“What makes you passionate?” Software Engineering Interview

Written By John Sonmez

“What makes you passionate about Software Development?” is a question you’re likely to get in your next behavioral software engineering interview.

Why are they asking this? Is it because they care about how much you enjoy yourself when you’re writing code?

A passionate-looking Software Developer
Looking for a “passionate programmer”?

No, they’re not that altruistic.

This question screens whether you’ll be able to put out the results the company wants – with consistency.

  • Will you be proactive in your role as a Software Engineer?
  • Are you curious enough to want to keep learning new skills? To get to the root of any issue?
  • Will you pull through when things get tough, or will you falter?

“Being passionate” is code for being a hard worker, a smart problem-solver and a relentless bug-fixer who doesn’t mind putting in extra hours to get projects across the finish line.

How to convey your passion for Software Development

Knowing what they’re really asking with this question, you can come up with a response that ticks all the boxes. If you do, chances are your interviewer will start imagining you using that passion of yours to accomplish their company’s goals.

Tell a story about a time you were persistent

The most believable way to talk about your passion is to give a real-life example. 

Recall your toughest challenges and how you were able to overcome them through sheer force of will (i.e. passion). 

You’ll gain the interviewer’s respect for your tenacity. This means that from your story, he’ll be drawing all the right conclusions about your character.

Explain your mindset

How does your passion for Software Development shape your attitude towards the problems you encounter in your work?

Tell them that when you get challenged, that’s when you thrive. How you love to rise to the occasion and solve even the most serious struggles thrown at you.

You love to work hard and inspire your teammates to be successful. You get satisfaction from working towards a common goal – and winning, because your team did all it took.

Talk about major goals you still want to hit

As with any behavioral question, it’s smart to tailor your response to what their company wants to achieve.

You’ve been passionate about Software Engineering for a long time. But your passion is ongoing. You’re still aiming for the next level.

This lines up with their company’s goals: In the position you’re interviewing for, you could pour your heart into meaningful projects. Not only would it serve your self-actualization – but maybe even more importantly, your zest for this profession could also help them reach new levels of success.