25 August, 2022
By Mike Simpson
Disney has been a force in the entertainment industry since its founding in 1923. With the launch of Disneyland in 1955 and Disney World in 1971, the company expanded, creating immersive guest theme park experiences that draw in visitors from all over the world. That’s why so many people dream of working for Disney. And with so much interest in open jobs, it’s also why candidates need to ensure they nail the Disney interview questions.
Fortunately, tackling the Disney interview questions isn’t as hard as it seems. With the right preparation, you can show that you’re real Disney material. If you want to stand out from the competition, here’s what you need to know.
How to Answer Disney Interview Questions
Before we dive into the Disney interview questions, it’s wise to take a moment to talk about your interview strategy. Why? Because there’s always a chance a hiring manager will ask something unexpected.
While it’s wise to prepare for the questions you’ll likely encounter, every Disney job is a bit different. Since that’s the case, it’s difficult to anticipate everything that may come up. That’s why you need some solid techniques – and a bit of knowledge – to make sure you’re genuinely ready.
As mentioned above, Disney is a major entertainment company, and it owns the most popular theme parks in the world. In a single year, nearly 156 million people visit Walt Disney parks, making it the largest theme park group on the planet.
Since Disney wants to create magical experiences for everyone, the company’s mission focuses on its guest experience. Disney aims to entertain, inform, and inspire people through its iconic characters, brands, and technologies. At its parks, Disney wants to bring characters and stories to life, offering experiences unlike any other.
If you want to shine when answering Disney interview questions, you need to show that you can help keep the magic alive. While that sounds tricky, it’s often easier than you’d expect. By highlighting the right traits and skills, you can show that you’re Disney material with ease.
So, how do you figure out what to showcase? Well, it all starts with research.
First, you want to go over the job description with a fine-toothed comb. Review the must-have skills and experience as a starting point. Then, check the rest of the description to find keywords relating to desirable traits and the company’s culture.
Next, head to the company website. Learn more about Disney’s mission and values. Dig into the type of experience they want for guests. That way, you know the kind of person the hiring manager is hoping to find.
Finally, spend some time exploring the Disney social media pages. There, you’ll learn a lot more about the culture, as well as new developments and recent achievements you can potentially work into some of your answers.
With the research wrapped up, it’s time to focus on how you answer the various Disney interview questions. First, it’s wise to prepare for traditional ones, especially if you’re going to face off against Disney phone interview questions before moving on to an in-person interview.
With traditional interview questions, you’ll usually get asked straightforward questions about whether you have specific capabilities or experience. When you answer, start off by confirming whether you have the skill, trait, or experience. If you do, follow up with a relevant example. If not, discuss your willingness to learn, as that shows enthusiasm.
When it’s time for behavioral and situational interview questions, you’ll need a different technique. Since you’ll need to either present an example or talk about how you’d navigate a hypothetical situation, using the STAR Method and the Tailoring Method together is the perfect approach. You’ll get highly relevant, engaging answers that will help you stand out, increasing the odds that you’ll advance through the hiring process.
Top 10 Disney Interview Questions
Disney is a massive company that hires for a wide range of positions. Since that’s the case, the Disney interview questions you face off against can vary depending on the role you want to land.
However, since the bulk of Disney’s hiring is for park-based positions – particularly those that impact the guest experience – we’re going to focus there. With that in mind, here are the top ten interview questions for Disney jobs.
1. Why do you want to work for Disney?
Whether you’re answering Disney phone interview questions or are meeting with the hiring manager in person, there’s a good chance that you’ll face this question early in the interview. It’s a bit of an ice-breaker, and it also lets the hiring manager know why you think Disney is a great place to work.
“To me, Disney is all about magic. The parks are a chance for guests to step away from their daily stresses and fully immerse themselves in a magnificent world brimming with interesting stories and characters. I want to be a part of that experience, as it’s a chance to help guests make magnificent memories unlike any other. Ultimately, that’s my main motivation for wanting to be a part of the Disney family.”
2. How would you describe your personality?
Disney typically looks for dedicated, enthusiastic candidates who are passionate about the brand and the guest experience. Ideally, you want to highlight traits that align with that, allowing you to position yourself as a strong candidate.
“Overall, I’d say I’m an upbeat people person. I enjoy making everyone’s day a bit brighter. Whether it’s a guest or a colleague, my goal is to put a smile on people’s faces, ensuring they feel well-supported.
Additionally, I’m incredibly diligent and meticulous. When it comes to the guest experience, the small details matter. Similarly, ensuring my work quality is top-notch benefits my managers and colleagues, as well as guests, so I aim to always go above and beyond no matter the task.”
3. What’s your favorite park attraction?
This Disney interview question accomplishes two things. First, it helps the hiring manager see how familiar you are with the park. Second, it lets the hiring manager gauge your enthusiasm.
Technically, there’s no right or wrong answer here. What matters most is highlighting your excitement for the attraction. Ideally, you want to connect your answer to a personal anecdote, as that shows that the attraction is meaningful to you on a deeper level.
“If I had to pick a favorite attraction, I’d have to go with the Mad Tea Party ride. It isn’t just a classic; it’s a staple of the Disney experience. When I came to Disney with my family as a child, it was one of the first rides we rode. I’ll always remember how much it made us all laugh and the thrill the ride created. Even though I’m older now, I always make sure to take a spin on the teacups every time I visit, as it feels like part of the quintessential Disney experience.”
4. If there was an emergency relating to the ride or line you’re overseeing, what would you do?
While Disney prioritizes the guest experience, it’s also a stickler for safety. Since that’s the case, the hiring manager asks questions like this one to see how you’d respond in an emergency.
Along with discussing any steps you need to take to handle the emergency itself, talk about what you would do to manage other guests in the area. That way, your answer is more comprehensive.
“If an emergency occurred, my priority would be to ensure guest safety. If a guest was experiencing a medical emergency, my first step would be to render aid and contact my supervisor or a relevant team to ensure the right professionals would come to assist that guest. Then, I would make sure other guests were safely moved out of the area. If that required closing the line, I would apologize for the inconvenience and let them know that we had to close the line due to an emergency, ensuring I maintained the other guest’s privacy along the way.
For emergencies relating to the attraction specifically, I would begin closing the line right away. Again, I would apologize for the inconvenience while letting guests know that an unexpected technical issue required us to close the line for safety.
In either case, if any guests had used the Genie+ to skip the line, I would work with them to reschedule their times, if possible. Otherwise, I would follow company procedure regarding how to ensure upset guests felt properly compensated for the inconvenience.”
5. Tell me about a time when you had to make something right for a guest or customer even though the issue wasn’t your fault.
Disney parks are massive, and a wide array of issues can arise that may harm the guest experience. Even if you aren’t responsible for the problem, the hiring manager wants to know you’ll go the extra mile to make things right.
Here, you’ll want to discuss a past example from your work history. It doesn’t have to be theme park-specific as long as it shows you’ll ensure customer satisfaction.
“In my last job, a customer came in that wanted to return an open item in a product category where that isn’t typically allowed. However, they stated that the only reason they purchased the product was because a coworker said it was compatible with their current system, and it wasn’t.
I asked the customer to describe the employee and was able to identify which coworker was involved. I reached out to them to see if they recalled the customer interaction, as it happened earlier that day. I was able to confirm the customer’s account was accurate.
At that point, I reached out to my manager. I discussed the relevant details and told my manager that I felt the situation warranted an exception, which they were authorized to make.
Ultimately, based on the information I collected, the manager agreed. After completing the return, I helped the customer find an option that was compatible. Ultimately, they went from feeling frustrated to highly satisfied, which genuinely made my day.”
6. If you saw a child enjoying a Dole Whip after waiting in a long line to get one, and it slipped out of their hands and hit the ground, what would you do?
Disney gives employees a lot of leeway to ensure a positive guest experience. At times, employees have the ability to replace the items at no cost, so the hiring manager wants to know that you’ll do what it takes to ensure a great overall experience.
“If I saw a child drop a Dole Whip after a long wait in line, my first step would be to approach the parents. I’d let them know that I saw what happened and ask if they’d like me to get a replacement, suggesting if that was within my ability to offer or I could secure appropriate approval.
I would then approach the employees creating the Dole Whips, let them know what occurred, and ask for a quick replacement. I’d make sure that I was discreet, ensuring that other guests wouldn’t get frustrated since my request could lead to a slightly longer wait. Then, I’d deliver the new one to the parents, allowing them to hand it to their child. Finally, I’d smile, ask if there was anything else I could do, and tell them to have an amazing day before going back to my duties.
7. What personality traits are important to this character?
If you’re applying for a job that involves dressing up as a Disney character, you’re going to encounter questions about the character’s personality. The hiring manager wants to know that you understand how you’d need to act once you assume the persona.
Your answer needs to focus on the specific character you might play. Since that’s the case, your response may vary from the one below. However, this example should give you a solid idea of how you need to approach the question.
“If I was hired to play Cinderella, I’d say some of the most important traits are poise and grace, as Cinderella is a classic princess through and through. However, she’s also bright, upbeat, and kind. In many ways, she also personifies magic and wonder. Ultimately, it’s all about portraying elegance with a smile with a bit of that something special that comes from all of the Disney characters.”
8. Are you comfortable working in the heat?
Both Disney parks in the US are in states where high temperatures are common, particularly during the summer. Hiring managers ask this question to make sure you’re aware that this comes with the job and that you’re prepared to work in challenging conditions.
“Generally speaking, I’m comfortable working in the heat. I’ve lived in this state for several years, so I’m aware of how warm it can get. Also, I’ve developed techniques to help ensure I stay hydrated, and I’m also familiar with the signs of heat-related illness. Along with helping me stay safe personally, that allows me to keep an eye on others – including coworkers and guests – to ensure that anyone experiencing heat issues is cared for properly.”
9. Are you willing to adhere to the Disney Look guide?
Disney has specific requirements regarding employee appearance. Generally, everyone must look polished, clean, and approachable, ensuring they reflect positively on the company. There can also be requirements regarding personal protective equipment (PPE), depending on the role.
Every team member – including costumed and non-costumed ones – has to follow the rules. The hiring manager asks this question to ensure you’re comfortable with sticking to the guidelines.
“Yes, I’m willing to follow the Disney Look guide. I understand that having a professional but friendly appearance is critical to ensuring a positive guest experience. Additionally, I know that PPE can be critical in many roles, as it ensures safety. Since that’s the case, I’m happy to follow the guide to the letter.”
10. If you were assisting a guest and another guest tried to get your attention, how would you handle it?
This question helps show the hiring manager that you can ensure an exceptional experience at all times. They want to see that you can balance the needs of multiple guests, so you’ll want to outline the steps you’d take to ensure everyone is taken care of.
“If that occurred, I would ask the second guess if they required help due to a safety or medical emergency. If so, I would apologize to the first guest for the disruption and identify an appropriate course of action for the emergency. Ultimately, health and safety emergencies are priorities. If possible, I would connect with a colleague to assist with either the emergency or first guest, depending on the situation.
For non-emergencies, I’d let the second guest know I am assisting the first guest and will be with them shortly. If another colleague was nearby, I might also request help from them, allowing us to address both guests’ needs faster. That way, everyone has the best possible experience.”
5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Disney Interview
When you’re Disney interview comes to a close, you’ll usually get a chance to ask the hiring manager a few questions. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the job and company, as well as show your enthusiasm.
Ideally, you’ll want to prepare a few questions in advance. That way, if nothing comes to mind during the interview, you’ll still have options.
Here are five good questions to ask at the end of a Disney interview:
- What do you like most about working for Disney?
- If there was one piece of advice that you could offer a new hire, what would it be?
- Can you tell me about a typical day in this role?
- How does Disney help employees grow and advance?
- Can you describe the onboarding process for this position?
Putting It All Together
Ultimately, with the information above, you should be able to handle the Disney interview questions with ease. Use every tip to your advantage, and practice your answers to ensure you can deliver them comfortably. That way, you’ll have an easier time impressing the hiring manager, increasing the odds that you’ll snag a job offer.