Jeff's Mobile DJ Service

PO Box 724 Needville, TX 77461

Office: 979-793-4544 or Cell:  713-259-2643


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What You Need To Know When Hiring A DJ



You cannot buy a Chevy Cavalier and expect it to perform like a Lexus.


Please feel free to print this form out for use when contacting a DJ.


Step 1:  Your Prep Work

 Make a list of all contending DJs in your area. It is best to leave room between the names to write in information such as price and what they offer for the money. Just like in all areas of business there are many different styles of DJ. You have DJs that specializes in weddings and others that specialize in clubs and bars. Remember, you do not go to McDonalds when you want to order T-bone steak.  

The price of a DJ is very important and tells you a lot about the DJ or Entertainment Company. On one hand you have the “lowball DJ” who either does not have the skill and/or the equipment to carry the event properly.  

There is lower priced DJ that will do a very good job but may have other employment so they have limited or no time to put into the success of your event.  

On the other hand, you have the “medium to higher priced DJ”. These DJs utilize nothing but professional audio and professional lighting equipment, as well as being professional entertainers. They will have the time and experience to help you plan your event. In the world of DJs you really do get what you pay for.



Step 2: Make A List Of What You Are Looking For

 As stated before there are many types of DJs. It is best to know what you are looking for in a DJ before you start the interview process. Here are a few things you will want to know ahead of time.  

bulletWhat level of interaction do I want from my DJ?
bulletWhat genres of music do I want played?
bulletHow do I want the DJ to present himself/herself?
bulletHow many hours am I requiring this service?
bulletDo I want just sound or do I want sound and lighting?
bulletDo I want unlimited meetings and contact with my DJ?

 These are just a few things you might want to know before hand. You may in fact have a few more of your own choice.


Step 3: The Interview Process 

The following is a list of questions you might want to ask your DJ candidates. Each question will be followed by an acceptable answer.

 Pay close attention to their phone voice, mannerisms and attitude during the interview. Remember if they are rude or have a bad attitude over the phone this is most likely how they will act around your guests. 

bulletAre you available the date and time of my event?

They should be able to tell you in a matter of moments if the date and time slot is open. You would not want to waste a lot of your time listening to a sales pitch just to find out they are unavailable. Most DJs understand that your time is valuable.

bulletWhat is your level of experience in performing my type of event?

A professional should have an adequate amount of experience. This experience will help in the planning and selection of music for the event, thus allowing you to enjoy the event rather than spending your time running the event. 

bulletAsk what genres of music they play and if they accept request from you or your guests?

Remember this is your event and you want to be comfortable with the fact that your DJ will listen to your wants and needs. This being the digital age, a professional DJ should have an extensive library of well over 2500 song titles. You may want to listen to the excitement in their voice as you discuss your wants or don’t wants for your event. These are clues to how the DJ will behave once at your event. This will also let you know whether or not they are really interested in the outcome of your event. I recommend that you do not try to program the entire event. A professional DJ will have the ability to find the types of music that are getting the best response from the group and continue to play those types of music. 


·        Do you have CD players and are you willing to play CDs from my guests or me?

Most DJs these days are utilizing Digital Performance Systems. So you will want to know if they have the ability to play CDs. You may very well have a special mix that you want to play. 


·        Discuss with them the types of equipment they have.

You are laying out your hard earned money for a professional DJ with professional equipment. There are many brands of professional equipment on the market. Some I am sure you have heard of and others you may have not. So what I would do is inquire as to where they purchased their equipment. Then call the stores, if they are local and that will give you an idea of whether they are using professional grade equipment. This will also help you determine if they are using today’s technologies. Here is a list of the minimum equipment a professional should have.

o        2 or more speakers large enough to handle the event.

o        A music library that consist of 2500+ song titles.

o        Proper stands tables and covering for the equipment.

o        At least one wireless microphone to be used by you and your guests.

o        A professional grade mixer.

o        Duel CD players.

o        Back up equipment in case of an emergency. 


·        Ask about their aesthetics of their set up.

You have most likely spent a lot of money on a hall and decorations. You do not want a DJ that shows up and places a bunch of equipment on a table with wires running all over the place. A professional will have more of a hidden system with equipment organized and out of site. Most DJs have a web site and will have pictures of their setups available for you to view. Remember, there is a lot of wiring and not all of it will be invisible. 


·        Inquire about back up equipment they will have at your event.

A professional will invest in additional equipment to insure the success of your event. This is professional grade equipment but lets face it, a lot can happen. 


·        Inquire about their attire and personal appearance.

A professional will always be willing to dress the way you want them to for your event. Whether it be casual, semi-formal, after five or formal. A professional will never charge extra to wear a tux at your event. 


·        Inquire about their references.

Although personal references are great it would be even better to have references from a hall or caterer or some other type of professionals they have worked with. But also remember that most mobile entertainers work with a large variety and this may not be possible. 


·        Inquire if they have ever performed at the location that you have chosen.

This can be a big factor in setup time and sound quality if they have a working knowledge of the venues layout and staff members. 


·        Inquire about their willingness to communicate and work with the other vendors that you have hired for this event.

A professional will always be willing to work with the other vendors to ensure the successful outcome of your event. You would hate to find out afterwards that your photographer left before you cut the cake and there are no pictures. Another disastrous thing would be that the DJ/MC has called for the toast only to find out that the caterers have not yet served the champagne.  


·        Do they have an online planner and music library for you to access from home?

Don’t be afraid to request this. An online planner with access to the music library will save you tons of time. You will know right from the start if they have the songs you are looking for already or if they need to get them. A professional will never have a problem getting those special songs for your event in the case that they do not already have them. 


·        Inquire if you may visit with them at their office or if they would mind you come to one of their performances.

The performer should never have a problem with meeting you face to face or inviting you to watch them perform at an upcoming event. 


·        Ask if they utilize a written contract between the performer and the client.

This is very important and widely over looked by the shopper. A professional will always give you a written signed contract insuring that they will show on your event date. This will protect you against some one taking the money and running. 


·        Is your company insured?

A professional DJ will have his equipment insured as well as a liability policy to cover the venue. You will need to contact the venue to see if they require a liability binder on the performers. If they are serious about their business they will have insurance. 


·        If I book your company how many times can I call or meet with you?

The serious professional will always answer:” As many times as it takes to ensure the success of your event.” Bottom line you do not want some one that will not talk to you until the day of your event.


·        How much do you charge for your services?

This is the meat and potatoes question. This is also one of the biggest deciding factors when booking entertainment. Remember, a professional entertainer will charge more for their services than a weekend DJ just looking to make some extra cash. If it sounds to cheap to be real than it probably is. Make sure to keep notes on each DJ so that you can compare their prices with their services. Never be afraid to have them justify the price whether it is high or low. Remember all the time, energy and money you have put into this event. Now, ask yourself do I really want to take a chance on the entertainment based solely on price. Your guest will remember the entertainment at your event long after it is over and some times spending those few extra bucks is well worth it. Hiring a DJ is kind of like buying a car. You cannot pay for a Chevy and expect it to perform like a Lexus!!!!


Step 4: Weighing all the possibilities 

Well we have come to the hardest part of the process and that is making a discussion. I beg you not to base this solely on price but on the services that are performed. The happiness you feel at this moment for saving a few buck is going to be completely shattered when your event does not go as you would have liked. It is common for a couple to meet with the caterer and taste their food and meet with venue to see the accommodations they offer. Most want to meet with the photographer and view their work and let’s not forget that most go to the flower shop to pick out arrangements. But the same people will leave the single most important part of the event up to a few minutes on the phone. 

Here is a time line of the average event. We are using a wedding and reception for this example.


Wedding ceremony                                              20 to 30 minutes

Pictures                                                                  30 to 40 minutes

Meal                                                                        30 to 60 minutes

Cake cutting and toasting                                    10 to 15 minutes

Reception entertainment                                  3 to 5 Hours


You want to be positive that you are completely comfortable with the company you are about to hire. Remember when you are speaking with them to make notes about their demeanor. If they are shy, they will be that way at your event. If they are obnoxious and don’t listen to your concerns then they will be that way at your event. If they have a good balance of listening and offering advice then they will act this way at your event.


Step 5: Have a great worry free time at your event. You deserve it.