1. Can you tell us have you ever gone over budget? How did you deal with it?

No one likes to hear that you can't keep to a budget but at the same time it is important to share how quickly you identified this and got back on track. Did you think creatively, negotiate more fiercely, did you slash expenditure in other areas or identify a new revenue stream? It is best to avoid blaming others (even if it was someone else's fault) but ideally you can discuss how you nearly come close to over spending but used specific measures and budgeting tactics to come in on budget in the end.

2. Tell us what criteria do you use for prioritising tasks?

This is a fairly simple follow-on question that can be useful to assess your judgement and experience in terms of getting things done. You probably do not have enough information about the specifics of the role and company guidance at this stage so try and opt for something a bit more vague that involves mentioning the brand or client's needs and what has been previously discussed. For example, try something like:

My priorities would differ according to the needs of the client and the resources available at the time. In my own time I prioritise according to… whereas for an event I use the client and company to guide what is most important and set key milestones right from the start

3. Tell me what traits do you consider beneficial and harmful in an event team?

This is usually asked to see if you are a good fit for the current team so bear this in mind when answering because you may end up discussing the traits of your potential boss or colleagues. Keep it broad and give good reasoning for what you find useful and harmful, you may benefit from discussing the traits you admire in others and saying something like

Great communication skills are key for a team and those who are very open and honest I find I work with best.

4. Tell me what strategies do you use for dealing with event stress?

Event planning can be challenging and highly pressurized and 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. Reassure them, not only that you thrive under pressure, but also that you have outlets to channel and deal with the demands of being an event planner.

5. Tell us do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?

Everyone loves an entrepreneur, right? Wrong. For clients, this is often considered a positive because it shows you are full of ideas but for a potential employer having your own dreams and aspirations shows that you might not be in it for the long haul. They won't want to invest time and energy in training you if they think you are going to take it all and leave. Find an answer that implies you are creative and have vision for the future without making them feel like you can't be loyal.

6. Tell us how have you dealt with difficult clients or attendees in the past?

You need to navigate this question carefully as some have the “customer is always right” mentality and event planning is a people-centric role, where customer service is key. They want to understand how you would deal with high pressured situations and navigating customer needs in line with company policy so focus on your resolution and how you dealt with it more than the actual issue at hand and NEVER bash a client or attendee, directly or otherwise.

To prepare for a job interview spend some time thinking about past scenarios and experiences and what you learnt from different situations, such as dealing with difficult clients or irate attendees.

7. Tell me what are your strengths as Volunteer Coordinator?

While this question is an invitation to do some chest pounding, remember to illustrate strengths that will benefit the employer and are relative to the position. For example:

☛ being a problem solver
☛ being a motivator
☛ being a natural leader
☛ the ability to perform under pressure
☛ a positive attitude
☛ loyalty

8. Tell me which social media platform do you prefer for event marketing and why?

This can be tricky because all platforms have pros and cons and the company or client may have a specific favorite in mind. 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 involves 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. If your personal social media accounts are public make sure that your own channels show some of your flair and skills for social media.

9. Can you tell us what creative ideas have you seen work in fundraising?

There are all sorts of creative ways to raise funds! Think about the fun things you have seen. You may have witnessed: - A community Olympics or sports games event where teams pay to participate - Trivia tournaments - Auctions - Dancing with the Stars Community Edition - Gala - Casino Nights - Talent Shows - Fashion Shows - Jail Night - having people raise enough 'bail' money to get out of jail Simply share 2-3 creative ideas you have witnessed! Here's an answer example: "For my college marketing association, that I was secretary for, we held an annual casino night at the college. Each year, the event alone was successful enough to meet our annual budget."

10. Please explain what tactics would you use to persuade a difficult client?

This question can be as much about morals than anything else and they want to know how you would convince a client to take your suggestions as well as how far you would go. Don't dwell on the difficult client aspect, stick to your persuasions and letting your expertise speak for itself. You could make suggestions such as:

I would create an opportunity for the client to accompany me to test or view things for themselves to give them a better first-hand experience that allows me to better explain my recommendations.

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