Selecting a platform is an important process that’s usually driven by some personal experience or investment on your part. While you may be passionate about your cause, certain platforms can bring up some really complex questions in the interview room. Preparing for those questions and considering your potential response (both verbally and non-verbally) can reduce your anxiety and help you nail the interview.
Although every platform can be connected to difficult questions, there are certain topics that can immediately up the ante in the interview room. While promoting volunteerism is generally positive, addressing LGBTQ rights may require contestants to take more of a stand on a political issue. Many previous contestants have taken on controversial platform topics, like Miss New York, Claire Buffie, and Miss America, Mallory Hagan. Genocide awareness and sexual violence platforms, among others, will take a contestant who can handle questions across the spectrum.
Composure and Communication
One of the biggest challenges about these types of platforms is conveying what Don Baker refers to as the “open and outward” method of communication. It’s not exactly easy to smile through your interview question when a judge asks you to comment on ethnic cleansing in Darfur or what you might include in a one-act play about sexual violence. Maintaining composure and demonstrating your knowledge on the issues, however, can put judges at ease and lead them to ask you other questions about yourself.
Some judges just want to “test” if you really understand what you’re talking about, so one or two questions would satisfy that need and lead them to learn more about you instead of your platform. Other judges really might not be familiar with the mechanics of your platform, so use this as an opportunity to share your commitment to your platform while speaking intelligently on the topic.
Answering Difficult Pageant Platform Interview Questions
If you have a platform like what’s mentioned above, be prepared for those tough questions. You can expect political questions, ethical questions, and fact-checking questions with your platform. Even though it might feel like these questions could derail an otherwise smoothly-flowing interview, remember that you are in control of the event. It’s certainly not easy to talk about “negative topics” like suicide or violence, but you can put a positive spin on your answers.
If your platform is suicide awareness and you’re asked how to combat bullying and its influence on suicide, you could reference that a component of your platform is speaking to students about recognizing bullying and instead how to be an “ambassador for good.” Speaking about a positive aspect of your platform shows that you have thought about the issue from multiple angles, demonstrates how deeply you’re involved in the issue, and can help you with that “open and outward” winning interview approach.
Remember, you are in control of the interview. Use your knowledge and grace to maneuver these tough questions. Always, always, always know your platform and be prepared for these questions. Think ahead and prepare answers for possible questions. Here’s to getting you one step closer to the crown.