Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
Interviews for Top Jobs at Grand Circle
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- Interview Details
Was brought in to interview for a position, but oddly the hiring manager wasn't present. Instead I had a panel interview with 3 associates who really didn't understand the subject matter and as such we could never make any meaningful connection over the work.
The only area that was a real turn-off was one of the two owners, a real blow hard. When we met briefly in the hallway his first and only question was "How are your guts?". I think this guy thinks of himself of the sheriff of the wild west, and reading the employee reviews on glassdoor - I'm glad the interviews didn't work out.Interview Questions
No OfferNegative ExperienceEasy Interview
- How are you guts? View Answer
- Application Details
I applied online. The process took 3+ weeks – interviewed at Grand Circle in October 2014.Interview Details
As all of the other reviews I've read, my experience has been quite similar. I submitted an online application and within less than 1 week got a phone call to schedule a phone interview. The phone interview was a piece of cake - mostly being told about the position, about the pay, benefits, etc. A few questions were asked of me (what is the biggest risk you've taken? Which countries have you been to?), but not many. At the end of the phone interview, I was immediately invited to come into the office for the group interview.
It started with 8 other applicants (for various departments/ positions) sitting in a circle with the hiring rep. We were told about the company and it felt a bit like school. When asked if "anyone knew what their core values were," we chimed in one by one, feeling very much like students with our hands raised (but without our hands raised). After discussing their values (YES, as everyone says, they really stress that!), we were divided into 2 teams for a group exercise -- the egg drop.
You are given about 1 dozen straws and a little bit of tape, asked to build a "vessel" for the egg, and to "send it on a trip." You are also asked to create a story for the egg. You get 15 minutes, and as you work as a team, they are observing, taking notes, and most likely looking for who is taking charge of the situation (leadership is a key value of the company). In the end, you have only 1 minute to "present your story" about the egg, and then you drop it whilst standing on a chair. (Both teams' eggs survived, but of course that's not the point).
After the exercise, you're asked to do a "finger shoot" where you evaluate your own performance as a team and as an individual. More discussion, then group exercise number 2. In this one, you are given a sheet of paper detailing a certain crisis. You and your team must figure out an appropriate reaction to the crisis as if you were an executive of Grand Circle.
After the group interview finishes, you might wait in the lobby for a while. The sales interviewees are called upstairs to the sales floor, and hooked into a sales rep's headset to listen in on a sales call. My sales rep was handling customer service calls only, so didn't get much out of that.
Perhaps 20 minutes later, I was called away for the individual interview. This was much more "classic" and had some of the "harder" questions. But the atmosphere/ tone of the interview was casual and nothing to feel nervous about. Some of the "hard" questions were not as hard as normal, and I felt free to answer them in non-PC ways, or in potentially unflattering ways, BECAUSE their company values "open and courageous communication." I made sure to emphasize that before answering as such though!!
About 1 week later, I was called and offered the position. I asked to go back in and actually listen to some REAL sales calls, to which they obliged. At the end of that experience, I accepted the offer. Start training tomorrow!Interview Questions
Negotiation DetailsNon-negotiable. Hourly wages and potential for commission, as is detailed during the phone interview.Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
- When I said that public ranking of sales reps had the potential to create tensions, jealousy, rivalries on the sales floor, I was asked what I would do to avoid those negative situations. Answer Question
- Application Details
The process took 3+ months – interviewed at Grand Circle.Interview Details
7 interviews over 12 weeks.
First was a phone interview with a recruiter. At the appointed time, there was no call. I sent an email to the recruiter to confirm the appointment and about an hour later, I received a response asking to reschedule for that afternoon. Typical questions, nothing surprising. Next, was the online personality survey, which only required me to tick boxes – not necessarily scientifically accurate as I could tick anything I thought they were looking for.
After that, it was the group interview at the office, which was just as described by previous posters. Strange in that you’re working in a team setting, but you are also being compared to each other. But because it was a different type of interview experience, it was fun in a way. After that, I met with a senior staff person. Again, typical questions but when I asked about the responsibilities of the position, she couldn’t answer. She had no concrete answer as to what this position would be required to do. She mentioned that she wanted me to speak with another staff member who was out of town.
Once that staff member returned, the recruiter set up a phone interview. Less than one hour before the scheduled call, the recruiter called to tell me that the staff person had now scheduled a meeting during our appointed time and could we reschedule. The next day, the staff person did call me but no apology for missing the call the day before as if my time wasn’t valuable. She then told me that she wanted me to do an assignment.
The following week, I was emailed the “assignment,” which took 5 hours and seemed suspiciously like I was doing someone’s work for free. A few weeks later, I was contacted by the recruiter to verify that I was still interested in the position (as the senior staff member had contacted her from abroad wanting to make sure that I was still interested). She told me that it would be a few more weeks before a decision would be made.
So after an additional 4 weeks, the recruiter emailed me asking me to come into the office to meet with the staff member that I had already had a phone conversation with as well as another senior staff person. I met with the senior staff person who asked me questions like “do you know how to use a computer?” and clearly didn’t know the demographics of the company’s competition. The meeting with the staff member again brought up the fact that the job description and responsibilities were “vague” and she couldn’t really give a clear picture of what this job would be. I again tried to get an answer on the job description from the first senior staff person that I had met months before, but still no answer. I had been interviewing for this position for 3 months and the company still didn’t know what the responsibilities of this position were.
A week after this meeting, I received a voicemail from the recruiter saying that she wasn’t happy with the result, but I have yet to be told what that result was. If you’re thinking about interviewing for this company, clear your schedule for the next few months and don’t expect any answers.Interview Questions
No OfferNegative Experience
- Do you know how to use a computer? View Answer
- Application Details
I applied online. The process took 2 weeks – interviewed at Grand Circle.Interview Details
Interview include different aspects of the business. they show you what the call center look like, check if you meet their "values"requirement. you take a test based on their website and brochures. plan on at least 4hours processInterview Questions
Negotiation Detailsno negotiationAccepted OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
- long process for many hours while you are being monitored Answer Question
- Interview Details
Initial phone screening with HR recruiter. Followed by group interview (8 in my session) where you are divided into 2 teams and must build a 'vessel' out of straws and tape to hold an egg and prevent from breaking when dropped. Also must create a story about the vessel and present to group. Although the egg vessel was a little bizarre the other parts of the group interview were interesting and informative. You are told immediately if you 'pass' the group process to move to next step. Next step is meeting with hiring manager and other peers or members of team. Fairly traditional interviews. My biggest issue is the lack of follow up communication (2.5 months), which seems to be the norm in todays job market, however Grand Circle markets themselves as being different.Interview Questions
No OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
- One word to describe yourself. Answer Question
- Application Details
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 days – interviewed at Grand Circle in May 2014.Interview Details
Group interview sounds scary but isn't - I had fun and I enjoyed it. Advice - arrive early to get to know your fellow interviewees. This is not a competition - but it is about working with others. You'll do better if you've had pleasant words with others beforehand. Earlier descriptions were pretty accurate. You'll hear about GCT, be given an egg with straws, told to create a container for it and then told to send the egg on vacation. Have fun with this, participate, and be pleasantly positive without being a twit. You need to participate eagerly or it will be held against you. But it isn't a public speaking competition. And if you don't pass, you'll be told you didn't . I will say one thing, if you think being a good listener means remaining mute, you'll fail. Just be yourself. And have scrambled eggs afterward. Dress nicely but not in a suit for either gender.Interview Questions
No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
- None. Lots of good group discussion about the company. Candid curiosity encouraged. Recruiter was genuine and upfront, not plastic or hysterically positive. Answer Question
- Application Details
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 4 days – interviewed at Grand Circle in March 2014.Interview Details
I was contacted by a recruiter who set up an HR phone screen for a few days later. I had a pleasant conversation with the HR person. I had read a lot of reviews on Glassdoor prior to speaking with her and asked her why there were so many negatives and if she could talk more about the review process where employees are rated against one another. She downplayed both and I felt comfortable enough to go forward with the in person interview.
I attended the interview and had 3 people scheduled to speak with after the group interview. Enough reviewers have gone into detail about the group interview, and I had a similar experience. One other detail that I don't see mentioned much in the reviews is about the off site day for all new hires and annually for all employees. This is the thing that seemed really sketchy to me and made me feel like the whole company was very cultish. Each new hire has to go up to a farm in NH that the company's owners own. While there, it sounds like you are pretty much indoctrinated into the company beliefs - made to go onto a ropes course, trust fall, that kind of stuff. All of this is part of testing new hires from all levels of the company. Then, annually, all employees are forced to go back up there and are being monitored the entire time, and this is where you are rated against your fellow employees and basically publicly shamed if you did not do well.
I completed the group interview and really wanted to just leave since I had such a bad feeling about the company. However, I stuck it out and met with the people I was scheduled to meet with. After leaving the interview, I called my recruiter to tell her that I was not interested in working at Grand Circle, so don't have any feedback about how long it takes for follow up.Interview Questions
No OfferNegative ExperienceAverage Interview
- I was asked very normal questions - how do I plan projects, what methodologies have I used and do I have examples of projects, what do I do in certain situations when there are risks, etc. Answer Question
- Application Details
I applied online – interviewed at Grand Circle.Interview Details
For those who remember the PBS kids show, "ZOOM". I felt like I was auditioning for a part on that show. An egg is involved and you and your "team" are judged by how you take control of the situation in order to prevent the egg from breaking. Those that took control were looked at highly. Those that didn't were later shown the door. The interview as a whole had a cult-y "E.S.T." seminar feeling to it - (where attendee's were locked in hotel ballrooms for hours with no bathroom breaks). Our small group of 9 wasn't locked in a room, but it was still very creepy yet comical.Interview Questions
Reasons for Declining
- The question had something to do with how you would handle an irate or difficult customer. There is no right or wrong answer. GCT just wanted you to hear about how THEY retained staff after the horrible events of 9/11. (They hired crisis counselors. No big whoop). It was obvious that they were more concerned with the bottom line (booking trips), rather than the employee. (Which they were probably laid off, anyways). View Answer
Salary in the low 30's. There was no room for negotiation even with prior call center experience.Declined OfferNeutral ExperienceEasy Interview
- Application Details
I applied online. The process took a week – interviewed at Grand Circle.Interview Details
Group interview, they give you an absurd task to accomplish (usually dropping an egg without letting it break) but are more concentrated on how well you pay attention to instructions, your willingness to correct someone, and your ability to lead,Interview Questions
Negotiation DetailsThere was't one, you were told prior what the offer would be.Accepted Offer
- All very normal, but the whole group experience can be a bit strange. Answer Question
1 person found this helpfulInterview Details
I agree with one of the other reviewers here...everyone seemed incredibly friendly, until after the interview. It almost seemed like everyone had amnesia after, a very "who are you again" reaction. Also, agreed that having people interview together for the same job is just a mess. Boston is a small market, and you're bound to be interviewing with someone you know, and know that you are going for the same job. Told to apply again and resume would be kept on file if something else came up. When I did, though, I was approached as though I had no record on file, and found out that my previous recruiter had only marked me as passing the phone interview. I went through every single interview, same as the individual who did get hired. They said, "maybe she didn't update it because she was leaving". I understand that to a degree, but don't you realize that makes it look like I didn't pass a phone interview? My new recruiter seemed to have no idea about the position I was pretty much re-applying for, and had met all the requirements for before, and I honestly didn't feel like anyone was reading my application or emails. I kept getting asked if I was a freelancer, or why I didn't go through the phone interview. Then, after time had passed, I was told that the position was filled while my recruiter was out but that my resume would stay on file with the hiring manager. What good is that if I've been shown, pretty blatantly, that it doesn't matter if I was one of two candidates before? They didn't bother reaching out, and acted as though I were brand new to the process. I am so discouraged by how the hiring process is managed that I will not look into employment here again.Interview Questions
- Who do you report to here? View Answer
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