Month: July 2016

Preparing for a Successful Interview

Preparing for a Successful Interview

I have been both the interviewer and the interviewee in many job placement meetings.  As an interviewer, I try to set up the candidate to be comfortable to answer my questions to help me determine if they will be a valuable asset to my team.  I look for potential fit with the team and myself, do they bring in any skills that is needed or adds value, do they match the passion level I am looking for with this role.  I prefer to have a conversation over standard questions.  Although if the conversation does not seem to flow or I have a set of skills that I need to make sure are covered, I do keep a list of questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself.  Note that this should be like a 30 second elevator speech on what makes you a great candidate for this team and role.  Include an actual example story of something you have done for bonus points!
  • Tell me about a time you were in an (insert type of situation) situation.
  • How many golf balls fit in a school bus?

As an interviewee, I do my best to prepare to impress.  For the preparation:

  • Research the job applied for, do you have stories of your experience for each of the job requirements?
  • Learn what you can about the organization and the team members
  • Know your own resume
  • Make sure you wear highly professional clothes, I prefer the business formal clothes from Ann Taylor
  • Research the current team members or the people interviewing you on LinkedIn if known
  • Review standard interview questions and think of the most appropriate way for you to answer them (what is your greatest strength, weakness, why should I hire you?)
  • Prepare questions to determine the goals, priorities, problems, challenges, expectations, team vision, and what to expect during the interview process.

Taking the time to prepare for an interview is evidence of your desire to do well and provides insight to your dedication to the job you are applying for.  Prepare for the jump into a new position and set yourself up for success!

 

BONUS: More potential questions that I have used in interviews:

  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What value would you add to the company?
  • What is your work background?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • What is the best idea you ever came up with to improve your business?
  • How do you plan your day?
  • Describe your organizational skills
  • How have you dealt with conflicts, what would you change?
  • How do you handle working on multiple projects/tasks?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to be creative.
  • Name one challenge you were faced with in a previous position.
  • Describe the qualities that you have that would make you a good candidate for this position?
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Team Members Value Regular Recognition

Team Members Value Regular Recognition

Every day at Disney’s Blizzard Beach the lifeguards and slide operators gather together for two quick stand up meetings also known as Break Outs, one in the morning before the park opens and one in the evening after the park closes.  This is very similar to what is formally done with Software related Agile development to discuss the plan for the day as well as provide recognition, notices, and reminders.  The Blizzard Beach Coordinators are similar to the Agile Scrum Masters with the task of leading these stand up meetings and provide support throughout the day.  These roles are very effective in helping to maximize the potential of the day by setting focus items and consistently rewarding the team efforts.  The coordinators leading Break Out rotate between about a dozen individuals that have established themselves over time, generally about a year, as front line leaders.

The Break Out at the end of the day at Blizzard Beach reviews prominent happenings during the day such as reminders over the importance of hydration in the intense Florida heat.  One of the Coordinators has promoted the phrase, “Hydration Starts at Home”.  The team also gets an overview of what went well and what needs improvement during this time.  Last night during break out when the Lifeguard of the Day was announced, my name came up.  It made me feel really great that my efforts were recognized after the long day in the heat while maintaining a positive attitude.  The Lifeguard of the Day becomes eligible for Lifeguard of the Week.  As Lifeguard of the Week, you can sign the official Lifeguard Tube that hangs over the Base Operations center and choose your favorite area to work on for the week.  It’s simple awards such as this that provide motivation and make team members feel appreciated.  I am proud to work for a company that finds ways to show it values it’s team.

Networking with the Disney Leaders

Networking with the Disney Leaders

Disney is a company that is built on relationships.  I have been informed by multiple people that a key to grow your career in Disney is to network.  Disney has an informal policy on meeting other cast members around the company for current cast members.  If you are a cast member you can schedule a Meet and Greet through cast members or their admins.  While it is allowed to randomly schedule meetings, it is more appropriate to get someone to introduce you and be your champion.  With a champion it is having someone recommend you and helps the people you want to meet realize that you are someone worth meeting.

Through my management chain, I have been able to meet with the proprietor of my location.  She was very excited about my skills and interests.  During that meeting, we talked about approaching meet and greets like an interview.  Dress professional, bring your resume, and be prepared to answer with your 2 minute elevator speech, “Tell me about yourself.”  It is also recommended to be prepared with questions.  Great questions to ask can reveal critical competencies of potential team members and the priorities of the team.  Don’t attempt to solve a problem during the meet and greet, but if faced with the question discuss the process of resolving the problem.  Due to the great conversation we had, she helped steer me in the direction of the engineering leaders.  She sent off emails of introduction to a couple people and I followed up with requests to meet.  These meetings have helped to consider focusing on the organizations that oversee engineering design as well as facility asset management.

I have had several meet and greets and look forward to continuing to network around the company.  Hopefully it won’t be long before I get to move forward with my dream career!