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Interviewing for the Tour Leader Position with G Adventures

GAdventures_logo_final_xhieghtsRecently I had the opportunity to meet with G Adventures Bruce Poon-Tip, as well as Global Purpose Specialist Eduardo Cartaya. After a number of inspiring converstaions, I submitted my application to work with them at a Chief Exploration Officer – a G Adventures guide. For your interest, here are my brief answers submitted online. I’d love any comments of suggestions for these questions in comments.

G Adventures, hire me.

In addition to the below questions and answers, please also see my Travelogue and Adventure Travel Consulting resume.

What motivates you to want to lead tours? More specifically, why do you want to lead tours for G Adventures?*

I want to lead tours for G Adventures for the opportunity to inspire my peers with exploration, wonder, passion, learning, and connecting. World discovery for me is a deeply personal process, and I look forward to sharing my passion, and the passions of the world with others.

Why do you think people take group tours rather than travel on their own? Why would they choose G Adventures trips?*

To explore the world in a new, interesting way, provide context to their explorations, connect with other, both within the group and surrounding it. Variety, wonder.

What would be the best part of being a G Adventures leader?*
To share my passion and enthusiasm with others, and provide an incredible experience.

How can you, as a leader, promote and encourage day to day Sustainable Tourism on your tours?*
As a NOLS LNT Outdoor Educator, by being an educator and champion of the local area, ideals, and goals of sustainable tourism.

What is the worst thing you could imagine happening on a G Adventures tour, and how would you deal with the situation?*
Injury and scattering of the group. Situation would be dealt with by clear communication and a well-defined plan of action

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Of all the places in which you have traveled, which has had the biggest impact on you and why?*

After 4.5 years of putting all of my time and effort into pursuing my ultimate dream of living and working in Antarctica, I finally made it happen and worked at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. The entire journey was an incredible experience, and opened my eyes to life in the middle of the highest, coldest, windiest and driest desert in the world, at the most remote outpost of humanity. Truly an incredible experience.

You are one week into a five week tour and several passengers have approached you in regards to the hygiene of one particular passenger. After having a brief discussion with this passenger’s roommate, you discover that the passenger in question does not bathe, did not bring any toiletries with him/her, and believes that jumping into the sea once a week is sufficient cleansing of the body. What do you do and how would you approach this client?*
Ask them for their thoughts on their own personal hygiene, and how they see their hygiene fitting into the group. Discuss with them calmly and respectfully the overall group dynamic and expectation, and find a mutually agreeable solution.

You are 3 days into a 3-week tour; you and your passengers are waiting for a bus. You recognize a daypack that belongs to your group that has been left unattended on a bench. You try to determine to whom it belongs. There is no nametag and upon opening the front pocket, you discover a bag of marijuana. Is this a problem? How would you deal with it?*
Yes, it’s a problem. This situation would be dealt with by clear communication about the expectations of the group and local laws, while avoiding unfairly singling anybody out or creating an uncomfortable dynamic within the group.

If you have received $1000 to pay for accommodation, and you need to pay for 3 double rooms at $35 USD per night and 2 single rooms at $25 USD per night, for 7 nights total, how much money will you have left over?*
You’d be $85 short.

You are beginning a trip and have not yet met your group. Due to an unexpected natural disaster, you have just learned that the itinerary will have to change with an added cost of $300 per client. How would you prepare your opening remarks? How would you expect the group to react, and how could you participate in resolving the situation in order to have a successful trip?*
Again, clear communication about the realities of the situation. Keep things upbeat, direct, and honest about exactly what is happening. I’d expect the group to react negatively to a price increase in general, but understanding of the situation given the clear communication, and I’d expect to resolve the situation by working with the guests to makeup for the difference and/or provide reasonable accommodation otherwise.

You and your group have just arrived into town during a major street festival. You have to weave your group through cobblestone streets filled with exploding firecrackers, water balloons and inebriated locals dancing away. Upon arriving at the hotel, you discover a passenger is missing. It is a concern as she has had little travel experience, is 50 years old and does not speak the local language. If she has held on to the detailed trip itinerary that you gave out at the beginning of the tour, she will know the name and the phone number of the hotel. What do you do?*
I’d first ensure the safety of the remaining group, and make sure they’re in a safe, collected situation can be made comfortable while the other group member is found. If I had adequate human and communication resources, I’d establish a search plan and make sure she would be found, while keeping the rest of the group in communication, and aware of the plan, backup plan, etc. I’d also be sure to stay in communication with the home base, as per procedure.

Describe a time, perhaps linked to a challenging task or assignment, when things were difficult and you were working under pressure.*
While ski mountaineering in the Northern Tetons, a member of our group got sick and frustrated living in a snow cave, and decided to desert the group. We resolved the situation by communicating clearly, and providing him the support he needed to ensure his safety.

Describe a recent experience of working with other people. What did you contribute and what was the outcome?*
At the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, I worked hand in hand with 150 other people on the station to successfully support the science and building operations of the National Science Foundation.

Give an example of a situation where you solved a problem in a creative way.*
While trekking in northern Myanmar, I was held and questioned by a number of members of the rebel militia. We resolved the problem by sitting down for a beer and discussing everything, coming to terms, and all having a good time in the end.

Describe how you handled a situation where you had to initiate and complete a task in the face of resistance from others.*
During a Mass Casualty Incident drill at the South Pole, I had to work with a large team of emergency responders to successfully stabilize, transport, and treat a group of sick, unruly patients.

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