Pageant Interviews & Suits
Pageant interviews are an important part of most beauty pageant competitions, often comprising as much as 30% of a competitor’s total score. While the answers a contestant gives to the judges’ interview questions are, of course, very important, there are many other factors that go into scoring highly in this portion. The interview suit, accessories, poise and confidence all play important roles in having a successful pageant interview.
How to Choose a Pageant Interview Suit
Timeless, classic styles are the best kind of fashion to go with when it comes to choosing interview suits. Pageant consultants urge contestants to choose pageant interview suits that are fashionable, but not trendy, exemplifying an elegant fashion without taking risks or attempting to make too loud of a fashion statement. You don’t want your interview suit to be distracting; rather, it needs to flatter your figure and accentuate the overall image you wish to present – which is, for the interview portion, a very professional one.
In general, business-style suits with skirts are most preferable. A business suit helps contestants achieve a professional, confident look that emphasizes the contestants’ talents go beyond simple beauty and charm. Too many embellishments, such as beading, or ultra-trendy features may distract from the serene, professional look you wish to achieve, so it’s best to keep the interview suit itself simple. Accessories such as brooches, earrings and necklaces can always be added if additional flair is needed.
For most pageants, especially scholarship-based pageants such as Miss America qualifying events, the skirt should fall just above the knee, and the suit overall should be both elegant and modest. The suit’s color should pop and compliment the contestant’s natural skin tone, without being too gawdy or distracting.
Interview suit accessories should follow a similar pattern. Closed-toed pumps that match the suit’s color will pull the outfit together nicely, and jewelry should be understated yet fashionable.
The quality of a pageant interview suit’s material and cut should be good. An ill-fitting suit, or a suit made of low quality materials, will not look as professional as a quality suit, and most judges will notice these kinds of flaws.
Conducting Yourself During a Pageant Interview
Pageant consultants are best suited to prepare young contestants for pageant interviews, but there are a few basic rules every contestant should know.
Smile and be relaxed. Nothing makes an interview more awkward than when the interviewee is clearly nervous and uncomfortable, so make an effort to remain relaxed, and, of course, to smile throughout the interview.
Maintain excellent posture. Making excellent posture look natural and easy is the key to appearing confident and elegant while conducting pageant interviews, whether they’re in a closed audience or on stage.
Listen attentively and answer with succinct confidence. Quick thinking is a must for a successful interview, and answers need to be delivered clearly and with confidence. Don’t hesitate, or say “”um”"; smile, thank the interviewer for his or her question, and present your answer briefly in a clear, confidence voice.
Tips for Answering Pageant Interview Questions
Pageant judges rarely try to trick contestants with questions, but they do often pose questions that force contestants to use critical thinking skills. Often times, questions are designed to expose a contestant’s moral stance on certain issues. While answering questions on delicate topics may seem uncomfortable, the key to remaining confident is to use good judgment and be honest while remaining as tactful as possible. Judges are more likely to be impressed by an honest answer that goes against mainstream ideas than to hear an answer that is clearly canned.