In this episode, I’m going to teach you what it means to be the leader in the interview room.
As a teen and young adult we are surrounded by people telling us what to do, setting boundaries, creating standards and delivering prompts we respond to. They lead us our teachers lead us in school, our parents lead us at home, there’s an RA with rules for the dorms, Coach who sets up the drills for practice, Miss Gretchen who leads dance rehearsal, and the Pageant Director that tells us where to be and when all week.
It’s no surprise then that when you walk into your interview, you’re expecting the judges to lead you through that process.
This is where it all goes wrong.
The judges are not the leaders of the interview room. They are looking for the leader and if you expect them to lead you will not be seen as their leader, but rather just another sheep in the herd.
In today’s episode, I’m gonna break down the 2 qualities of leadership that you can employ in your interview room to maintain control and lead your interview.
Here’s the mantra I want you to use:
“I am the Leader. I set the pace and direction.”
Say it out loud with me right now: “I am the Leader. I set the pace and direction.”
Pace is the rhythm and speed something moves.
Direction is path it follows to get to where it’s going.
You have to control both.
When I was studying on camera hosting in Los angeles, I was trained to use a teleprompter. A script is loaded into a machine that sits just above the camera. As I read the script it moves along revealing the next line and the next and so on. My first try at the teleprompter was hilarious. I began reading the script and got so excited I started reading really quickly, suddenly the teleprompter was moving at a speed so fast I couldn’t even keep up and was jumping over words and skipping phrases… it was a disaster. Come to find out the guy controlling the speed of the teleprompter was trying to keep up with me! He noticed I was going faster so he was matching my pace and since I wasn’t slowing down, he wasn’t.
This is exactly what happens in the interview room when you get nervous and start speeding up. It feels like you hopped on a speeding locomotive and can’t get off. Take a deep breath. You control the pace. If it starts going faster than you’d like, you need to slow it down. If it’s feeling sleepy, inject some energy and get them going!
The best tool you have is your voice. Use your vocal inflection to control the pace. Long pauses are particularly useful when you need to slow down. And talking just slightly faster adds energy to your words and pace to the room.
The second thing they are expecting you to control as the leader is the direction of the interview. They don’t know everything you want to tell them. So, don’t rely on them to ask you the right questions. Come ready with a handful of answers you want to share and take responsibility for getting them in there.
And… if they are heading in a direction that isn’t going to serve you, point them in a new direction. Leaders create boundaries, so let them know if they cross one and get them back on track to what you know is important.
You’re already better at this skill than you probably think. Remember a time when you tried to avoid a difficult conversation with a best friend – you were great at redirecting the conversation then, right? How about when someone brings up negative gossip about someone you love, you should be quick to correct them onto a positive path and focus on the good.
You are the Leader. You set the pace and direction.
That, my dear is how you win a pageant.
***On October 29, 2016 I’m hosting a Pageant Interview Master Class on Facebook live and I’d love to have you join me! To get all the details and the free workbook to go with the class, visit: https://Interview.WinAPageant.com***
See you in class!
For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course