“Pageant Interviews are where pageants are won … or lost.” — Donna Axum, Former Miss America and national pageant judge
One of the secrets to a successful pageant interview is recognizing that what you do before the interview is as important as the interview itself. The better the preparation the better the pageant interview. Prepare like a winner beforehand to prove to the judges that you are their winner.
Whether the pageant interview is for Miss World, Miss USA, or Miss America, the title awarded is a coveted job. The pageant’s winner will serve as a spokesperson for the pageant and its sponsors.
- travel extensively
- meet the president
- appear on talk shows
- give press conferences
- tape commercials
- host fundraisers
- converse with political and business leaders
- Sometimes address legislators (even Congress!) about her platform
- deliver countless speeches to schools, colleges, churches, civic, and political organizations.
Since a national winner is transformed into a celebrity for a year-and often for a lifetime-competition for the title is intense and judges can afford to be selective about who they hire.
The pageant interviews with the judges are the most important part of that hiring process:
“I knew that if I wanted to be Miss America I had to score well in – if not win – the pageant interview,” Marjorie Vincent (to right) remarked shortly after being named Miss America 1991. “That was what I focused on because I felt that if the judges did not get to know me as a person and find out in the interview that I was the one who should be Miss America, than I would not stand a chance.”
Remember, your pageant interview is one of the most important job interviews you will have in your lifetime, with the potential to change your life radically. With so much at stake, prepare like a champion. “You have to prepare yourself,” asserts former Miss Mississippi, Mary Donnelly-Haskell. “You have to educate yourself about what is happening in your state, the United States, and the world. Prepare yourself because no matter how wonderful your personality is, if the judges ask you, ‘What do you think of euthanasia?’ and you answer, ‘I don’t think they’re as lucky as youth in America,’ … that’s gonna do you in!”
In pageants, one point can separate the winner from the losers, so the well-prepared competitor has an advantage. “I felt confident about my interview,” admits former Miss America Debbie Bryant-Berge, “and I think it was because I had prepared for it. I guess I went at it like somebody getting ready for a match. I was excited about being in the interview situation and I felt confident.”
The interview can clinch the crown…or end the dream. Prepare like a champion.