In your pageant interview, not all words are created equal. While there are words that will definitely connect with your judges, some words will actually result in a low interview score. Since the purpose of your pageant interview is to connect, here’s a list of the Top 5 Words to Avoid in Your Pageant Interview:
#5. Amazing. Although it’s a plus to include adjectives in your answers, amazing is an adjective that is over used by contestants. Whenever you use a word that’s overused by other contestants, you start to sound like everyone else. Plus, when you include a word that’s overused in an answer, judges tend to not even “hear” that word. Instead of using ‘amazing’ repeatedly, make a list of five to seven adjectives that you could use instead. For example, you might go with: wonderful, impressive, extraordinary, fabulous, incredible, exceptional, or outstanding. All things considered, your judges will pay more attention to what you’re saying if you don’t rely on the same word over and over.
#4. Perfectionist. Before we talk about this word, let’s make sure we have a common understanding of the definition. A perfectionist is “someone who demands perfection of themselves and others.” Please notice the phrase “and others.” This means that not only do you strive to do everything perfectly, you expect others to be perfect too. And that tells the judges that whenever you’re in a situation that’s not 100% perfect, you just might have a meltdown. Instead of referring to yourself as a perfectionist, you may wish to indicate that you have high standards of excellence for yourself but that you never expect perfection.
#3. Honestly. I know what you’re thinking: “why is this word on the list?” Being honest in your interview is a good thing, right? Yes, being honest in your interview is an absolute must, but when you introduce the content of your answer with the phrase, “Honestly, I…” or “To be perfectly honest…” it implies that some of your answers thus far may not have been 100% honest. Studies indicate that this phrase causes the listener to question the honesty of your previous responses. And I know that you don’t want to imply that your other answers have been less than honest. So, skip this common lead-in and just go straight to your answer content.
#2. Driven. Often, contestants include “driven” when listing “three words that describe you” or when answering the question, While you’re probably trying to indicate you work hard to achieve your goals, that’s not what the judges hear. What the judges hear is: “I’m totally driven and obsessed with winning at all costs. I might start slashing gowns backstage if I don’t win the title.” When you’re tempted to say “driven,” go with goal-oriented, focused, dedicated, or committed instead.
#1. Passion. This is, without question, the most commonly overused word in pageant competition. It’s not uncommon for contestants to use the word “passion” several times within the same answer. If you want to stand out as a memorable contestant, you must resist the temptation to say the p-word. And you can’t try to sneak by with using its sister word “passionate.” These p-words are often used to describe volunteer work, why you want to be the titleholder and even why you entered the pageant. Instead of one of the p-words, go with “excited about,” “dedicated to,” “focused on” or “devoted to.”
So, when you’re developing content for your pageant interview, weed out these overused words to get a top pageant score.