The America’s Junior Miss scholarship program gives young ladies an opportunity to learn many skills while competing for the title. One of the most important categories is interview, which accounts for 25 percent of the total score. Judges evaluate a contestant’s personality, her ability to relate to others, her maturity and her ability to express herself during a 10-minute personal interview. Several factors go into winning this part of the competition. Be prepared to better your chances of winning.

Wear a professional outfit, such as a dress you wear to church with a cardigan, a dress with a jacket or a pantsuit. Practice walking and sitting in your outfit. Make sure it is comfortable. Be modesty; no cleavage showing or too much leg. Keep your jewelry to a minimum. You want the judges looking at you and not distracted by dangling earrings.

Pay attention to the news. Learn about the world around you and form an opinion. Know details about your community, state and nation. Know your government leaders. Know everything about your biography. Think about what your goals and dreams are. Answer questions with honesty, personality and humor.

Show confidence in your interview. Be positive in your answers and remember to smile. An upbeat and optimistic point of view is impressive. Be friendly and open, but not giggly. Be sincere, as judges don’t reward interviewees who aren’t true to their beliefs.

Maintain eye contact with the judges. Look at the judge that asks the question when starting your answer, then look at each of the other judges and end your answer looking back at the beginning judge. Don’t look down at your lap or up at the ceiling when trying to formulate your answer. Use good grammar and avoid slang.

Prepare a one-minut ending. This is your opportunity to tell the judges something special about yourself. Keep it interesting. Suggestions include; an activity that you are involved in and how it impacts your life such as sports, talents or community service; a remarkable part of your personality; an event that has made a difference in your life. Have your thoughts organized and be well prepared for this presentation. This ending can change the whole interview.