Hiring a DJ can be just what you need to enliven your big event. Whether you're planning a wedding, a birthday party or a graduation party, nothing gets people out on the dance floor like a hip-hop expert spinning and mixing beats on the fly. The right DJ will speak to your guests, keep them amused and play the best music to keep people fired up. The important thing is to find someone who understands the specific mood you are looking for at your event. You'll find many options to choose from when searching for DJs near you. Some DJs clearly have more experience and expertise, so knowing which questions to ask can help you find the right music mixer for your event.

How long have you been a DJ?

Experience is important, as you don't want to schedule a DJ who hasn't worked in front of a large crowd for an event such as a wedding. An experienced DJ will be comfortable with any crowd and will also be able to gauge the type of humor that your guests will go for. 

How many events do you book per day?

You want your DJ to look and sound fresh during your entire event and if the DJ has just come from another event earlier in the day, he or she may end up looking and sounding tired near the end of your event. Ask if the DJ tends to book more than one event for the day and if so, if there is anything booked on the same day as your event.

Can we come watch you perform at another event?

Sometimes questions you ask can tell you a lot about a person's work ethic. For instance, if you ask this question to the DJ and they respond by inviting you to an event he or she will be performing at, you'll know that the DJ you're talking to doesn't respect the privacy of the person who has hired them for that event. If the DJ isn't going to respect their privacy, he or she probably won't respect yours. You wouldn't want the DJ to invite some stranger to your wedding, would you?

Can I choose my own music for you to play?

Some DJs will allow you to provide your own music or choose from their selection, while others only work with their own playlists. Talk to the DJ ahead of time to find out what your options are for selecting or providing your own tunes. If the DJ only uses her own playlists, ask to hear a sample before booking. 

Will you take requests from guests?

It's always good to ask ahead of time whether guests will be allowed to put in requests for songs. Some DJs allow (and even welcome) requests, while others do not. Knowing ahead of time makes it easier for you to plan the evening and let guests know whether requests will be allowed. 

How much time will you need to set up?

Depending on the equipment being used, your DJ will need time to set up before the event begins. When booking a DJ, make sure to find out how much time is needed to set up, so you can plan accordingly. 

Which types of events do you typically DJ?

Knowing which type of venues and events prospective DJs have worked can really help narrow down your list of options. Hiring a DJ that has only performed at graduation and birthday parties to DJ your wedding might not be the best plan, so find out ahead of time which events the DJ is experienced in. This will ensure you are truly booking the best DJ for the job and save you from a potentially unhappy experience on the day of your event!

Are there any DJs you've worked with and can recommend?

Hit up friends and family to see if they've ever worked with a DJ before, and if so, who they would recommend. Going off the recommendation of friends and family is almost always a better idea than choosing from a random list of local DJs.