How Event Planner Can Reduce Stress

Event Planner Interview Questions and Answers

Here’s the thing about event coordinator interview questions…

Events administrator interview questions revolve around three main categories: your personality, your job related experience, and your overall event planning strategies or philosophies.

And don’t worry if you’re just starting out – most interviewers will take that into consideration. So if you come across a question about any situation you have yet to personally experience, just be honest and explain what you would do, if given the opportunity.

What personality traits, skills, and education do you think all event planners must have?

Answer: The most successful event planners tend to be highly flexible, organized, and easy to get along with. They also have great time, money, and people management skills. And although formal education isn’t necessarily required it’s always good to have a college degree and/or a certification or two under your belt when starting out.

Why do you want to plan events for our company?

Answer: Be thoughtful in your answer to this question. Besides a love of events, you’ll probably want to go over the company’s mission or value statement and find the points you resonate with the most.

What event software and tools do you like using? And why do you use them?

Answer: If you don’t already have some programs you actively work with, make sure you review a free planning event software or tools ahead of time and mention that you’d like to use them for upcoming projects.


What are your strategies for dealing with irate clients?

Event planning is a high-pressure job that requires a level-head and the ability to stay client centric during stressful situations. This question will reveal if a candidate has the people skills and adaptability needed to appease demanding clients.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Customer service skills

Example: “I always put my clients first and look at things from their perspective. Since the lead-up to an event can be overwhelming, high emotions can sometimes make my clients lash out. I never take this personally and instead suggest different ways of doing things until I find the solution that makes my client’s eyes light up. I pay close attention to their wants and needs and balance them with my professional recommendations.”

How do you keep your event budgets on track?

Event costs can quickly add up and spiral out of control. This question will let you know how a candidate sticks to a budget and thinks creatively to avoid overspending.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Organization skills
  • Budgeting tactics
  • Attention to detail

Example: “My budget sheet is with me at all times and I update it daily, keeping meticulous track of everything I’m spending money on from the very beginning. With every event I plan, I also keep a small contingency budget of 10-20% that I only touch in an emergency.”


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:

Answer:  “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.”

How do you measure the success of an event?

For a nonprofit, a successful event could mean raising X dollars in revenue or signing X new donors. For a corporate product launch, it can mean meeting KPIs or converting leads to sales. For everyone attending, a good event is enjoyable. The interviewer wants to know that you understand how different events have different goals—and that you will work to meet said goals. A good answer might look like this:

Answer:   “Success is dependent on the specific event, and before beginning any engagement, I’d want to sit down with the client and ask what they’re hoping to get out of the event. Then, I’ll try to deliver beyond that. Beyond hitting any numbers, a successful event is a great experience for all who attend it, so I’ll always encourage clients to send out a post-event survey to all attendees. This way, we can make the next event even better.”

Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult or angry client.

Event coordination is stressful, and for clients unaccustomed to the complexities of the process, emotions can run high. The interviewer wants to ensure you can keep your cool, even if the client can’t. Craft your answer carefully, focusing on your actions and responses, rather than the client’s. If you haven’t worked directly with clients, speak to a school project during which you had to work with a challenging person:

Answer:   “At my internship last summer, there was a miscommunication, and we gave away a customer’s date to another client. They were, unsurprisingly, furious. We felt awful, and it fell to me to win them back. Once we’d secured a new date that worked, we gave them a large discount on food, waived corkage fees, and gifted each team member with a local gift card. It was stressful, but it’s important to empathize with the client and try to meet their needs to the best of your abilities.”


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:

Answer:  “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”

This way you get the best of both worlds. You can also draw on any past experience in planning events, or even in managing your workload for college or in life in general. This is a good opportunity to mention your project management skills and how you organize your workload to hit every deadline. Mentioning things like project timelines, calendar notifications, to-do lists, productivity tools and so forth may be relevant here too.

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

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


Questions to Ask to Grow Your Team

So what’s the key to making the hiring process as efficient and quick as possible? Start with a go-to list of interview questions that will make it easy to find your next team member.

Time management

Questions to ask:

  1. How do you prioritize your time? What organization tools do you use?
  2. When kicking off a new event, what are the first steps you take?
  3. Have you ever managed more than one event at a time? Did you complete both events successfully and if so, how?

Stress management

Questions to ask:

  1. Tell me about a time when you had to accommodate a last-minute change. What did you do and who was involved?
  2. What do you do when you are feeling stressed?
  3. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client. What was the result?


Questions to ask:

  1. Have you ever gone over budget? How did you deal with it?
  2. How have you negotiated with sponsors, vendors, and partners to make more room in the budget?
  3. What tools do you use to manage your budget?

Measuring success

Questions to ask:

  1. How do you measure the success of your events? Do you use qualitative or quantitative data?
  2. Describe your most successful event planning experience. What did you do that made it so successful?
  3. What do you think makes a good event?

Tools, news, and tech

Questions to ask:

  1. What event technology/software do you use/prefer now? What new event technology are you excited to try?
  2. What marketing technology do you use to promote events? How do you manage your social media, advertising, and email campaigns?
  3. How do you stay up-to-date with the event industry?