1.What type of DJ are You?
2. How would Describe Your Style?
Every DJ has a unique style of how they perform and what kind of genre they have this plays a huge role depending on the type of vibe you are trying to create. If your establishment has a lounge vibe that sets the atmosphere for people to have exciting conversations throughout the night, you wouldn’t hire a Dubstep DJ for example because that would create a huge mismatch and ruin the vibe of your lounge. Therefore it is crucial you ask the DJ this question to ensure the delightful experience and the success of your business. DJ by Genre:
Drum & Bass
Indie Dance/ Nu
Psy – Trance
3. Get Recommendations and Referrals
A great DJ should be able to provide you with customer endorsements and referrals from their previous and current clients. These referrals act as the DJ their resume and they provide you with a good insight of their performance in person. If the candidate can’t provide you with a good amount of referrals, it’s probably for your best interest to move on and look for a better candidate.
4. How Do You Get the Crowd Going?
A great DJ knows how to play the crowd. In order to ensure your customers will have a great time. You need to hire a DJ that knows how to engage with the crowd either by accepting a request, or by acting as an MC, or by increasing the BPM levels to raise the heartbeat on the dance floor. These are important questions because they reflect on the desired atmosphere you want to create.
How does the DJ get people dancing if they seem reluctant?
Will they accept requests from guests?
Is the DJ willing to also act as an MC and make announcements?
5. Do You Have Any Samples/ Playlist?
Most DJ's that take their craft serious usually use some kind of online platform to gain exposure or to share their music with listeners. A few platforms they potentially could be using are... Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Noisetrade, Jamendo, Soundclick, Mixcould, Youtube and Facebook. A great DJ has a passion for sharing their Music to gain feedback on it so they can improve and create better listening experiences for people. Those are the kind of DJ's you want to hire if they qualify in their other categories too.
6. Can We Visit You at One of Your Performances?
Watching a DJ in person will give you a better idea of how they would play in your club/ bar/ lounge/ etc.. Receiving referrals and listening to music online are very different things than in person. During an interview, a DJ could tell you they are the best and see themselves fitting at your establishment. However, as the hiring manager you know your business best, and therefore you need to know exactly if their style of playing is good enough and if it matches the vibe of your business. These two questions can be answered right away if you witness one of their performances in person.
7. How Would You Describe Your Personality?
Here are the 3 main three focus points you should be looking: Empathy vs. Apathy
The job of a great DJ is to play the music the crowd is desiring. The DJ is considering what the crowd is feeling and pivots from song to song to create a true connection with the crowd. Instead of forcing songs on to them that the DJ wants to play, but the crowd does not. When the DJ fails to connect with the crowd it is a direct tie to apathy because the DJ is more concerned to fulfill their needs versus the crowd.
The greatest DJs can recognize how their music is affecting others.
A DJ who knows when to hold back, and understands subtlety, is worth the consideration. Great DJs know when to hold back. They know when they should stop building energy and plateau the energy for a while, so the crowd doesn’t get exhausted. If the energy is high the entire time, it will become the standard, and the excitement is gone. Therefore, it is essential they recognize this and that they have the patience to unleash the energy at the right time.
Persistence vs. Flakiness
Building an audience, gaining momentum, scoring better gigs, connecting with the right people, and branding themselves. These are all things which require consistency, which great DJ’s are aware of that steady work and constant delivery is the road to success. A DJ with the right attitude realizes that they’re not going to win them all and that they might play their share of empty rooms. Even after promoting an event a poor attendance can happen, but they realize it is part of the game. Therefore you need to look for the DJ with a lot of heart, and willingness to push through the boring parts because those are the ones that are consistent and will create an excellent experience for the crowd.