A couple of weeks ago, I received the Miss America 2016 Contestant interviews on DVD. For the record – I’m not “special” and I don’t have any “inside connections” to the big office in Atlantic City – Anyone can order the Miss America interview DVD by going to this link here and plopping down $55 (plus shipping).
Before I go any further, let me say this…
I LOVE INTERVIEW!!!
Interview was always my favorite part of the competition, and the area where I had the most success back in the day. 🙂 I loved it for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I believed in my ability to walk into a room and have a conversation/make friends with anyone in that room.
Therefore, when I get the chance to watch 6 Miss America contestants, who walk into arguably the most difficult interview of their lives, I. Am. ECSTATIC! I’m kinda like a kid in a rhinestone covered candy store!
And after watching the interviews of Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell, Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, Miss South Carolina Daja Dial, Miss Virginia Savannah Lane, and Miss New Mexico Marissa Livingston – I believe we all have a few lessons we can learn…
Lesson #1 – Everyone Gets Nervous.
There’s nothing wrong with being nervous! It can happen to anyone who walks into a room with 7 people you don’t know, who have the ability to ask any question on the planet, and who could essentially “torpedo” you if they really wanted to do so (trust me, I can line up the contestants who’d say it’s happened to them).
Being nervous, or anxious, or excited, or a bit ‘amped up’ before your interview is perfectly normal. It happens to everyone! The trick is to channel your nerves into a superior focus that allows you to hear each and every question to the fullest extent – and allows you to answer those questions exactly as you wish.
If you don’t know how to channel your nerves in that manner, I’d suggest getting some assistance through mock-interviews. Have someone set up 3-5 respectable judges, have those pseudo-judges watch someone’s interview to get an understanding of how this whole things works, and then have them prepare questions for you exactly as you would during a pageant competition. You should put on a nice interview outfit, do your hair and makeup accordingly, and prepare for a closing statement.
The other reason ladies can’t seem to channel their nerves – is usually because they don’t know what they stand for. If you’ve taken the time to “hash-out” your pageant brand, and if you fully understand what you believe and why, then you will be MUCH more confident (and much less nervous) when you walk into the interview room.
If you’re someone who gets nervous before your interview – remember, everyone else does too. The question is, did you put in the work with mock interviews? Do you fully understand who you are as a person and why you believe what you believe? Or are you planning to skim by with the minimum amount of work, hoping for the best? Hmmmm…
Lesson #2 – Everyone Gets Interrupted.
Seriously – This lesson gets me every time.
In the toughest pageant interview in the land, AND during the rest of your life outside pageantry, you will be interrupted. Verbally, mentally, physically. Interruptions happen. It’s what you do in that moment of interruption that determines your path overall.
I’d have to go back and double check – but I think every one of the contestants on the DVD was interrupted by a judge. Maybe it’s because they were afraid time was running out. Maybe it’s because they didn’t fully get their question answered. Maybe it’s because the contestant was rambling and the judge wanted to change the topic. Regardless of the reason, interruptions will happen. Don’t take it personally and don’t be offended – It’s just the name of the game.
If you tend to get thrown-off your game when a judge interrupts you, realize this is the life of a Miss So-and-So. Things don’t always go your way and people aren’t always kind. Your year of service means putting someone else’s needs above your own. Properly handling a judge’s interruption in the interview room is indicative of your ability to be Miss Fill-In-the-Blank – and they know it (hint – that’s why they do it!).
Learning how to handle interruptions is a part of life. You ability to ‘bounce back’ from unexpected interruptions in a positive way, is the true making of a wise and successful person. Ask yourself, are you the type of person who easily crumbles when things don’t go your way? Are you someone who gets pushed around by life’s dramas, because you don’t know how to “shake it off”? Or are you resilient enough to handle interruptions in your own life (without losing focus), and wise enough to know how to get back on track?
Lesson #3 – Everyone Can’t Be Pleased.
If there’s one thing you should know about your interview – it’s that rational people are going to disagree. There’s no panel in the world who agrees on everything – That’s why there are 5 or 7 judges instead of only 1 person making the decision! We want a cumulative opinion of several people – Not the authority of one person – when selecting the best person to represent your title.
The best judges aren’t looking for someone who agrees with everything they personally believe… Instead, the best judges are looking for someone who is knowledgeable about a topic, someone who can state an opinion (when asked), someone who is not condescending, and someone who did not concoct a typical “World-Peace” kind of answer simply as a cop-out for a pageant interview!
You have a brain and you have a heart. And you know what? You should be using both of them during your pageant interview.
A judge may not agree with your opinion, but if you’re trying to make a judge believe that you’re right and he/she’s wrong – you’ve missed the whole point.
IT IS NOT THE JUDGE’S JOB TO AGREE WITH YOU. It’s the judge’s job to determine if you are a respectful and responsible communicator. And it’s YOUR JOB to show the judges that you can be trusted with the title of Miss State because you have the communication skills necessary to do the job.
If you tend to be argumentative in your interview – or you tend to over-communicate to get your point across – or you’re afraid to state an opinion in your interview (in case someone doesn’t agree), I implore you to GET THE DVD! You will see examples of ladies who have brains and ladies who use their heart to communicate their message in a respectful and responsible manner.
PS – Not everyone is going to like you. And that’s ok. As long as “you like you” – (in reference to last week’s post), then everything is going to be just fine. 🙂
There you go! 3 Lessons Learned from 6 Miss America contestant interviews on DVD… I might do a full review of these 6 interviews a bit later – but as of today, there’s a whole lot you can learn from these 3 lessons listed above!
Have you seen the Miss America DVD? What were your take-aways from the contestant interviews? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 15,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she leads an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.