How to Judge a Rodeo Queen Pageant Interview

Among the judging events in a rodeo queen competition is the personal interview. If you've been asked to judge a pageant interview, it's important to know what this responsibility involves. The personal interview is your opportunity to learn about each contestant and review her personality, knowledge in several areas and suitability to fulfill her role as rodeo queen.

Prepare in advance for the interview. Plan your interview questions according to the rules stipulated by the sponsoring organization. If the pageant coordinator does not send you a rulebook, request one. If possible, review a copy of contestants' biographies before the interview so you can prepare personal questions of interest for each entrant.

Shape different types of questions that allow you to learn about the contestant. Depending on the competition, interview questions may cover horse care, rodeo terminology, animal welfare, world standings and knowledge of tack as well as broader subjects such as current events. Questions should help you assess a contestant's personality, charm, poise and communication skills.

Familiarize yourself with the scoring system used in that competition. Learn what constitutes an appropriate score; for instance, what standards justify giving 10 points out of 10 -- or zero points. Discuss with a fellow judge or judges how to score fairly and avoid extreme grades.

Assess the contestant's appearance according to pageant guidelines. Know whether the contestant may wear a dress instead of jeans, roper boots as well as dress boots and plain hats as well as decorated ones. Learn specifics, such as whether a hat is properly shaped, if such standards count toward or detract from a contestant's score.

Take notes during the interview. If you fill out scoring sheets that will be given to the contestants, provide comments. Indicate strengths and weaknesses a contestant exhibits during the interview and suggest ways she can improve for future competitions. Compliment her on the strengths she exhibits. Be honest, but don't discourage or embarrass the contestant.

Behave professionally while judging. Pay attention when the contestant is speaking. Don't whisper to other judges while she is in the room. Show a friendly face to help put her at ease. Give her the courtesy of making eye contact while she is answering questions and when she is entering and leaving the room.