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Interview questions to find the best event staff

April 11, 2023

​​You’ve created a job posting, reviewed applications, short-listed interview candidates and arranged to meet them. Well done! But before they walk into your office, you need to know what you’re going to ask them. What interview questions will help you identify great candidates?

Here are some effective interview questions that can help you find the very best event staff. We’ll also tell you what types of answers to listen for and hopefully spark your creativity to come up with some fantastic questions of your own too!

Why did you apply to this position?

This question helps determine if the interviewee’s goals in applying for the position align with the mission of your organization. Does this candidate love working with people? Are they organized? Are they passionate about excellent customer service?

Listen for key traits that this candidate brings to your organization. Whether they work with you for one event or stay long-term, goal alignment is key for a successful working relationship.

What do you know about our company?

Preparation is essential for successful events. Part of that preparation is for every employee to review event procedures, learn about their tasks, and do their homework to exceed expectations. The better equipped your team members are, the better the function will be!

That’s why this interview question is so important. If the interviewee hasn’t done some simple research about your company, you can safely assume that they’re not going to be into the details of the job either. The best candidates will be prepared for this question, indicating a valuable trait that will serve your company well.

How do you establish strong working relationships?

This is another question that will determine if the candidate is a good fit for the culture of your organization. What are the values of your company? How do you want relationships with team members, vendors and event guests to be defined? That’s what you’re looking for in the answer to this question.

Strong answers may include utilizing active listening, asking questions to ensure understanding, respecting differences, valuing open communication, and always being willing to help out where needed.

How do you define hard work?

You want event staff who will go above expectations, help their colleagues and ensure that things are running smoothly. This question helps you find them!

Listen for candidates who talk about going beyond their outlined tasks and doing whatever it takes for the team to have a resounding success.

How do you deal with difficult customers or guests?

Wouldn’t it be great if we never had to ask this question? If everyone were always patient, understanding, and had reasonable expectations?

Unfortunately, you and your event staff will encounter difficult clientele and it’s essential that your staff members are prepared for these situations. Standout interviewees will mention listening to the customer’s concerns, taking initiative to offer solutions, thanking the guest for bringing the issue to them, and remaining calm.

An interviewee who indicates that they’re teachable is also something to look for here. Employees who value excellence will eagerly accept protocols and training to provide customers with the best possible experience and resolutions.

Provide an example of a time that you provided excellent customer service.

Definitions of customer service vary. Some organizations value quick and efficient interactions, while others define customer service as determining needs and doing whatever it takes to exceed them.

The answer to this question will help to determine if the interviewee’s ideas on customer service align with those of your organization and also give you a glimpse into how customer service was defined in previous roles that they’ve held.

Situational questions.

If you’re guaranteed one thing in event management, it’s that unexpected situations will come up. Asking an interviewee what they would do in a given scenario is a great way to assess their creativity, problem-solving skills, and commitment to excellent customer service. To create great situational questions for an interview, think back to events you’ve worked or managed and details that didn’t go as planned. What would the candidate have done in that situation?

Do you have any questions for us?

This is my favorite interview question to ask candidates. They know that this question marks the end of the formal part of the interview and they often visibly relax at this point, allowing for increased dialogue.

Again, the best candidates will come prepared with some questions about how your company is organized, what they can expect as an employee, and what’s valued in team members. You’ll also be able to assess the candidate’s conversational abilities, an important trait if they’re spending significant time with guests or members of the public.

Making the call

You’re the only one who can make the decision whether or not to move forward with a candidate.  Hopefully the interview questions above, along with what answers to look for, will help you tease out whether the candidate will be a good fit for your organization or not. 

What’s Next?

Here are a few articles that may be helpful after the interview!

  • Now that you’ve hired great staff, you’ll want a great onboarding process for them to understand how your organization works and what it stands for. Learn more about how to onboard new event staff
  • And after you’ve spent the blood, sweat and tears to hire and onboard your staff. You don’t want them to quit! Learn more about how to keep the best event staff
  • Great staff communication with staff is key for business success. Learn more about the three keys of effective communication with event staff
  • Managing event details and schedules by pen and paper or by spreadsheet is cumbersome, error-prone and time consuming. Event scheduling software will provide your employees with their schedules, assigned tasks, complete information about the event, and consistent and streamlined communication. Read more about the benefits of using event staff scheduling software

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