Question 1. Why Did You Choose This Profession?
My deep rooted interest in management coupled with genuine love for diversity led me to this choice. I started with office management but soon got bored of the monotony. So I resigned and specialized in event planning. I like to plan and organize things, experiment with ideas, develop timelines and then chase them. I draw great satisfaction when an event which was just an idea turns into reality.
Question 2. What Are The General Steps Involved In Planning Of Any Event?
Well I usually begin by a meeting with the clients to assess their needs and ascertain event budget. Then I come up with a rough plan and chalk out a time line. This is followed by numerous coordination activities with the clients and vendors. Once the venue and timings have been finalized I start the promotional activities and follow the time line strictly leaving room for extra touches in the last few days.
Question 3. What Are The Criteria You Use To Assess The Success Of Any Event?
Usually I do that with the event’s profits. In case the event does not involve fund raising, feedback is the best way to evaluate the success of any event. I use client feedback forms and also administer feedback forms on participants of the event for my own personal evaluation.
Question 4. Name Some Of The Promotional Strategies You Use For Your Events?
Banner ads, flyers, social media and telemarketing.
Question 5. Have You Ever Worked On Two Or More Events Simultaneously? How Did They Turn Out?
I usually avoid that but sometimes it becomes unavoidable. I was recently working on two events simultaneously, one was a wedding and the other was an educational conference. I found some tasks which were over lapping could be dealt with effectively since I have same vendors on contract. For example I decided upon and ordered the catering together and also ordered printing of brochures and cards in same meeting with the vendor. Both events turned out fine.
Question 6. Name Some Common Challenges Event Planners Face?
The most common challenges from the client’s side include unconfirmed number of guests, limited budget and high demands and client unavailability for coordination meetings. Challenges from the industry vendors include last minute cancellations, flight delays, catering mix ups and inadequate promotion of the event or another similar event in town leading to low turnout.
Question 7. What Do You Believe Is The Most Important Characteristic Of An Event Planner? Why?
The ability to be organized and manage time well is of the utmost importance in this work. Events lose their meaning if they are not handled on time or if the details are not exactly as a client wants them which is why my focus is on these areas specifically.
Question 8. Tell Us Of Some Challenges That You Have Been Posed With During Your Time Working As An Event Planner?
This work is full of challenges. Deadlines are tight and we have to work long hours to ensure we meet them. Figuring out logistics is often difficult as there is so much that one has to do to procure materials and labor. Last minute changes are a great force to reckon with and it is especially difficult to adapt to changing requirements of clients.
Question 9. What Strategies Do You Use When Juggling Simultaneous Events Especially If There Are Limited Resources And Staff Available?
This is one of the most challenging parts of event management. Staff and resource limitations can really mess up deadlines. One thing I make sure of is that I never take on two events that are due to happen at the same time. This way, if there are limitations or shortages, I can give priority to the event that has to take place first.
Question 10. Are You More Detail Oriented Than Big-picture Oriented Or The Other Way Around?
I endeavor to visualize the big picture first and then adjust details to it so I believe that I am a bit of both.
Question 11. What Criteria Do You Use For Prioritising Tasks?
- This is a fairly simple follow-on question that can be useful to assess your judgement and experience in terms of getting things done. You probably do not have enough information about the specifics of the role and company guidance at this stage so try and opt for something a bit more vague that involves mentioning the brand or client’s needs and what has been previously discussed. For example, try something like:
- “my priorities would differ according to the needs of the client and the resources available at the time. In my own time I prioritise according to… whereas for an event I use the client and company to guide what is most important and set key milestones right from the start”
- This way you get the best of both worlds. You can also draw on any past experience in planning events, or even in managing your workload for college or in life in general. This is a good opportunity to mention your project management skills and how you organize your workload to hit every deadline. Mentioning things like project timelines, calendar notifications, to-do lists, productivity tools and so forth may be relevant here too.
Question 12. What’s Your Proudest Career Achievement To Date?
Seemingly innocent and of course you need to grasp this opportunity to highlight your strengths and showcase your portfolio. At the same time don’t forget one important aspect – giving credit to others. While you may have managed or planned a successful event, chances are you didn’t do it alone so they are looking for you to acknowledge teamwork and give credit where it’s due, while also highlighting your own skillset.
Question 13. What Is Your Least Favourite Event Genre To Work On And Why?
Asking about your favourite event genre is easy but asking about the events you are least interested in gives insight into what parts of event planning you dislike and also helps to see if you are a good match for the job. In preparing for the interview you should have been reading up on the company and getting as much background information as possible. It would be a big blooper if the organization runs a lot of conferences and you reveal that you hate planning conferences and think that all conferences are boring.
Whatever answer you give get specific about why you don’t like a specific type of event but always end on a positive such as; “but if I was working on a project I would always work to a high standard, whether or not the event type is my preference”. Also remember that you may be describing a project they have in mind so try to let them know that while it isn’t your favourite, it wouldn’t hinder your ability to get it done.
Question 14. How Have You Dealt With Difficult Clients Or Attendees In The Past?
You need to navigate this question carefully as some have the “customer is always right” mentality and event planning is a people-centric role, where customer service is key. They want to understand how you would deal with high pressured situations and navigating customer needs in line with company policy so focus on your resolution and how you dealt with it more than the actual issue at hand and NEVER bash a client or attendee, directly.
Question 15. What Strategies Do You Use For Dealing With Event Stress?
Event planning can be challenging and highly pressurized and future employers are interested in how you deal with this event stress. They also want to ensure that they aren’t going to waste time with someone who can’t hack it. Reassure them, not only that you thrive under pressure, but also that you have outlets to channel and deal with the demands of being an event planner.
Question 16. What Sets You Apart From Other Event Planners?
Focus on your strengths here and avoid putting others down, be specific and give examples of how you have dealt with event fails or navigated tricky situations. Discuss everything you can but avoid naming competition or bashing other planners. Competition or not you may end up working with them and you don’t know your potential boss or client’s relationship with them either!
Ensure that your passion, commitment and ability to work comes across very strongly.
Question 17. Have You Ever Gone Over Budget? How Did You Deal With It?
No one likes to hear that you can’t keep to a budget but at the same time it is important to share how quickly you identified this and got back on track. Think creatively, negotiate more fiercely, you slash expenditure in other areas or identify a new revenue stream It is best to avoid blaming others (even if it was someone else’s fault) but ideally you can discuss nearly come close to over spending but used specific measures and budgeting tactics to come in on budget in the end.
Question 18. How Do You Keep Up To Date With Industry Trends? What Are You Watching Out For At The Moment?
This is your chance to demonstrate your wider interest in the event industry and that it is important to you to keep up to date. Be sure to mention how you read widely and visit websites such as EventMB to keep up with industry trends. This can be important for businesses as they are looking for someone who is adaptive and up to date on developments and ideas. Be prepared to show some of this knowledge by talking in more depth about the new era of event technology and your thoughts on the most exciting developments in the event industry.
Question 19. What Criteria Do You Feel Is Most Important When Selecting A Venue Or Event Location?
Again this goes back to prioritising but the specifics of event venue selection can be important to many brands and clients as this is one of the larger (costly) decisions that are made. Explain how you would narrow down options for the client and then work closely with them so they don’t feel as though you would make these decisions without understanding their needs. This would also be a good time to mention your venue negotiating skills to get the best deal.
Question 20. What Tactics Would You Use To Persuade A Difficult Client?
This question can be as much about morals than anything else and they want to know how you would convince a client to take your suggestions as well as how far you would go. Don’t dwell on the difficult client aspect, stick to your persuasions and letting your expertise speak for itself. You could make suggestions such as:
- “I would create an opportunity for the client to accompany me to test or view things for themselves to give them a better first-hand experience that allows me to better explain my recommendations”.
- Be sure to put across that you are flexible and want to find the best solution that works for everyone and that this may involve suggesting lots of ideas to the client until you find the perfect solution that gets them excited.
Question 21. What Traits Do You Consider Beneficial And Harmful In An Event Team?
This is usually asked to see if you are a good fit for the current team so bear this in mind when answering because you may end up discussing the traits of your potential boss or colleagues. Keep it broad and give good reasoning for what you find useful and harmful, you may benefit from discussing the traits you admire in others and saying something like
“Great communication skills are key for a team and those who are very open and honest I find I work with best.”
Question 22. Which Social Media Platform Do You Prefer For Event Marketing And Why?
This can be tricky because all platforms have pros and cons and the company or client may have a specific favorite in mind. Event marketing is key and social media is a valuable tool so make your experience clear in which you have dealt with and where you have seen the most success. If the role involves a level of event marketing you will need to highlight that you are adaptable to other social media platforms to suit the needs of the event and audience. If your personal social media accounts are public make sure that your own channels show some of your flair and skills for social media.
Question 23. Do You Consider Yourself An Entrepreneur?
For clients, this is often considered a positive because it shows you are full of ideas but for a potential employer having your own dreams and aspirations shows that you might not be in it for the long haul. They won’t want to invest time and energy in training you if they think you are going to take it all and leave. Find an answer that implies you are creative and have vision for the future without making them feel like you can’t be loyal.
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