When most people think of beauty pageants, they think of young women and girls smiling and prancing around in fancy clothing and makeup. Well, that’s somewhat true, but often overlooked is one of the most important areas of competition: the interview.
Interview is usually meant to help competitors get comfortable speaking in front of others, and for younger girls, comfortable speaking with adults. In most pageant systems, interview is done in a one on one format with each contestant interviewing with the judges for about a minute. Depending on the pageant system, questions usually stray away from politics, religion, and controversial subjects; instead, judges draw questions from the competitor’s personal introduction (a brief personal statement that competitors come up with on their own and say aloud before interview), or from a resume. Interview is common for most systems, especially those that center around high school and college aged competitors.
Questions can range from anything including “If you were a crayon, what would you want people to draw and why?” to “What is the biggest problem facing young women today?” Interview is fun, imteresting, and a learning process.
The most important advice is to be yourself. Never assume what the judges want to hear and never attempt to listen to what other girls are saying. A positive, confident attitude is paramount to surviving interview in any aspect of life, whether it be for a pageant, job, or school related position. Being loud (but don’t shout), having vocal inflections, sitting up tall, and keeping good eye contact also help judges remember you and can help give a higher score.
Looking your best is also important. Sometimes interview counts for a larger portion of your overall score, sometimes it’s the last area of competition where judges are making a choice as to who will best represent the state, county, etc. Don’t wear large distracting jewelry and hair should be neat and kept out of the face. Hair twirling and playing with jewelry will show that a girl is nervous, it’s best to keep appearances simple and age appropriate. Clothing should fit, be pressed, and remember to take notice of hemlines and wear appropriate undergarments.
Even with giving advice on interview, it should be said: different judges, different weekend, different outcome. One could practice for months and still not do as well as hoped, because you never know what judges really are looking for. Practicing interview can be helpful, but be cautious because you wouldn’t want to come across as too rehearsed. No matter what the outcome, all pageant participants are winners and from personal experience, even if you don’t take home a trophy or crown, there is so much that you can accomplish and learn about yourself. Being confident and trying new things makes a winner, it’s completely okay to be disappointed but winning a crown doesn’t define anyone. Interviewing helps with so many different aspects in life and is something that will always be important in the future and for personal development.