At Disney, informational interviews are called meet and greets. In this meetings, you meet with someone to learn more about what they do in their role, their Disney journey, and to ask them questions to get to know them better.
Whether on a Disney College Program or Professional Internship, your leaders will tell you these meetings are vital to helping you learn more about the different opportunities this company has – and they’re right! These meetings can be a little intimidating at first, especially when you haven’t done them before, but don’t let your fear of the unknown get in the way of having a stellar meet and greet. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time (and the person you’re interviewing!)
1. Don't be afraid to ask for a meet and greet.
The first step in meet and greets is to get the meet and greet. It can be a little awkward at first, but the best way to start out is by asking your leaders. Odds are, they’ve been with the company longer than you have, so they have their own network of connections. Reach out to them for help, and they should be able to find you someone to meet with. Once you have this contact, remember they were in your shoes once! Send the person a friendly email that gets to the point in a polite way. Be honest about your expectations and what you’re hoping to gain from talking with them. The rest will fall into place!
2. Prepare beforehand.
Never go into a meet and greet without a plan. The person you are meeting with is taking time out of their day to talk with you, so you should give them the courtesy of being ready. Know what their role is, prepare the questions you want to ask, and bring a notebook! Make sure you present yourself well and are in Disney look. You never know where the meeting can lead, so always put your best foot forward!
3. Be purposeful.
Odds are, you’re scheduling this meet and greet because you want to know more about what this person does because it relates to an interest you have. You have 30 minutes to gain everything you can out of this meeting, so use that. When you pick questions you want to ask, you have to decide if you want to be general or hone in on something specific. Yes, conversation will flow naturally, but you should keep in mind your goals and what you want to gain from this meeting.
4. Say thank you.
This should go unspoken, but always be gracious. When you’re leaving the meet and greet, make sure you thank the person for taking the time to chat with you. When you’re home or back at the office, write a follow up email or thank you card to send to the person to formally thank them. Always send a thank you note. It’s not only professional, but also a nice gesture thanking someone.
5. Stay in contact!
Just because you meet with someone once doesn’t mean they can’t help you down the line. Disney is a company with so many different opportunities; you’ll never know when this connection can help you out. Follow up with them when something interesting happens or if you have a question. Cementing the connection will always be beneficial because you never know what doors it will open.