Miss World 2016 is crowned.

Most pageant interview questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. Often, the judge is asking a question to learn your opinion on a particular topic and evaluate your communication skills. But there are a few pageant questions with only 1 right answer. And they’re probably not the questions that you’re thinking of. Everyone knows that there’s only one right answer to “Do you think pageants are still relevant for women today?” Obviously, you have to say that yes, pageants are still relevant for today’s woman. That’s a no-brainer. But here are 3 other pageant questions with only 1 right answer:

1. Is there any reason you would not be a good choice for the title?

This sounds like a really simple question, but as a judge, I’ve seen contestants crash and burn on their answer. One contestant actually stated that she wouldn’t be a good titleholder if the title involved weekend appearances. She explained that she really likes to sleep in on weekends and would probably be late for any appearances. And no, I’m not making that up. Often when you’re in the interview room, you think that you need to answer each question exactly as it’s asked. But to answer this question, you need to understand what the judge is really asking.

This question is actually a creative version of “Why would you be a good choice for the title?” The judge is looking for an answer in which you indicate your firm belief that you would be a great titleholder. Obviously, you’ll want to state, “No there are no reasons why I wouldn’t be a good choice for the crown.” And most contestants stop there. But to get a top score you need to answer the implied question as well as the obvious question. You need to list your background and personal qualities that you feel will contribute to your success as the titleholder. The judge is expecting you to “sell” yourself as next titleholder. So the correct answer to this question is the same answer you use for why you would be a good titleholder with the “No there are not reasons why…” sentence stuck at the beginning. Easy peasy.

2. If you were a judge, what qualities would you be looking for in a titleholder?

This seems like a basic question, and you could give a basic, straightforward answer. You could talk about the qualities that you think a titleholder should possess and just leave it there. But that’s not really the right answer here. Why? Because it’s possible that your contestant bio and what you’ve talked about in the interview so far has not demonstrated that you possess the qualities you’ve just listed. And if you don’t possess those qualities, you’ve just told the judges they should vote for someone who does.

The right way to answer this question is to list your top qualities that are a direct fit for this particular pageant title. So if you’re strong in academic achievement, volunteerism and social media you might say, “I think a titleholder should have a strong academic record to highlight the pageant scholarship. Additionally, since the titleholder is required to make a lot of appearances at charity and community events, she should have a track record as an active volunteer. And she should understand how to use social media to promote her personal platform as well as the pageant platform.”

So when you’re asked to describe the qualities of the perfect titleholder, you need to describe yourself. Of course, you don’t say out loud that you’re describing yourself, but you are.

3. What do your parents/friends/boyfriend/husband think about you competing in the pageant?

This is sort of a trick question. Why? Because the judges aren’t asking it because they’re interested in what your family and friends think of your pageant participation. What they really want to know is if family and friends are going to be supportive of your titleholder duties. This question is not about competing in the pageant, it is about what happens after the pageant.

This question is often asked by judges when the title includes a big time commitment and might make you unavailable for your typical activities. They are testing to see if anyone’s complained about the time and energy it took to prepare for the pageant. If your family and friends complained about prep time, then they’re sure to complain when you’re busy with titleholder duties.

As a busy Pre-Teen, Teen, Miss, or Ms contestant you’ll want to go with an answer that indicates how helpful and supportive your family and friends have been. You might mention shopping for your gown with your mom or practicing pageant interview questions with a friend. And you could even mention that everyone is cheering you on, either in person or virtually, during the competition. Finish up with a sentence about how much you appreciate their support.

If you’re competing in a Mrs/Ms pageant and you’re married and/or have children, you’ll want to go with a slightly different response. You’ll want to make it very clear that your husband has been very supportive and is excited about the possibility of being Mr. Titleholder. You could mention that he worked out with you at the gym or accompanied you at appearances. You could also mention plans that you can easily put in place for childcare. For example, you might mention that your parents live nearby and are eager for visits from their grandchildren while you’re at appearances.

So when you’re in the interview room listen to the question and decide if there’s a hidden, implied question. The ability to spot and answer implied questions will definitely get you the top scores you need to create your winning moment.

You’re going to be FABulous!

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