How a Software Engineer Should Answer the


I believe that unquestionably the commonest interview query is “so, inform me about your self”. 

As somebody who’s gone by the HackReactor program, spoken to recruiters, and interviewed dozens of candidates myself, listed below are crucial issues any candidate ought to maintain high of thoughts. 

Frequent Misconceptions 

There are two widespread misconceptions with this query. The primary false impression is that it’s not likely an ‘interview query’, fairly simply a chance to make small speak with the interviewer to point out them that you would be able to construct rapport. The second false impression is that that is your probability to point out the interviewer that there’s extra to you than simply being a programmer. Certainly, if somebody asks you in a social setting “inform me about your self” your reply in all probability ought to embrace extra than simply what your favourite frontend frameworks and sorting algorithms are, however in an interview it is best to focus in your technical strengths.

A few years in the past I used to suppose this was a foolish query interviewers would ask after they weren’t ready to really give an interview, and I’d even get barely offended. I’d surprise “nicely doesn’t this interviewer have my resume? Have they even checked out it? There’s a lot from each my profession and who I’m as an individual that has introduced me right here to this place… the place do I even begin?” However in actuality, that is what makes this query each fascinating and helpful for the interviewer. Out of all the things from the candidates’ previous, what are they going to decide on to explain themselves in 30 seconds?

Your reply ought to instill confidence about your chosen job and expertise 

The very last thing you need after your reply is to depart your interviewer with doubts about the truth that you get pleasure from programming, and that it’s what you’ll proceed to construct your profession in. Prior to now after I had the chance to conduct an interview, it was considerably of a unfavorable if the interviewee appeared desirous to be in a management or extra product going through position within the close to future. After all, there’s nothing improper with aspiring to be in a management position, however it might make me second guess their true intentions and whether or not programming was one thing that they loved and have been invested in.

When answering, I like to right away bounce into my present strengths, and my high selections for programming languages and frameworks. I can work backwards by speaking about my present job, earlier roles and framing each position as a constructing block that has introduced me to the place I’m right this moment with experience in these explicit languages/frameworks I initially centered my reply round.

When you’ve got earlier skilled expertise that isn’t associated to programming , there should be worth in mentioning them when you’re capable of tie it again to the way it makes you a good higher programmer right this moment. Listed below are some methods you may tie again different expertise to your position as a programmer: 

  • Designer: Sturdy understanding of UX and skill to craft lovely UIs
  • Engineer (non-software): Course of, logic, and downside fixing capacity
  • Product Supervisor: Organizing construct course of, getting consumer suggestions, and connecting the items
  • Supervisor: Management for future lead engineer roles
  • Gross sales/Actual Property/Recruiter/HR: Can relate to the consumer and may work collaboratively as a part of a crew
  • Musician/Chef: Grasp it as a science as a lot as an artwork
  • Author: Writing programming weblog posts and tutorials

In case you are in search of your first skilled software program engineer position and you discover that you’re both having bother filling the 30 seconds, or it’s dominated by your earlier non-programming associated expertise, you may fill in extra space by mentioning a showcase venture you may have been engaged on. 

One other benefit to incorporating a venture into your “inform me about your self” response, is that it may possibly simply segway into the intuitive comply with up of: inform me extra about that venture. It positions you to showcase a venture that you simply’ve ready your self to speak about and as soon as once more present your pleasure for future applied sciences you wish to study and normal areas that you simply wish to develop in. In the course of the interview, it’s precious to to show your willingness to adapt to the ever-evolving nature of programming. This portion of the reply shall be even stronger when you can tie in your pleasure to study a expertise that the corporate presently makes use of. It’s going to present that you simply’ve performed your homework, and that you simply’re assured that even when you haven’t labored with a specific expertise up to now, you may decide it up rapidly. 

After getting given a stable overview of your technical capacity and pursuits, I do suppose it’s good to have a pair sentences on different pursuits/hobbies. There’s a probability that the interviewer could have a standard curiosity, whether or not a sports activities crew, or journey vacation spot. Being able to construct rapport with an interviewer is all the time a plus and permits them to see when you’re somebody they’d get pleasure from working alongside.


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