You have made the best decision of your life and will hopefully be spending this upcoming winter living in the shadow of snow covered mountains. You’ve applied to be a ski rep, chalet host, driver or one of a range of other jobs available and have been invited to an assessment day to show them what you’re made of.
Having now spent a winter working abroad and going through the while process we’re able to answer all the questions we had about the interview process and what might be expected of you.
We both applied for and were invited for an interview to be ski reps, however at the assessment day there were people going for all sorts of different jobs so these tips might give you an idea of what to expect no matter what the position.
Winter Ski Season – Assessment Day
We’ve heard of applicants being given a presentation topic before arriving on the day but that wasn’t the case for us. Everyone was given the same scenario and ten minutes to prepare something before presenting it to the group (applicants and assessors).
Our Scenario: You are making a call via Google Hangout to some customers who are coming on holiday the following week. You need to introduce yourself and inform them of anything that might help them enjoy their holiday more.
Obviously as this is the first step in the day you were not expected to know too much about exactly what a customer could expect from the company, it’s just an exercise to see how you can present yourself. Public speaking is not my strong point so I opted to go first to get it out the way. This also meant I didn’t have to listen to everyone else do their presentations before me and start doubting what I had prepared, it was done and dusted.
The group work task was very simple but as you know these are simply there to see how you interact with other people. Can you work as part of a team to come to a reasonable solution?
We were given a list of airport scenarios and asked to put them in order of importance. Basically, which would you deal with first? discuss.
Again it doesn’t really matter what you come up with but how you make your decision as a group.
Something to note: Later in the day it was made clear that these two tasks were not just about who was the loudest. The old style pressure sales, cocky rep is not what they were looking for. Customer service is the main game, can you present yourself calmly and professionally and not only get your point across while working as a team but encourage others to get involved and listen to what they have to say.
This was around eight questions based on customer service, what would you do if etc.
Not knowing company procedures, in some cases I wrote a few suggestions of what might be done for each depending on what policies the company might have. These aren’t too challenging at all but just a chance to see how you might deal with different situations.
Lunch and a Twist
After the written test it was time to break for lunch. In our case, a nervous hour long wait before the assessors came into the dining hall to read a list of names splitting the interviewees into two groups.
One of which was taken in one direction and told that they had been unsuccessful and would not be continuing through to the afternoon and our group was taken in the other direction and congratulated. Some of the people who didn’t get through came as quite a shock to me as they had come across very confident throughout the morning however, as I mentioned early, it wasn’t simply about who was the loudest.
There was a lot more information about the job given at this point and it felt like it was ours to lose from here on in.
The staff carrying out the assessment day were very friendly and in most cases at some point done the job we were applying for. After spending the day with these nice people it comes as quite a surprise when you walk into a room and they are either crying or screaming at you. The idea is to be as real as possible so the role play starts the moment you walk through the door.
The scenarios varied a lot within our group, they are done in private but we all waited in the same room and heard the stories when each person returned from their turn. Just like everything else these are to see how you respond to intense circumstances.
After making it through all these ‘tests’ it’s nice to sit down with someone and be able to get a bit of your personality across. I’d imagine by this point they either know if you’re likely to be offered a job but it’s still a big chance to sway a decision one way or the other.
Our interviews both lasted well over forty minutes but this was by no means the norm, we were just being very chatty with our interviewer who was lovely and fun to talk to. It’s basically a long chat about the job and a chance to ask any questions, however there are the usual scenario questions ‘Can you give me of an example of a time when…’ so have a good few of these prepared, again all customer service based.
The whole day lasted between 8:30am and 5:30pm so make sure you get plenty of sleep and don’t make any plans for the rest of the day assuming you’re going to finish early.
This is an interview so be sure to dress smart, suits etc. Try and avoid the urge to wear your ski gear, it won’t be looked on well.
Around a week later we got the call confirming we were to be offered a job and told provisionally what country we were to be placed in, this was of course subject to change and it would be November before we found out our exact resort. So what should you expect from your training week?
Have you applied for a ski season and got an interview coming up? We’d love to hear how you got on.