I was invited for a Clipper Race interview after applying a few weeks ago for the 2017-18 edition.
The interviews are held either in Gosport, UK or Sydney, Australia.
My interview was in the Gosport office. If you’ve applied and go for an interview there, then have faith in the directions they give you, but be warned the building is completely un-branded – a few people got lost! (Possibly the 1st test of the interview??!)
The Clipper Race interview process ran from 10am – 3pm. There was a group of 10 of us, of all ages, shapes and sizes, and with ranging experience. I think that is fairly reflective of the Clipper Race.
From 10am -12pm it was a group session, standard informal introductions and then a talk/Q&A session by David Cusworth. He’s a Clipper Race circumnavigator himself, so is full of knowledge and enthusiasm. If you’re considering Clipper, then contact him on twitter or email – he’s a great guy, really helpful.
The Clipper Race staff were all very friendly. Not too salesy, they realise that this is a HUGE decision for the candidates that are there for interviews. It is very much a two way process… Are you right for Clipper? And is Clipper right for you?
After the 2hr group session, we were expecting lunch, but take note, there was none! We were all whisked away to individual 30 – 40 minute interviews. Interviews were either with David, or 2 other members of the recruitment team (both of whom had also circumnavigated with Clipper) – so they’re incredibly knowledgeable.
The Clipper Race interview questions were very much as you might expect…
- Why do you want to do Clipper?
- Is what you’ve heard today what you expected from Clipper?
- What are your strengths/weaknesses?
- What about you will annoy your fellow crew? – this is an important one, as i think it shows how self-aware you are. A trait which in itself says a lot about you.
- What trait or personality among fellow crew will annoy you?
- Have you spoken to anyone about the race?
- How do your friends and family feel about you doing it?
It was all very informal, and very much a two way street, with me asking just as many (if not more) questions.
My advice to you if you’re heading to a Clipper Race interview is to really dig deep and think why you want to take part, and how you’re personality will fit in, or won’t! In the weeks leading up to your interview it will no doubt be on your mind a lot. So, whenever a question pops in to your head jot it down and take the list of questions with you. It is your chance to grill the team. In my group we asked everything from ‘what happens in port/where do you sleep?’, ‘how safe is our money (it’s a hell of a lot of money!) with Clipper Ventures?’, ‘can the boats capsize?’ (the crucial question was clearly on everyone’s mind!), ‘how and when do we have to pay?’ – another crucial question. And the answer to the last one if you’re interested was… once you sign the contract after being accepted you start paying immediately by monthly installments.
After the interviews we headed out to the marina for a tour of a Clipper racing yacht (see picture above), with a full tour and lots more questions answered we all left with an awful lot of thinking to do. It was an exciting, but exhausting day. So much to take in. Plus no lunch!
I am now waiting to hear if I’ve got a place. It usually takes a week or so to hear back after the interview. Finger’s crossed and good luck to you, if you’re going through the Clipper Race interview or application process!