Well congratulations, there must have been something in your application that the Contiki office staff liked. Now comes the time to show them what you are made of, because trust me when I say, you don’t have very long.
Any job interview is daunting but an interview with Contiki, for the greatest job in the world, when you want nothing else than to be accepted onto that training trip, can be petrifying.
Over the past few months I have had a few emails from prospective tour managers asking me all about the interview process for Contiki and how to present your three-minute talks; so I am going to tell you about my experience and hopefully give you some tips and answer your questions regarding an interview that could change your life.
So you have received the email for your interview and in true ‘Contiki style’ you already have a ‘find out’. You need to do a speech about an assigned topic. This should be taken very seriously. Contiki want to see how you present yourself and whether or not the research, that you have spent ages looking up, is interesting and more importantly; relative to the 18-35 Contiki market.
Public speaking is the number one fear of the majority of people in the world and so don’t worry if you find it daunting, it is not something that becomes amazing overnight and not everyone has the gift of the gab.
Here are a few tips about your talk:
1. Stick to the 3 minute time limit
It is there for a reason, you are not the only person in the interview and you need to show off your information condensing skills. You also don’t want to bore your audience or make the Contiki staff daydream about where they would rather be.
2. Please make it interesting, PLEASE!
You need to remember that if you do get the job that you will be addressing Contiki clients, 18-35 year olds with diverse backgrounds. Make it fun, don’t just give a bland timeline “So and so was born on this day, blah blah” everyone may as well just take a snooze.
Find the juicy information; the things we may not know about your topic. Surprise people and bring something different to the table. I chose to talk about the scandalous things Mr Galileo Galilei did, a friend had a photo of her historic person and offered a bottle of wine to whoever could recognise who it was. Or set the scene, give your audience a picture of what you are talking about.
3. Structure is important
If you do not have a beginning, middle and end to your speech you look as lost as a fart in a perfume shop. Having a structure and breaking your speech into 3 parts will also help you remember all the information.
4. Practice makes perfect
You are not allowed to use notes to help you during your speech so you had best make sure that you know it off by heart and the best way to do that is to practice. Say your speech to anyone who will listen and even if they don’t want to listen, say it to them anyway. See if they have the reaction you were expecting and if they don’t; then change something. You want to be as prepared as you possibly can and saying out loud may make you reconsider some of the things you have written.
5. Smile and use eye contact
Smiling and keeping eye contact with your audience makes them feel like you are engaging with them, they are also more likely to listen to what you have to say if you have good eye contact.
6. If you stumble, don’t panic
I stumbled in my speech but I stopped, took a breath and continued from the last point. Everyone is nervous and the Contiki staff know that. It is not the end of the world if you fumble. Whatever you do, do not give up and sit down! Don’t you dare! You deserve to be there just like everyone else and if you get so nervous that you run and sit down in your chair then it will be over. Giving up isn’t going to solve anything and while I am not judging your speeches I am sure that you will be looked upon fondly if you tried rather than giving up.
7. KISS-Keep it simple stupid!
Nobody likes a talk that confuses them and trust me when I say that some of the topics can be made more confusing than they need to be. Keep it simple, use everyday language and break it down into manageable bite size chunks that you and your audience can handle.
8. Try to enjoy yourself
You have made it to the first interview and this is your chance, your three minutes to impress, so do just that while trying to enjoy yourself. If you are passionate about what you are saying and enjoy yourself it will show.
In part two I will explore exactly what happens in the first Contiki interview and little tips that may help you find a place on the training trip, without giving too much away of course.
Happy speech writing.