Mountain Spy

Have a Mountain Spy Question you'd like asked?


I'm wondering if you have any ski instructor positions open for this coming season?

New Hampshire, Large Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering phone: Happy sounding female

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Oh yeah! We always have them. If you just fill out an application online and send it in they'll keep it on file or you can wait for ski season to get a little closer around October or so... either way.

SAM: Oh okay, so I would call back in October or how do I follow up?

Staff: Oh no, you can fill it out now, it'll stay on file and they'll contact you. There's no rush, that's why you could wait until October if you wanted. And then if you've never done it before, the school provides training so you teach they way they need you to or if you have training that's great and you can fall right in.

SAM: Awesome, thanks so much.

Staff: No problem. Our website is and it's really easy to navigate to find the instructor applications.

SAM: Great thanks.

Rating: 9

Comment: Excited that I call, check. Short and sweet, check. Gave answers before I asked, double check. Nicely done.

New York, Large Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator. Transferred to human resources.

Answering phone: Pleasant woman.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Um, we definitely do, yes. There's an ITC course, instructor training course, that would need to be taken. Do you have e-mail access?

SAM: Yup

Staff: Okay, great. Then you can just e-mail Bob who's in charge. His e-mail is and just ya know, ask him if he can notify you when the ITC is. And then once you go through that and you come out favorable, then uh… (pause…)

SAM:Then that's it? I'm in?

Staff: Well, yeah, Bob will go through them all, but if you do well, yeah, it'll more than likely result in a hire. Do you ski or snowboard?

SAM: I ski. So then I'll just e-mail Bob and he'll let me know.

Staff: Yup, he takes care of it all. Good luck.

SAM:Thanks so much.

Rating: 6.5

Comment: Love the direct e-mail contact, but could have explained the test a tad more.

Vermont, Large Area

First contact: Young male

SAM: Stated question. Transferred to HR

Answering phone: Female, very friendly.

Staff: Yup, we always have some positions open. What you really need to do is contact ski school directly and talk to Jane who's in charge of hiring. She'll have some initial questions, but will then be more than happy to send you our hiring package. I'll transfer you, but here's her phone number just in case she's not in at the moment.

SAM: Great, thanks.

Transferred to Jane in Ski School.

Answering phone: Jane, suuuuper nice and friendly

SAM:Stated question.

Staff: Oh, of course. Do you have any experience teaching?

SAM: Well, no, not technically. I've skied my whole life though, raced a lot. I've taught some of my little cousins a couple times… I'm sure you get that a lot, but I do feel confident enough that I could teach someone else.

Staff: Okay, well sure, you've probably done more teaching than you think. So are you from the area then, or…?

SAM: Sort of, I just finished up college this spring and will probably move to your area with a friend this winter. I wanted to take some time off and thought being an instructor would be pretty fun.

Staff: Oh yeah! What did you major in?

SAM: Communications. But I wanted to take a break and ski for a bit.

Staff: Of course, nothing wrong with a taking a break to ski! So, generally what we do is send you our hiring package first with what the position is all about-pay, time commitments, scheduling options, included bonuses, etc. And then the next step is kind of what you do after you acquaint yourself with the position. It will talk about the hiring clinic we have in October. We host a pretty big event where we get to know everyone and decide who we want to hire, who's a good match. That's the first day and then the second day is when you would meet the whole crew. It really is a great way to feel a part of our mountain's ski school team and who you'd be working with. Gives you a chance to get to know everyone.

SAM: Oh perfect, thanks.

Staff: Of course. All I would need right now is a mailing address…

SAM: Gave out my Spy address.

Staff: So I will get this out to you in the next few days and I'm the contact for this part of the year. So, if you have any questions at all feel free to write or call as I take care of all ski school inquiries during the fall.

SAM: Awesome, thanks so much I really appreciate it.

Staff: Oh no problem, it was great talking with you. Looking forward to hearing back.


Comment: I want to work here. Jane sold me the job with her friendless and stress-free system of applying and becoming "a part of our team."
Identity Revealed: Stowe

Minnesota, Medium Area

First contact: Young girl, sounded like she had a late night.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Umm, I bet we will, yeah. We don't start hiring until around Octobe,r but you can go to our website and fill one out. It's (Silence… glad she specified what I'm filling out)

SAM: Ookay, so that's the only process? Whatever I'm filling out stays in your system until October?

Staff: Ummm, yeah. Our director comes in on October 1st and she starts going through all the forms and hiring for this season.

SAM: Okay then. So that's what I'll do.

Staff: Yeaaaah. Umm, just the application, and maybe check back in October to make sure the director has it. (Ah! An application is what I fill out. Good to know)

SAM: Okay, thanks so much.


Comment: She bet's they'll have an opening and I should fill one out. Hmm, not feeling a big welcome here.

Pennsylvania, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose guest services. Transferred somewhere…

Answering phone: Female, pleasant enough.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Umm, that I'm not sure of. It's kind of early. We're having our job fair on November 2nd and 3rd. The 2nd is 5 to 8 and the 3rd is 9 to 12. It'll be on the main level of lodge. You can check our website as well where you can also go ahead and fill out an application.

SAM: Okay. Do I come to the job fair with the application or can I apply separately online if I can't make the fair?

Staff: I would fill it out and send it in as soon as possible because our instructors usually go over all the applications much earlier than the fair so they can gauge everyone. That way you'll have a foot in the door. Our website is and it's very easier to find ski school and the application.

SAM: Okay then, thanks so much.


Comment: Direct and clear, but no personal touch. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Michigan, Medium Area

First contact: Young male, transferred to HR

SAM: stated question

Staff: I don't know what Scott's doing. I think we usually hire a few of them. It depends on if you're certified or not and what level you are, ya know 1 or 2, etc. Are you certified? (Who's Scott?)

SAM: Um, I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Staff: Well, it's a level of teaching certification and there's level 1, 2 and 3. He usually hires newbies, ya know, those working towards a certification. But he won't know until he sends out letters to see who's returning for this season, which isn't until September-ish. You can go online though and give us your information and that way we'll have it when the time gets closer. (Silence…)

SAM: Ookay, so just go on your website?

Staff: Yeah, just go on and let us know who you are and you might want to make sure the date is updated so it stays current. Then you're all set. (A particular place on the website would help a bit…)

SAM: Okay then, thanks


Comment: Friendly and welcoming tone, but the vagueness left me in the dark.

Indiana, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering phone: Older Male. Suuuuper kind and patient

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Um, we most likely will, sure. We're always looking for good instructors, but our season of course is not quite here yet (chuckles). If you are available, the best time to talk to our hiring instructors is at our open house during November. But before that, if you have a mailing address, I'll have our director send out some information to get yourself acquainted with the position.

SAM: Yeah perfect, thanks. Gave the Spy address.

Staff: Oh wow, so you're coming to Indiana?

SAM: Yeah, I have some relatives out there that I'm going to go stay with for a while. Figured being a ski instructor would be fun.

Staff: Of course. Well, I'll make sure to give this to Bobby Jones, our ski school director, who will send out the package. And if you have access to the Internet you might want to keep tabs on that because we'll continue to post updates about hiring and the open house we host. The website is

SAM: Great, thanks so much.

Rating: 8.5

Comment: Patient, thorough and not a hint of rush. Nicely done.

Wisconsin, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose guest service representative. Transferred somewhere…

Answering phone: Female. A little short with the tone

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Um, I'm sure there will be. If you want to send me your information I can forward it on to our director.

SAM: Okay. Can I e-mail it to you?

Staff: Yup. Um, it's (Silence…)

SAM: Okay…

Staff: Okay. (Silence…)

SAM: Okay. Thanks.

Staff: Yup.

Rating: 3

Comment: Well, Okay then. And no explanation on "my information…" Can I say I like long walks on the beach?

Washington, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose HR department.

Answering phone: Tami! Really excited!

SAM: stated question

Staff: Oh, we will! Sure! The gentleman overseeing all instructor hiring is out this week, but if you go online he has all the positions posted so you can take a look. He's taking an interest now so it would be a good time to check it out. Do you know our website?… Or if you want to call back, the extension off the phone tree is 555. And his name is Randolph.

SAM: Well, okay then, awesome. So I can just call back, extension 555?

Staff: Yup, just give Randolph a ring and he'll walk you through it all.

SAM: Great, thanks.

Staff: Super! Anytime, glad you called.

Rating: 8.5

Comment: Tami was happy I called, so I'm happy to call back.

Idaho, Large Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering phone: Young female. Sounded sweeter than pie.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Umm, you know… not right at the moment. You're welcome to come in and fill out an application. That way we'll have it when the season approaches.

SAM: Okay, so I would have to come there to fill it out?

Staff: Yeah, you could. Well, are you in the area?

SAM: Well, not yet. I'm moving out there soon, so I'm not really in the area.

Staff: Okay, well, we can e-mail you an application and then there's a small survey that would give us a better understanding of who you are. Do you have e-mail access? That would be the easiest for you I think.

SAM: Sure. Gave e-mail address

Staff: Okay perfect. And just in case it doesn't go through, could I have a phone number?

SAM: Gave phone number.

Staff: All right, well, you'll get that soon and we look forward to it. Have a safe trip out.

Rating: 8.5

Comment: Immediately found a way to make it convenient for me. High five.

Colorado, Large Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose ski/snowboard school.

ALL automated machines. Called back and chose operator.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Uhh, what resort? This is lodging and reservations, so I'll transfer you to the HR department, which can transfer you to X mountain.

SAM: Okay, I'll go for the transfer. (Contacted HR at the correct mountain, finally.)

Answering phone: Young female. Nice, but not very happy sounding.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Yeah! We have a ton open. Do you have any experience?

SAM: Well, I've skied my whole life, raced a bunch. I haven't officially taught anyone, but have taught kids in other sports. So I feel pretty confident about teaching.

Staff: Okay, no problem. Have you checked out our website at all?

SAM: No, not yet I haven't.

Staff: I would do that first, which explains how the whole process works with job descriptions, etc. Just go to and if you go to the very bottom you see "jobs," which will redirect to our job website, which has a lot about what it's like to work for X resort-the company, job options, people, pay, community, the whole thing. It's not long, but it's kind of complicated to explain and much better for you to read it all and take everything in. It really gives you a sense of us. Where are you currently?

SAM: Boston at the moment. I plan to move out there soon, though.

Staff: We're actually doing recruit events on the East coast. So we'll be in Boston at the end of August and depending on when you plan on moving out, you could attend one of our recruiting events.

SAM: Oh, nice. Is it just X mountain or do you partner with others?

Staff: Nope, just our mountain. Boston will be at the end of August, but we have them all over the country so when you visit the job website, you'll see all the locations that we're going to recruit at. They'll all be at the end of August, like I said, or at the beginning of September. Again, that'll be the easiest way because they hire on the spot so you'd know you have a job right away. Or, if you can't make any of those, you can have a phone interview as well. I mean we need so many instructors, so if you were to show up in person even, looking for a job and like you said, have experience skiing and working with children, you'll most likely walk away with a job, I mean it's funny, we hire over 1,000 instructors each winter. And even if you showed up with little experience, but still wanted to work here, there's a 99 percent chance you'd get hired, haha, just because we need sooo many people in the winter. We'd be sure to find you a place to work. So, I'd say check out our website first, all the positions are posted in August so it'll give you an idea of what we have. And then if you can make one of the recruiting events you can schedule an appointment online and if you can't, you can apply online and if you don't hear anything after you submit your application in a week or so, give me a call back and I'll track down what's going on.

SAM: Great, sounds good to me. Thanks so much for all your help.

Staff: No problem at all.

Rating: 9.5

Comment: Polite and obviously patient. No complaints, except for that extra little dose I always love to feel.

Colorado, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Forced to "wait for the next available agent."

SAM: Stated question. Transferred to HR.

Answering phone: Young female. Peppy.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Wellllllll, umm…so we don't actually start hiring until the middle of November. So if you go online…wellll wait, no actually yeah, you can submit an application online at but… ummm, well yeah and then they hold it for you. But we have a job fair in the middle of November where they do most of the hiring for the season. (Silence…)

SAM: Ookay, so I can go online for an application and then visit the job fair in November?

Staff: Ummmmm…. (Silence). Yup! that simple.

SAM: Alrighty then. Thanks.

Rating: 3

Comment: Seemingly simple to her, but I need some explanation. And maybe a connected thought or two.

California, Large Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose HR

Answering Phone: Very nice female, but in need of some coffee.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: For next season? (No, three years from now.)

SAM: Um yeah, next season I guess, this season coming up.

Staff: Uhh, yes we will there is going to be…Um are you already certified?

SAM: No, I'm not, what exactly do you mean by that?

Staff: Well, for ski and snowboard instructors, there's a program where you get certified, those, you know, we just go ahead and hire because they've gone through a training program. If you haven't done that, our ski school department does offer an instructor program…I'm juuust looking for it now, one second.

Staff: Yeah, okay here we go. The instructor training course, ummm, they go over basics on how to teach people…umm, no date, oh, here it is, December 2nd and 3rd. So if you're interested in signing up for the course, probably call back in September or October when we start filling spots.

SAM: So I can't be hired unless I'm certified or I can be hired and then go through this training course as part of my position?

Staff: Um no… the only people we hire are those who have gone through the training course or are already certified.

SAM: So is this a certification program specific to your mountain alone or is it a public program?

Staff: Oh no, we just sponsor the training program.

SAM: Okay.

Rating: 5

Comment: I ended up more confused than when I started.

Quebec, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose Administrative, HR department

Answering Phone: Female. Super patient, super polite.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Uh, well we're actually changing owner so we have a new director in charge of hiring, her name is Raquel Sioux. I know she's not here, yet but she'll be coming in around August 11th. She's going over the older applicants first, but will be looking for new ones for sure. She has to see who is coming back, but always looks for new instructors. So, you would want to send in your resume to her.

SAM: Okay. Is that the whole process? Just send in a resume?

Staff: Yup, you just send in your resume and label it for the ski instructor position. You can send it to the following address and put it to Raquel Sioux's attention.

SAM: So can I send it in now then?

Staff: Oh yes, I do have some on file already for her that she will be looking over and she will start calling people back in September or October, so that's when you can expect to hear from her. So yes, please do send in your resume.

SAM: Great, thanks.

Rating: 7.5

Comment: Short but thorough. Straightforward process, direct contact and perfectly polite.

Alberta, Large Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose 0.

Answering phone: "Thank you. Please continue to hold."

Hold time: 1:30

Answering phone: "Please continue to hold."

Hold time: 3:30

Answering phone: "Thank you for holding. All of our customer representatives are busy at the moment. Please leave a message after the tone and we will return your call as soon as possible."

SAM: Left message with my real cell number…24 hours later…no call back. Awesome. Get a new answering service.

New Jersey, Medium Area

First contact: Automated machine. Chose guest services.

Answering phone: Young male, very eager sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Oh yeah, for sure, absolutely! Just go on our site at, click on employment, fill out the application and send it in. Our director will send you an e-mail confirmation of your application and give you further details about what happens when the season gets closer. So uh, yeah man, that simple.

SAM: Okay, thanks. Sounds pretty easy.

Staff: Suuuuper easy. Thanks for your interest!

Rating: 7

Comment: Yeah, super easy, and super friendly. Minus 3 points, though, for just a couple more details.

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