Don’t you just hate the question, “Why should you be the next titleholder?” during your pageant interview? Well, you’re not alone. It’s the #1 most hated question asked in pageantry.
You feel uncomfortable the minute you hear the judge ask the question. Even if you’ve practiced what you think is a good answer, you feel uneasy and unsure.
Why? Because it feels like you have to brag about yourself to answer the question. But that’s not really true. You just need to understand the real question behind the question.
So before I teach you the secret to answering this question, let’s take a look at some variations of the question:
- Why would you be a great choice for the title/crown?
- Why would you be a good titleholder?
- Why should I vote for you?
It doesn’t matter which version of the question the judge asks; your response should be the answer that you’d give for “Why should you be the next titleholder?”
And before we go any further, let’s make sure you’re not confusing this question with the “Why do you want to be the titleholder?” question. It’s very common for contestants to confuse these questions and give the wrong answer. If you struggle with an answer for “Why do you want to be the titleholder?” just click here.
Okay, so now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at the most common answer to this to this question:
“I want to be the titleholder so that I can educate and raise awareness about my platform and be a role model for others.
There are so many problems with this answer that it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with the overall content and message.
‘Educate and raise awareness’ and ‘role model for others’ is the basic content and message of answers from 90-95% of contestants at your pageant. (And yes, I do mean every pageant.) Why does everyone give this answer? Because everyone hates the question, they panic when they hear it, so they hurry through an answer without really thinking through the question.
If you’re using this, or something similar, as your answer you’re going to sound like every other contestant at the pageant. And since I know you don’t want that, let’s go on to the next thing that’s wrong with this answer.
Take a look at the first two words of the answer: I want.
When you want to do something you say “I want.” Like, “I want to enter the pageant.” Or, “I want to wear that beautiful evening gown.” And of course, “I want to be the titleholder.”
Every contestant who has entered the pageant wants to be the titleholder.
If the title is based on want, should the judges just vote for the contestant who wants it the most?
But, just like your mother told you 1000 times, just because you want something, it doesn’t mean that you’re ready for it.
If you want to drive a car but you’re not 16 yet and haven’t taken drivers ed, that would be a want for which you’re not qualified.
If you want to be a broadcast journalist, but never watch the news and have never reported a story on camera, that’s a job for which you’re not qualified.
Are you catching the hint? The correct way to answer this question is to discuss why you are qualified to be the next titleholder.
In order to do that we need to think through the job of the titleholder.
So, exactly what does the titleholder for your pageant do?
Is the titleholder expected to do a lot of community service work? Then you should talk about the community service work you’ve done.
Does the pageant have an official platform that the titleholder will need to promote? If that’s the case, you might discuss your knowledge of the platform and your plans to promote it.
Or does the titleholder promote the title by making a lot of appearances at local or state pageants? If that’s the expectation, you could discuss your flexible schedule and ability to travel.
So take a few moments and think about what the titleholder does. There are probably two or three main responsibilities that she’s expected to fulfill.
Now, think about your background, experience and the personal characteristics that qualify you to be the titleholder. Write down the two to three that are most directly connected to the responsibilities of the titleholder.
Next, think about how you can explain to the judges how what you’ve done directly connects to the expectations of the titleholder.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This is hard!” No, it’s actually amazingly easy. If it feels hard, you’re probably overthinking your answer.
The answer really is a list of things that you’ve done that are similar to what you’ll do as the titleholder. That’s it!
And here’s the best part: if you’re giving a list of things that you’ve actually done, that’s not bragging. Bragging happens when you add adjectives to the list of your accomplishments. Instead of just stating, “I’ve made over 50 appearances with my title, bragging is when you say, “I made over 50 of the most amazing and impactful appearances with my title.”
If you just give a list – without adjectives – you’re stating facts. You’re just summarizing things that have happened. You’re not comparing yourself to others or doing a hard sell of your accomplishments.
You won’t feel awkward and won’t worry that you sound overconfident. You’re saying what you did, that’s all. You feel comfortable just giving a factual summary of what you did, right?
So when you’re practicing your answer, here are three quick ways to double check your content:
- Are you listing more than three accomplishments? Your answer’s going to be too long and comes across as a hard sell.
- Are you using any adjectives? If you are, it’s going to come across as bragging.
- Are you using the word ‘want‘ anywhere in your answer? If you are, you’re answering the “Why do you want to be the titleholder question?“, not the “Why should you be the next titleholder?” question.
So now you’re all set with a great answer that you can deliver with confidence during your pageant interview. Then all you have to do in the interview room is wrap up your content with your best beauty queen smile. Because you just nailed the answer to the most hated question in pageantry.
You’re going to be FABulous!