Hello and welcome back to my blog! In my last post I wrote about the application process for the cultural exchange program, basically sharing any tips or tricks that might get you a pre-screen interview (which is the first stage of interviews with Yummy Jobs) so if you wanted to check that out then click here! Since then, I have attended my pre-screen interview and so I thought I would share with you all an account of how the day went, including the questions that I was asked in case any of you wanted to prepare yourself for this interview in years to come.
My journey to the Pre-screen began on Monday 25th September. I finished a day of lectures and boarded a train at 6pm with a Boots meal deal and a Costa Coffee to get me through the next few hours. I was travelling from Liverpool and so the easiest route for me was to get a train to Euston Station in London and then the tube on the Central Line to Buckhurst Hill where the Premier Inn was a 10 minute walk away from the station. I was torn between watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on the train and preparing for my interview, fortunately my mum was there to convince me that looking over interview notes was probably the best idea considering the interview was the following day! One train and one tube later, we finally arrived at the hotel. Not many people interviewing the same day as myself actually stayed in the Premier Inn as there is a hotel named The Bell which is actually closer however I couldn’t recommend the Premier Inn at Buckhurst Hill more, the room was lovely and the people there were really helpful – it was also only 15 minutes on the tube to Epping Station.
Tuesday 26th September – Interview day! After about 3 hours sleep, due to a mixture of excitement and nerves, I got ready and headed downstairs to the reception where I would meet another applicant before walking down to the station and getting on the next tube to Epping. We waited around for a while after getting off the tube to meet a few more applicants before walking down to our designated meeting place, Starbucks (across the road from Yummy Jobs headquarters). Usually people will meet in the Costa but our group decided to mix it up a bit because everyone knows that Starbucks is much better 😉 This was such a great idea as you could get your breakfast, a coffee and have a chat to everyone before the interviews which really calmed my nerves a bit – everyone was so lovely!
At about 9:30am we all decided to head over to the Yummy Jobs door (just across the road between the British Heart Foundation and a Fine Arts store). Here we met up with even more applicants before going up the stairs into Yummy Jobs headquarters. As we walked in they played Happily Ever After, which made us all emotional before we had even watched anything, and we were handed a sticker with a character and interview time on – I was Team Mickey (yay!) and my interview time was straight after the presentation. We took a few photos with the Yummy Jobs wall and then settled down for the presentation. They asked a few Disney World Trivia questions and then played a number of videos explaining the experience, most of which you will have probably have seen before on YouTube but it still got everyone excited about the program. We also had a presentation on fees, housing and what to expect in each role so don’t forget to bring a notebook and pen with you or, like myself, you will just have to take a photo of a friends notes later on.
All this information left you feeling like you wanted nothing more than to go on this program which gave us all the motivation to do well in the interview. Yummy Jobs kicked us all out whilst they rearranged the room and brought everyone back in who had the first interview timeslot. At this point I was bricking it, I had never done a group interview or even an interview this important to me before and I have always struggled to talk in front of others so this was a big deal for me. However, the setup was really casual and Luke (our interviewer) just explained that it would simply be a general chat about why we are interested in the program, making everyone feel a bit more relaxed. The questions I got asked in my interview included:
- What is your favourite food? (ice breaker)
- Why do you want to do this program?
- How would this program benefit you in terms of your future?
- What do you think will be the most challenging?
- What skills do you have/have you gained from your previous work experience?
- What are your top 2 roles?
- How would you cope with being away from home?
- If you were a lifeguard and a guest wanted your attention but you needed to concentrate on your role, what would you do?
- Which Disney character would you say that you were most like?
As I had applied so early on in the process and heard back pretty soon about a pre-screen, I had a very long time to prepare for all possible questions and so none of these were much of a struggle for me. I would recommend just looking through all the YouTube videos and blogs that you can find and just practice answering the questions out loud and unscripted to get yourself used to making your answers flow a bit more without sounding too much like a robot!
I personally felt that my nerves came through a bit during my interview but I still managed to give detailed answers. I also had some strong potential candidates in my group who did amazing interviews and had so much experience and so I did leave Epping slightly deflated with the idea that I definitely hadn’t gotten a place in the next stage. However, upon reflection I had a really lovely day. I met some amazing people and it was just really nice to be able to talk to others who understand your passion for Disney! I am really proud of myself for even getting to that stage and getting through that interview because there is no way that I would have been able to do that this time last year. So if you are unsuccessful, there is always a positive side to everything and there will always be more opportunities out there – don’t give up hope!
So lets fast forward a little bit until yesterday, Monday 9th October. After a couple of weeks painfully waiting to hear back, we all got our acceptance/rejection emails. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given a definite final interview BUT I also wasn’t given a definite no – my application has been shortlisted! This means that if someone drops out or is unable to make the Final Interview then I will be re-considered as a candidate for the program. I’m feeling very lucky (shout out to the pigeon that pooped on my foot before the interview) to have been given this second chance that might leave me going on further in the process, but if it doesn’t then I am still grateful to have even been shortlisted in the first place. To those who were given an outright Final Interview, congratulations!!! To those who were unsuccessful this time, keep dreaming ❤
UPDATE: I’ve just received a phone call from Yummy Jobs and I have been offered a Final Interview! 😭🎉
Love Shona xx