The Importance of Self-Awareness in Developing Elite Software Engineers

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is critically important for software engineers. Unfortunately, there seems to be a large number of engineers who don't possess this. They are not able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and subsequently aren't able to realize their full potential. If you want to improve your self-awareness, you need to be open to constructive criticism.

You should actively seek out feedback from your managers and peers. Use this feedback as a roadmap for your self-improvement. Doing so will cause you to realize immense growth and will provide you with numerous additional opportunities, both personally and professionally.


Potential Interview Questions to Identity Self-Awareness


What is the Biggest Misconception that People Have About You?

Purpose

This question is more behavioral than technical. However, it is important to mention. If you get this question, beware! You are entering the danger zone. If there are things that you feel are misconceptions about you, it is quite likely that they arenít misconceptions. You just havenít been able to recognize this characteristic in yourself. Even if it is truly a misconception, your interviewer is going to assume the misconception to be true rather than otherwise. This is often just a subtle way of asking ĎCould you please articulate your faults and other reasons why I may not want to hire you?í

Good Response

You may want to just avoid this question by saying that you really canít think of anything or that you generally feel like people have an accurate representation of who you are. If you feel compelled to come up with something, make sure itís either so benign that it wonít leave much of an impression on your interviewer or it is something that could be viewed as a positive characteristic. Donít go over-the-top in trying to spin it into a positive. You will sound disingenuous.

Poor Response

Any response in which you mention anything that could be thought of as a negative trait, regardless of whether it is true or not, will reduce your desirability as a candidate. Remember that your goal on this question is just to break even. Donít spend a lot of time talking about how you see yourself in a different way than everyone else does. You will have lots of other opportunities to impress them, so work around this question gracefully if you receive it.


What Are Your Greatest Strengths as a Software Engineer?

Purpose

An interviewer will ask this question as a means of determining your level of self-awareness. You will be expected to provide a number of specific examples where you exhibited this strength. Make sure you talk about why this particular strength is so valuable to a software engineer.

Good Response

A good response is one in which you are able to provide numerous specific examples of how you possess the strength that you've chosen to talk about. Make sure the strength you have chosen is relevant to the position you are applying for.

Poor Response

If you are not able to provide specific examples demonstrating how you possess the strength you mentioned, the interviewer will assume you don't actually possess it. Interview talk is cheap, and you will be expected to back up all assertions with supporting facts.

Why is it Necessary for Great Software Engineers to Understand the Difference Between Strategy and Tactics?