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The Sash Company Blog

Where we share all things sash & stole!

The Sash Company Blog

Where we share all things sash & stole!

The 11 Most Common Beauty Pageant Questions & How to Answer

beauty pageant crown

Your makeup is on, your hair is touched just right, your pageant sash is a perfect fit and your smile is on point. Even your tan is the very definition of sunkissed… you’re ready to hit that stage so hard it's left in a daze. Now comes the question-and-answer segment of the pageant.

This is your moment. Visualize and own it.

Are you ready to nail it with so much confidence that a Hollywood producer would consider you for a role as the next Bond girl? Good. If not, we can help.

So what comes next? What are the most common beauty pageant questions and how should you answer them?

For more than 20 years, The Sash Company has been creating high-quality beauty pageant sashes for pageants across the U.S. We are the official partners for Miss America and Miss Universe. We craft high-quality sashes that leave an impression.

We have seen our fair share of pageants in that time, and with that in mind, we want to offer our insight. What are the most common questions asked at beauty pageants and how should you answer them? Continue to the end to learn some tips and techniques to make you sound more confident when answering pageant questions.

The Most Common Questions & Answers

1 - “Tell us about yourself”

Ah, the most common question contestants are asked at beauty pageants. It’s so simple, so common, and so widely used. It’s a chance to break the ice in a fun and interesting way.

Keep the answer light and concise. Try thinking of it like an elevator pitch of yourself. It shouldn’t be any longer than 20 seconds and it should show a little personality. This is a quick Instagram bio of who you are.

Judges are looking for these highlights:

  • Community service
  • Public speaking
  • Personal values
  • Accomplishments

The trick to answering this question is to pick 5 or 6 accomplishments that you’re proud of, and that speaks to the kind of person you are. Make it feel personal.

“Your mind is like a gold mine, if you dig deep you will find something golden.” — Gift Gugu Mona

2 - “Why should you win?” / “Why should the judges pick you?”

Well, thanks for the trick question judges. It’s difficult to sound confident and humble when you’re telling people why you’re the best choice. That’s why this is also one of the most common beauty pageant questions asked every year.

And you can pull this one off too.

The trick to answering this question is to be honest and genuine. Do not just use some typical beauty pageant line about being a role model or changing the world, unless that’s truly what you believe… and if it is, then you have to phrase it better than that.

Consider some of these talking points when you sit down to think of your answer:

  • Talk about your plans for the future and how this pageant title will help you accomplish those goals.
  • Talk about what you bring to the pageant, and what makes you stand out from other winners.
  • Talk about leadership and what characteristics you think pageant winners have, then relate that back to your qualities.

The most important thing you can do is break the pattern. Don’t follow along with other contestants. Instead, call out their answers and change course. “I know everyone else probably answers this question differently but….”

“Winning doesn't always mean being first. Winning means you're doing better than you've ever done before.” - Bonnie Blair

3 - “Define feminism” / “Modern woman’s role in society” / “Advice for young women today”

There are many variations of this question in beauty pageants across the United States every year. Judges want to ascertain the contestant's thoughts and feelings about femininity and womanhood in modern society.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this question, but we can provide some tips.

  • Focus on your journey as a woman, and what you’ve learned.
  • Ask yourself what qualities you admire in other women that you wish you had more of.
  • Talk about women taking their place in the world.
  • Break the pattern, do not answer like the other contestants.

The judges will likely want to hear more about strength, confidence, being heard, and leadership.

“There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." - Madeleine Albright

4 - “What’s a current event you’re focused on?” / “What are your thoughts on [insert current event here]?”

Are you following the news and are you keeping up to date with the happenings around the world, or even in your local community?

If you’re going to represent a community, you have to know what’s happening and most importantly, you have to have an answer.

Here are some things to keep in when answering this very common pageant question:

  • Break the pattern and answer about an event that is important to you. Don’t answer with the same event every other contestant has talked about.
  • Is there a way to tie your answer back to a personal experience? Be careful not to minimize the event, but try to add your perspective.
  • Ultimately, human connection and peace are the most valued outcomes of any event. Bring people together. Consider this when answering.
  • Try your best to stay informed on current events through the news, podcasts, and articles on websites like substack!

“Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.” - Hunter S. Thompson

5 - “What makes you, you?” / “Tell us something interesting about yourself”

This is by far the most common beauty pageant question because it’s open-ended, flat, and filled with opportunity. This question can make or break a contestant. It’s your chance to fly or flop, to shine or slump, to really give everyone a chance to get to know the person behind the sash.

The real question underneath it all is this: what unique quality would you bring as a pageant winner and titleholder?

Sure you can talk about hobbies, experiences you had in childhood, and your outlook on life, but ultimately your answer should be passionate. Focus on the future in this answer and not just the past. Don’t rewind, look ahead!

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde

6 - “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Oh great, another trick question right? Maybe not. The point of this question is not to trick you, nor is it to find out what you’re really bad at, the point of this question is to determine if you are self-aware and if you believe in yourself and your ability to improve.

It actually doesn’t matter what your biggest weakness is, it matters if you are honest and if you truly understand yourself.

Whatever your answer, be sure to follow up with how you are working on overcoming this weakness, or what you do every day to ensure that this weakness doesn’t ever affect you more than it needs to.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” - Thomas A. Edison

7 - “What’s the biggest problem facing [insert geographic location here] & how do we solve it?”

What’s the biggest problem facing your town, your city, your state, or the entire country?

Of course, this answer will change based on the location. The issues that people in California face are likely different from people in Georgia. Of course, there are similarities between each state, but ultimately, each state has its own challenges.

To answer this question effectively, bring it back to something you are passionate about. You want your interview to have a theme or a thesis. There are bonus points if the current issue you discuss is something that you believe in fixing… perhaps a cause you are also passionate about.

"The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

8 - “Where do you see yourself in [insert years here] years?”

Is this a job interview or a beauty pageant? Well, it’s a little bit of both. This question seeks to uncover your conscientiousness. No, not how kind you are, but how much thought you put into planning your future, and how much time you've invested into your own life.

The trick for this beauty pageant question is that it doesn't necessarily matter what your plan is for the next 5 or 10 years, but it does matter that you’ve got a plan for the next few years.

Are you wishing for your life to unfold in specific ways, or are you planning and taking action to ensure that you have as much control and responsibility for the life you are creating for yourself? Show them just how thoughtful you are!

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

9 - “What do you like most about yourself?”

This answer should be fairly straightforward. Our only advice is to answer this pageant question honestly and with a sense of confidence.

It’s okay to brag about yourself when you're answering this question because the question is looking for that kind of answer. This one is all about you.

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” - Lucille Ball

10 - “What advice would you give your younger self?”

This is a common beauty pageant question because it shows the judges how much you’ve grown, how much you understand yourself, and how much you’ve learned from your mistakes and the challenges that you’ve faced.

It may be an opportunity to focus on something that was difficult to go through, but that you made it through regardless. You could even highlight that you wouldn’t change the challenges you’ve faced because those challenges have made you who you are.

Use this question to define just how far you’ve come.

“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” - Harper Lee

11 - “If you could meet any famous person in history, who and why?” / “Who is your role model?”

And finally, the most common beauty pageant question asked over the years is all about your idols and role models.

This question sheds light on who you admire, aspire to, and consider a learning resource. If you could have lunch with any famous person, (living or dead) who would it be and why?

This question is a great time to inject a little humor and personality into your answer. If your choice is someone from history, think about including something about the modern world confusing them. Also, chat about who picks up the check for dinner. Get a little cheeky with it!

“I'm not a role model. I'm a role villain.” - Marilyn Monroe

No matter what questions face you, answer with honesty! Making sure that answers sound thoughtful and natural is key! Remember that you are not perfect, so don’t pretend to be. Show them that you are always learning and growing! No matter what questions are thrown at you, we wish you luck and confidence.

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