Interview with a Software Engineer: Tell me about yourself

Seven out of ten screening interviews (typically conducted over the phone or online) begin with the “tell me about yourself” question. It is not the most important question in an interview, but it is the first one, and it frequently sets the tone for the rest of the meetings with hiring managers.

As a general rule, you should emphasize your strengths and provide a personal detail or two to demonstrate that you have interests outside of work. But what does this entail for a software engineer? Furthermore, what should you emphasize in your interview introduction? And how does it differ between entry-level and veteran software engineers? On the following lines, we will search for the answers.

Let’s jump right into seven examples of responses to the question. I attempted to include answers for college students, entry-level software engineers, and seasoned professionals with years of software engineering experience on my list. Don’t forget to review my notes below the answers for tips on what you should emphasize when introducing yourself to the interview panel (or to the one guy on the phone).

Interview with a Software EngineerTell me about yourself with Best Answers

5 Examples of Answer to “Tell me about yourself” Software Engineer

Example Answer 1

I’ve been working on mobile app development while attending college for the past four years. My personal projects were primarily written in Java and Python, but my Play Store account was suspended for reasons I do not comprehend. However, I learned a great deal both in school and while developing the apps. Currently, I’m seeking employment with an innovative game studio, and I’m excited to be interviewing with you. In addition to programming, I enjoy reading and socializing with friends. This concludes my brief introduction; please let me know if you’d like me to elaborate on any aspect of my education or app-related experience.

Example Answer 2

My name is Eric, I am 34 years old, and I have worked as a software engineer for a smaller company, in an agile team, working primarily with Java and C++ on online maps. As with numerous other startups, this one eventually failed, and I am currently unemployed. The primary reason I am applying for the job with you is because I prefer to work in a smaller team and see the direct impact I have on a project. Aside from that, I am a fairly typical guy with a girlfriend, a dog, and a passion for model trains. Exists anything else you’d like to know about my current life?

Example Answer 3

My name is Lisa, and I am a 22-year-old student seeking a part-time job that I can perform remotely while still in school. I’m proficient in PHP and Java, and I’m attempting to gradually learn other programming languages. I have two brothers, and they both attend medical school, so it is quite humorous that I chose software engineering as a female. The primary reason I seek a part-time position with you is that I want to maximize my college experience and have a competitive edge after I graduate.

Example Answer 4

I’m Jack, a 41-year-old experienced programmer who has completed a number of successful projects. I’d say my portfolio does a better job of introducing me than my words, so if you’d like, we can look at it together and I can tell you about the major projects I’ve engineered over the years. I am a fortunate father of two and a man with a large family who strives to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Having a family and a life outside of work, I could not accept the demands of my previous supervisors, who demanded that I work more than 70 hours per week.

Example Answer 5

My name is Beth, and I’ve been working for one of the BIG 4 companies for the past seven years, climbing the corporate ladder and learning programming fundamentals. I still consider myself to be young, but I grew tired of working on the same tasks and application month after month, as is common in large corporations. Didn’t feel I was growing professionally, so I’m seeking a drastic career change. I hope to find what I’m looking for at your startup, and I’m willing to bring everything I’ve learned at the large corporation with me.

The more qualified you are as a candidate, the more detailed should be your introduction.

If you have years of experience in software development and have worked on numerous projects, the key to a successful interview introduction is to focus on just one or two key points. Consider the position you’re applying for, the projects you’ll work on, the programming languages you’ll use, and the final users’ demographics. Then, you should select the most relevant project from your previous work experience, i.e., one that is comparable to the projects you will be working on at your new job.

However, avoid becoming excessively technical (unless they ask you to do so). Remember that the individual conducting the interview with you may not be a software engineer. They may be an unidentified recruiter or HR professional. Focus more on the functionality of the software, your role in the engineering process, and perhaps the key factors that led to its success.

If you do this effectively, they will be able to envision you doing the same for their business and working on similar projects with relative ease. And if that occurs, you will be one step away from a new employment agreement.

Immediately demonstrate effective nonverbal communication.

Perhaps you are an introvert, like the majority of software developers. Or you prefer to maintain a neutral demeanor during interviews. Nonetheless, the hiring managers should get the impression that this interview is significant to you, regardless of whether it is the only one you have or whether you have seven others scheduled in the coming weeks.

They should hear enthusiasm in your voice as you introduce yourself and attempt to persuade them that you are an ideal candidate for the available position. Now, this does not necessitate yelling out of excitement. It is sufficient to smile gently, maintain eye contact, and speak with intent.

Self-introductions for new hires should be concise and sensible.

It shouldn’t take you more than three minutes to respond to the “tell me about yourself” question, particularly if you are a recent college graduate with little or no work experience. Your objective is not to detail your entire employment history (though many software engineers try to do so).

Nor is it to tell them your life story. Later in the interview, you will have the chance to discuss your experience (if you have any) and the various projects you’ve worked on over the years. They are prepared with specific questions to ask about these matters in the future.

While introducing yourself, you should briefly summarize who you are, list your core strengths (years of experience, knowledge of programming languages, two or three key personality traits), and give the interviewer something positive to work with for the remainder of the interview.

You can distinguish yourself with a unique response.

In some instances, hiring managers will ask you to introduce/describe yourself in “one sentence,” “ten words or less,” “three adjectives,” or, in the most extreme cases, in “one word.”

Not only are they ensuring that they won’t have to listen to a ten-minute monologue, but they are also testing your listening skills and ability to speak concisely. If asked to introduce yourself in three words, you should use exactly three words.

You may introduce yourself in ten words, three potent adjectives, or any other short form of your choosing, even if they do not specify the length of your response. You will immediately stand out with such a response, and, ultimately, you will be remembered.

Less is frequently more in interviews. Do not immediately overwhelm them with information. Offer a concise and compelling introduction, then elaborate on it with additional answers.

Other Interview Questions and Answers You’ll Want to See

How to Answer ‘What Are Your Salary Expectations?’

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How To Describe Your Personality at Interviews

What makes you stand out from the other candidates?

Interview Question: “Are You a Team Player?” Sample Answers

6 Ways to Answer “What Are Your Career Aspirations?”

How to Answer “Why Did You Choose This College?”

18 Common Phone Interview Questions & Answers

Athina Iliadis is a Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in corporate environments working for companies such as Pearson, LexisNexis, Hershey, and Reckitt. In her current role as a consultant working with clients around the world, she coaches managers and employees on HR issues, supports leaders in their business, produces content about careers, interviews, and job opportunities. She is fluent in English, French and Greek, and she holds a BBA with a major in HR from Université du Québec à Montréal. Find her on LinkedIn and at

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