Olivia Jodran answers her on stage question at Miss USA. Photo: Miss Universe Organization
One way judges like to get to know contestants during interview is by asking them hypothetical questions. This provides an insight into a girl's immediate reactions to a situation that she may not have encountered before. Judges also ask humbling questions about the contestants' weaknesses or mistakes they have made and how they learned from those experiences. In order to make the best decision, the judges want more information than what you put in your paperwork and these hypothetical questions are to acquire deeper information. (Read: How to Choose the Right Earrings for Pageant Interview)
Those most important things to remember with these questions is that you can't prepare answers for all of them. There are way too many possible variations, but below are two possible questions to get you thinking in the right direction. What will help you most with these questions is knowing yourself well enough that you can answer quickly but also be genuine. If the judges are smart, they will easily see through a fake answer, so don't give one. Lastly, whenever anyone asks you a humbling question regarding mistakes or weaknesses, don't pretend to be perfect. Everyone has weak points, just make sure you learn from them and find a way to convey them properly to the judges. Below are a few questions to show some sample answers that would likely score high with the judges.
"If you could go back and re-do any time of your life, what would it be?"
"Honestly, I wouldn't change anything. If I were to go back to any time, it would be when I still lived in San Diego with my family because I miss them so much, but I think that everything we experience makes us who we are. We need to make mistakes and learn from them in order to grow. I never regret anything as long as I learn from it, which keeps me looking forward and constantly improving upon myself. I know that if I was crowned tonight I would learn and adapt every step of the way and be the best possible titleholder." This is a good answer because it clearly answers the question while providing additional information to back up the answer. This answer also ties back to the pageant and how she would serve as a titleholder if chosen as the winner. You do, however, want to make sure that your answers are too cliché. Make sure that if you answer by saying something along the lines of, "I wouldn't change anything," that you really mean it and provide information to back it up. Personal stories are also always great selling points! (Read: How to Answer Hard Pageant Interview Questions)
"What is your weakness and how could you work on it?"
"I am a complete perfectionist. When pageant day finally arrives I get so caught up in the competition that I let myself get stressed with every mistake. Once the pageant is done I am able to look at the larger picture and see that the mistakes might have been minor, and how to learn from the experience, but during the competition I sometimes allow this mishap to affect me too much. I recognize that nobody is perfect, so accepting my flaws and sharing them with others who share similar struggles would help me to be a good titleholder." This is a good answer because she clearly states what she considers to be a weakness and is confident in her answer. It is important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are as a person in order to use them to help others and make a difference.
Practicing hypothetical questions can be a fun way to challenge yourself and make sure you are prepared for any and every question that the judges may throw at you during your interview!
Her tip is: "Enjoy networking and remembering you are competing against yourself not others!"Learn More