In this article, I will explore various ways of describing oneself. This is important, especially for engineers, as we often encounter questions like “Tell me about yourself” or engage in conversations where self-description is key. It’s crucial to understand how to develop a character that is both intriguing and authentic.

The first and most important point is to create a sense of tension. Even though interviewers may not explicitly ask for it, they implicitly expect something interesting about you. When I mention “interesting,” I mean there should be some form of conflict or internal tension. For instance, you could say, “I am a software engineer who likes to wear suits.” It’s not a common trait among engineers, which makes it intriguing and sparks further thought and questions. Another approach is to talk about being an entrepreneur rather than just an employee at a big tech organization, which adds another layer of interest and attention.

To avoid coming across as one-dimensional, it’s important not to always present ourselves in an overly positive light. While self-confidence is essential, describing ourselves as flawless can make us appear like caricatures. No one is always good or always bad. When asked about weaknesses, it’s crucial to provide context. For example, instead of stating a vague weakness like “working too hard,” you could say, “I recently got diagnosed with hypertension due to taking on excessive stress at work.” By adding this complexity, you showcase authenticity and create a more well-rounded image.

Furthermore, when sharing your story, remember that the goal is to engage others and draw them into your narrative. The use of first-person point of view creates intimacy and connection. Starting sentences with “I am doing this” or “I like going here” establishes a strong sense of personal involvement. Conversely, be cautious with second-person phrases, as they may imply assumptions about others’ thoughts or actions. It’s better to express your opinions with clarity, such as saying, “I think that you.” In some situations, adopting a more detached perspective can be useful. This approach creates a sense of distance and objectivity, which is beneficial when writing performance reviews or other evaluations.

How do you describe yourself? Talk to me on my Twitter @jchex



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Software Project Manager