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Viking River Cruises Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
How do you interpret the term "ship life", and what do you expect from our workplace culture?
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How to Answer
'Ship life' is the term used by workers on cruise ships, referring to the unique workplace culture and lifestyle they lead, by working for weeks or even months at a time, on board a cruise ship. The interviewer would like to know that you have a reasonable understanding of what ship life will bring you, the good and the bad. It's vital to Viking River Cruises that you join their organization with realistic expectations, and not thinking that the job is all fun and games because you will be traveling around the world. Discuss what you understand to be the workplace culture aboard a cruise ship.
30 Viking River Cruises Interview Questions
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  1. How do you interpret the term "ship life", and what do you expect from our workplace culture?
  2. How do you handle yourself in large crowds of people?
  3. In this role, you will be traveling for three months on, and two weeks off. How will you manage this with your personal life?
  4. Have you ever been on a cruise? What was your experience?
  5. If you could set sail to any place in the world, where would you go, and why?
  6. Why do you want to work for Viking River Cruises over other cruise lines?
  7. To work with Viking River Cruises you will need to complete a full background check, along with a medical examination. Are you okay with this?
  8. Working on a cruise line means long hours and trying guests. How do you handle extended periods of stress?
  9. Tell me about your experience working around children.
  10. Which area of our ship do you have the most interest in working?
  11. Have you ever planned an international vacation?
  12. Are you CPR and First Aid certified?
  13. How would you go above and beyond to make a guests' vacation their best trip ever?
  14. How do you feel about living in shared accommodation while working on our ship?
  15. The crew of Viking River Cruises greatly range in background, ethnicity, and culture. Tell me about your exposure to diversity.
  16. How do you feel about the Viking River Cruises dress code and code of conduct?
  17. Tell me about your training in customer service, hospitality, or another related field.
  18. What type of promotion, or long-term opportunities, would you be looking for from Viking River Cruises?
  19. Do you have any talents or unique hobbies we should know about?
  20. Do you think that you can sustain the cruise ship lifestyle for the long term?
  21. Name the top 3 qualities you would look for when hiring cruise line staff.
  22. Describe the typical Viking River Cruises customer, and the type of vacation they are seeking.
  23. Do you like being around people?
  24. How would you handle a rude customer?
  25. How would you deal in an emergency situation, while at sea?
  26. How much do you think this job should pay?
  27. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you respond?
  28. Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?
  29. Describe your working relationship with your previous or current colleagues.
  30. Are you bilingual?
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15 Viking River Cruises Answer Examples
1.
How do you interpret the term "ship life", and what do you expect from our workplace culture?
'Ship life' is the term used by workers on cruise ships, referring to the unique workplace culture and lifestyle they lead, by working for weeks or even months at a time, on board a cruise ship. The interviewer would like to know that you have a reasonable understanding of what ship life will bring you, the good and the bad. It's vital to Viking River Cruises that you join their organization with realistic expectations, and not thinking that the job is all fun and games because you will be traveling around the world. Discuss what you understand to be the workplace culture aboard a cruise ship.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe the term 'ship life' is referring to the unique position crew members are in, working on a ship for long periods of time. I understand that working on a cruise ship is not all fun and games like in movies, for instance. What I expect from your workplace culture is a sense of community but also some growing pains as you get accustomed to working on a ship with potentially hundreds of nationalities and differences. I am eager for the excellent training and new experiences; however, I know that some days will be more emotionally challenging than others."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my understanding, 'ship life' is the way of life onboard a ship, where you work, eat, sleep, and play day in and day out. Working on a cruise ship is a unique experience, and I do know, not always fun and easy. I am prepared to put in the hard work in exchange for life-changing experiences and opportunities. I expect that your staff is well-trained, embracing of diversity, and inclusive by nature. Is this accurate to say?"
2.
How do you handle yourself in large crowds of people?
Cruise ships can hold thousands of passengers, with the worlds' largest holding over 6,000 people at a time. With that many people under one roof, the interviewer needs to know that you can handle the capacity of people without becoming overwhelmed or moody. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have been exposed to large crowds. Assure the interviewer that you can handle the pressure and challenges that come along with this workplace environment.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked many Black Friday retail rushes and popular concerts to know that I am okay in a large crowd of people. Although I do appreciate my personal space and alone time now and then, I do find it energizing to be around large amounts of people."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Large crowds of people are no problem for me. I have worked on cruise ships with capacity from 3,000-5,000 people with no issues. I am a true extrovert, so I do find it energizing to be around many people at one time."
3.
In this role, you will be traveling for three months on, and two weeks off. How will you manage this with your personal life?
As a cruise ship member, your schedule could be a few weeks at sea, up to a few months at a time. Before Viking River Cruises hires you, they need to be sure that you can handle the schedule without it affecting your personal or family life. Briefly touch on the ways that you have prepared your family and friends for the potential change. Let the interviewer know that you are ready to set sail!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have already prepared my family for the fact that I may be away for a few months at a time. They are very excited for me and think this will be an unforgettable experience. I am not new to travel so being away from home will not be an issue for me, regarding homesickness, for instance."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have already lined up care for my dog, and a temporary housemate to help me with the cost of rent, and home maintenance while I am away. This opportunity is a great one for me and those who matter the most, fully understand how important it is that I succeed and feel supported. Everyone is doing their part to make it work."
4.
Have you ever been on a cruise? What was your experience?
Before you can fully understand what life is like working on a cruise, you should take one! The cruise experience is a vacation in a league all its own. Never-ending entertainment, delicious dining, and unique shopping. A cruise ship can indeed have it all. Share with the interviewer your experience on a cruise. What stood out to you the most? What memory do you always return to when you think about that trip? If you have never taken a cruise, be sure to do some research by reading travel blogs.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I was on a Christmas family cruise a couple of years ago with Viking River Cruises. My experience was so wonderful, that is when I vowed to come back as an employee one day. I loved the variety and that I could spend nearly every day in a new city or country, exploring the culture and trying new things. I am excited to help give this opportunity to the guests of Viking River Cruises."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Although I have never been on a cruise vacation, I have read about them on a variety of travel blogs and performed a great amount of research before coming here today. I look forward to learning more about the ways that Viking River Cruises creates unforgettable experiences for their guests."
5.
If you could set sail to any place in the world, where would you go, and why?
This question is one of interest, but also may be one to test your geographical knowledge. The last thing you want to reply with a city and country that do not exist, for instance! Other than that, there indeed is no right or wrong answer to this question. Choose a unique destination that will make you a stand-out candidate. If you choose Paris, for the Eiffel Tower, you may not be memorable.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I love to travel and have had many great opportunities in the past few years. If I could choose any destination for my next, I would pick to stay at the Icehotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. It's so interesting to me that I could stay in a hotel carved entirely out of ice. Also, the town has historic buildings to explore, such as an old church dating back to approximately 1607."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have a bucket list, actually, and would love to tell you about it! A couple of years ago I made a list of the most fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites and decided that I would choose one from North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. So far, I have visited Leon Cathedral in Nicaragua, and Ephesus in Turkey. Next, I am planning for the Paleolithic Caves in Spain. It's important to me that I am well traveled and exposed to what our beautiful world has to offer."
6.
Why do you want to work for Viking River Cruises over other cruise lines?
It's essential that you can articulate why this role with Viking River Cruises is superior to similar positions with their competitors. Perhaps you connect with the company mission and values, maybe they offer employee perks beyond what their competitors advertise, or they have a much better industry reputation. Whatever your reasoning may be, assure the interviewer that you bring dedication to working for Viking River Cruises and that you are excited to be their newest representative.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My interest in working for Viking River Cruises comes from the fact that I had an incredible family vacation on your cruise line a few years ago. My experience was unforgettable, and I am excited to have the opportunity to share that with other people who trust Viking River Cruises for their special holidays. I appreciate all of the amenities that you offer and that your customer service goes far beyond the minimal expectations."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When I was researching cruise line jobs, the job postings from Viking River Cruises stood above the rest. They are upbeat and welcoming, just like the experience that you offer those who vacation with you. Your workplace culture, branding, and overall vibe speak the loudest to me, over any of your competitors. I would be a proud representative of Viking River Cruises."
7.
To work with Viking River Cruises you will need to complete a full background check, along with a medical examination. Are you okay with this?
Complete background checks are a must for any cruise ship related position. The only correct answer to this question is a 'yes.' If you do have a mark on your record, or any reason why there could be a hiccup in your onboarding, now is the time to mention it.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am happy to comply with any background and medical checks required to work for Viking River Cruises. I appreciate that you are very careful who you employ, as I realized that your staff is privy to sensitive information and situations."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I will agree to any background checks that you require. I should disclose to you that I had knee surgery three years ago; however, I have the all-clear from my doctor to perform work functions as per normal. I can walk and stand for long periods of time, and can lift 75 pounds, repeatedly."
8.
Working on a cruise line means long hours and trying guests. How do you handle extended periods of stress?
Working on a cruise ship is not all fun and games, and the interviewer would like to know that you are aware of potential stressors on the job. Just like in any customer service role, you will be under times of stress with grouchy guests, and straining physical activity. Assure the interviewer that you can handle these times with professionalism and poise. If possible, give examples of a time when you have been under pressure in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have been under extended periods of stress before, from my time in University and earning a double degree, to working in the service industry in busy and high-pressure environments. When I am feeling extra stressors, I will take a minute to collect myself with a few deep breaths, and remind myself of the positive things I experienced that day. Taking myself back into a mentality of gratitude always helps."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am no stranger to extended periods of stress. I have worked internationally in the past, away from all family and friends. I have also worked in high-pressure retail sales environments. When I feel added pressure, I will ask to take a quick breather if possible. Most of the time, removing myself from the situation for just a couple of minutes will help. If that is not possible, I will run through a list in my head of all the good things that happened that day. I find that when I stop dwelling on the stressors, and more on the positives, things turn around for me."
9.
Tell me about your experience working around children.
Many cruise lines offer a family-friendly environment, with kids clubs. These clubs often offer activities and care from babies all the way to teenagers. Entertainment and care could include large playrooms, special kid-friendly menus, crafts, water parks, and other programs. The interviewer needs to know that you would be comfortable working around children of all ages. Talk about your experience working with kids, including the ages you have worked with and the types of activities that you have led. If you do not have experience working around children, that is okay. Discuss that you are a kid at heart and are confident that you can make any day fun, and safe, for kids of all ages!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have worked as a babysitter since I was 12 years old. I have been a volunteer for Girl Guides a few years running as well. I have worked with kids in outdoor adventure programs, water programs, and also activities such as crafts and cooking. Most of the kids I have worked with are ages 4-9; although, I believe that I can make any day fun for all ages!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have not had direct work experience with children; however, I am the oldest of four siblings, and did a lot of free babysitting for my parents growing up! I am a kid at heart and enjoy making kids laugh. I can assure you that I would work very hard to make the kids club experience at Viking River Cruises a safe and memorable one."
10.
Which area of our ship do you have the most interest in working?
When applying to a cruise line, you will have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing a department or area of interest. Opportunities may be available in:

- Guest services
- Food & Beverage
- Gift Shop
- Casino
- Cruise programs
- Human resources
- Jewelry
- Medical
- Engine
- Music
- Salon
- Surveillance and security

There are hundreds of opportunities available. Be ready to highlight for the interviewer the areas which you are most interested.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a solid background in food and beverage, with many years of bartending as well as upscale dining service. I could fit well with any position in the F&B department."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have a background in security and surveillance. When I saw that you have an opening for a Surveillance Operator, I knew I had to apply. I have formal STCW training (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) and am passionate for the hospitality industry."
11.
Have you ever planned an international vacation?
Since you are applying to work for a travel-based company, you should be ready to highlight any experience you have planning vacations for yourself. Discuss where you have traveled, and be sure to mention the best of your experience. If you have planned a cruise vacation before, give some details on your trip, how you designed it, and what you loved about it.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have planned two international vacations before. One was a cruise for myself and my parents, with Viking River Cruises actually. I used a travel agent to ensure that all of the details were perfect. We had an excellent time exploring the ship, the port towns and took in a few excursions. The other vacation I planned, I booked online by myself. It was a simpler resort vacation in Costa Rica."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have not been lucky enough to do any international travel. I have planned a 12-week US-wide road-trip in the past, right after I graduated from university. One of the reasons why I am so excited to work for Viking River Cruises is for the international travel opportunities. I realize that I will not be vacationing per se; however, to even be able to see these places all over the world briefly, is enough for me."
12.
Are you CPR and First Aid certified?
Keep your response brief as this is a very straightforward question. If you are CPR and First Aid certified, be sure to bring proof of your certification with you to the interview. If your certificates are expiring soon, let the interviewer know that you have plans to renew them. If you are not certified, it's best that you offer to become certified, at your own expense, before their desired hire date. Being proactive like that will say a lot about your work ethic.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am not currently CPR or First Aid certified; however, I have researched options close to me and have found a couple of courses that begin next week. I am eager to work for Viking River Cruises and will do what it takes to be a viable candidate."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have valid CPR and First Aid certifications which I have brought with me today. Would you like to take a copy for my candidate file?"
13.
How would you go above and beyond to make a guests' vacation their best trip ever?
It is crucial that you answer this customer service based question with enthusiasm and clarity. Try to dig deeper than the usual 'service with a smile' response. Give specific examples on how you would make a guest of Viking River Cruises feel like they just took the vacation of their dreams.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I know how I would like to be treated on my 'home away from home' and would start by remembering guests names, and their preferences. I would greet them with a smile every time, and ask them about their day. Asking how I can better serve them is also a great way to ensure that they are receiving more than expected during their cruise vacation."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Customer service is one of my key strengths. I will commit to delivering the best service ever, ensuring a memorable trip, by providing more than just their basic needs. Asking a guest how their excursion was, helping them with a difficult gift shop jewelry purchase, or even memorizing the names of their children, are all excellent ways to go above and beyond. I look forward to attending the superior customer service training from Viking River Cruises as well."
14.
How do you feel about living in shared accommodation while working on our ship?
Employees who work on cruise ships share very tight crew assigned living quarters. Think of your college dorm room, perhaps smaller, but on the water. These little bunks will include a couple of single beds, a desk or table, and a small bathroom for the most part. The interviewer would like to know that you can handle this type of living situation, with total strangers, for weeks at a time. Be honest in your response, and, if you have had exposure to a similar living arrangement, you can certainly bring this up.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Cabin crew living arrangements sound a great deal like the arrangements I had in university! I have talked to a couple of people who have worked on cruise ships before, and they all say that it's tough for the first couple of weeks, but then you get used to it. I know that depending on the level I am on, it could be loud from the engine hum or the water. I trust that Viking River Cruises knows how to best pair employees when it comes to roommate situations."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have had roommates in the past, but perhaps not in such proximity. So long as we remain respectful of each others' space, I see no problem living cozy for a few weeks. I will think of it as the tiny house trend!"
15.
The crew of Viking River Cruises greatly range in background, ethnicity, and culture. Tell me about your exposure to diversity.
On most cruise lines, you can see dozens, if not hundreds, of backgrounds and ethnicities represented. Cruise lines are well known for their vast diversity when it comes to hiring. Nearly any culture you can think of will be represented on the ship. Assure the interviewer that you embrace diversity and are driven to include those, no matter how different they are from you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that the crew at Viking River Cruises will represent nearly any culture I could imagine. I genuinely enjoy getting to know those who are different from me and learning from them. My time in university, I was exposed to people of all different beliefs and lifestyles. I have also traveled around the world, giving me valuable exposure to a variety of cultures and experiences."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"One of the reasons why I am so interested in working for Viking River Cruises is the fact that you do embrace diversity so much. I want to know people different from me and expand my knowledge far beyond my own backyard. I look forward to meeting your diverse crew!"
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