January 16, 2018
The applications have been submitted and interviews are on the way! On January 20, the first round of interviews for the 2018 500 Festival Princess Program, presented by Reis-Nichols Jewelers, will take place. As a 500 Festival Princess Program Alumna, and a 500 Festival staff member, I’m often asked what participants can expect. While the interview process can seem daunting, it’s an excellent opportunity for all participants to gain valuable, real world experience. Seriously. I still remember my interviews and use those experiences regularly.
To help this weekend's participants prepare, I’ve compiled a list of the five most commonly asked questions regarding Princess Program interviews.
1. What should I wear?
Oh boy, things have changed since I interviewed! While I can still rock shoulder pads with the best of them, at the end of the day, it’s most important to dress professionally. Wear something that you would wear to a job interview (unless you would wear sweat pants or a prom dress to a job interview… In that case, you might need to hit up Google for some inspiration). Don’t be afraid to let your personality show! Still feel like you’re drawing a blank on what to wear? Instagram and Pinterest are excellent places to find inspiration!
2. Who are the people conducting the interviews?
500 Festival Princess Program interviewers are successful, engaged members of the community! From business leaders to civic leaders, interviewers are from diverse backgrounds but they are all individuals that Princess Program candidates can learn a great deal from. The 500 Festival puts a lot of time and energy into recruiting the best interviewers possible, so participants can have the best experience possible.
3. What questions will I be asked?
At the end of the day, each interviewer determines what questions he or she will ask. Many will ask questions regarding your collegiate and volunteer experience. They may also ask you about something specific from your online application. However, some may choose to ask questions about you. The good news – it turns out you’re an expert on that topic!
4. What can I do to prepare for my interview?
Take the time to review your resume and your online application. This will ensure it’s fresh in your mind. I also suggest researching the 500 Festival to make sure you have basic knowledge of the organization, its events and programs. After all, you’ll be representing the 500 Festival if you’re selected.
I also suggest researching the location for the interviews. Make sure you know how long it will take you to get there and don’t forget to add in extra time for parking, check-in, traffic, weather delays, etc. Take the time to prepare so it’s one less thing to worry about on Saturday morning.
5. Who will be at the interviews?
The interviews are great opportunities to meet new people! You’ll be there with other applicants, who are women you likely have a lot in common with. I always encourage applicants to take a few moments and introduce themselves to each other. You just might meet a new friend or future coworker! In addition, 500 Festival Staff, Board of Directors, Princess Alumnae and volunteers will be there to keep the day moving smoothly. We’re there to help and answer any questions, so don’t hesitate to ask!
Whatever happens after the first round of Princess Program interviews, remember this process is a great learning opportunity. Every participant will acquire new skills and valuable experience that can be used in the real world. To quote Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst, “Take it professionally, take it seriously, but don’t take it personally.”
This post was written by Sabrina List, the 500 Festival's Vice President of Marketing & Communication. Sabrina is also a 500 Festival Princess Program Alumna, just don't ask her what year.