When you're looking to hire a DJ, no matter what the event, you probably have come up with some questions that are the typical, expected ones. You can find questions like these on any number of websites to help you plan your event. But consider asking them some less common, but just as important, questions that will tell you a whole lot depending upon their response, and possibly save you a lot of time and aggravation down the line.
1. What do you wear to an event?
I attended a wedding not too long ago where the DJ wore an untucked, button-down shirt that was opened to his chest, displaying his gold bling, over jeans. Now, it may be the case that the bride and groom informed the DJ that the reception was informal (although it didn't appear that way from the rest of the guest's wardrobe -- including my own), but I doubt it. Knowing the couple as I did, I think that this was just the DJ's choice of attire and it was a question that my friend had not asked the DJ prior to hiring him. By the DJ dressing that way, it came off (to me, at least) as a sign of disrespect, as though the wedding were not important. I'm not saying you have to wear a tux (I don't), but you also don't want to look like you just rolled out of bed.
2. How does your ¨DJ booth¨ look?
I don't think there's anything more unsightly than a bunch of loose wires and cables running all over the place at the DJ's booth/table. Like the DJ attire mentioned above, this may just be a personal preference; however, keep in mind that if your DJ is located close to the dance floor, any unsightly cables, signs/banners, or even lights, can be an eyesore to your guests, or even worse, in your pictures. Some DJs use a facade to hide such wires, but sometimes it's taken a step further by adding lights behind it to give it a more ¨clubby¨ look which may or may not suit you depending on your tastes.
3. Will there be a way to reach you on the day of the event?
I give all my clients my direct cell phone number, in case there are any last-minute changes. I also ask for theirs in return, so that if anything were to happen on my end (knock on wood), they'd know immediately.
4. How do you interact with guests who may approach you?
There are two types of DJs: the ones who think they are God-like and don't want anything to do with the guests, or the ones who enjoy talking to the people in attendance. (Can you guess which one I am?). The way your DJ interacts with people says a lot about their professionalism, and can really help inspire people to celebrate, or, conversely, kill an otherwise happy atmosphere.
5. Do you use any sort of autoplay mode so you do not have to be at the booth?
With such terrific technology, DJs can program up a list of songs, and set it to autoplay. Your DJ should only leave to use the bathroom or, perhaps, have their meal (although many DJs, like me, will eat nearby their booth). Do you want a DJ who steps out for frequent smoke breaks, or to make phone calls? While the program may run fine without the DJ nearby, there's always the chance of a glitch occuring, or a current musical theme isn't working and needs to be changed up. You're paying the DJ for his/her time, so you should get what you expect.
6. Do you make your playlist ahead of time? How committed to that list are you?
It's always good to prepare ahead of time. Making a playlist beforehand is never a bad thing to work off of, but the DJ should not be bound to that list. A DJ should use that list just as a starting point and work from there, gauging the crowd and making changes to the list as need be depending upon the flow of the night.
There's no such thing as asking too many questions of your DJ. You're not only putting down a lot of money, but it may be one of the biggest days of your life. Make it about you, not the DJ, and you'll save yourself time, and perhaps tears, down the line.