Have you ever wondered what advice a former Cast Member would give you about applying for the Disney College Program? Well… here is your chance! All five of us followed this advice. And all five got into the program the first time we applied!
Here are a few suggestions to make your application, interview, and arrival processes a less stressful experience:
Apply Early & Highlight Yourself
I cannot stress this enough! The best approach is to find out when the application dates open, then apply within the first few days. That way your application is in first thing! There are thousands of students who apply for this competitive program/internship each semester, so getting your application in early allows recruiters more time to consider you.
I think I applied the first or second day.
Highlight yourself on your application. Make sure you are including skill sets and talents that are unique to you! If you speak a language fluently, put that on your application. Or let’s say you have experience working in retail; make sure to include that in your job history.
Go for Everything
Disney is a huge company, and so there are a variety of roles to apply for. If you think you’d like best to be placed in a certain role, then definitely put that role as “high interest” when asked during the application process.
Be open to other roles, as it’s likely that you may not get the role that you desire more. It’s possible, but remember that there are thousands of other students applying! Mark “high interest” or “moderate interest” for most of the roles, and only put down 2 or less roles as “no interest.” This shows recruiters that you have a great desire to work for the company, no matter what role.
Something to note here is that if you are hoping to be a Character Performer, it requires an audition. In most cases, as it was with Katelyn, you’ll receive another role when you’re accepted into the program. Only AFTER you audition and are accepted as a Character Performer will you officially be that and not your first offered role.
Give Yourself Time
If selected to take the web-based interview (WBI), make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it. Make sure you are using a computer (not your phone) with a strong connection. You don’t want to have any technical difficulties screwing this up for you!
The WBI has sliders for strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree. Each prompt has a time limit for your response (20 seconds) and will prompt you with "I enjoy team work" type questions. Answer all questions to the best of your ability.
Preparation is Key
One of the best ways to prepare for a phone interview is to write down commonly asked interview questions and write down your answers. Go through these questions and answers several times. Talk out loud! Practice how you’ll say your answers.
Some questions that we remember being asked are:
- Why do you want to be apart of the Disney College Program?
- How do you think Disney can help you professionally?
- What are some of the roles you are most interested in?
- How does this relate to your major and what you want to do?
- If given a lot of tasks on a deadline, how would you get them done?
- How do you deal with having roommates?
- If a child came up to you and was too short to ride on your attraction, what would you do?
- What is your favorite ride at Disney Parks?
- How would you help the guests experience the magic of Disney?
- What does Disney mean to you?
Make sure you’ve picked your top 3 roles. They’ll ask you which, out of all that you selected in your application process, which are the roles you’re most interested in. This is the time for you to really milk it and make them see why they should select YOU for the role YOU want! Have examples or list a few skills why you’d be great at that role.
Be Positive, Be Professional
If you are asked to schedule a phone interview (yay and oh my gosh and yikes!), pick a time that works with your personal, school and work schedule. They recommend that you are available up to 15 minutes before or after the time you sign up for.
If you need to reschedule your phone interview, make sure you select “reschedule interview” and not “cancel interview”. If you cancel your interview, it will mean that you’re no longer interested in the program. You can only reschedule your interview two times so please make sure you aware of your availability ahead of time. Also, all interviews are scheduled for a future date and time.
The phone interview is pretty straightforward actually! Don’t be too scared. These people work for Disney! Most of them are very friendly and enthusiastic! One of the main pieces of advice I used to receive was, “Be cheesy! Disney loves cheesy!” Well, I agree with this to a degree, but really they just want to hear your enthusiasm for the company. To help them hear this, smile during your phone interview. You can always hear a smile.
The interview will last about 20 minutes.
I think one of the reasons I did so well in my phone interview was because I was truly confident. I knew I could get a position with them out of many other applicants since I was older and had more experience in the work field. I was 24 when I applied, and almost done with my undergrad degree. I had worked a variety of jobs, and had served a full-time volunteer mission for my church in South America. So this gave me a lot of confidence! That confidence and positivity reflected in my voice as I was interviewed.
Just Be Patient
Don't compare your application process to someone else's process! There are countless blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook groups that can encourage you through the application process, but they can also make you feel discouraged. Sometimes seeing how quickly others are accepted into the program, while you’re still waiting, might make you pessimistic. Be patient! Just because someone else is accepted doesn't mean you won't be!
It's Only The Beginning
If you are accepted into the program, first of all, CELEBRATE! Dance! Scream! Blast Disney music! Enjoy that moment! Cause man. That truly is a high point.
After that celebration period, the next thing you need to do is officially accept your offer. Remember, you only have a few days to accept. Make sure you are prepared to select your arrival/departure dates and pay your program assessment fee when you accept your offer.
Then you're well on your way to working for the mouse at the happiest place on earth! How many people can say that?
Are you currently applying for the DCP? Or maybe you’re planning to soon? Let us know in the comments! Though we’re not official representatives of the Disney company, we’re here to help, encourage, and give advice if we can! We all had the best times of our lives during our program, and we want you to be able to have such an experience for yourself too!