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Pageat Interview Queen

What Do You Do for Your Community? Approaches to Pageant Interview Questions When Perhaps You Haven’t Done Much (or Lately)

As an Arizona resident, I find myself feeling sad and more serious this week due to the recent death of 19 firefighters from Prescott Arizona who lost their lives fighting one of the awful wildfires. Does it take 19 firefighters dying in one fell swoop for us to stop and appreciate what we have? To stop and think about how others help protect our lives, property, and ways of living? To stop and think how we contribute to (or detract from) our communities?

As a pageant contestant, your success with pageant interview questions will be enhanced if you operate from a position of gratitude and awareness. Most pageant titles include a locale—they are attached to a place. So ask yourself, “What do I know about that place?” and “What do I do for my community?”

What if a judge asked you that “What do you do for your community” question?  Or maybe not a judge, but let’s say you win your crown and someone from the media or an audience member at a public appearance asks you something like that? How would you reply?

Surely most pageant contestants already have this covered as most of you are involved in many exciting ways and/or your pageant requires a platform that has you thinking about such things.

But your pageant may not require community service, you may not need a platform, and volunteering just may not be your thing. If that’s the case, I’m certainly not suggesting that you need to make as big a contribution as the police and firefighters who put their lives on the line for us so often.

But I am suggesting that you start thinking about your role in the grander scheme of things. Start with simply thinking through “What kind of citizen am I? What kind of neighbor?”

Not all of us have the interest, time, talent, or skills to be a firefighter, police officer, paramedic, or military service person. But how often do we pause in the busy-ness of our days, our lives to be grateful for what these folks—and countless other public service people from trash collectors, to mail carriers, to traffic light engineers—do for us? Being a good neighbor, a good citizen starts with doing our small part to help the other people who have made a career out of serving the public. What can we do to help make their jobs easier? Complying with rules and requests (or using proper channels to politely challenge them) is the right thing to do and it helps keep the world we love safer, cleaner, and more functional.

But if you are in a pageant, saying “I obey traffic laws, follow the recycling guidelines to the letter, and am careful about campfires and stray matches” may not sound like “enough” or the right kind of answer to give if anyone ever asks you a “What do you do for your community?” kind of question.

It depends on how you handle it, the context (what other kinds of questions have you been asked, etc.), and remember to listen for the question “behind” the question. That is, often when you get a pageant interview question like this it could be because someone is trying to sort out if you are just about evening gowns and pageant dresses, shoes, hairstyles, and cosmetics, or if there is more to you than that. They might be trying to sort out if you are a well-rounded individual, if you care about something other than yourself, and if you are “up” on what’s going on in your area.

So think it through now and you’ll be prepared if something like this ever comes up. What do you care about? What are some of the challenges in your area? You don’t need to be an expert or an activist but you should have a sense of things. If you don’t have a cause or issue you care about, find one. Even if your pageant doesn’t require it, you’ll be a better person (and contestant) if you get involved a little.

But what are some options if you don’t really “do” anything much “in the community” yourself? What if you haven’t had time yet to find what you care about or get involved because you are still very young? Or if it has been awhile since you’ve “done” anything because you have become busy with other things?

Here are a few approaches to pageant interview questions that can help you in many different situations, but today we’ll use them as a way thinking about the topic at hand. These should help you generate your own responses that reflect the real you as, clearly, these are just ideas and you can think of new ideas, or adapt or combine these approaches. In general the ideas is to think about the different versions of “you” that have been, are, or will be:

  • Past-you: While I’m not currently volunteering, I certainly have done a lot for my community in the past, like when I was involved with ____ we did ____ and it was really a worthwhile experience.
  • Work-you: I’m not currently volunteering in the community but the approach I take to the work I do is something good for the community. I certainly hope my positive attitude and efforts make a difference and people tell me it does. Of course it helps that I’m a teacher and that helping educate the next generation is a huge benefit to the overall community, but I think we all can look for those connections to how our job makes a difference.
  • Parent-you: I’m not currently volunteering in the wider community but I have to say that trying to be the best parent I can be to my children is important in the grander scheme. My involvement with them often links in to community service projects, like ____. But, either way, raising kids that are intelligent, compassionate, open-minded people is probably the best thing I’ll ever do for this world.
  • Future-you: Doing more in the community is something I hope to do soon. I’ve noticed the need for ____ and that’s something I’d really like to help with. It’s on my to-do list to reach out to the organizations that work in that, or maybe need to start my own!
  • Citizen-you: While I’m not currently volunteering, I pride myself on being a good citizen in our community. It’s something many people take for granted, or try to get out of, but the supposedly little things like obeying the laws, voting, treating people with kindness, not littering, recycling with care, watching my water and energy usage, being a good Samaritan, and paying taxes happily all really add up. I appreciate people who are solid citizens day after day as much or more than I do those who volunteer at a soup kitchen once a year and call it good. That IS good, but we know that when individuals or communities start taking shortcuts on these basics that all citizens should do then we all suffer.
  • Pageant-you: Doing more in the community is why I got involved in this pageant. I hope as the titleholder I’ll get to meet many more people in the community and learn about the opportunities I can help with now or later. I know this pageant doesn’t require a platform and I’m grateful for that because right now I’m still sorting out which causes I really want to apply my energy and passion to. Once I choose it, though, you can be sure I’ll give it my all.
  • Potential-you: There’s so much in the community I’ve considered doing. I find myself interested in ____ and ____. And even _____ , which is something that touches so many lives. But I’ve been so busy with other life events I’ve not pursued the opportunities in these areas. I will one of these days soon, though, and if I’m fortunate enough to be selected for this title I will use it to bring attention to areas of need.

What other “versions” of you can you think of to help generate pageant interview question answers? The older you get the more you will have to work with as your life experiences will mount, but no matter what your age many of the approaches above will work. (For those who desire more or different kind of interview help, please see my pageant interviewing success books on Amazon. There are individual Kindle books if there is something in particular you want to focus on, as well as the whole series collected into a paperback. That’s what I recommend as there will be things in there you didn’t even KNOW you needed to know. :-) Pageant Interviewing Success: The Collected Series as it is a really thorough resource.)

So, to wrap up, I’m writing on community service today because I’m saddened by the loss of so many firefighters in my home state. Few people (and very few pageant contestants) will ever serve or sacrifice the way firefighters, police, military personnel, and other first-responders do who run toward problems while others are running away. I don’t mean to take anything away from that in reminding us that it is healthy to remember that we are served by municipal, county, state, and federal service personnel in so many ways other ways too, every day, and we probably rarely stop to think about it unless something this big makes the news. I’d like us to be grateful daily.

And as ordinary citizens we can help make our world a better place in simple ways. I encourage us all to think about what we take for granted in general, but especially in terms of public services. What our tax dollars go to support often goes unseen, or we have a sense of entitlement to the services that doesn’t include a thankful attitude, but let’s remember that we in the U.S.A. are really blessed with generally excellent public services. And location, politics, and taxes aside, there are individuals–real people–who made the choice to work in jobs that help make our world function.

Whether or not the job is glamorous, dangerous, or mundane, they are all important in some way and most of us couldn’t enjoy our lives without the infrastructure that these folks help provide. And if we don’t work in public service we can still be good citizens on a daily basis and get involved in various causes that touch our hearts. Where can you make a difference?


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