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Help me pick the potential next Miss America
June 18, 2009 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Need interesting questions for Miss America local pageant interview.

I've judged several local pageants within the Miss American program but my question list has gotten a little stale. I need some new and interesting questions for the contestants for the interview portion. This isn't the on-stage interview so nothing cheesy. This is the real interview. They can be political (always fun), academic (within reason), social, religious, etc... ALMOST anything goes.

Be creative or even silly if the mood strikes you. Specifically I'd like some new trick questions that lead into integrity and honesty.

Thanks!!
posted by Thrillhouse to Society & Culture (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do you agree with President Obama's policy on same-sex marriage?
posted by The World Famous at 11:28 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


While many contestants talk about the benefits that pageants can bring to one's life, in your experience what are the pitfalls?
posted by Windigo at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you feel that looking good in a swimsuit makes you more deserving of scholarship money than someone of average body type?
posted by corey flood at 11:39 AM on June 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


Are you an objective person? Provide an example.
What kinds of people frustrate you? Tell me more about a situation and how you responded.
Tell me about a tricky situation where you found a simple solution.
What, in your view, makes a person likeable?
Tell me about a time when you discovered a strong point in your character, that you didn’t know you had. Now tell me about an instance where you discovered a personal limitation.
How do you react when asked to do something beyond your capabilities?
posted by carmicha at 11:40 AM on June 18, 2009


-Using an example, please explain the difference between rules and principles.
-Please tell me about an opinion you used to have or a thing you used to believe to be true that has changed.
-Tell me one lie and one true thing about yourself. If I wanted to know which one was the lie, how would I go about finding out?
posted by Pineapplicious at 11:43 AM on June 18, 2009


Thanks everybody, I'm open to more!

World Famous- They're VERY ready for this question after the Miss CA debacle. It will still be asked. :)

Windigo- That's going on the list. I've heard it come up before but I've never asked it.

Corey- Honestly, most judges think about that now and then... I wonder if there's a way to work that in without sounding so condescending.

Carmicha- Thanks for listing all those. Most of them are on my list currently except for the 3rd one and the last one. I'll stick those one in there.

Thanks!!
posted by Thrillhouse at 11:48 AM on June 18, 2009


Two trains leave the station at noon. One is traveling norhtbound at 85 mph, the other train leaves the station traveling southbound at 110 mph. At what time, will the trains be 314 miles apart? For simplicity, you may assume point-trains traversing on the same line.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:17 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Many pagent competitors talk about campaigning for world peace, but so far that goal has proved elusive. How will your efforts to bring about world peace differ from those as-yet-unsuccessful attempts?

What is your favourite joke?
posted by Mike1024 at 12:17 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is beauty only skin deep?
posted by foooooogasm at 12:26 PM on June 18, 2009


What's the difference between leadership and management?
Follow up: Describe someone who fits your view of a "leader".
posted by coolguymichael at 12:29 PM on June 18, 2009


Should Manny Ramirez, star outfielder for the LA Dodgers and currently serving a 50-game suspension for use of illegal substances, be allowed to play in the All-Star Game if chosen by the fans?

What's something you admire about someone whose ideas you disagree with?

What are you personally ("increasing awareness" does not count) doing to reduce your impact on the environment?
posted by mkultra at 12:47 PM on June 18, 2009


Why does competing in a beauty pageant make you more qualified for scholarship money than a girl your age who cannot afford to go school but might have a better academic history?

Who did you look up to as a child, but no longer do?

Who is your favorite Disney Princess and why?
posted by tinatiga at 12:54 PM on June 18, 2009


I would advise that the questions be large in scope, be socially relevant, and not sound like job interview questions.
posted by heather-b at 12:57 PM on June 18, 2009


With the US debt so high, certain parts of the budget are often examined for cuts. If you had to cut the budget of one government department in half, which one would it be, and why?

Aside from slavery, what do you believe is the worst thing the United States has inflicted upon a non-Caucasian ethnic group?

What do you believe is the most important invention of all time, and why?

If you were to live in another country for ten years, which country would you choose, and why?
posted by Saydur at 1:07 PM on June 18, 2009


You're right, Heather. But I need to be mindful of the fact that this is a local and many of these ladies have not competed before. Also, They ARE interviewing for a job so some of the standard "How do you define integrity" type questions will be in there. I just don't want to be the one to ask them. :)
Thanks!
posted by Thrillhouse at 1:13 PM on June 18, 2009


corey flood: Do you feel that looking good in a swimsuit makes you more deserving of scholarship money than someone of average body type?

tinatiga: Why does competing in a beauty pageant make you more qualified for scholarship money than a girl your age who cannot afford to go school but might have a better academic history?

I'm pretty sure the object of these questions is to see how poise holds up under pressure, not to smugly knock them down a few pegs. To that end, here's the same question, posed a bit more positively:

"What would you say to those who think Miss America is unfairly giving out college scholarships based on beauty?"
posted by mkultra at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2009


mkultra - That one comes up pretty much every time. It's still a good question but the answers all bounce around the fact that talent and interview weighs most heavily.
posted by Thrillhouse at 1:42 PM on June 18, 2009


If you went to the Wizard of Oz, what would you choose to be gifted with: a heart, brains, courage or a trip home?

If you were, after a long and rewarding life, to die, what kind of memorial would you want. Examples: a fountain, a park, a building, a scholarship, ...

What was the last good thing you cooked or baked?

Things that I shouldn't really like but I do.
Everyone secretly likes some pretty cheesy things that they don't like to admit; I for instance like watching America's Next Top Model, and have a fondness for Hostess Snow Balls (yes the pink ones with coconut). What are your shameful things like this?

Things that I should really like that I don't.
Everyone secretly doesn't like things that are socially considered wonderful. I'm not a big fan of Monet and I can't stand A Confederacy of Dunces. What are your shameful dislikes?

If there were a genetic test that could tell you if you had a fatal disease, would you want to take it knowing that there was nothing you could do to stop the progress of the disease?

Do abstinence-based sex education programs work?

What questions did you think out answers for ahead of time?
posted by sciencegeek at 1:43 PM on June 18, 2009


The World Famous: Do you agree with President Obama's policy on same-sex marriage?
The great thing about this question is that it's a two-parter -- the first (harder) question is what that policy is (current events) while the second part is whether they agree with it (morality, integrity, etc.).

You may not be interested in rehashing the debacle of the past few months, but I think the structure of (and assumptions inherent in) the question is a good one that you could easily tweak to suit your needs.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 1:57 PM on June 18, 2009


Doofus Magoo- I've asked that question before and most often it came behind "How important is your (usually Catholic) faith?"
99% of the time the answer to the faith question is "Very" and the answer to the gay marriage question is "I support it" and the final question is "Isn't that a bit hypocritical?"

Thats about as "Bad cop" as I get in the interview. Personally I'd like to be harder on them. In my experience, they appreciate that more than anything.
posted by Thrillhouse at 2:03 PM on June 18, 2009


"Do you feel that looking good in a swimsuit makes you more deserving of scholarship money than someone of average body type?"

I would favorite corey flood's reply a thousand times if I could.
posted by 2oh1 at 2:05 PM on June 18, 2009


Why did we go to war in Iraq? No, really...

:)
posted by 2oh1 at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2009


What is the best present you've ever given anyone?

What did you do for your birthday last year?

Pretend I've never seen a baseball game, explain the basic rules to me.

Who did you vote for in the recent presidential election and why?

If instead of this interview you had to make me a mix tape about yourself, what songs would you put on it? Tell me two of these songs and how they represent you.

What are the stereotypes about pageant competitors?

What was the last book you read? What was the last book you enjoyed? (Bible doesn't count)

Do you want to have children?

What is the strangest job you've ever had?

If you had to have one plastic surgery, what would you change?

What percentage do you tip?
posted by sciencegeek at 2:11 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm pretty sure the object of these questions is to see how poise holds up under pressure, not to smugly knock them down a few pegs. To that end, here's the same question, posed a bit more positively:

Sorry if my questions were interpreted as smug. I'm actually a fan of the Miss America pageant system. My cousin was a contestant years ago and I met a lot of the girls who I found to be all very charming and intelligent.

Thanks for the excellent rephrase.

And in regards to digging deeper into the typical answer of talent/interview maybe a good question or followup would be, "How important do you think the ability to present yourself well is? How have you worked on cultivating this ability?"
posted by tinatiga at 3:13 PM on June 18, 2009


people act like there aren't a million scholarships available to the smart/average body type girls out there. would you ask someone going for the ayn rand scholarship why they deserve it more than someone who really likes jd sallinger? if someone was going for the left-handed scholarship would you ask them why they deserve it more than a right handed person with a better gpa?

now, for questions -

if you have children, what will be one thing you'll strive to do different than your parents did with you?

do you think "don't ask, don't tell" reflects the image we should portray as a nation?

which comes first, god or country?

what was the last service project you completed? what will be the next?

do you think a lesbian could be crowned miss america?

what is your main source for news?

do you think the dying industry of print journalism will hurt the free exchange of information in the long run?

what's the last book you read? what will be the next?

would you consider the carrie prejean pictures to be beyond the stipulations of the contract?
posted by nadawi at 5:23 PM on June 18, 2009


Nadawi- I thought a lot about the 'body type' question that you're objecting to and whether or not it's a fair question.
I think it is. It's a fair question because we're not always looking for the RIGHT answer but the fact that the contestant HAS a response that is well thought out and defendable. I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time someone has brought up that point to them and they must have thought about it. They should be able to defend it in much the same way you are.

I think I'm going to try it out.

You've got a lot of good ones too.
Thank you!
posted by Thrillhouse at 5:50 PM on June 18, 2009


i think the body question could be a really good one - i just don't think by and large the people posting it here are doing so in the spirit of helping. :)

also! i'd like to change what is your main source of news to "where do you get your news?" - that way you can see if they just read one source or if they're intelligent enough to realize that every news source has bias and the only way to be informed is to read multiple things...

i'd be curious to your list of questions when it's all said and done
posted by nadawi at 6:38 PM on June 18, 2009


I'll post it but it might be a few days. I used to ask (pre-election) something to the effect of "I've read that more than half of young Americans are getting their election news from The Daily Show. Do you think this is a credible source for news? What does this say about the youth of America?"
posted by Thrillhouse at 6:50 PM on June 18, 2009


Two trains leave the station at noon. One is traveling norhtbound at 85 mph, the other train leaves the station traveling southbound at 110 mph. At what time, will the trains be 314 miles apart? For simplicity, you may assume point-trains traversing on the same line.

At first I thought this was a joke question because people couldn't be expected to answer it precisely, then I realised it's actually quite a good question to test ability to come up with a reasonable estimate of the answer to a math problem, and that's a pretty useful skill to have.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:53 AM on June 19, 2009


Which do you prefer? Sunrise or sunset?
posted by LittleMissItneg at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2009


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