During the interview portion of a pageant, judges have the opportunity to truly get to know who a contestant is. Whether it is a panel or one-on-one interview, judges can learn about a contestant's character, opinions and knowledge of current events. This can make a significant impact on who the judges think would make the best titleholder.
Depending on the system, the judges' interview can make up different portions of the contestant's score. In some systems, this can be as significant as 30 percent, making it crucial to be well prepared for the interview. One of the best ways to prepare is to use sample questions or practice mock interviews with others. You can try this with these best pageant interview questions of 2017, and make sure to check out the answers!
A group of 2018 Mrs. America contestants gearing up for interview. Photo: Rhonda Gilliam/Mrs. America website
1. What would you like to be remembered for as a titleholder?
This question can help judges discover what aspects of being a titleholder you value and what goals you would set forth as their titleholder. Not only does this question give the judges a sneak peek into what your reign would be like, but it also lets them know if you are thinking about your future as a potential titleholder. The best answer to this question came from Aleya (@aleyagilley) on Instagram.
She answered, "I would like to be remembered as the girl who stood for the silent. As a victim of bullying and anorexia, I don’t want to stay silent for others who are now in my place. I want to be remembered as the girl who united kids together to show the consequences of bullying and the effects it has on people. I want to be known as the girl who put an end to bullying and suicide. "
2. Tell me something about yourself no other contestant can say.
Although this isn't technically a question, this inquiry lets the judges know what makes you stand out among other contestants. You are able to let them know what makes you unique and why there is nobody else like you who can be their ideal titleholder. (Read: How to Make a Lasting Impression in a 3-Minute Interview)
The best answer to this inquiry came from Alexa (@akpascucci). She answered, "I’ve been to the set of 'Grey’s Anatomy!' Through my work with the charitable organization Mito Action, an organization benefiting research for mitochondrial disease, I got to visit the set, meet the cast and have lunch with Chandra Wilson, who plays Miranda Bailey on the show! Chandra is also involved with the organization, as her daughter suffers from mitochondrial disease. It was such an amazing experience being on the set of my favorite show with the cast while also spreading awareness for a cause so close to my heart!"
3. How would you use your title to benefit others?
This is another question that will let the judges know how you plan to be a successful titleholder for their system. This question gives them the chance to learn how you factor helping others into your plans for the future. While titleholders already have a lot of responsibilities, one of the most important ones is continuously working to benefit the community they represent. Louisa (@louisaelisabeth) provided a great answer to this question when it was asked on Instagram. She answered, "The message of my pageant is 'Beauty in Diversity.' I will use the international title as a platform to encourage others to embrace their unique traits by talking to schools and sharing my own experiences on social media (more specifically, on my YouTube channel)."
4. Should pageants be allowed to enforce height restrictions?
While not all pageants have height restrictions, certain systems have height requirements that their contestants must make. By asking contestants about this controversial issue in pageantry, judges can learn how knowledgeable contestants are on current pageant topics.
After asking this question on Instagram, Gaven (@xoxogavo) provided the best answer. "Pageants are designed to instill confidence in people of all ages. But by having height requirements, we are telling a woman that she is less capable than someone who is taller than her, which defies the values of all pageants, no matter the system."
5. Are mass shootings a gun control issue or a mental health issue?
2017 was the deadliest year of mass shootings in modern U.S history. With tragic events ranging from the Las Vegas massacre to the Texas church shooting, this interview question allows the judges to see how up-to-date a contestant is on current events and how well the contestant can view issues on a larger scale. Tracy (@tracyyanderson) gave the best answer to this question. "Although there are cases that include both these factors, it is definitely primarily a gun control issue. A mass shooting is obviously directly correlated to a gun, whereas the mental health of the shooter will be different in every situation. Trying to pinpoint all mass shootings on mental illness is adding to the stigma that is famously around mental illness."
6. Do you think it is acceptable for a titleholder to voice their political opinion?
Mixing politics and pageantry has always been a controversial issue in the pageant world. This question will give judges the opportunity to see what your stance is on discussing politics during your reign. Depending on what type of titleholder they are looking for, this can help them determine which contestant would be the right fit for the system. (Read: Is Miss America 2018 Getting Political?)
The best answer to this question came from Zeycan (@zeycan.rochelle) on Instagram. She wrote, "Titleholders are a model to society rather than a puppet, so as long as you are tactful in your tone, it’s important to lead and speak. It inspires others to be strong and thinks for themselves if the opinion is formed with thorough, unbiased research and said with grace. This movement could inspire many to peacefully stand for what they believe in and as a titleholder, that’s the change you seek to bring, educated and active individuals creating change in their society."
7. #Metoo is trending on social media to bring awareness to sexual assault. What is one positive and one negative of the movement?
This question would make a perfect interview or onstage question. When asked in an interview, this question is a direct assessment of a contestant's knowledge of current social movements and their ability to form opinions surrounding them.
Zeycan (@zeycan_rochelle) gave the best answer to this question with her Instagram comment that read, " The positive of the #metoo movement shows that victims are not alone, that as women, we are in this together because to a degree we have all been a victim and we can be there to encourage and lift others up for something we too have experienced. The negative is that it’s now aware that so many girls have been victims and this is a problem much larger than imagined, there’s a big epidemic in how men feel they are justified in making comments without implications. Now that we are aware of the magnitude of the issue, we can collectively come together to stand against sexism and control that is so commonly used."
Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters being interviewed for the camera. Photo: Viva Glam Magazine
Good interview skills are valuable skills that are developed through pageants and can be applied to many areas of life. From job interviews to radio interviews, good speaking abilities, quick thinking and charm can help set anyone apart. In pageantry, your interview score can play a great role in who takes home the crown. One efficient way to prepare for your pageant interview is to answer practice interview questions. Try having mock interviews with a friend or answering Pageant Planet's Question of the Day on social media.
Practice makes permanent, especially in pageantry!
Her tip is: "Enjoy networking and remembering you are competing against yourself not others!"Learn More