Pageant interviews can run the gamut, from relaxed and funny to very serious and demanding…
Judges’ personalities can affect the tone of pageant interviews, making them anything from challenging and serious to relaxed and fun.
Be prepared for anything and give the judges what they want. They might ask you silly questions, so remember to be spontaneous.
Be flexible, because the one quality every pageant winner needs is the ability to be friendly, comfortable, and confident with any situation.
- If the judges steer the interview toward serious subjects to see if you’re intelligent, give them what they want.
- If they bring a light tone to the interview to see if you have personality, adjust to that mood.
- Learn to establish rapport with any pageant judge in any environment.
Never get frozen into one interviewing style.
An attorney and former national runner-up told me off the record that not being taught to handle different judging styles ruined her chances:
“When I was at the state level they had judges who had been at it for years and they asked me about political issues which I was a pro at answering. When they asked me about capital punishment, I went over the history of Supreme Court decisions. When they asked me about fuel prices I quoted to them from Milton Freedman. It was great. I was so prepped for these tough political questions.
Then I got to (the national pageant) where the judges were asking things like, ‘Why did you pick that color nail polish?’ and ‘If the man you were dating turned out to be married what would you do?’ I almost fell off my chair!
I was prepped for these tough grilling sessions … and it didn’t happen. I blew it because I had no sense of humor.
If somebody had just said, ‘You know they might ask you silly questions, so remember to be spontaneous.’
When the first runner-up was asked what she’d do if her boyfriend turned out to be married, she joked, ‘I’d shoot him!’ That’s what they wanted to hear.”
As this young woman learned too late: Be prepared for anything and give the judges what they want.
“This is not an oral test!” quips speech and drama instructor Warren Alexander. “It’s a conversation.”
Being able to adapt to differing types of interviews comes down to developing the ability to connect with all kinds of people. Kristin Huffman, Miss Ohio and fourth runner-up to Miss America 1990, explains:
“You need to bridge that gap between yourself and the judges. It’s meeting people on their own level. You need to walk in there thinking, ‘Okay, I want to get to know these people. I want them to know that I’m ready to meet them on their level.”’
Because any type of interview can be unpredictable, be prepared for anything and ready to radiate personality and confidence in all situations.