You win and lose your pageant inside of the interview room.
The judges are not going to crown someone whom they do not like or connect with inside of the interview room. However, if the judges fall in love with you inside of the interview room they will have a tendency to overlook minor hiccups in score you higher in other phases of competition.
Therefore, it is imperative that you not only practice interview but you practice the questions that caused the most stumbling in interview.
Contestants at Mister International Laos 2019. Photo: Love You Studio
1. What makes you the most proud of your home country?
There are a few different ways this question can show up. If you are competing at the international level they will ask you about what your country has to offer. But if you are competing at the national level they will ask you to play tour guide of your state/territory. Be sure to know what makes your country unique and what it has to offer. Bonus oints if you can offer a statistic such as "We have the largest aquarium in the world" or "We sell more rum than any other country" or "It's the only place in the world are you can do X" or "find X".
Another way this question can be phrased is the way it was asked to Mister Vietnam International at the 2017 Mister International Pageant. He was asked, "What do you think is the next big thing in your country in the next decade?"
2. Do you think being handsome will get you far in life?
This question was asked of Mister Italy at the 2017 Mister International Competition.
With the stereotype that attractive people only get far in life because of their looks, it is only fitting to ask it of a contestant. The natural reaction of a contestant may be to stay humble and admit that looks have nothing to do with success. However, an answer using that approach can be forgettable to the judges. Mister Italy, however, had the perfect response. "Of course I think so. Especially when we are handsome from inside. We can reach far in our life."
Mister Italy did use a translator. So, the grammar is not perfect. However, the message is clearly communicated by the words he chose to use and how he phrased the answer.
3. Do you think there is a double standard for physical appearances between males and females?
This is a huge talking point in today's society. This follow-up question has been asked of male celebrities, models and actors. Female contestants are often asked this question. Women clearly have one view as demonstrated by the many ways this question has been answered throughout the years. The male perspective is also important in this conversation. A hard-hitting judge could ask this to gauge a male contestants' sensitivity level to issues facing women today.
4. What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
If this is asked of you do not play coy. Talk about your accomplishments with confidence and give proper credit where credit is due. For example, "I am most proud of X. Only a small percentage of people (bonus points if you know the percentage) ever achieve that. And while I did the work I really got to give a shout out to my mom and dad who taught me X".
A answer similar to the above will allow you to both demonstrate your confidence and your humility.
5. What is your favorite way to stay in shape?
Fitness a huge part of every competition. As demonstrated by Mister International, these men have put some hours in at the gym. With fitness being such a huge factor, you can bet at least one judge wants to know how these men stay so fit. Your answer to this can be pretty straight forward, explaining what you do to stay fit and what you enjoy about it.
6. Do you think all sports should have a professional women's division?
This is another great example of a follow-up question. Many contestants participate in some sport to stay in shape. With the dialogue worldwide starting to take part in the conversation about women's rights, male contestants should prepare to participate in this conversation, too. Recent events in the United States add even more reasons for judges to ask this question.
Becca Longo made national news when she became the first female football player to sign a National Letter of Intent and arrive on a scholarship to play for Adams State University of Colorado. There have also been a few other female kickers to play on the college level in recent years, but Longo is the first to receive a scholarship to play the sport. With this recent bombshell in the world of college sports, a world often dominated by men, judges may be curious to see how contestants react to the evolving sports world.
7. What do you wish would be socially acceptable for men to do, that is currently not considered "manly"?
This is another common question asked of males in the public eye. Since a titleholder is a public figure, judges may ask this question to see the contestant's preparedness. This is a question that will be asked many times throughout the reign. A strong answer can work in favor with the judges. It is also a very personal question. Admitting there is something a contestant does that is not considered "manly" gives the judges an opportunity to see a softer side of the contestant.
Mister Supranational 2019. Photo: Mister Supranational
8. Do you think it is time for a woman to be president?
This question was consistently peppered into interivew when Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump in 2016 and it saw life again when Kamala Harris took the office as the first femal Vice President.
When handling such a controversial political issue, it is important for the contestant to have a strong, well-supported argument.
Another way this question could be asked is who the contestant voted for during the election and why. In this case, it is important to remember the phrase your answer in a way that relates the question back to you while also showing you knowledge of current events. Contestants should also phrase their answer in a way that is not negative as this is a huge pageant DON'T!
For an example answer, Jessica (@jhope24601) told us the following. "I have been keeping up with both parties throughout the election year, as a practice election, so-to-speak, for me, since I am ineligible to vote this November. Since doing this, I personally would vote Donald Trump because he agrees on 2nd Amendment rights, doesn’t support Common Core, and he is the more conservative of the two." This answer shows she has kept up to date on the subject and researched both candidates to help her form her own opinion. She also answered without attacking the other candidate. Even though Jessica is a woman, the framing behind answering politically driven questions remains the same.
9. Describe yourself in three words.
One of the most asked questions in the world. It is on every application for almost every pageant system. The questions asked in interview are based on current events as well as the information a contestant fills out on the application. With this question being so common, it is important for contestants to have a well-prepared answer in advance.
10. What is a current national policy you would change?
Politics are becoming the subject of more and more questions in the interview room. Considering there are many policy changes up for debate in many countries throughout the world, judges expect contestants to be educated on a variety of issues, especially on an international level. When answering this question, research is the most important thing. Know the policy you want to change inside and out. When answering the question, address why the policy works, why it doesn't work and a policy idea you think could be better. A well-rounded argument with a strong delivery shows the judges a contestant is prepared and ready to take on the job of a titleholder. Regardless of gender, pageants provide contestants with opportunities to make connections and gain valuable interview experience. As a long as a contestant leaves adequate time to prepare, he or she will have the confidence to handle almost any question thrown at them.
"Just be yourself and speak from your heart with confidence," said Mister International Organization President Alan Sim. "Do not be superficial." We wish you the best of luck! Always remember to stay confident.