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Top 20 Interview Questions for Meeting, Convention, & Event Planner Jobs
If you are preparing for your next interview as a meeting, convention, and event planner, then you are in the right place, as this article, with the help of the gurus over at runrex.com and guttulus.com, will look to highlight the top 20 interview questions for such jobs to help you prepare.
What personality traits, skills, and education do you think all meeting, convention, and event planners need to have?
The most successful meeting, convention, and event planners tend to be highly flexible, and easy to get along with because of great people skills. They also have excellent time, money, and people management skills, and while a formal education isn’t necessarily required, a college degree and/or certification or two won’t hurt. When answering this question, you should be able to demonstrate that you have all these qualities using examples of your past experiences.
Why do you want to plan events for our company?
When answering this question, you need to be thoughtful as discussed over at runrex.com. Your answer should not only demonstrate your love for events, but you should also research the company and find areas where you resonate with the most and include them in your answer.
What event software and tools do you like using? Why do you use them?
As the gurus over at guttulus.com point out, if you don’t already have some programs you actively work with, you should make sure you review a free planning event software or tools ahead of time and mention that you would like to use them for upcoming projects.
How do you keep up with industry trends and news?
Your answer to this question will let the interviewer know all about your willingness to learn, improve yourself, and stay on the cutting-edge in your industry. You can mention event planning blogs, following influential personalities in the industry, websites such as EventMB, and other such examples as ways through which you keep up with industry trends and news.
Have you worked on multiple projects and events at once before? How did you manage?
Most event planners juggle multiple event projects at once and are skilled at multitasking. By asking this question, the interviewer is looking to hear about your attitude towards a larger workload and whether you find it easy or hard to deal with multiple deadlines as chances are you will be needing to draw on this skill again in the job you are being interviewed for.
What criteria do you use for prioritizing tasks?
This is a follow-up question for the previous question and can be used to assess your judgment and experience when it comes to getting things done. As explained over at runrex.com, you can mention how your priorities would differ according to the needs of your client and the available resources at the time.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
According to guttulus.com, this question provides you with an opportunity to highlight your strengths and showcase your portfolio. However, as you do so, don’t forget to give credit to others as success when it comes to meeting, convention, and event planning isn’t achieved alone. Therefore, even as you highlight your own skillset, acknowledge teamwork and give credit where it is due.
What is your least favorite event genre to work on and why?
This question, as discussed over at runrex.com, allows the interviewer to get an insight into the parts of event planning that you dislike, helping them see if you are a good match for the job. Make sure, then, that you prepare for the interview by reading up on the company and gathering as much information as you can since the last thing you want is to say that you hate planning conferences, for example, only to realize that the company runs a lot of conferences. Whatever answer you give, get specific about why you don’t like a specific type of event, but make sure your answer ends in a positive such as, “…but if I was working on a project, I would always work to a high standard, regardless of whether I like the event type or not”
How have you dealt with difficult clients or attendees in the past?
Given that event planning is a people-centric role where customer service is key, you need to navigate this question carefully. The interviewer wants to understand how you would deal with high pressured situations and navigating customer needs in line with company policy, which is why should focus on your resolution and how you dealt with it more than the actual issue at hand. Also, never bash a client or attendee when answering this question, directly or otherwise.
What strategies do you use for dealing with event stress?
Meeting, convention, and event planning can be challenging and highly pressurized, which is why 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. Use your answer to reassure them that not only do you thrive under pressure, but you also have outlets to channel and deal with the demands of being an event planner.
What sets you apart from other event planners?
When answering this question, focus on your strengths and avoid putting others down as discussed over at guttulus.com. Be specific and give examples of how you have dealt with event failures or navigated tricky situations. Discuss everything you can while avoiding at all costs naming competition or bashing other planners.
Have you ever gone over budget? How did you deal with it?
While no one likes to hear that you can’t keep to a budget as an event planner, it is important to share how quickly you identified this and got back on track. Did you think creatively, negotiate more fiercely, slash expenditure in other areas, or identify a new revenue stream? As covered over at runrex.com, it is best to avoid blaming others, even if it was someone else’s fault, but, ideally, discuss how you nearly came close to overspending but used specific measures and budgeting tactics to come in on budget in the end.
What criteria do you feel are most important when selecting a venue or event location?
The specifics of event venue selection can be important to many brands and clients as this is one of the larger (costly) decisions made as per guttulus.com. When answering this question, explain how you would narrow down options for the client and then work closely with them so that they don’t feel as though you would make these decisions without understanding their needs. Also, mention your venue negotiating skills to get the best deal in your answer.
What tactics would you use to persuade a difficult client?
This question is designed to test your morals and ethics as an event planner when it comes to convincing a client to take your suggestions, while also highlighting how far you would go. Don’t dwell on the difficult client aspect, instead, stick to your persuasions and let your expertise speak for itself. 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.
What traits do you consider beneficial and harmful in an event team?
This question is designed to gauge if you are a good fit for the current team, which is something you should have in mind when answering as you may end up discussing the traits of your potential boss or colleagues. Keep your answer broad and give a good reasoning for what you find useful and harmful.
Part of the role may be weekend and evening work, if required, for the successful outcome of the event. How do you feel about working long and unsociable hours?
Given that the event date is fixed and, therefore, immoveable, making sure that everything is done and ready on time is an essential part of the role according to runrex.com. By asking this question, the interviewer is setting their expectations here, as most jobs in events will require a commitment to work unusual and long hours, as is necessary.
Which social media platform do you prefer for event marketing and why?
Given that all platforms have pros and cons as discussed over at guttulus.com, and that the company may have a specific favorite in mind, this question can be a tricky one to answer. 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 requires 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.
What are your motivations for event planning?
When asking this question, the interviewer wants to know if you will be able to deal with the less glamorous side of event planning from long hours or a huge workload, and that you won’t lose interest when things get tough as explained over at runrex.com. Make sure that you demonstrate your passion for this career extends to more than just helping you pay the bills.
What do you specialize in?
Most event planners specialize in a certain type of event, which could be anything from weddings to business conferences. Just like the question on what your least favorite genre is, make sure you do your research before the interview to ensure that your area of expertise aligns with the events that the company you are interviewing for usually holds.
Do you have good vendor contracts?
Employers like to choose event planners who have good relationships with vendors providing equipment, décor, transportation, catering, and entertainment. If you can demonstrate this when answering this question, you will have a leg up over the other candidates as you are likely to get the company a good deal because of your good rapport with vendors.
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