You win in the interview room. Get ready to GLOW!
Have you ever sat at a pageant and they are calling out the awards? 4th runner up, 3rd, 2nd, and... gasp 1st runner up is who you thought would win? "DANG that was unexpected" you probably said to yourself, or "Wow her interview must've really won them over" you heard someone whisper.
Well I have and it is so common. The difference between the winner and her runner's up almost always comes down to 2 things: consistency and interview. (I'll tackle consistency on another day) Interview is by far the sure way to win your next pageant. To give you a little background, I did my first pageant in 2015. I will never forget it. I walked into the room for my allotted 10 minutes and they asked me questions like "what's your favorite flower" and "who do you think will run for president?" I walked out thinking that I did really well, and I'm sure for a 17 year old, I did do pretty well. It wasn't until we were all backstage comparing interview questions that I realized that my interview was vague, unchallenging and probably uninteresting for the judges.
I didn't fully understand how to take charge of my interview until 2017, but each time I interviewed I got better and better. That leads me to Tip #1:
The best way to conquer your next interview is to INTERVIEW A LOT.
It's no secret that mock interviews help you get better at interviewing. The key word here is "ALOT!" If you're preparing for a state pageant and you only have 2 or 3 mock interviews scheduled, girl that is not enough. I know we all have a love-hate relationship with mock interviews but I am telling you, it works. I'll let you in on a little secret of mine... (actually, just ask me about my "interview regimen as Miss Charlotte" in our next session)
To help you prepare for interview even more, I have attached a PDF of about 120 questions you could get asked! Cut these out, put them in a bag and answer them non stop! When I was preparing, I kept a bag of cut-out questions in the car with me to read at stop lights. I would talk through my answers as I drove. As I got closer to the competition, I'd time my answers to 30 seconds.
The simple act of picking a question out of the bag was nerve-racking in itself but with practice, I kicked that fear to the curb and you can too!
^^ you're welcome
My second tip for conquering your next interview is:
Do Your Homework
I know, I know. Prepping for a pageant has you doing a million little things but doing your homework will ensure you have the best interview ever! I started doing this when I was Miss Greater Carolina and I can 100% tell you that it made a difference in how I approached my state interview. Of course, you want to do your research and form opinions about the world around you. You also want to know everything there is to know about the organization and the area that you will be representing if you win, but that's not really the homework I'm referring to.
You need to do some real research on yourself. Starting with your paperwork, and ending with some self-discovery questions. With my clients, I go through how to literally rip your paperwork to shreds and find every single question that could get asked about every single word on that paper. Approach your paperwork as a stranger would. Look at every single line and write down a question about it. Go all the way through your resume and social impact statement as many times as you can doing this over and over. If you're dedicated, you'll probably end up with about 100 questions from your paperwork alone. Then if you're feeling spicy, send your paperwork to 5 other people and have them come up with 10 or more questions. After that, you'll have every question that could be asked about your paperwork. Of course, you may end up with some wonky judge that finds something to ask about that is from your paperwork but I can guarantee that you'll have an answer for even the wildest question out there!
Do your homework. It works every time. If you want, I'll do it for you but like I tell our clients if you do it you'll know your paperwork better than anyone else.
I feel like I have so many more tips but my final tip for this blog is to
Find a Community.
Ugh it felt so cheesy to say it but it's true. The best way to conquer your next interview, is to not do it alone. Whether it's your committee, your pageant sisters (iron sharpens iron y'all), or your family, make sure that when you are preparing that you lean on others in your community.
I'll end on this: you can't do this alone! When you walk into that interview you should feel like your entire community is walking in there with you. Your preparation will directly correlate with your confidence. I know it, now yo have to believe it and put in the work!!
If you would like a part 2 to this blog comment below and share with all your pageant sisters!