The Interview at Disney HQ
After the agonising wait to hear back from Yummy Jobs, successful candidates were asked to then attend an interview at the UK Disney Headquarters in Hammersmith with an official Disney recruiter. We were asked to select a timeslot online, so I was able to pick a day that meant I wouldn’t miss too much at uni.
Now I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but the thing that really helped me with this stage of the process was being a member of the Disney CEP UK Summer 2016 group on Facebook. After successfully getting through the first stage of the application process, I found the group online and got the courage to join. It was definitely a good decision! The group was filled with like-minded people all worrying about the application and posting about their love for Disney. I would really recommend joining or starting a similar group!
Through the Facebook group I was able to find others who had the same interview time as me, and we met in a Costa before trying to find the building together as a group. This was all really reassuring, as I think that this was the stage where I got the most nervous.
Again, we attended a presentation about what our time at Disney would be like, and had a mini competition in which a few of us won Disney luggage tags. We were then asked to leave the building and come back a few minutes before our interview time. Sadly I had a uni assessment due so hibernated in Costa doing work, but I know that other groups of applicants went out together for a day around London, going to places like the Disney Cafe in Harrods.
On returning to the building, we sat as a group on some sofas, waiting to be called by the Disney recruiters for our individual interviews. The guys from the Yummy Jobs team were also there waiting with us, checking that we had the right documents with us and that we were ready for the interview.
My individual interview probably lasted no more than 10 minutes. This was a lot more serious than the previous stages, as I was asked things like why I wanted to work for Disney, why I should be hired, and what I thought I could bring to the job. I was also asked about what roles I was interested in, and what experience I had that was appropriate. My tips for this stage would be to think and prepare for generic interview questions, but also to be super happy and smiley. I have to admit that my interviewer was overly smiley and intense with eye contact, which I found a little off putting, so just make sure that you return their happiness and enthusiasm. I also made my interviewer laugh a few times and remained really positive throughout, which might have made me stand out a little. Just be yourself and get your passion across!
Now this is definitely the worst part of the entire process. Everyone speculates on Facebook when Disney will start sending out the results from the interviews, heightening everyone’s anxiety. I had my interview at Disney HQ in early November, and only found out that I had been successful on the 22nd of December. So it was a pretty long wait!
Having waited so long to hear back from Disney and spending months going through the application process, I think I expected to feel more relieved and excited that I had finally been successful. Instead, I started to feel quite anxious. All of a sudden I began to doubt whether this was something that I actually wanted to do, and it took me a while to accept that I was actually going. The news just didn’t sink in. I think the reality and seriousness of the decision hit me, and I had to seriously consider everything. I know that this might sound over-dramatic to some, but I know that others have come across these exact same emotions.
I think that I’ve experienced a lot of feelings in the last few months, going through different stages leading up to when I leave for Florida. Having initially doubted myself, I’ve since been through phases of not thinking about it too much because of uni work, getting super excited, starting to research and plan everything, worrying about money, and realising that I’ll miss my friends and family. I think right now when I’m writing this, only 10 days away from when I leave, I’m in panic mode. There’s still so much that I have left to do and sort out, and with moving out of uni accommodation and dissertation planning I’ve got a lot of things on my mind. But I couldn’t be happier that I’ve got the chance to have such an incredible summer and have these experiences. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and starting my CEP!