event planning interview questions

You’re guaranteed to run into at least some of the event coordinator interview questions on this list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that anyone who wants to really ace the job interview needs to prepare, and these event planning interview questions will be a big part of that.

The Complete Guide to Acing Your Event Planner Interview

You’ve landed an interview for an exciting event planning role. Now it’s time to prepare and wow the hiring manager with your experience skills and passion.

In my years working in event planning, I’ve sat on both sides of the interview table. I know firsthand the kinds of questions you’ll be asked, and what interviewers look for in strong candidates.

This comprehensive interview guide will explore key questions you’re likely to encounter when interviewing for event planner positions. I’ll share examples of awesome answers that get results.

Let’s dive in and get you ready to ace your upcoming event planning interview!

Essential Research to Do Beforehand

Thorough preparation is crucial for any interview. Make sure you’ve researched the company, role, and interviewers to customize your responses. Key areas to focus on include:

  • Studying the company website, social media, press releases, and news mentions. This gives insights into their brand, culture, values, clients, and types of events.

  • Learning about the specific team you’d be joining, including leadership profiles on LinkedIn This shows your interest.

  • Reviewing the role’s responsibilities and qualifications to match your background and skills to what they need,

  • Researching the interviewers so you can connect with them personally when responding.

  • Reaching out to employees, vendors, or attendees to get an insider perspective. This provides talking points.

  • Brushing up on industry news and trends to showcase your passion and knowledge.

  • Rehearsing your responses out loud to polish your content and delivery.

Thorough preparation displays your initiative and enthusiasm for the company and position.

10 Common Event Planner Interview Questions and Answers

Here are examples of frequent interview questions for event planning roles, with tips for delivering winning responses:

  1. Why are you interested in this event planner position?

Tips: Share your passion for events, highlight your most relevant skills, explain why the company excites you.

Sample Answer: “I’m excited to utilize my 7+ years of event experience planning creative corporate events and conferences. This role really appeals to me because I love the energy and culture ABC Company brings to their experiential marketing events. I know I could use my artistic eye and knack for problem-solving to take your events to the next level.”

  1. What do you enjoy most about event planning?

Tips: Show your passion, provide examples of favorite parts of the process.

Sample Answer: “What I enjoy most is the entire creative process – from brainstorming imaginative themes, designing unique experiences, coordinating all the moving parts, to finally seeing the vision come to life on event day. I love the challenges of problem-solving and constantly improving upon each event. My favorite moment is standing in the middle of the venue right before the doors open, seeing months of planning culminate in that pinnacle instant.”

  1. How would you prepare for a large-scale corporate event or conference?

Tips: Demonstrate your methodical approach, project management and organizational skills.

Sample Answer: “For a major corporate event, I would start by thoroughly discussing goals, budget, attendee demographics, and logistics with our internal team and client. I’d create a detailed project plan and timeline using tools like Asana to map out deliverables. I’d assemble my vendor team early on and clearly communicate roles. Closer to the event date, I’d conduct in-depth walkthroughs of the venue and final run-of-shows with my team. My focus would be ensuring flawless execution through meticulous planning, strong vendor relationships, and consistent communication.”

  1. How do you stay organized when juggling multiple events and deadlines?

Tips: Share your systems for prioritizing, tracking details, meeting deadlines. Emphasize time management abilities.

Sample Answer: “Organization is crucial when balancing multiple events, so I rely on tools like my Google calendar, Trello boards, and Asana to track all key deadlines and assign tasks. I create detailed checklists for each event project so needed steps don’t slip through the cracks. I touch base with my team regularly to identify any roadblocks early on. While organization is key, I also stay nimble so I can quickly reprioritize if emergencies come up. My goal is keeping projects flowing smoothly amidst competing demands.”

  1. How would you handle an unhappy client or participant on event day?

Tips: Demonstrate your customer service skills and ability to diffuse difficult situations.

Sample Answer: “If a client or attendee seems unhappy, I would immediately engage with them one-on-one to better understand their concerns. I’d listen attentively, apologize for any issues, and thank them for their feedback. If something needs to be fixed, I’d spring into action right away by bringing in my operations lead and our vendor team. We would collaborate on making it right through a solution like refunding the client, comping an attendee’s registration, or rescheduling their session. I would continue checking in to ensure their complete satisfaction. Turning frustrations into raving fans is my top priority.”

  1. Have you handled last-minute emergencies or changes at an event?

Tips: Share examples that prove you can adapt quickly and problem-solve under pressure.

Sample Answer: “At a recent gala, our entertainment backed out just two days before the event. While it was a stressful situation, I jumped into solution mode. I immediately reached out to my agency contacts and performer friends to explain the circumstance and find a replacement. Luckily a fantastic local band who knew our cause was available. We negotiated a rush contract and quickly coordinated their equipment and stage needs. Thanks to my vendor relationships and calm under pressure, we seamlessly resolved the entertainment emergency without our attendees ever knowing there was an issue.”

  1. What event planning systems or software do you use?

Tips: Demonstrate you are skilled with key industry tools and have the technical abilities needed for the role.

Sample Answer: “I am highly proficient in leading event management systems like Cvent and Planning Pod. I use Asana for project management and Trello for task lists. I track contacts, leads and vendors in Salesforce. I’ve become adept at Quickbooks for budgeting and invoicing. For design, I leverage the Adobe Creative Suite. I’m a lifelong learner when it comes to software tools that maximize productivity and organization for flawless events.”

  1. How do you keep events innovative, unique, and exciting year after year?

Tips: Share outside-the-box thinking, examples of signature touches, and creative problem-solving.

Sample Answer: “I believe the key is finding that perfect balance between keeping aspects attendees know and love, while elevating experiences each year. I always survey target audiences so I can learn new trends and desires firsthand. For a holiday party, I engage volunteers to develop interactive activities based on feedback. I reimagine décor by researching Pinterest and Instagram for the latest ideas. I aim to build anticipation through intriguing invites. My goal is crafting unforgettable ‘wow’ moments that guests can’t wait to return to.”

  1. How do you track event success and ROI?

Tips: Demonstrate you understand how to quantify and report on event performance using data and metrics.

Sample Answer: “It’s crucial that stakeholders understand the concrete impact of events, so I measure success through key performance indicators like attendance totals, sponsorship revenue, attendee satisfaction scores, email open and click rates, social media buzz, lead generation, and sales lift. During the event, I capture photos, videos, testimonials, and data on engagement. Post-event, I analyze and synthesize all this into an in-depth recap report highlighting key wins, takeaways, and ROI. Quantifying our results allows me to showcase value and continually improve future events.”

  1. Where do you see your event planning career in 5 years?

Tips: Share your passion for growth, goals to expand skills and experience, desire for leadership roles.

Sample Answer: “In 5 years, I see myself taking on more leadership as an event department head, overseeing a team of planners. I hope to be executing more large-scale events like conferences, festivals, and galas. I plan to have my PCEP certification completed. I aim to be driving innovation in our events through cutting-edge technology like VR. Most importantly, I want to mentor up-and-coming planners to advance their careers. My ultimate goal is leveraging my talents to bring people together through inspiring events.”

Standing Out Through Unique Questions

Beyond popular interview questions, some hiring managers get creative to test your thinking on your feet. Here are some examples of unique event planning interview questions and tactics for answering:

  • What kind of event would you plan if you had an unlimited budget?

Tips: Share creative vision and dream big!

  • How would you make a conference on dental hygiene more engaging?

Tips: Show you can make any topic stimulating through experience design.

  • Sell us this pen as if it was sponsorship at an event.

Tips: Demonstrate sales skills with this on-the-spot challenge.

  • What questions haven’t we asked that you wish we would?

Tips: Smartly guide the conversation to highlight your best assets.


20 Most Common Event Planner Questions and Answers

Events administrator interview questions are a piece of cake once you’ve rehearsed your responses. To help you get ready for the interview, here are some common questions, along with possible answers and pieces of advice:

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.

Answer: Be thoughtful in your answer to this question. Besides liking events, you should read the company’s mission or value statement and pick out the parts that speak to you the most.

You should look at free event planning software or tools ahead of time if you don’t already have ones you use regularly. Let them know you’d like to use them for upcoming projects.

Answer: Event planning blogs, such as this one, are a great way to stay on top of everything. Make a note of the Social Tables blog for future use if you don’t already have some ready for this question.

Answer: Just in case it’s been awhile, here’s a great guide to promoting events on social media you can use to brush up.

Answer: The interviewer may or may not be fishing for a specific answer here. But in general, planners can use almost any event KPI that directly relates to the stated event goals.

Answer: When explaining the event, make sure you showcase which key event planning skill you used to pull it off.

Answer: Most projects go over budget because the person planning them doesn’t have enough experience (poor communication, unrealistic goals, and a lack of foresight are the main problems). That’s why this would come up. Make sure they know you know this, and make plans to avoid any problems that might come up by doing more research and learning.

Answer: 85% of projects goabove budget but there are plenty of things you can do if your event does go over, including negotiating with vendors and finding cheaper alternatives for essentials that don’t directly add to attendee experience (think scansions and signage).

Answer: If you don’t, that’s perfectly okay. List some common tips for how to negotiate with venues and vendors that’d you’d like to try out in the future.

Answer: Event planning has been named the 5th most stressful job in the world. A great attitude, commitment to work/life balance, and fine-tuned communication skills are part of any professional planners stress-busting inner toolkit.

Answer: Now’s the time to break out an example from your personal life. Choose one thing you’d like the interviewer to take away from your story. It could be a skill you have, something that makes you the best person for the job, or something that isn’t on your resume but will make you stand out from the others. Then pick an event that you know shows that side of you so you can show them (not just tell them) about it.

Given that you’ll likely be in charge of the kickoff meeting, you should put together the agenda and get ready to make introductions. You’ll also outline the event’s purpose, goals, and timeline along with individual or department responsibilities/expectations. Last but not least, you will explain how communication will work and what, if any, check-ins will happen when.

We all know that not every event you plan will go as planned, and that’s fine! This question is less about your flaws and more about how well you can compare event expectations to results. The more informed and professional your answer is, the better. So pick an event (either one that went well or one that didn’t) that you can talk about in great detail and include things like the original goals versus the final event ROI.

Answer: This question suggests that the job you’re interviewing for might include planning multiple projects at once. The key is to know how to prioritize when everything is #1, which can often be determined by your event goals.

Answer: Managing last minute event planning madness is a skill all its own but it starts during the initial planning phase by including wiggle room in both the timeline and budget for things that come up.

Again, this is a great chance to show off a certain trait you have through a personal story that has nothing to do with work. Don’t be afraid to talk about your strengths or the people who inspire you. These details will make your interview much more interesting.

Answer: Dealing with difficult clients can actually make you a better event planner. By mirroring their behavior and improving your communication skills you can overcome virtually anyone’s bad attitude.

Answer: This handy 7 point checklist for choosing your event venue is great if you don’t already have one. Otherwise you can always mention how budget and event goals factor into the process for you.

Based on what you’ve read, you should already know how many events this company plans each year and what kind of event they use most often. Let’s say they have a lot of seminars and you’d love to take over their monthly series. Be sure to mention that in your answer. This question is really about your personality (what makes you tick when it comes to events) and fit (it’s great if an event planner likes planning conventions, but you might not want them to plan your wedding).

event planning interview questions

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 in general, the process for getting a job as an event planner will start with an application, include one or more interviews (using the questions below), and end with an offer if you’re hired.

EVENT MANAGER Interview Questions & Answers! (PASS any Event Manager or Event Planner Job Interview)


What are the 5 C’s of event planning?

In the world of event management, the 5 C’s—Concept, Context, Content, Coordination, and Communication—are the cornerstones of successful planning and execution.

What are the 8 important traits of a successful event planner?

The most important qualities for a successful event planner or manager include organizational skills, communication skills, flexibility, creativity, budget management, attention to detail, leadership skills, and customer service skills.

What interview questions do event planners ask?

Employers ask these general event planner interview questions to get to know your personality and interest in an event planner role: Tell me about your professional background. How would your previous employer describe you? What are your interests outside of work? What televised events do you look forward to watching every year?

Why is interviewing important for event planners?

Interviewing is an important step in the hiring process for event planners, as it allows the hiring manager to evaluate a candidate’s interpersonal skills and professionalism. Event planners must be comfortable communicating with potential and new clients and vendors, so strong interpersonal and communication skills are critical.

How do I prepare for an event planner interview?

Preparing for an Event Planner interview requires a blend of showcasing your organizational skills, creativity, and ability to manage both small details and the big picture. It’s not just about presenting past events you’ve managed; it’s about demonstrating your readiness to take on the unique challenges of the role you’re applying for.

What skills do event planners need?

Event planners need to have organizational and project management skills to do their job well. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to be a successful event planner. In your answer, share two or three skills that make you qualified for this role. Elaborate on how you have developed these skills.

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