On the 9th November I headed to the Disney Head Offices in Hammersmith, London for my Final Interview and had the most amazing day!
My interview slot was from 12:30-13:00 and and we were told to arrive 15 minutes before the interview slot to register. So early that morning I got up, got ready and then hopped on a train into London. I arrived at London Paddington and got on the Circle/Hammersmith & City Line underground to get to Hammersmith station.
Hammersmith station comes out into a shopping centre and is only a couple of minutes away from the Disney HQ building. There are two entrances to Disney HQ and the one you need to go to for interviews is the back entrance. There are loads of videos of YouTube which point out the entrance but if you head towards McDonalds in the Hammersmith shopping centre, then just before you get to it take the doors on the right, follow the path outside and round to the right until you see the Disney Building in front of you – there’s a Mickey Mouse picture above the main door so it’s hard to miss!
I made sure I got there early in case of any delays and ended up at Hammersmith by 11:30 with lots of time to kill. I ended up sitting in Costa in the shopping centre and having a drink and not long after another person from my time slot found me and we sat there talking until around 12.
At 12 we headed towards Disney HQ and met another person from our group outside the entrance. We went in and over to the reception desk where and said we were here for the interviews. The lady at the desk was lovely and took our names before printing us off ID badges and slipping them in a Walt Disney Company lanyard for us. We then had our bags searched by security and were told to wait in the entrance area right by the famous diamond Mickey statue.
At 12:15 someone came down to get us and we were taken up to where the interviews were being held. Everywhere around Disney HQ there is Disney memorabilia / artwork / costumes etc… and it was so exciting to see. They even played Disney Channel on the TV’s in the reception!
Natalie from Yummy Jobs was upstairs with a couple other applicants waiting to go in from the previous time slot. We went and sat down with them and Natalie took our documents off us (our passport, the proof of student status form, a drivers license or letter proving our address and a copy of each of these documents) to check and stamp. In the waiting area there was a giant set piece of the Millenium Falcon cockpit complete with all the lights and electronics which was pretty cool to see!
The two people who were currently being interviewed came out with the Walt Disney World recruiters and the other two people waiting for their interviews were called in.
The other two applicants from my group and I chatted to Natalie about the process, were asked what our heights were and if we wanted to be measured for the character performer role and waited for our interviews!
At 12:30 the interviewers came out of the room and called me and one of the others up. They introduced themselves to us and then we went into separate room they had set out for the one-on-one interviews.
My interviewer was called Marcie and she was extremely lovely. We sat down at a desk as the other interviewer went and sat at a desk across the other side of the room – I was worried having two individual interviews in one room might be off-putting but it wasn’t at all.
The interview felt like a really relaxed chat when you’ve met someone new and you’re just getting to know them. The relaxed atmosphere washed away any nerves I had and I really enjoyed talking to Marcie. It didn’t feel much like a questioned interview and instead like a flowing conversation.
The recruiters had a laptop out in front of them which they took notes on during the interview as well as some sheets of paper which they referred to. I again thought the typing may be off-putting but I didn’t even notice her taking the notes at all.
It started with her introducing her role in the Walt Disney Company and then we jumped straight into the interview.
I was first asked if I had ever visited Walt Disney World myself and if I had what my favourite part of it was, which wasn’t the sort of question I was expecting at all, but was a nice sort of ice-breaker which definitely relaxed me and got me thinking of all the exciting things about Walt Disney World.
Then the next question was why do I want to work at Walt Disney World, a very expected question.
She then took a look at my CV, scanned my previous work experience and asked me to talk about them and what skills I’d gained from that. She also asked me in particular about my waitressing job and what that involved (which I guessed was because they have lots of Quick Service roles available). She then asked me about a challenging situation that had occurred during my work and asked me what I did in that situation.
Then I was asked what my top 3 roles choices were and I chose Merchandise, Attractions and Full Service Food & Beverage. I thought I would be individually asked about why I wanted each of those roles but instead Marcie just took me through what each of those roles would involve and whether I would be okay with taking up those positions, to which I said yes to everything. The sorts of things she asked about was would I be okay with heavy lifting and some attractions roles require you to memorise a spiel up to 40 pages long, would I be okay with that etc… As I had mentioned an interest in Full Service Food & Beverage she told me that they had a lot of availability in Quick Service food and asked if I’d be open to that position too to which I replied yes.
She then asked about what I think is encompassed in working in a guest service role, why I want to do it and what I could bring to it.
She then went through all the particulars about what would be involved if I got a place on the program and mentioned that some roles require a drugs test as well as asking if I had any tattoos (although she didn’t mention piercings).
I was then asked if I had any experience living with roommates and how I would deal with that. I spoke about living away at university and also managed to bring in my experience volunteering in Fiji, to which she then piped up saying ‘yes, I was about to ask you about that, tell me more’ which prompted a lovely chat about that experience, what it involved and what it meant to me.
Her final question to me was if I had to choose an interesting fact about myself to tell her, what would it be. Another typical ice-breaker question but not one I expected in this interview. I told her that I was half-Egyptian which prompted a conversation about it I had visited Egypt and ended with her saying she hoped to visit there someday.
At the end of the interview she asked me if I had any questions for her. I said I did and then went on to ask about the Disney Voluntears program and how possible would it be for me to get involved in it as our program is only for two months. She was very happy to talk about it and said it was definitely possible and that they run them frequently so I should try and get involved if I can fit it in around work. She then asked if I had anything else to ask which I was glad about as I did have another question. I asked what she would recommend I could do around Orlando that is outside of Disney World to really experience America while out there. She told me to definitely go visit the beaches as people come from all over the USA of visit Florida beaches and that I should also try see a sports event too.
And then she thanked me for coming and I thanked her for her time and wished her a good day.
And that was that! I had now done all I could to get onto the program and everything was now out of my hands!
However, despite what the outcome may be I have had the most incredible time at Disney HQ as well as at the Yummy Jobs offices for my pre-screen. I have made so many lovely friends along the way who *hopefully* I will get to spend an amazing summer with but regardless are amazing people who I hope to stay in contact with. I had two amazing interviews which I absolute adored, which I never thought I’d be able to say, that have given me so much confidence for any future interviews. Plus I even got to leave Disney HQ with a Walt Disney Company lanyard, which I was extremely excited about.
So then the wait began… we were told that the last possible day to hear would be the 21st December and that we would hear from Disney whatever the outcome is. It’s now the 23rd November as I’m writing this, it’s been two weeks since the interview and the 21st December still seems like a forever away, although *fingers crossed* we will hear sooner than that.
Now all I can do is wait and hope…