What to Expect-The Contiki Interview Part Two

It is not easy, it is the interview that made me walk out not knowing how I did or if I was going to get the dream job.

I have received plenty of emails asking about what to expect in the Contiki Group and personal interviews and to be completely honest I don’t think our experiences will be the same. In Part One I explored how to go about writing your speech for the interview and now comes the nitty gritty

Having spoken to colleagues about their interview experiences it is fair to say that everyone had a completely different experience and they were all asked entirely different questions.

Putting that aside I will share with you my experience and the questions I was asked but more importantly how I held myself together in both Contiki interviews.

Walking into the interview in Sydney I saw 25 or so other nervous and eager faces waiting as patiently as I was to find out more about the position of European Tour Manager. My head was filled with my speech, repeating it over and over in my head so that I would not forget it when it came to the presentation.

The, then, Operations Manager got up and spoke for a solid hour about the position and she didn’t make it sound fuzzy and warm like you see in the brochure, she gave us the facts, the things we may not have known or rather chose to ignore about the job. Perhaps she wanted to see who was really there for the position and who was just there because it would get them a ride around some of the most incredible cities in Europe.

We were then tasked with an exercise; we had five minutes to chat to the person next to us, to find out a little more about them and then to introduce them to the audience and the Contiki staff.

Following this it was time for the presentations, the cliché of being able to cut the tension with a knife was an understatement. Starting in alphabetical order I knew I had some time to relax before I was called to present. The nerves in the room reached an all time high when the first girl fumbled numerous times, burst into tears and ran back to her chair. People were falling and we hadn’t even passed the first hurdle.

My turn came as I knew it would and I was slightly nervous. In my speech I mentioned how everything works in threes, luckily for me the Operations Manager had mentioned the power of three in her chat to us. She instantly lifted her head and I knew I had her attention. The audience giggled at my jokes and hardly noticed my fumble. I sat down confident and listened to all the other speeches, ensuring I wrote down each person’s topic next to their name.

We were then told that the interview was over and we needed to call back in just over an hour to see if we had made it to the personal interview. The wait was agonising. All us interviewees had decided to go for lunch and to call together. When the time came to call I was sat at the table of “NO”, my nerves were out of control, eventually I built up the courage and was told I had made it through and needed to be back in two hours.

The time came and I was finally called to the interview room where I met the Operations Manager and a senior Tour Manager, I gave them a big smile as I walked in, I didn’t get a smile back.

I was asked a series of questions with the interview lasting just over thirty minutes on a range of topics. My studies, intentions and skills were all questioned and scrutinised. Later I was given a scenario a tour manager may experience on the job and it was by no means easy. I had to think about what I would do as a tour manager with real clients who were having real issues. Almost all the interviewees got a scenario, they want to see how you would think about it and prioritise the necessary steps.

I felt confident about my responses and more importantly, I took my time. If I needed to think about something, I did, I made them wait for a response that I knew would be better than if I had rushed and blurted out something stupid.

I walked out of the interview not knowing how I did and it was only three weeks later that I received a response saying I was accepted on the training trip. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I sit here a year later having had the best year of my life.

My advice to you about the interviews is just to be yourself, be confident because if you are really passionate and want the job then that will show.

All the best of luck and who knows, we may meet on the road.

3 thoughts on “What to Expect-The Contiki Interview Part Two

Add yours

  1. I will definitely have to re look at this when I apply for ETT next year, and if I make it through to the interview process. Such wise words Chloe!

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  2. I had my personal interview with Contiki yesterday – fingers crossed it went well! It was quite intense, but I’m feeling quite positive. One of the interviewees at one point said I spoke very loudly and said a lot of words, haha. But I’m hoping it’s better to be more inclined that way than too quiet. I really hope I made a good impression! I feel I have everything that they want, but it’s hard to know if you might have put them off in some way by saying something stupid.. but I’ll soon find out 🙂

    Your blog has been an amazing source of information. Thank you so much for writing about your experiences!

    You must have done a couple of seasons now. I am curious.. what do you do between seasons? What do most tour managers do? It’s definitely a lifestyle, one I am up for taking on, I’m just curious to how people make it work. I imagine everyone is different, but any info you could give me would be great,
    Thank you again, Chloe!

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    1. Hi Emma,

      Have you found out anything yet or are you still playing the waiting game? I remember I didn’t know how to feel after my interview but you will know soon.

      I am glad you like the blog and I am glad that it has helped, now I just need to write more!

      I spend time with my family who I am fortunate don’t live to far from London. Otherwise I go on holiday. I go and see some new places and you can find pretty cheap deals. Last year I went to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, Iceland, Belgium and had a ski holiday in France and Austria at the beginning of this year. Often you find others to join you too. There is plenty to do and so many places to see.

      Let me know how you go with it all.

      Chat soon

      Chloe

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