You’re guaranteed to run into at least some of the event coordinator interview questions on this list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that preparation is absolutely required for anyone who wants to truly ace the job interview – and these event planning interview questions will be a key part of your process.
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a last-minute change when planning an event.
They warn you that things can—and will—go wrong at any big event, but they never mention that it’s the event planner who will be scurrying behind the scenes to clean up the mess. The interviewer is checking to ensure you’re able to think, and act, on your feet, and that you’ll have a contingency plan for any setback—whether the presentation won’t load or the caterer forgets dessert. Use the STAR method for this behavioral interview question:
“I interned at a local nonprofit last summer, helping with event planning for their fundraising gala. That night, there was a big storm; a tree came down, blocking the main road. Knowing that half the guests would be late, my supervisor and I sat down with our chief contact at the venue and proactively adjusted the schedule. We extended the cocktail hour by 45 minutes, so that late guests could still attend for a brief time, and gave all of the guests who were already there an extra raffle ticket as a token of our gratitude for their patience. We then served the salad and entrees at the same time, ensuring a quick dinner service. In the end, most people barely noticed!”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
The interviewer wants to know that you’re in event planning for the right reasons and for the long haul. Make it known that you have no reservations about this being the job for you, and emphasize what drew you to this career path. When you consider the future, you don’t have to have a specific role in mind, but ensure your career goals follow a natural progression from this position to more senior roles in the industry.
“Once I’ve completed the virtual internship I’m currently doing, I’m excited to build my skill set as an on-site event planner for your organization, learning everything I can from your expert team. Over time, I’d like to work my way up, eventually taking on managerial roles and being the key point of contact for clients. Overall, I just want to keep moving forward and learning new things.”
Taking the scary out of the event planning interview process
It’s pretty much the same as any other job interview process. Depending on your niche (corporate versus private event planning) or industry (technology versus weddings, etc.), you might encounter some variation of the number of interviews required or any additional, company-specific questions asked. But for the most part, you can expect any standard event planning job interview process to begin with an application, include one or more interviews (using the questions below), and – if you’re successful – end with an offer.
How do you stay aware of industry trends?
Your interviewer wants to know that you’ll stay up to date on the latest industry happenings and technologies, so that their clients are getting the latest and greatest. It’s best to do your research so that you’re aware of a couple of resources out there for event professionals, but your response can also focus on your ability to learn new software quickly and your desire to grow your knowledge going forward:
“I read Eventbrite’s blog every week, and I subscribe to Greater Giving’s emails. Once I graduate, I look forward to attending trade shows and event planning conferences, where I can meet and learn from other professionals face-to-face and see the latest technologies in person.”