Top 20 Interview questions

Huge mistakes new pageant contestants make

Wearing the wrong wardrobe

Dani Walker first pageant
Feb 21, 2004, my first pageant. My wardrobe was wayyyy too sexy for a Jr. Teen.

It’s pretty easy to wear the wrong wardrobe to a pageant, especially if you’re a new contestant. I certainly wasn’t a pageant fashionista when I began my journey. What I wish I knew is that, it is better to keep things simple, and choose outfits that work for your age and system, until you find your own style. The easiest way to do this is by doing a little research. Pay attention to any wardrobe examples your pageant director sends you, check out the pageants website, and scroll through titleholder social media accounts. These resources should give you plenty of inspiration for your pageant wardrobe. I also have several episodes on my channel that are dedicated to choosing the best wardrobe. HERE’S one that’s all about selecting the perfect gown.

Look in the mirror, SHE’s your competition

Early in my pageant journey I made the huge mistake of focusing less on myself and more on other contestants. I was really concerned with their gowns, what their stage routine looked like, or who had an awesome speech. Later, I realized that this was seriously hurting my performance. As I continued to compete I started focusing more on skills I needed to master. Instead of watching every contestant compete in evening gown, wondering if I did better, I kept my eye on the prize. I put all my energy and attention into making sure that all my practice paid-off during pageant weekend. And eventually…it did!

Dani Walker Miss Montana USA 2018

Get great hair and makeup

I like to think of hair and makeup as an accessory. For example: if you wore a strange headband it could throw off your entire look. Bad hair and makeup have that same effect. You can be the best dressed, but if your hair and makeup are off, it could derail your dreams. I know this was true for me. Even though I did my personal best, it didn’t meet the standards of what was winning. So I save up my pennies, flew to Washington and booked a hair and makeup lesson with Austin Ryde. After my appointment, I bought all the products he suggested then continued to practice my skills. One lesson, changed my entire look. After that I continued to practice new looks and techniques with Arnaud, pageant coach for Miss France. I’m still thankful for the things I learned from those men.

Dani Walker Miss California Jr. Teen
I’m glad I don’t cover my entire eyelid in white shimmer shadow anymore.

Adopt a growth mindset

When I first started competing I was so focused on winning a title, that I walked away from each loss feeling devastated. After I came to terms with the reality that I might not win every title, I adopted a growth mindset. Instead of defining my success by a crown and sash, I decided to set personal goals that I could achieve. For example, before I ever won a title, I set goals to win an optional contest and place in the top 5. Accomplishing those two things were a personal best for me. They were benchmarks that acknowledged my improvement, even if I didn’t walk away with a crown. Setting personal goals will help you to improve your overall performance and build resiliency. They help to keep you in good spirits and remain hopeful, as you pursue your ultimate dreams.

Make interview your priority

Interview is probably the most neglected area of competition. As a coach, it’s rare to find a contestant that is a natural at interview. In most pageants, your interview score is weighted equally to other areas of competition, or it is the largest portion of your score. It also plays a huge part in swaying judges final ranking of a top 5. As you practice answering common questions, working with a coach, or participating in mock interviews, don’t become complacent. Many contestants devote hours to memorizing interview answers. As a result, they end up sounding like they’re reading lines off of a cue card. Winning interviews are packed with personality, memorable content, and killer communication skills. Your time is best spent working on those things, instead of memorizing “perfect” answers.

For more tips on a winning interview, check out 6 steps to interview success

Client Love

Kaitlyn Matherne, NAM Louisiana Teen 2017

"Dani is an incredible person, as well as the most encouraging mentor I have ever had. My dreams would not have become reality without her love and help!"

Cheyenne Paige, International United Miss 2017-18

"Dani made me feel so comfortable performing my first High Fashion Runway routine. With her help I had the highest score in my division and won the International title."

Kristen Brooks, NAM Miss New York 2019

"Dani is beyond knowledgeable and sweet! She’s an absolute dream to work with.”

Salena Pham

Salena Pham, Miss Northern Utah USA 2021

"Dani completely changed how I interview, in the best way possible. She was clear, concise, and constructive in her feedback and always made sure I understood how to apply what she taught me. Not only is she extremely knowledge, but is also kind and encouraging. I truly cannot thank her enough for her help and guidance."

%d bloggers like this: