Prepare Your Dessert Tray to Answer "Tell me about yourself"

job search Mar 09, 2021

Good restaurants recognize the serious suggestion when servers present a tray of delicious looking desserts and ask "May I interest you in dessert?". They follow with very brief descriptions of the desserts that would appeal to their guests the best. People seeking employment may learn from this simple suggestion.

Many people fear the interview question "Tell me about yourself." They struggle deciding how to balance personal versus professional experiences, sharing too much information, or sharing too little. I remember interviewing someone for a position. I budgeted 30 minutes for the interview. I asked "Tell me about yourself", 20 minutes later he allowed me ask my 2nd question.

You include the following items on your dessert tray:

  • 3 hobbies you love
  • Your education and training
  • Your past job titles (12 years experience as a graphic designer)
  • Your civic service
  • 5 words or short phrases that describe you (results-oriented, creative, reliable)
  • 3 home run statements describing your most applicable professional accomplishments

Brevity remains crucial to your success. You don't share everything on your dessert tray. Instead, you select the most applicable to your interviewer(s): only one hobby, the most applicable education, the job title (in their terms) related to this job, 1 or 2 volunteer efforts, 2 of the words or phrases ("People describe me as <blank>> and <blank>, and end with 1 (or 2 if they are short) home run statements. Keep your answer to 45-90 seconds.

Like a good restaurant, your purpose in sharing your dessert tray is to entice them to want to know more about you, to tease them to wanting to hire you. Practice presenting your dessert tray, just like exceptional servers can describe the great desserts fluently, efficiently and effectively

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