June 16, 2014

Nailing the Interview (Part III): Read, Question, Journal, Converse & Record (Repeat)

I never intended this to be a three-part post (sorry, not sorry), but obviously I have a wealth of information to share about this portion of the competition. In the two previous posts, we discussed the 3Cs to a Pageant Interview and Some Basic Interview Tips.

Today, I am going to share a few tactics and strategies that may be useful as you prepare for the interview. I am going to leave out the mock, or practice interviews, because if you have not figured out that that is paramount, then you aren't taking this seriously. Honestly, practicing is a given!

Read the Newspaper: I know that many today get their news from Twitter and other outlets; all of those I am not apposed to, but you need to be well aware to the events happening in your city, state, as well as, national and global issues. I recently came across a new service, theSkimm, a daily e-newsletter that breaks down the days news. Have you heard of it? Have a subscription? I have had a membership for a lofty 3 days, but my overall impression is that it is a clever idea but not my ideal source for news. I recommend actually reading the newspaper, like USA Today or the Wall Street Journal. Now, I do not think it is imperative to read the whole thing, but the main articles are a good idea. Watching the daily news broadcast can also be an alternative. I am better at grasping facts by reading, so simply listening does work for me; however, I do not think it truly matters how you gain access to this information - just get it!

Develop Questions & Responses: While reading the newspaper and/or listening to the daily news broadcast ask yourself some leading questions; jot those down on a paper or begin compiling them in a notebook. Then, develop responses for those questions and others. The "other" questions can come from the Interview Form or Questionnaire that is given to the judges. You should develop potential questions from the information you placed on the form. See, YOU are in control!?! Never place anything on your bio and/or interview sheet that you don't want someone to later ask you more about! Now when I state to develop responses, I in no way am encouraging for one to develop and then memorize responses. However, having a few bullets and main points that you want to convey with your response is a good idea!

Journal: Keeping a journal is a great way to document your ideas and get to know yourself better. Check out this article which shares 6 Ways Journaling Will Change Your Life!  The Interview portion of the pageant is your opportunity to share your opinion on many hot topics, which requires you to have a stance and opinion. Journaling will assist you develop this, and also have stories from your every day life! Hey, sometimes those are interesting too, and may support a question posed by one of the judges. You never really know!

Converse with Others About Hot Topics: In my previous post, I did say that others' should not provide you with direct responses to questions, but having conversations about topics is a good idea. I believe it is valuable to have your own stance as well as being knowledgeable about others.

Record Yourself: The support of pageant coaches, parents, and friends is always important, but I also believe that self-evaluation helps one grow too. I can remember people telling me things I could improve on in many areas, but at times, it was not until I saw it with my own eyes, that I was truly able to make a change. Observing yourself use too many hand gestures, or hearing yourself say "uhm" 10 times in 1 minute is the only way to break yourself of a bad habit. Or am I the only stubborn person out there? I encourage the use of video and audio recordings as a method of improving your skills in the interview room. You can, of course, also use this when practicing the other areas of the pageant too.


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