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Interviewing Potential Staff

By: Sam Harrington-Lowe - Updated: 13 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Interviewing Interview Questions

You may find that your business requires more hands on deck to make it work, perhaps it has grown and developed, or perhaps you were always planning to have a team rather than run it as a one person concern. Whatever the reasons, hiring staff can make or break a business, because getting the wrong people in the team can be far more damaging than not having them at all!

Interviewing for staff is a key factor for getting this right from the outset, and the interview is all important for that first fact-finder. But before you start to look for your perfect team member, you will need to think about what interview questions you’re going to ask, and indeed, what kind of person you are looking for.

What do Event Staff Do?

There is a tendency to think that event management is a glamorous job, attending and throwing parties, seeking out exotic locations and sourcing crazy suppliers. But the simple fact is that event management is far more boring than this! the majority of the work is done behind the scenes or in the office over weeks, months or even years before the actual event itself and when looking for competent event staff, top of the list is their ability to be accurate with details and to be able to check, double check and triple check everything.

Negotiating is all part of the job too, find the right products or supplies and working to a budget – so your team need to be diligent and accurate. They also need to be very aware that there are very long days to work sometimes, and very busy periods where ‘free time’ becomes a thing of the past – perhaps around the busy Christmas party period perhaps. No use having a clock-watcher at that time of year!

Types of Interviews

There is no substitute for seeing a person face to face but of course this might not be ideal. International events companies will often employ staff from other countries and in that case a telephone or video / webcam interview might be the only option. You also need to think about whether you plan to hold the interviews yourself alone, or if you have a team or panel to help you. Will you have a selection process and then second interviews? Will you ask applicants to complete and bring something with them? Think about what you need to find out, and work it back from there. If you think you might have a lot of hopefuls, find a way to narrow it down in the first instance.

Questions

Of course asking the right questions is almost as important as giving the best answers! If you don’t have a clear idea of what you need to know, you will find after the applicant has gone you’ll be kicking yourself and wishing you had asked them this, or that.

Prepare your questions in advance, make sure any other interviewer has a copy in good time. Think about background, past performances, judgment-call questions, leading questions, and closed questions. For example, if you ask an applicant "Do you handle stress well?" the answer is likely to be in the affirmative! But if you ask them "How do you handle stress?" you will have a much more revealing answer. Also, keep notes during the interview or you will have nothing to refer to afterwards.

Feedback

Finally remember that once you have made your choice, there may be other hopefuls out there on tenterhooks! Let everyone know if they have been successful or not and be prepared to offer feedback to unsuccessful applicants. Be constructive, not overly critical.

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