In order to be successful at a company, there are traits that you learn along your career. Some companies value different traits, but in general, there are a few that apply across the board. For example:
- Motivation — Why are you in engineering, why are you choosing this company specifically?
- Empathy — Do you know how to work with your peers, your managers, your reports?
- Proactivity — Can you get work done, even when you don’t have all the information?
- Growth — Are you open to feedback, and constantly iterating towards something new?
The interviewer will try to suss out whether you have these traits. Now, if they asked you directly, you would just say “yes” and there would be no signal.
But, they can ask you indirectly — "tell me a time where you made a design decision that you later regretted?" Based on you answer they can figure out how your view on growth and empathy is — do you think you made mistakes at all? How did you deal with it? How was your communication with others throughout it?
The homework in The Mental Game will help you convey yourself well.
If you have a strong narrative, your motivation and proactivity will come through. It isn’t possible to prepare for every question, but if you are centered, most of the signal will take care of itself.