Interviewing

Prepare yourself for an interview so you can showcase your skills and value to the company.

Get started with big interview

All the tools you’ll need

You got the interview.  Now what?  We promise this isn't the time to "wing it"  
Interviews are your chance to show recruiters what you'll bring to the position. 
To tell the stories in greater details that you highlighted on your resume. 
Not sure what to expect in an interview?  That's ok.  We're here to make it easier.

Mock Interviews

The best way to prepare is to participate in a mock interview. Think of it as a practice run. These are held in person and will help you get comfortable in this type of situation.  You can make an appointment for your mock interview thru Handshake @ Illinois

Big Interview

Does your schedule not match our office hours?  Big Interview allows you to practice anywhere, anytime.  In person, over the phone, or via skype, this is a great tool to get you ready for your interview, no matter the medium.  Access Big Interview

Reserve an Interview Room

Need a quiet space for an interview? Interview rooms may be requested 24 hours in advance, and are assigned based on availability. The interview room reservation form will go live this weekend on Sunday, Sept. 20th at midnight! Access the form here.

SOS

We are here to help you prepare and troubleshoot when necessary.  Missing a scheduled interview without canceling or providing ECS notification or appropriate documentation will result in your Handshake @ Illinois account being deactivated. In an emergency situation, you must notify ECS as soon as possible so that we can assist you in both notifying the employer and attempting to reschedule the interview.

Types of Interviews

There are a variety of types and ways that companies interview for positions, and you may actually experience a number of these for one job.

1.

Traditional

You’ll be asked broad-based questions to determine what your skills are and if you fit into the organization.

Sample questions:
Why did you choose your major?
Tell me about yourself
Why are you interested in working for us?
What has been your greatest challenge/accomplishment?

3.

Technical Interviews

Software engineering interviews have a very specific format focused on whiteboard coding and algorithm design, any many students struggle if they haven’t practiced that specific format. Work on practice problems and focus on how to arrive at the answers, not just what the answers were.

Tips:
Practice problems are available online at sites such as Interview Cake provide weekly practice problems and tips to successfully navigating coding problems.

Think out loud. Provide a rationale why your thought could work well and try to answer the question, even if you don’t know the answer.

 

2.

Behavioral

Behavioral interviews look at past behavior to find indicators of how you will perform on the job. You will be asked to describe past behavior using the STAR format in your answer. (Situation, Task, Action, and Result)  

Sample questions:
Describe a leadership role you've held?
Describe a  decision you made that backfired?
Describe a time when you had to adjust quickly to a change in team priorities?

4.

Case Interviews

This type of interview is popular with consulting firms and is designed to test your ability to think analytically and professionally, handle ambiguity, and measure your confidence and problem-solving skills. These can include brain teasers, engineering problems, and real-life situations. Feel free to ask your recruiter what type of case interview to expect.

Tips:
Utilize big picture thinking to focus on key issues in solving the problem.

Think out loud. Provide logic and reasoning for your decisions and share your assumptions.

Stay focused. You can ask for clarification to ensure you’re answering the question asked.

General Interview Preparation Tips

  1. 1

    Know yourself

    You got the interview because they liked what they saw on the resume.  Know your skill set and prepare for specific questions. Don’t embellish, but play up your strengths. Write down your greatest accomplishments and struggles.

  2. 2

    Know the venue

    With many interviews going virtual, make sure that you have all the facts as you prepare for a phone, Zoom, or recorded interview. Many companies are using virtual platforms such as HireVue, so make sure you understand how the platform works well before the deadline for submitting your virtual interview.

  3. 3

    Research the employer

    Know what they do and why. Have a good understanding of what the position entails. Study their website and review industry trends.

  4. 4

    Dress code

    Dress professionally, ideally in a suit. 
    Dress for a virtual interview the same way you would for an in-person interview.

  5. 5

    First impressions matter

    Be at your best during the entire experience. Anyone could have clout when it comes to hiring. Shake hands, smile, listen, answer each question you are asked while finding ways to consistently showcase your skills.

  6.  

    6

    Ask questions

    When an interviewer asks if you have any questions, the answer is YES.  Asking questions is one way to show interest in the opportunity.

  7.  

    7

    There's fortune in the follow up

    Find out next steps in the hiring process, ask for business cards, and e-mail a thank you letter within 24 hours.