How to Answer Tough Pageant Interview Questions

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This article title can be interpreted in two different ways. When I was assigned this topic I immediately envisioned a one-on-one interview with a judge posing a difficult question such as, “I see that your grandfather, whom you were very close to, passed away recently, I’m very sorry. Tell me about that experience and how it has strengthened you as a person.” Next come the waterworks from the contestant.

However, I also visualize a different question but the same scenario. In a one-on-one setting, the judge throws out the nail biting question-your stance on gay marriage, abortion, Obamacare, etc. As a pageant participant you need a solution to both of these scenarios in your back pocket.  So we have compiled a few tips on how to handle these stressful situations.

Scenario One: Waterworks

There are numerous, differing opinions on this subject in the pageant world. Some judges love to see a passionate individual in the chair. This judge might even respond positively to tears shed and a bit of blubbering; however, in my opinion this could be a danger. Excessive emotion in regards to a personal pageant question can be looked upon unfavorably as well. This lapse in composure may portray you as a weak individual, which is likely entirely contrary to your personality. There are many ways to display passion about a subject, but crying is not the best option. A few tears with a bashful “excuse me” are endearing, but life story-spilling cry fest is not a good idea. For those of you who are Disney fans, you can appreciate this visual. Flynn Ryder of Disney’s Tangled has a signature expression that can be related to this topic and might even score you a few more points… laughter points that is. “The smolder” is his notorious look which he uses to try to woo women. Warning: use this with discretion, it has been known to cause swooning and/or excessive laughter.

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Flynn Ryder of Disney’s Tangled and “The Smolder”

Scenario Two: The Nail-Biter

We have all gotten that question that we either have no idea how to answer or have not formed an opinion on. These are both nerve-wracking situations. Though as you know, no matter what you must maintain a calm and confident smile. A good rule of thumb is to run with the first answer that pops into your head; however with these more weighted questions you must establish and prepare an articulate and justified answer. Also, as you move through the ranks of pageantry and advance to older divisions, judges are expecting you to have a clear cut and confident answer to these controversial issue topics.

No matter which scenario you encounter in your pageant Interview, be calm and confident. You may not have a perfect answer to the question, but the judge wants to hear your voice and personal opinion. Your voice can be developed by watching the news, joining the debate team at school, and having discussions with your family regarding political issues and hot topics. Most importantly, always remember, “Keep your heels, head, and standards HIGH!”

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