How to Rock Your Pageant Interview April 04, 2016 12:10

How to Rock Your Pageant Interview

I have participated in pageants in various capacities for over twenty-five years. I have competed in and won them, emceed them, and judged them. Through all of that, coaching candidates in interview skills is by far my favorite part. I love watching young ladies gain the confidence and skills necessary to succeed at their interviews. 

Through my years of judging and coaching, I have seen it all when it comes to pageant interviews. I have witnessed everything from candidates' serious gaffes to wardrobe malfunctions to spontaneous sobbing, and everything in between. I have seen the good, the bad, and the absolutely terrible.

I truly believe, however, that anyone can rock her pageant interview. It just takes two things:

1. Learning the proper interview skills, and

2. Practice (with feedback from someone with experience).

Learning the proper interview skills is actually the easy part. There is an abundance of useful articles online that describe exactly what to wear (and what not to wear!), how to have good posture, how to look confident (even when you're not), and what to say when asked particular questions. Any pageant director can also give advice about the interview that will help a candidate succeed in her interview. Most pageant directors are more than happy to help. If you want a good overview of the interview process, download our FREE Pageant Interview Basics webinar here.

The main problem is lack of practice, especially lack of practice with feedback from a knowledgeable source. Most candidates either do not practice at all, or they practice with family or friends who cannot offer much constructive feedback. Learning the skills will not take you far... practicing the skills (and getting feedback) will. 

If you want to rock your pageant interview, you need to practice numerous times and receive feedback from someone who has competed in and judged many pageants. Practice should involve an actual "dress rehearsal" where you are dressed for an interview, carry yourself confidently, and answer many practice questions. You should practice every aspect of the interview, from walking in to walking out.

Then comes the most important part of practice: the feedback and adjustment cycle.

Getting feedback from someone with experience is essential. This person knows what works and what doesn't. This person can analyze your clothes, hand gestures, mannerisms, answers, confidence, and any other aspect of your interview. This person's observations and advice are priceless.

Once you have feedback from a knowledgeable source, you can consider what to adjust and improve. This is where the work begins because you must implement the necessary changes and then practice again and again. Practice, receive feedback, and adjust/improve. That is the cycle for success in your pageant interview and must be repeated over and over until the desired results are achieved.

If you are competing in an upcoming pageant, don't skimp on interview practice. The interview is the most important part of the pageant, as it sets the tone for the rest of the competition. You need to nail it so the judges see you in the best possible light for the rest of the competition. You cannot practice too much!


Carrie Sharpe of He says, She saysI'm Carrie, and I'd love to help you rock your pageant interview! I offer 30-minute pageant interview skills coaching sessions via FaceTime or Skype where we can do a complete practice interview and/or discuss whatever aspects of the interview you'd like. I can give you the feedback you need in order to adjust and improve. Email me at anytime with questions about interviews or coaching, and purchase a coaching session hereTo learn more about Pageant Interview Basics, click here for our FREE webinar.