Welcome to the second part of the series: Questions People Regret Not Asking During a Part-Time Job Interview. Today, we are exploring the events industry!
Have you ever worked at a job where the job scope and experience was nowhere near your expectations, like the disappointment you get from tasting the overrated chicken rice you had to queue for?
“Work with friends! Flexible working schedules!”
You see recruitment advertisements like these all the time on job portals and Facebook Groups. And often, it all seems too good to be true. Other than these benefits, what should you clarify with your employer before applying for or accepting an events job or internship?
We asked 3 experienced employees in the events field: Johnny, an events crew member at ad-hoc functions, Beatrice, a part-time promoter, and Kayla, a former events intern.
Kayla: It is very important to know what are your responsibilities (e.g. are you required to be more involved in the sales or production side?) so you know if something is someone else's responsibility.
Being an enthusiastic new addition to the team, I often found myself burning out and staying at the office till 2 am just to finish up all the work I needed to do.
On hindsight, I realised I could have gotten some of the work delegated to my colleagues and this would have increased our efficiency rather than having it done at the expense of my sleep.
Shouldering more responsibilities will definitely give you the opportunity to learn more. But, remember to strike a balance between your responsibilities and taking on other people's portfolio!
Johnny: Depending on the nature of each event, and the role that you're undertaking, there are often common situations and types of customers that you'll face. Clarifying with your employer allows you to better prepare yourself for the job.
For example, I was working an event where guests swarmed us with requests for food at 2.30pm. Food was supposed to only be available at 3 pm, which upset some of them.
In the end, we had to get another full-timer to help us explain our protocol to the guests and the reasons for not offering them the food earlier. We found out that it was a common situation at some events.
We would have handled the situation better if we knew this was going to happen, and who we could direct the guest to immediately.
Beatrice: Whether you're an extrovert or introvert, if it's your first-time promoting at an event, you might feel awkward or shy about approaching strangers. Get your employer to share with you tips on how other promoters do it!
Depending on the brand that you're working with, they might also require you to highlight certain things in your pitch (e.g. benefit of their product, etc).
This is also a great opportunity to polish up your communication skills, which will definitely help you in your future career.
Sometimes, while interacting with the customers, they might also ask if they could take a photo together with you. For fear of offending the customers, some part-timers might oblige.
If your job scope doesn't require you to take a photograph with them, just smile and reject politely, explain your job scope to them, and attend to their product/service related queries – because that's what you're there for.
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Johnny: Your interviewer might not be your direct supervisor or the person you report to on the event itself.
You need to clarify with the interviewer who you are reporting to; and in case of emergencies or when you're faced with a difficult guest as mentioned above, the person you should direct the guest to.
I had a friend who didn't know the contact point at the event and spent 15 minutes looking for other part-timers. They were in the kitchen having a briefing, and she didn't even know that she was supposed to arrive 15 minutes early, which caused her to miss the briefing.
Communication between your colleagues is very important for the smooth operation of an event!
Beatrice: It is crucial to find out whether breaks are given for event jobs. Most events run from morning till night, and if you are required to be there for the whole event, it's important to clarify whether breaks are given and how long are the breaks.
If the employer only informs you of a “no-break” policy on the event itself, you'll have no choice but to only go ahead with the job, as you have already accepted it, and probably even signed a contract as well!
Imagine how lethargic you will be when the day ends. That might affect your performance on the job as well!
Clarifying on the duration of the breaks is also important. Most event jobs would offer a break time of 1 hour, but some only 30 minutes. Hence, I can plan my time well to eat and rest so that I can perform well on the job.
Johnny: Many events run past midnight, and most employers provide transportation when you end work. This piece of crucial information might slip the interviewers' minds, so do your part to clarify with them if public transport is not available by the time the event ends.
This is important because if transportation is not provided after midnight, how are you going to get home? The double charge during midnight might amount up to half your pay!
So if transport is not already catered for you, check if transport allowance is provided for you to take a taxi or Grab/Uber.
Often, events also end later than the stipulated timing. Hence, clarify if there is overtime pay as well!
A lot of fresh graduates or new interns with no work experience in the industry often gets a shock by the long hours needed to put into the entire sales and production of the event.
The entire set up, execution and tearing down of an event can take anywhere between 6 hours to 72 hours or even more! The duration is dependent on your job scope, the number of pax and type of event you're organising. (e.g. A small seminar versus a big company's Dinner & Dance).
While the experience of organising an event can be very fulfilling, it can leave you lethargic at the same time. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the amount of hard work and hours needed to put into any successful show.
Make sure to clarify and ensure that you're able to commit to the working hours of an event executive.
As with every job, there are pros and cons. Hence, it is very important to understand what you really want to get out of the entire job experience.
Is it the fun of working in a job that allows human interactions with vendors and clients alike? Or is it the satisfaction of seeing through a project?
Here's a summary of the questions people regret not asking the interviewer:
Remember that these questions are important and you should ask the interviewer before you accept the job. That way, you'll avoid any regrets!
We've made a neat checklist for you compiling these questions so it can come in handy during an events part-time job interview! Click below to download!
Know of any friends who're looking for event jobs? Help them out by sharing this article with them! Oh, and you know what they say – best friends do everything together. So, join your friends and apply for event jobs and internships below!
Also, here's a useful link where you can find out more about your part-time employment entitlements in Singapore.
Check out the final article in the series that highlights important questions to ask if you are applying for a part-time retail job to avoid any regrets.
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Do share with us in the comments section below if you know of any other important questions we missed out. Feel free to share with us if you have any problems you'd like us to cover in future articles!