So, very recently I had the opportunity to become a Disney Cast Member during the Christmas period. I always found myself searching the Disney Careers website for any upcoming vacancies and never found anything local to me, but this time, I was lucky! The online application process was extremely simple, and I made sure I stressed about how much love and passion I have for The Walt Disney Company, (whilst also trying to remain professional!) in my cover letter. The main thing I found during the process is that although they want you to have a huge love for Disney, you ultimately have to be able to sell, sell, sell! Following the application process, and I’m sure you can imagine my excitement, I received an email inviting me to attend an interview the following Monday. However, as I scanned further through the email and read the words ‘GROUP INTERVIEW’ my stomach sank! I struggle with speaking in front of others as it is, so the thought of competing in a group for this job really put doubts in my mind in regard going through with it, but I’m so glad I did. Interviewing for Disney was completely different to any other interview experience I’ve had before, and I now feel so much more prepared for any other group interviews that may come my way in the future! The week prior to the interview I found myself searching and searching the corners of the internet for some sort of guide or outline of the interview process and failed to find one. So, that’s why I’m writing this, for any of you guys that have, or may apply to work with Disney in the future and are feeling just a tad nervous about the interview!
11am on Monday morning I was asked to go into my local store and introduce myself to a cast member. I was the earliest to arrive (I’m glad I was, this allowed me to talk with the manager before the rest of the candidates arrived) and he asked me to select an item for a 7 year old boy or girl with a budget of £25. I picked up one of the large Donald Duck Tsum Tsums, and also made sure I got to know the other candidates. The manager then took us into the back room (Backstage as they called it), where we sat in a circle of about seven and began the interview. For this, I stupidly panicked and sat in the furthest seat away making me the last to answer all of the questions. I’d definitely suggest sitting in the first or middle seats, as by the time the question got to me it just sounded like I was repeating what everyone else had said.
The first question we were asked was ‘Who is your favourite Disney character and why?’ I’d spent days preparing for this, as it was one of those questions I just knew was going to pop up. One of the girls said her favourite character was Ariel, because she’s different to the other princesses and is determined to get what she wants. Another said Simba because he’s strong willed and brave, and I said Jack Skellington, because he takes risks, once he’s committed to something he’s completely loyal to it and although his plans don’t always work out, he always finds a solution and resolves them. I thought that it would be better to think outside of the box for this question and answer with a character that I could adapt to the work place, as I thought that they’d want somebody that is loyal and committed to their role within the store and can also solve any issues that may come up. I’m also relieved that I picked a character from a film I knew inside out, as the manager did pick on some people to tell the story of the film further to him which definitely caught a few candidates out!
The second stage of the interview was a task, we were asked to sell him the items we’d selected prior to the interview as if he were shopping for his 7 year old Niece or Nephew. But, we were to believe that he had no idea about who or what their favourite Disney characters or films were. Some of the candidates used this task to show how outgoing and confident they are, some of them really acted out a scenario and pretended that their products came to life, and some were even singing to him! When it was my turn I tried to sell the item by suggesting that the larger Donald tsum tsum would be suitable for a Niece or Nephew as Donald is a classic character that a lot of people know and love. I also added about tsum tsums being a collectable range with lots of different character lines to choose from that come in different sizes. I suggested that as the smaller ones are relatively cheap at £3, they could build upon their collection themselves with any pocket money they had and also talked about some of the add-ons the Disney store offer, such as gift bags and boxes.
He then asked us what our greatest achievement was, myself and a few candidates said finishing and graduating university, one of the girls I was talking to said that she ran her own drama club at home and another girl had previously worked for Disney as a Cast Member in Florida! Finally, he finished the interview off by opening up some competency and customer service questions to the group such as ‘a customer seems distressed and wants to return a damaged item that they received from the online store, what do you do?’ or ‘give an example of a time you helped a fellow employee be successful’ etc. This was definitely a free for all, and I tried to chip in where I could! I’d definitely suggest during this stage just to go for it and get your answer into the mix of the conversation. I was too nervous to talk sometimes but definitely chipped in where I felt confident enough!
All in all I’d say the whole experience was great fun, the manager put us at ease straight away and I found that being interviewed as a group wasn’t as daunting as I’d first thought, it was just really friendly and informal!
I really hope this post helped to outline the interview process I had. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask, and good luck to any of you that may be interviewing with Disney in the future!