Continuing the excerpts from a soon to be published book dedicated to Penny and Bob:
Remember, the interview is a conversation with the judge(s) and should not be you answering question after question. Converse with the individuals on the panel; draw them into your answer so they will want to know more about you and or your answer.
Be sure to listen to the question being asked. Do not concentrate so much on your own anxiety or how you are going to answer that you do not hear the entire question. Try not to react while listening to the question. Don’t give away your answer or display your feelings through facial expressions and body language. Once you begin your answer, continue to be aware of your body language. If you are someone, like me, who has to talk with your hands, try to keep from overdoing it (I know, it is difficult, but practice makes perfect).
Begin your response to a question with eye contact with the judge asking that question. Deliver your response. If it is a panel interview, make eye contact with the judge asking the question as you begin your response, then make eye contact with the other judges as you continue answering the questions. Remember to draw the judges into your answer–it is a conversation.
Do not ramble. Answer the question and be done.
It is also not a good idea to repeat the question as part of your answer. I feel this wastes precious interview time. If you must include part of the question in your answer, make it brief.
Until next time, enjoy the beginning of “pageant season”!