As I have interacted with a variety of current and future contestant over the past year, I am frequently asked, “How do you make yourself standout next to so many fabulous women?”  The answer is not found in a magic face serum, hair product or brand name designer.  The answer is based in your commitment to your platform.  Your connection should be more than a casual relationship.  If you are new to volunteering don’t be afraid to ask for a challenging assignment.  The deeper your experience the richer and more sincerely you can speak about it.

If your volunteerism is based on walking to support a cause, make sure you take the time to speak to other walkers and learn their stories. Make connections and support their efforts. Create a network of supporters and encourage them to follow and support your cause!

If you are raising money for a cause, take the time to visit the headquarters and meet the directors.  Make sure you get a sense of what motivates them and how the funds are used.  Ask if you can participate on a project team or specifically how you could help, outside of a one-time event.  Be creative, perhaps you can organize your own event to support your cause. Make yourself a part of that organization in any consistent way.

The more time you spend with your organization, the more prepared you will be during the interview to express you passion.  You should have at least one quick story that explains why you selected your organization (Quick meaning, 3 sentences or less). Don’t give away all your information in one big breath. By giving the listener little bits of interesting facts about yourself throughout the interview it will keep them interested and drawn into your conversation.

And remember, it is a conversation. You should conduct yourself in a professional interview style but still show your personality, charm and wit. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to gesture and laugh at yourself if you make a mistake or get tongue tied. As I always say, be yourself! Don’t worry about being perfect, there is no such thing.

Good luck with your preparations!

Krista Wanous
Miss International 2012


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