(Mister Lebanon after being crowned Mister International 2017. Photo: Mister International Organization)
When people hear the word pageants, they usually think about beautiful women gliding across a stage in an array of sparkling evening gowns. However, pageants aren't just for women. Guys can participate too! Pageants exist to help people from all walks of life gain confidence in themselves and grow as individuals, regardless of gender, race or sexuality. Pageants like Mister International, Mr. Tourism International and Mr. World are the male counterparts to Miss International, Miss Tourism International and Miss World. Regardless of gender, interview is always crucial in bringing home the title. Also, like female pageants, there are questions that go across every system. (Read: 12 of the Most Shocking, Random, and Difficult Interview Questions Ever Asked)
1. What makes you the most proud of your home country? Pride, the good kind, is a huge thing for males in many cultures across the globe. There are many different ways to phrase this question. Be sure to know what makes your country unique and what it has to offer. 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?" When answering this question, a contestant needs to be confident in his home country. The question is asking for a contestant to identify something that will become synonymous with his country. This requires a great deal of confidence, pride and knowledge about the country.
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. It is very fitting for a male pageant. Every contestant on the stage is handsome. 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.
(Contestants for Mister Supranational 2016 before interview. Photo: Mister Supranational Organization)
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. (Read: 10 Things You Should NEVER Do in a Pageant Interview)
4. What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
It is another generic question asked across all forms of pageantry. Contestants have to be able to acknowledge when they have accomplished something. Otherwise, how will people know all the wonderful potential a contestant could have if he wins the title? However, contestants walk a fine line when answering this question. Contestants should be able to brag about themselves. However, bragging too much can be off-putting to the judges. The key here is to know what to brag about and for how long. (Read: The Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence You MUST Know for Interview)
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.
The Mister Global Myanmar 2017 contestants pose for a photo shoot. Photo: Mister Global Myanmar Organization
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.
8. Do you think it is time for a woman to be president?
This is a question almost always asked in female pageants. Another talking point after Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump in 2016, male contestants should expect to have formed an opinion on this as well. However, male contestants should take into account, regardless of their personal opinion on the election, that the loss is still a big slap in the face for many women. 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.
Mister International 2017 contestants competing in Evening Wear Preliminaries. Photo: Mister International Organization.
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.
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