Landing a new job is not a matter of chance for most event professionals. For newcomers, it’s a journey of understanding how the event industry operates, and trying to find a place for themselves. For experienced professionals, it’s all about putting their skills in context, and negotiating for opportunities with a larger scope of work.
The first step in this process is the interview. Each interview is an exchange between the prospective employee and the employer, with each side trying to get to know each other better.
The interviewee needs to be able to highlight their strengths and highlight to the employer why they would be a great fit. Interviewing for any job is a very competitive undertaking, so it helps to weigh the scales in your favor by pre-empting certain questions that might be asked.
We’ve put together a list of such questions for interviewees in the event industry to be better prepared and land the job of their dreams:
1. How do you deal with stressful situations?
Stress seems to be an integral part of the industry, so it pays to have a solid stress-management scenario. The best eventprofs that we have seen on the floor always seem to have a cool and collected demeanor, even in situations that would have others tearing their hair off. This industry deals with a lot of dependencies and uncertainty, so it needs more people who can demonstrate not buckling under pressure.
One way to answer this question would be to offer examples of how you’ve dealt with stressful situations in the past – both in the professional and personal spheres of your life.
2. What’s the most challenging part of event management for you?
Most event hires are made to suit a very particular role, and this question might be framed in a way that might seem like the interviewer wants to offer guidance, but it’s actually the interviewer looking for chinks in your armor.
You should answer this question as truthfully as possible, because there are few things worse than landing in a new job only to discover that everything is just way over your head. If you are unsure about what you find challenging, you should talk about the parts of the industry that you find most difficult to deal with.
3. Have you worked on multiple projects at the same time?
The only skill that is more important than multitasking is time management. Each event is a culmination of multiple, parallelly running processes, and an event professional needs to be able to juggle multiple things at the same time.
Give the interviewer examples of when you were managing projects that required a lot of coordination, and you do not need to limit yourself to just your professional endeavors. This would be a great time to bring up all the relevant projects that you’ve pursued outside of your job as well. At the end of each example, the takeaway for the interviewer should be a belief in your ability to multitask.
4. How important is the budget for the success of an event?
The obvious answer to this is that budget is extremely important, but the answer that the interviewer is looking for is how you can creatively work around budget constraints and deliver the results required.
There are many ways of managing a budget, by reducing expenditures in non-essential places, but it takes real skills to understand what those non-essentials are, and this is what they are looking for. The interviewee needs to give examples and justifications about what part of the event they can adjust to ensure that the event is a big success.
5. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
The event industry needs an employee who’s a people-person. A large part of the job description of most event jobs is basically liaising with a lot of different people. This calls for the need to align their objectives and motivations along with yours, and that takes a serious level of empathy.
The answer that they are looking for is that you enjoy working with people, and have a generally agreeable personality, and get along with everyone. Of course, paint them a realistic picture of your personality, so that you can get the kind of job that you want. Even if you don’t end up getting the job, it will serve as a filter for those jobs that you might not be happy at.
There are far more questions that every applicant is going to get asked, but hopefully this list serves as a jumping-off point for you to explore and expect the other kinds of question you might be asked. All the best!