Miss Utah USA
Through my experience competing in pageants, cheerleading for a professional sports team, interviewing for jobs, and holding positions in which I interview for a living, I have developed an easy format for how to answer pageant interview questions.
This can be applied to pageants or life in general. By practicing this format until it becomes natural, you will improve the outcome of your interviews and become a better public speaker.
My formula is very simple and considering the limited amount of time that you have in front of the judges, it keeps you efficient and effective. Just like outlining a paper before you start writing, this will help you outline your answer before responding.
How to Answer Any Pageant Interview Question
FIRST, state your answer. Sounds simple, but you would be surprised how many pageant girls screw this up. You want to make sure that the judge knows your answer and that it doesn't get lost in your explanation. Also, do not repeat the question! You don't have time and they know what they asked you, so there is no point in repeating it. This is the first thing they hear and absolutely determines what they think of the rest of you answer. Sometimes it is okay to say that you don't know or that you are torn on the issue, but be concise. Example: Question-Do you think that professional athletes are overpaid? Answer-Yes/No...
SECOND, provide one to three sentences explaining your answer but keep it under a minute. If the pageant judge wants to ask more they can, but at least you have explained the definitive answer you already provided. This is where girls get lost. I always say to pick one train of thought and go with it, but don't switch it up or add on as you continue to think about the question. When you do you sound confused and waste time. Remember you want to be effective and efficient with your time and the cleaner the answer, the smarter, more prepared, and better you look. Example: Question- What is your favorite subject in school? Answer- English. I love being able to be creative and use my imagination. When reading the books assigned by my teacher, I use my imagination to envision what the author is describing. And when we have to write papers I try to be as creative and unique as possible...
THIRD, bring the answer back to yourself and/or your platform in one to two sentences. This is where you completely control the direction of the conversation and you can insert anything you want the judges to hear. A lot of coaches suggest going into the interview with a few things that you want the judges to hear no matter what, and this is a time you can do that. This is your bigger picture statement that will separate you from the other girls and make them remember you. I suggest practicing this answer format until it becomes natural and all of your answers are effective and efficient. If you follow this format, you will always answer the question and stay on track without rambling. If you are clean and concise you will appear very prepared and well spoken.
Here are a few examples of all three steps combined:
Question- What is your favorite part of pageants?
Answer- The preparation. I love how much I have grown and learned about myself from the mental, physical, and emotional preparation and it really is the most important part. We have to ask ourselves the harder questions for interview practice and we have to work out and get into good physical shape for evening gown and bathing suit preparation. If crowned today I would apply all of this dedication towards the Miss Awesome Organization and be the best possible Miss Awesome.
Question- Why should we care about your platform?
Answer- Because it affects everyone. In order to effectively protect the American people, the men and women of our Armed Services must know that their loved ones are safe and being taken care of while they are away. If they are distracted while fighting overseas, they put their lives and ours in jeopardy. Operation Homefront provides support for military families so that their loved ones overseas can focus on their task at hand and get home safe.
Question- What is the most important thing on the news right now?
Answer- The conflict in Syria. This civil war has been raging for a long time, but the alleged use of chemical weapons by the government against its own people has made it the most important. I am very interested to find out who was responsible for the attack and how President Obama and other world leaders will respond. As a military child I have experienced many military conflicts, which is why I volunteer my time and efforts to help other military families through Operation Homefront.
Her tip is: "Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”Learn More