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What NOT to do in a pageant interview

Don’t pad your resume

Padding your resume is the first of my interview don’ts. This is when you add things to your resume that are not true, so that you seem more impressive to judges. This is not a great practice because judges either see right through this, or they ask you an interview question that you are not prepared to answer. After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve learned that there are plenty of interesting skills or facts about every contestant. If you have a shortage of information to share on a resume or judges sheet, it’s not for lack of interesting information, it’s a lack of creativity. Keep brainstorming, and you’ll eventually find awesome, truthful information to share with the judges.

Every body says something

Body language communicates just as much about you as verbal communication. As a pageant judge, I’ve seen two extremes. There are contestants who move around too much and those who are rigid. Fidgeting with your hands, excessive swaying, or lack of eye contact, tells the judges that you are nervous. Contestants who put their hands behind their back, or keep their arms glued to their side, come across as uncomfortable. This is why you cannot neglect to practice relaxed and confident body language for a pageant interview, on-stage question, and personal introduction.

Bring the energy

Energy, vibes, mood, or whatever you want to call it, is important to keep in your control. Queens are cool and confident in an interview; runners-up are anxious or nervous. Before you walk into an interview, set an intention for your energy. Think about how your ideal interview looks, feels, and sounds, then hold on to that intention and enter the interview room. Hyper energy comes across as too eager and low energy is perceived as uninterested. Everyone feels nerves, or heightened emotions. Interviews are the perfect place to practice managing them. This skill will serve you in interviews, but more importantly, it will help you manage any stressful situation you encounter in life. For more tips on managing nerves, click HERE.

Don’t neglect verbal communication

If you are not regularly practicing potential interview questions, you’re neglecting a very important part of pageant prep. The months and weeks leading up to a competition is the time to workout the kinks in your answers so you sound natural and unrehearsed. Some of the most common verbal faux pas are the use of filler words, speaking too quickly, giving one word answers, or rambling. These interview don’ts will negatively impact your score and overall impression with the judges. Dedicate time to mock interviews with friends, families, or a coach to address these issues. For more help developing branded interview content, you can check out my Crown Countdown Guided Interview Journal.

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Salena Pham, Miss Northern Utah USA 2021

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