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Why this matters:

This answer will give you an idea of the kind of work a candidate is capable of doing — providing insight into not only their planning process, but also how they achieve and measure success.

What to listen for:

  • Creative vision, to showcase that the candidate has a creative and innovative approach
  • Detail orientation, to ensure events run without a hitch
  • A sense of pride and ownership — you might be able to tell by the way their face lights up, by a note of excitement in their voice

Why this matters:

This question will give you a glimpse of how the candidate approaches their work — and whether they’ll align well with what your company needs.

What to listen for:

  • The existence of a systematic and coordinated approach
  • A general sense of alignment with your process and/or something new and beneficial they can introduce
  • A strong sense of how closely they listen to explore and determine what the client wants or needs

Why this matters:

Behind every successful event planner is a suite of useful tools and software. The answer to this question will reveal how much the candidate relies on theirs.

What to listen for:

  • A basic comfort level with technology — and the ability to communicate what it does
  • Strategic use of multiple tools to help with focus and efficiency
  • A willingness to learn new technology systems, if needed

Why this matters:

Last-minute changes to an event aren’t unusual, and huge challenges can present themselves at any time. Quick on their feet, the best event planners are strategic thinkers who work well under pressure to come up with speedy, effective solutions.

What to listen for:

  • An ability to problem solve effectively in real time
  • Proven experience in collaborating with team members to develop solutions
  • An ability to communicate clearly with clients and mitigate conflicts

Why this matters:

Being able to initiate and retain relationships with a wide network of people and organizations is a major part of being an event planner. Vendors, sponsors, venues, and clients all help event planners get their job done, and having a solid list of people to go to when planning an event makes the job much easier.

What to listen for:

  • Solid interpersonal skills
  • A sense of mutuality, or an understanding of how each party benefits from the relationship
  • A sense that they like people and enjoy deepening relationships

Why this matters:

Event planners have to work with all types of clients: internal and external (depending on the role). This requires a certain flexibility in approach — and the ability to surmount any personal challenges with ease.

What to listen for:

  • The ability to maintain composure in frustrating situations
  • The ability to problem solve and/or foster agreements
  • The ability to compromise or push back

Why this matters:

Event planning is a fast-paced, demanding job with many moving parts — and more often than not, things may not go as planned. People in this role must be able to take stress in stride.

What to listen for:

  • Demonstrated composure and confidence
  • A method of getting centered and/or relieving stress — and staying productive no matter what
  • An ability to prioritize and complete important tasks, despite tight deadlines, issues, and other concerns

Why this matters:

Beyond managing clients, event planners need to handle and manage other event-related people, from vendors to guests. What happens if the event photographer or DJ is a no-show, if the mother of the bride has an issue with the music, or if a guest gets unmanageably drunk? It’s important for your candidate to be resourceful — and able to think on their feet.

What to listen for:

  • Resourcefulness
  • A track record of success with smoothing over situations caused by difficult people
  • A willingness to do something difficult or unpopular — such as eject a troublemaker from the event

Why this matters:

This answer will reveal more of the candidate’s personality and interests, which gives you a better idea of who they are as a person. It will also reveal where their priorities lie, provide insight into how they think about event planning, and showcase what having a “successful event” looks like to them.

What to listen for:

  • Demonstrated excitement and passion
  • A sense of why they enjoy event planning — what is in it for them?
  • A clear explanation of their strengths and how they contribute to successful event planning
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