you work with and guests you meet will
make your job way better than you expect and you'll soon realise there's
pluses and minuses to every role.
Despite all of this, it'll be 100% worth it and the best summer you've
ever had. You're working at Walt Disney World, spending your days off at
the parks, attending housing events, visiting the beach and meeting
amazing people from all around the world. Once you're home you'll really
wish you were back.
Feel free to email me/leave a comment if you have any other questions on any part of the process.

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