Are you preparing for an interview as an event planner? Event planners do precisely what the job title indicates: they manage all the logistics and planning involved in pulling off an event. These special occasions can range from weddings to conferences, from corporate conventions to casual affairs, and everything in between.
No matter what type of event planning role you're looking to take on, it's helpful to review common interview questions beforehand, so you'll feel prepared and confident during the interview.
What the Interviewer Wants to Know
Doing this job requires creativity and imagination: Event planners must brainstorm ideas for unique celebrations and memorable events, and be able to identify, understand, and meet client needs.
But event planners must also be intensely organized in the tracking of deadlines and schedules, making sure that all of the nitty-gritty details, such as scheduling coffee breaks at meetings and arranging transportation, are taken care of. Communication skills are also important for event planners.
See a full list of the skills required by special-event and wedding planners, and be sure to emphasize these skills during your interview.
Interviewers will be focused on finding out if you have the balance of creativity and organization that's required for the role. They'll ask a lot of questions about your specific experience, and try to get a handle on how you will tackle common problems and situations that can arise in event planning.
How to Answer Event Planning Interview Questions
Be prepared to discuss events you've planned in the past. Think of examples of times you've had to think on your feet to solve an unexpected problem, deal with difficult clients, or work with a restrictive budget. As well, think about situations when an event you've organized has gone flawlessly.
These examples will all be helpful when answering interview questions and will give your interviewers stories to remember you by.
Expect to get situational interview questions, which ask how you would handle certain circumstances.
Because event planning is a role that involves working under pressure, and making fast decisions, it's wise to anticipate that interviewers will ask some challenging questions. If that happens, remember, the interviewer is likely interested in how you respond to being under pressure.
Staying calm and in control is nearly as important as your actual response to the question, so pay attention to your body language during the interview.
Examples of Event Planner Interview Questions
Prepare for your interview by reviewing this list of frequently asked questions for event planners, and practice how you'd answer each question.
- How has your education prepared you for a career as an event planner?
- Why do you want to work for our event planning organization?
- How do you assess the success of each of your events?
- What type of event planning are you most interested in? Corporate events? Social events? Why?
- What experience do you have with promoting events (through ads, social networking, etc.)?
- What are some of your favorite ways to enhance an event on a budget?
- Describe one or two themed events that you have orchestrated. What sort of details and activities did you include to complement the theme?
- What is the largest event (based on budget or number of attendees) you have ever planned or assisted with planning?
- Describe a time when you had to deal with an unexpected problem during an event — how did you resolve the issue?
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client. What was the result?
- Describe a time when you had difficulty staying within the budget for an event.
- Tell me about a time when you had to manage multiple events at once. How did you multitask to complete both events successfully?
- Imagine a company is planning an ad campaign to portray itself as a young, fresh, and cool brand. If you were hired to organize their launch party, what sort of venue would you consider selecting? Why?
- Imagine I am a client asking you to host an event for me; what kinds of questions would you ask me?
- How will you develop relationships with vendors in a new city?
- Are you comfortable working long and/or unusual hours?
- Do you think being an independent worker or a team player is more important as an event planner?
Event planning can be one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs in the hospitality industry. If you take the time to plan for your interview, this attention to detail will demonstrate to your interviewers that you possess the foresight, analytical planning skills, poise, and confidence they are seeking in their next event planner.
Tips for Giving the Best Response
- Have Examples: The best responses will have a story-like quality. Come prepared with examples of your previous event-planning experience. That way, when you're asked to share how you handled a difficult client, or how you would deal with an unexpected crisis, you'll have examples to share at the ready.
- Emphasize your strengths: As in any interview, you'll want to highlight what you're good at. As you respond to questions, look for a way to show off your relevant skills and accomplishments.
- Be Prepared for General Questions, Too: In addition to job-specific interview questions, you will also be asked more general questions about your employment history, education, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, goals, and plans.
What Not to Say
Don't Be Negative: If you're asking about dealing with a challenging client or a venue mishap, keep the focus on the positive things you did to resolve the issue. Avoid blaming others or complaining. You want to appear confident and in control.
Don't Disqualify Yourself: You should always be honest during an interview. That said, you don't want to disqualify yourself. For example, if an interviewer asks, "How do you stay organized?" then give a response that points to your organizational successes. No need to mention times you've been less than organized.
PREPARING HELPS: In particular, be ready with examples from your event planning experience.
BE POSITIVE: Showcase how confident you are as an event planner by talking about how you handle tough situations (rather than complaining or passing blame).
THINK BODY LANGUAGE: Along with practicing responses, think about your body language and tone of voice as you prepare for an interview.