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Interview Like a Pro: Insider Tips for Nailing Your Pageant Interview

Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu

If you’re an aspiring pageant queen, you must already know the different components of the pageant process - the introductions, the talent rounds, the interview - the works. You must also have heard that the pageant interview is a crucial moment that can make or break a contestant's chances of success. Well, you’ve heard right. It is indeed the perfect opportunity to showcase your intelligence, personality, and charisma and to let your individuality shine through in front of the judges.

While this can seem very daunting, it doesn’t have to be. With credible training, the right preparation, and some useful insider tips, you can ace your pageant interview. To help you with this, in this article, we'll reveal the secrets to nailing your pageant interview and leaving a lasting impression on the judges.

1. Research and Prepare

Before your interview, ensure you have a solid understanding of the pageant organization and who the judges are. Research the organization's values, goals, and past events. Get to know the pageant's mission and how you embody it. Being well-informed and knowledgeable will not only allow you to answer the questions confidently, it will show the judges your dedication and commitment, portraying a wonderful impression.

Apart from the judges and the pageant, you should also research current events and important issues. Stay updated on local, national, and global news. The interview may include questions about your opinions on various topics, and being informed will demonstrate your intelligence and awareness of the world around you.

2. Be Authentic

During the interview, it’s crucial to be yourself. Don’t try to answer questions with what you think the judges want to hear. Be genuine and authentic, and let your personality shine through. Judges often look for contestants who are confident, poised, and relatable. Share personal stories that reflect your character, passion, and determination. If you get nervous or start second-guessing yourself, remember, it's not about being perfect; it's about being real.

Wilderbee founder Lakshmi Rana providing ramp walk guidance

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Preparation is key to building confidence and acing the interview. Practice your interview skills with a coach or mentor. You can also practice with friends or family members. In these mock interviews, practice answering both general questions about yourself as well as commonly asked questions in previous pageants. This will help you feel more confident over time, improve your delivery, and identify areas to improve before the actual interview.

4. Clear Communication is Key

Clear and concise communication is key to a successful interview. In our daily life, we often use filler words like "um" or "uh". But in an interview, these show a lack of clarity and are signs of underconfidence. To avoid leaving a negative impression and distracting from your actual message, avoid using these filler words and practice speaking slowly and confidently. Work on both your pronunciation and enunciation to ensure your message is delivered with impact. Take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering a difficult question instead of buffering with these filler words; this will show that you are composed under pressure.

5. Body Language Matters

Remember that communication isn't just about words; having strong body language is very important. Maintain good posture, make eye contact with the judges, and smile genuinely. Use hand gestures to emphasize your points, but avoid fidgeting or nervous movements. A confident and composed body language will leave a positive and lasting impression.

6. Be Positive and Empathetic

Positivity and empathy go a long way in leaving a lasting impression. Show that you are an approachable and caring individual by actively listening to the judges' questions and responding with kindness and respect. A positive attitude and genuine interest in others will set you apart from the competition.

Lakshmi Rana, "Queen of Ramp"

7. Confidence, Not Arrogance

Confidence during the interview is important, but be careful not to seem arrogant. Being humble and graceful is just as important as being confident and self-assured. Talk about your achievements without boasting, and express gratitude for the opportunities that have come your way. Confidence with humility will make you a likable and strong candidate.

8. Prepare Questions for the Judges

At the end of the interview, the judges may ask if you have any questions for them. Be prepared with intelligent and relevant questions that show your interest in the pageant, its values, and the judges' experiences. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your passion.

9. Show Gratitude

At the end of the interview, remember to thank the judges for their time and the opportunity to participate in the pageant. This small step can set you apart from those who don’t remember to show their gratitude. It shows that you are gracious and respectful, which are important qualities for a pageant queen.

Nailing your pageant interview requires the right preparation, authenticity, and confidence. With the right training and education, all this can be done in a more structured and effective manner. By following these insider tips, you can nail your pageant interview and make a great impression on the judges. Remember to be prepared, authentic, practice, stay calm and confident, and show gratitude. Good luck and enjoy the interview process!

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