There is nothing more important in our professional lives than the interviews we have appeared for. Interviews make us learn much; they build our confidence, and they give us information about the type of questions that are asked during meetings so that subsequent interviews can be made more comfortable for us. Of course, the basic idea of appearing for an interview is to gain a job!
But we are not always successful at providing successful answers to the questions we have been asked.
Now that we understand how important interviews are we need to figure out a way to be successful at them as often as possible. It is essential to learn from your interview experiences. Preparation is one of the most critical steps that we need to take before we appear for an interview. Reading and understanding the job description and making sure that we can expect at least some of the questions we have been asked is not enough. We need to practice answering the questions that we may be asked.
So if you are appearing at an interview for the position of an event planner, you may want to have a look at the following questions and their possible answers.
Tell me about yourself?
I am an energetic and dedicated event planner with 6+ years of hands-on experience in arranging large and small events including 5 international ones. I am a graduate of The College of Management Sciences, and my formal degree is in event management. Interpersonal and management skills are my main strengths.
Why did you choose this profession?
My deep-rooted interest in management coupled with a 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.
What are the general steps involved in the 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 timeline. 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 timeline strictly leaving room for extra touches in the last few days.
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 fundraising, 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 evaluation.
Name some of the promotional strategies you use for your events?
Banner ads, flyers, social media, and telemarketing.
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 overlapping 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 the same meeting with the vendor. Both events turned out fine.
Name some common challenges event planners face?
The most common challenges from the client’s side include an unconfirmed number of guests, limited budget and high demands and client unavailability for coordination meetings. Problems 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.
What do you believe is the most critical 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 precisely as a client wants them which is why my focus is on these areas individually.
Tell us about 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 tricky as there is so much that one has to do to procure materials and labor. Last minute changes are a significant force to reckon with, and it is extraordinarily challenging to adapt to changing requirements of clients.
What strategies do you use when juggling simultaneous events especially if there are limited resources and staff available?
It is one of the most challenging parts of event management. Staff and resource limitations can 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.
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.