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Pageat Interview Queen

Rewind: Answer the Question, Learning from Miss Utah USA

Thank you Marissa Powell for the courage and accomplishments that brought you to wearing the crown for Miss Utah USA. You had one rough patch last night at the Miss USA pageant with your final interview question, but you still rock and a bright future awaits.

Thank you, too, for the opportunity that rough patch gives the rest of us to self-assess and grow. If you ever read this, please know that this analysis using your pageant interview question and answer situation is well-intended for a larger good, even if it might accidentally hurt you a little. I’m sure you will be resilient to all this attention you are getting and make the most of it.

In a previous post today (called Should Pageant Interview Questions be Easier? No) I started to mention how important it is to listen well to get to the core of the question. When we listen well, we are in a better position to make choices about how to answer. This is something you definitely can learn to do every day and under pressure too! Let’s rewind last night and see what we can learn.

Here’s the pageant interview question Miss Marissa got: “A recent report shows that in 40% of American families with children women are the primary earners but women continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”

Let’s start with the components of the question:

– Size of the statistic (40%)
– Families or heads-of-household (not single people)
– Gender gap (men usually earn more)
– “Society”

Tip: If Miss Utah had picked any one of those key components and actually started her answer with a reference to that component, rather than to the non-present “education”, she’d have started off on a stronger foot. She would have

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Should Pageant Interview Questions Be Easier? No.

I saw it suggested on Twitter last night after the Miss USA pageant that on-stage pageant interview questions should be more “direct” because the girls are under pressure  and can’t “absorb anything” when faced with the big crowds, the excitement, and the lights in their eyes. I couldn’t disagree more.

And this is worrisome because the suggestion came from a group of women who care deeply about pageantry and contestants. In fact, they posted it be supportive but, oddly, it had the side effect of accidentally putting down pageant girls (in my opinion). To be clear, this came up around the Miss Utah USA answer that was, let’s admit it, far from ideal.

Let me say first, then, that I hold the gorgeous Marissa Powell in high regard and we all should. One bad answer doesn’t mean she’s not a smart and capable woman. That answer very likely cost her the crown, yes, but she might have just had a crazy wave of nerves hit her and we can appreciate that. It could happen to any of us.

But I think that’s where our offering reasons, or making excuses, for her should end. And I certainly don’t think it means pageants should ask simpler questions.

Why?  Keep in mind a few things:

  • Get Real. Most pageant contestants already have or want careers that involve excitement, bright lights, and crowds so they’d darn sure better get used to “absorbing” information and thinking on their feet in those situations. The skills we learn and practice in pageants transcend to all areas of life.
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Supporting You With Your Pageant Interview Questions

Hello Pageant Lovers,

I’m back in the saddle again. Or should I say I’m back in my crown and my high heels?  :-)

Sorry to have been away for a while. Family demands and other work demands being what they are I just needed to use more of my time for other things for a while. But I was still working on things behind the scenes…

Starting this week I hope to post a new YouTube video at least once a week.  This week we start with a brief “hello again” video–it’s up there already if you want to check it out: .  After that we will post brief videos dealing with how to handle pageant interview questions, and sometimes pageants themselves!

Some of the videos will be information that is a good review or reminder for you in regard to pageant interviewing, but surely some of them will be new information for you—perhaps things you’ve yet to think about.  Each individual is different, of course, based on her experience, but stay tuned as you never know which video will give you the tip YOU need to learn to help you win your crown.

In addition to the weekly or better YouTube videos (channel = PGNTInterviewQueen), I intend to start posting to my Pageant Interview Queen blog once a week again (see here for my previous posts, and get back into Tweeting (PGNTIntrvwQueen) and FaceBooking  ( on a near daily basis. Step by step I’ll get used to my social media shoes again. :-)

So please subscribe, follow, or check in on whatever channel(s) work for you stay in touch. I’d love to see you have an optimal pageant experience—after all, a pageant is just the beginning and the skills you learn or practice there will translate into other areas of your life. You are all beautiful so how you interview is the key in setting you apart from others.

Let’s build some momentum in helping every pageant contestant shine her brightest!  And remember to watch Miss USA this weekend. :-)

I hope you and yours are well,

Dr. Stephanie Raye