How To Survive Your Disney Professional Internship Phone Screen
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How To Survive Your Disney Professional Internship Phone Screen

You've dreamt it—now it's time to do it!

How To Survive Your Disney Professional Internship Phone Screen
In With Disney

So, you spent hours polishing up your resume and cover letter and sent it to The Walt Disney Company. Finally, after a period of time that could only be described as "too long," you get a notification that your name was picked out of the many, probably hundreds, of applicants to move ahead for a phone screen. You might scream, cry, let out a crazy combination of both, or (if you're in a public place) celebrate silently for about 60 seconds before you finish reading your email.

It reads: "Please schedule this phone screen within two (2) days from receipt of this e-mail."

The celebration stops, and not because the recruiters felt the need to remind you what the number two looks like. You realize you have a maximum of two days to prepare for your interview from that very moment. Panic sets in.

Never fear. This very situation happened to me this week, so I'm going to share my experience so you don't have to be as afraid as I was. Here are a few things you should know before you sit and wait during your scheduled interview time:

Step one - picking up the phone.

Disney recommends that you save a one hour window around your interview time, as the person can call anywhere from 15 minutes before until 15 minutes after. My interview was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and it was a work day, so I took lunch and sat in an empty conference room at around 11:10 a.m. I laid out my notes in front of me, turned my phone's Wi-Fi off and waited. My phone finally rang around 11:37 a.m. My interviewer was such a cheerful lady. I could almost hear her smiling as she told me her name. I quickly jotted it down so I wouldn't forget and used it throughout the conversation. After a minute or two, it felt natural -- almost like talking to a distant friend.

Remember that this is routine.

There's truly nothing to worry about. The person you're about to talk to is a Disney HR employee, and right now, it's their job to have a conversation with you and get to know you better. They aren't quizzing you or asking any difficult questions -- they just want to get to know you. Unless they're new to the company, your interviewer has probably done many phone screens before, with many other late teens/early 20-somethings who were just as nervous as you. Your interviewer know you're anxious, and doesn't want you to be. Just show him or her who you are.

Think about your résumé.

The content of your résumé is all that the HR employee knows about you so far. They will probably ask you to give some more details about past jobs you've had, or about an experience you've listed. Both myself and my interviewer are alumni of the Disney College Program, so we definitely talked about that for a while. Think about brief stories you can share from these past jobs and experiences, like that time you lead the team or made a magical moment for a guest. Be sure to share these stories to give your interviewer a better idea of who you are.

Fill in what your résumé leaves out.

Since your résumé should really only be a page, if there was any experience or job that you left out for space's sake, now might be a good time to mention it. After your interview, the HR employee will present it to the hiring manager, so the more they can say about your past experience, the better off you'll be.

Come prepared with questions.

This can be a tricky one, as sometimes it's hard to know what to ask that will leave your interviewer with a good impression. A good go-to question is, "What are some day-to-day duties my internship will entail?" It shows you're prepared and thinking ahead -- and there's no way that you could have known this ahead of time. Another one might be, "What are some good computer programs it would help for me to learn for my internship?" It shows your dedication and willingness to learn. My favorite question, I think, is to ask your interviewer, "How did you get your start with Disney?" This is a great way to make a connection with your interviewer. Anyone who is working for Disney probably has a great story behind why they wanted to work for the company and what brought them there: don't you?

Think, breathe and smile.

Your résumé stood out for a reason: you fit what the company wants. You are what Disney wants. You are enough. Remember this, and take your time while you're talking. Don't feel like you have to rush your answers -- it's better to take a moment than regret something you said in haste. Taking a breath will ease your brain and smiling will make you feel better. It also translates really well over the phone, they can tell.

So get ready, don't worry, and smile. If it's your dream to work for Disney, then it's important to remember that all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Best of luck, and pixie dust.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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