Have you ever had a job candidate throw away a beer can before entering your facilities for an interview? A human resources professional, who chose to remain anonymous, reported this to be a real-life situation. And, according to a Reader’s Digest article, these types of interview mishaps, while not common, do regularly happen. There’s the guy who sent his sister as his proxy, as well as the man who had his lunch delivered to the prospective employer’s office before his interview. These examples certainly don’t show professionalism or good sense, and likely will be more than reasons for disqualification. Yet, when looking for the best event staff hire, some other kinds of out-of-the-ordinary actions may work in the applicant’s favor.
For example, one man applied by song. And a woman showed up for her interview wearing a catsuit. How you interpret these situations depend on your brand, its values, your events and their needs. But, in most cases, your applicants’ interviews will be typical in structure. That’s why it’s up to you to prepare the right list of questions to get the information you need. After all, your ability to screen and hire the best event staff can make or break your marketing event’s success.
Why Event Staff and Their Interviews Are Critical to Your Success
Think about the roles that your event staff fill. If they’re giving demonstrations, the ability to speak well and be knowledgeable are invaluable. Not knowing the answers to questions or fumbling through steps can ruin the chances of consumers ever buying your product. For those greeting attendees or leading games, an open and enthusiastic disposition can make all the difference. Imagine how a poor attitude can affect your visitors’ experiences and reflect poorly on your brand and its products and services. The bottom line is, whatever their responsibilities, each individual staff member must undergo a thorough screening to ensure they’re the best event staff hire.
The interview process also helps the applicant determine if your position is the best fit for them. According to a CareerBuilder survey, your internal brand, your “employment brand,” is somewhat or very important to over 90% of job seekers. And while this may not seem as important as your view on them, it is. If they’re not happy or passionate about your brand or their role, event attendees can pick up on it. The attitude and demeanor of your event staff will be contagious to your potential customers.
The Best Questions to Ask a Potential Event Staff Hire
There’s no doubt that some first impressions should and will sway your event staff hire decisions. The singing applicant has the opportunity to show good hygiene, style, an outgoing personality and his musical aptitude, if relevant. But, there is a lot about each person that you will need to uncover. Learn why these seven questions do the trick.
1. Tell us about yourself.
This open-ended question is a common starting point. But the truth is, it’s a great way to initiate communication. It allows the candidate to highlight aspects of their career or life, giving you a look at what’s most important to them. It can also spur more questions from you. But, most important, it gives you a unique view of how they might handle off-the-cuff conversation with attendees, an important skill in event marketing.
2. Why do you want to work events for us?
We know the core of the answer to this question might be the need to maintain their livelihood. Yet, you need to know the specific reason they want to work marketing events and represent your company n particular. Perhaps they have a passion for the industry. And even better if they’re passionate about your offering in particular. Their enthusiasm for either will contribute to the authenticity of your event. This is a must for connecting with today’s consumers.
3. What do you consider your three best qualities?
Three isn’t a magic number. But, defining a quantity helps ensure your candidates provide as much detail as possible. The aim is to learn if their strong points align with your needs. Great answers for event staffing can include flexibility to adapt to different personalities and situations; being a good listener to understand consumers’ needs and pain points; and problem-solving to offer solutions to issues. They should also address skills needed for their particular role.
4. In what area or areas do you need improvement?
This question has become more commonplace over the years. And most interviewees know how to navigate it. Yet, interviewers play it safe and ask anyway to ensure they don’t experience one of those Reader’s Digest moments on the day of an event activation. For example, if a candidate answers “punctuality” or “being on time,” you know they’re not a good fit for your time-sensitive marketing events.
5. What is your availability? Do you have schedule constraints?
Speaking of punctuality, it’s important your event staff hire be available when needed. Event and experiential marketing activations can occur at various times and on various days. And the days may be lengthy, especially if they’re involved with setup or tear down, or if your event has a long execution time. Make sure their availability is generally open or open at the times you’re likely to need them. This will save you headaches down the road and reduce the chance for last-minute cancellations.
6. Do you work best independently or on a team?
Some event or experiential marketing activations may require only one person, and in that case, being able to work solo is a great quality. Yet, most events will call for a team. And, anyone who’s ever worked an event knows a team effort is necessary for success. Candidates who are resolute about the need to stand alone won’t make a great event staff hire for the long run.
7. What tools do you need to successfully do your job?
A candidate should have natural or learned abilities to interact with attendees. So, they shouldn’t need training on basic necessities to staff your event and engage with consumers. Seasoned event professionals will, however, recognize the need for education on your key messages and your products. They’ll also want to understand your goals to ensure they’re doing what they can to help achieve them.
Check Your Current Event Staff Hire Process
The seven questions above should help improve the caliber of your event staff hires. But, if you already ask these questions and aren’t seeing desired results, it may be time to partner with an event staffing agency. A reputable agency will have an established pool of candidates, with skills based on your event’s specific needs. Most importantly, they will thoroughly interview the talent before each and every event to ensure they are the right choice. Each event will require different considerations, so, no matter how well they know someone, a fresh interview and conversation is needed every time.
An effective interview process is paramount to reaching your goals, as it is through that process that you secure your event’s number one asset – its people.
Since 1999, EPS has provided the right event staff for thousands of experiential marketing events. We eliminate the burden of the event staff hire process for our clients, while removing employment liability and helping achieve success. Contact us so we can show you how we can ensure the best event staff for every single activation.